Country point Aruba

Aruba even has 2 airports, yet most geocachers from around the world will arrive here as cruise tourists.

Unlike some neighboring islands in the Caribbean, Aruba also has some variety to offer when it comes to caches: there is a webcam cache, a question mark and a virtual. Of course, it also has tradis and earth caches like on neighboring islands.

We would like to tell you something about our day in Aruba. It's just ONE version of a day in Aruba, of course. Maybe it will help you with your planning.

getting there

We arrive in Aruba on August 1st on our Carnival Horizon cruise ship. Lay times are quite “normal” from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The pier is located in the middle of the city of Oranjestad, which is also the capital of the Dutch island of Aruba in the Caribbean Sea. When you leave the cruise terminal, you find yourself in the middle of Oranjestad's touristy coastal road. Here you can find everything you want or don't want in terms of souvenirs. Many hotels line up here and curious houses that shimmer in the most colorful Caribbean colors. Very nice to stroll along. Cache-wise there isn't much to be found here, but at least it's a tradition, more on that below.

weather

August 1st was hot. You don't really need to say more. Hot, hot and hot again. However, there is also a light wind all over the island, which does not make it seem cooler. To the west/lighthouse, the wind is rather unpleasant, as it whirls up sand and earth, which clouds the view and in no way cools it down. We had 32°C which felt like 40°C.

Quoted from the Internet it sounds like this: "Aruba is blessed with clear skies, a bright sun (more than on any other island!) and light trade winds practically every day of the year." We can only confirm the same.

Car rental

We chose Hertz car rental. We are a little down to earth and like to choose well-known brands. This time the car rental office is not in the cruise terminal like other islands. You have to take a short walk of about 10 leisurely minutes along Promenadenstrasse. The car rental is located in a hotel or a mall, the Renaissance Mall. Don't be surprised if you stand at the Hertz counter, sometimes a boat pulls in underground, like in an underground car park. Reminiscent of Venice, the boat picks up hotel guests and takes them through the “underground car park” out to sea to their own bathing island. Was so interesting to look at that we forgot to take a picture of it….

Otherwise, the procedure for car rental is a bit cumbersome. At first they didn't seem to know our booking. Then hundreds of papers had to be signed. Then we took the shuttle bus to a "branch office" of the hotel. There again at the Hertz counter, get the key and after a good 30 minutes we are in front of our KIA Rio. For the fact that we booked the smallest car - as always - we received a nice upgrade here. Finally an automatic again – we had had enough of yesterday's bad shifting gear in the mountains of Curacao. Overall the cheapest car of our trip, which was insured with everything for 57 EUR and served us well for 6 hours.

localities

We already reported about Oranjestad. Otherwise there are some smaller towns on the island, all of which serve more or less residential purposes. Those on the coast are dominated by hotels and resorts. Inland, it seems more like residential buildings. You won't find many shops there, a supermarket and countless restaurants along the coast.

beaches

Fantastic!


Aruba by the sea

I don't really want to write more here. White sand, turquoise-blue water, umbrellas, loungers, free access in many places - so at least if you drive west from Oranjestad towards the lighthouse, there is no shortage of swimming opportunities. However, you may miss the small, "secret" bays that you can find everywhere on Curacao. Here there are no small, hidden roads leading towards the bay, to which you then take a few stairs and are almost alone - here it is a large sandy area where locals and guests seem to cavort. Probably more tourists than locals. But you will find many water sports such as water skiing, catamarans and other boats without prior reservation.

Geocaches

Despite being almost a Dutch island, Aruba has its own country dot at Groundspeak. In relation to many other Caribbean islands, this is also conclusive.

With 46 caches active to our day, Aruba has quite a larger number of caches to offer compared to other islands. Most of course traditional caches in a lower D and T rating. But 3 earth caches are added, as well as a virtual from 2002, a question mark with easy-to-answer questions on site and a webcam! The webcam alone would have been a reason for us to rent a car. With the tourist buses you can certainly get to the virtual at the lighthouse, as the logs show. But the webcam in a hotel complex is certainly not approached.

