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An Epic Off-Street Jeep Safari Of Aruba’s North Coast

A Land Rover off-street adventure in collaboration with Aruba Tourism UK.
Stone Island Garment Dyed Nylon Tela Quilted Bomber Jacket RedHappy New Yr from not-so-sunny Shetland!

That is my first weblog put up of 2018, led to because I attempted to go for a mountain bike ride first thing this morning to start out burning off the results of my Christmas/New 12 months indulgences. Half a mile into the trip and I discovered myself unceremoniously sliding down the road having had my again tyre slip out from beneath me on black sheet ice. Serves me proper for attempting to exercise in freezing temperatures! I limped dwelling with no critical harm past a bruised ego and resolved to sit down and spend the remainder of the day running a blog about warmer instances; namely, that epic off-street jeep safari I went on last October on the tiny Caribbean island of Aruba, simply 18 miles north of Venezuela.

I was visiting Aruba as a visitor of Aruba Tourism, flown over from Glasgow to Amsterdam after which on to Oranjestad to sample the culinary delights of the island and to enjoy a number of grand adventures. I was with a small group of other European bloggers and journalists, and we had an absolute blast – they were such an excellent group of people. I enjoyed our off-highway safari so much I resolved to write a separate weblog put up in regards to the experience. If you’re ever in Aruba you actually must go on this tour!

About ABC Tours Aruba
ABC Tours Aruba offer a variety of off-street adventures not for the faint-hearted. They have a fleet of Land Rover Defender Stock vehicles modified to suit the local terrain, in addition to a staff of guides with in depth native information.

All of their itineraries include visits to Aruba’s most interesting historical stone island outlet indjija sites as well as its best pure monuments. Their professional guides can help you explore Aruba like a local by bringing you down the highway much less-travelled, and offer you insight into the island’s fascinating historical past and lore.

Our guide’s name was George, and he’s a cousin to Frankie, who I wrote about beforehand – he’s Aruba’s infamous freediver who handled us to a relatively delicious Abaco Avocado & Rum Cocktail (served with some octopus!) on the shores of Mangel Halto.

ABC Tour’s jeeps are handpainted in vibrant tiger stripes and there’s enough room within the back for eight passengers. Guides bring coolers of water and cups should you want, however it’s recommended you convey a small day bag of provisions with you together with suncream (go for the SPF 50, it’s sizzling!) and water.

We started our tour on the ABC Tour office and headed to the north coast of Aruba by means of a landscape vastly contrasting to the white sandy beaches and palm trees of the south coast. It didn’t take lengthy before we were off-road, bumping down dirt tracks into the Aruban wilderness to explore the world past the accommodations and restaurants.

Our first stop was on the natural arches and black stone beach within the Arikok National Park.
Black Stone Seashore & Natural Bridges in Arikok National Park

Formed from 1000’s of years of the sea eroding the coral limestone on the north coast of Aruba, the natural bridges are a popular vacationer attraction, particularly since the nearby bigger Natural Bridge collapsed in 2005.

To the best of the 2 natural bridges (the third has lately collapsed), you’ll find the Black Stone Beach, Aruba’s solely black ‘sand’ seashore. The smooth and shimmering black pebbles lining these beach had been formed from historical lava bubbling up from the seabed tens of millions of years ago. The open sea crashes onto these shores and there may be fierce tides so swimming is just not really helpful.

Nearby, watch out for the blowholes (identified locally as the Eyes of God) within the earth resulting in a subterranean cavern.

Ayo Rock Formations & Arawak Petroglyphs
These monolithic rock boulders are a slightly unusual sight on an in any other case flat island. Our information stopped on the way to the Black Stone Seaside to level out the formations (focusing totally on the large rock shaped like a screaming monkey’s head), telling us that they had been a sacred site to the Arawak people, the unique inhabitants of Aruba.

On the way again from the seaside we stopped for a closer look at one of the Ayo rocks. This one was hollow and was thought of a sacred site by the Arawak Indians. They carved paintings on the rocks while performing their religious rites, and these petroglyphs, relationship to round 1000 Advert, are still in superb situation.

It was here I caught my first sighting of the Aruban whiptail lizard with its striking turquoise spots. This lizard is endemic to Aruba, and it’s additionally recognized regionally as the kododo blauw.

Swimming in a Hidden Pure Pool
After leaving the Ayo Rock Formations we headed again to the coast to certainly one of George’s favourite native haunts: a hidden pure pool for a bit of cliff jumping and swimming within the shade. It’s one of the simplest ways to wash the mud of the safari off.

The one indication that there’s something to see in this explicit space is the ladder heading straight down the facet of the cliffs. A little bit scramble throughout the coral limestone (dodging a great deal of tiny little crabs) and you’ll leap straight in!

The Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins
All through the 19th century, adventurers travelled the Caribbean searching for wealth and treasure. Legend has it that one of the treasure islands was named Oro Ruba, that means ‘red gold’ and that Oro Ruba became the name Aruba over time.

In 1824 gold was discovered in Aruba and mined extensively on the island. The stays of certainly one of the many gold mills can still be seen on the Bushiribana site.

Boca Catalina Beach
By this time it was midday and the heat was fairly robust, so we visited the Boca Catalina Beach to cool off and do a little bit of snorkelling. Okay, I’d wish to say I went snorkelling too, but I hid beneath the shade of a tree just like the ginger vampire that I am and watched my travelling companions snorkel. Someone wanted to remain on the seaside and watch all of the baggage, proper

A tropical mockingbird and a yellow bananaquit (aka: chickadee of the Caribbean) stored me firm underneath the shade of the tree.

ABC Tours Aruba provide half day and full day jeep tours from as little as $79 USD plus tax. They’ll even choose you up from your resort or resort, and you’ll you’ll want to have an epic adventure.

The North Coast Safari that I enjoyed is one in every of their most popular tours, and I’d actually, actually advocate it if you happen to ever visit the island and fancy something completely different – one thing to get that adrenaline flowing in any case that holiday relaxation and relaxation!

For extra information about Aruba go to You may also enjoy my earlier Aruba weblog posts: Frankie’s Abaco Avocado & Rum Cocktail, Visit the Flamingo Beach at Renaissance Aruba, Aruban Pan Bati Recipe and Aruban Keshi Yena (Stuffed Cheese) Recipe. My Luxury Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon & Tobiko Recipe was additionally impressed by my culinary go to to Aruba.