Eagle Beach in Aruba ©
Just 14 miles (25km) north of Venezuela, Aruba is the smallest and most Western island of the Dutch Antilles, which, known locally as the ABCs, also include Bonaire and Curaçao. With its miles of white, sandy beaches, turquoise-blue waters and guaranteed sun, Aruba is a great destination for sun-worshippers and a popular stop for cruise ship passengers. Over a million visitors arrive on this tiny island each year enticed by its luxury resorts, first-class restaurants, 24-hour casinos and excellent watersports facilities.
Most visitors stay either in the capital, Oranjestad, or just to the north in one of the many resort complexes on Eagle and Palm beaches. The remainder of the island is much less developed and in the arid interior there is nothing more substantial than cacti, divi-divi trees, contorted by the consistently strong trade winds, and herds of goats. For those who demand more than simply soaking up the sun there are plenty of activities available. There is good diving and snorkelling along the reef on the protected leeward coast and windsurfing is excellent a little further north at Fisherman's Hut. Deep-sea fishing can be arranged through many of the hotels.
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