From the front: When we picked up our rental car, we had already picked up a traditional "I love Aruba!!" (GC4BJ71), the country dot, so to speak. You will find what you are looking for at the well-known lettering "I love Aruba". However, it requires a bit of ingenuity, because logging without muggles is not possible here. Always doable with children!

With the rental car we first headed for the webcam. On the way I got the cache "Canada EH #1" (GC430EF) and then on to the webcam: the cache "One happy Island" (GCJ3PX) is in a hotel complex. The owner is strict and demands a real webcam photo. So no selfie in the right place, it has to be from the webcam. He points this out in the listing and that's perfectly fine. He also offers 2 links to the webcam in the listing, which we always find very convenient. As a tourist from Germany, you may not have internet here, at least that's how it was for us. We got the tip from friends of geocachers to find free WiFi in the nearby facilities, just a few meters away from the cache site. It's good that there were two of us. While the GeoZwerg30 does not attach importance to a webcam, Ms. Brummelbär took a position at the coordinates and the GeoZwerg went through the hotel complex in search of free WiFi. It took a few minutes, but he found what he was looking for and was able to take two good photos from the live cam. Enough! Job Complete.

So, come here in pairs (you can also take turns, so that everyone gets the photo of themselves), walk around a bit, try out the free WiFi and bring a little patience. That's not too much to ask for a webcam cache in Aruba.

After the first success, we moved on to a question mark, "Boca Catalina Beach" (GC7D0RJ). The questions could not be solved at home, but it should be easy to do on site. And that's right, after a few minutes we held the can in our hands. In the meantime it is no longer the blue box, as announced in the hint, but orange, but it doesn't matter. You can still find it. Also here: some stealth mode necessary, but works! And based on the title of the cache, you also know which part of the coast you are currently on.

The next step should be the island's lighthouse. More precisely: to the cache "The Lighthouse" (GC6CDA). As you can see from the GC code, an old Virutal. And also easy to fulfill: only a photo with the lighthouse is required.

Grumpy bear and GeoZwerg30 at the Aruba lighthouse

Of course we also visit and look for the tradition at the lighthouse "Argentina & Kingdom of the Netherlands” (GC245CW). While we couldn't explain the cache name at first, reading the listing quickly makes it clear what the connection to the Netherlands is. Reading the listing is really interesting here!

Before we leave the premises of the lighthouse, we are still looking for the Tradi "Message in A Bottle" (GC5MG1K), which lives up to its name. You are at the beginning of the small drift track, which is interesting for all quads, jeeps and go-karts. The stones where the cache hiding place is located are special and pointed, hollowed out and interesting. However, climbing here is not without it.

On the way back to Eagle Beach we stop at the cache "Aruba Sunset" (GC7FWC1), which offers us a beautiful view.

We passed Eagle Beach on the way there. We deliberately kept the Tradi of the same name (GC6GW4A) there for the way back. We then take our break at this beach. Here you can rent a jet ski (albeit in the upper price range at 65 USD for 30 minutes), snorkel and simply enjoy! We had enough umbrellas and loungers. There is enough food and drink opposite the beach.

In the second half of the day we set off through Oranjestad in our rental car. There was a lot going on here, so that we could only drive past our ship at walking pace on Promenadenstraße. Now it went east, only to turn a short time later into the interior of the island. The goal was the earth cache "Casibari Rock Formation" (GC17WZE). It's a bit amazing what big stones lie around in the solitude here (there are a few nice residential buildings around, but there's nothing else...). Prepared for tourists with a café and some buses also came towards us. But we had almost the whole place to ourselves. For the required height measurement, we had already obtained a backup in advance, so that we could take our photos without any worries. Just measured and amazed at how high you could climb there.

And this was our worthy conclusion of a small cache tour on Aruba.