An Epic Off-Highway Jeep Safari Of Aruba’s North Coast
A Land Rover off-highway journey in collaboration with Aruba Tourism UK.
Blissful New Yr from not-so-sunny Shetland!
This is my first weblog publish of 2018, brought about as a result of I attempted to go for a mountain bike trip first thing this morning to start burning off the effects of my Christmas/New 12 months indulgences. Half a mile into the ride and I discovered myself unceremoniously sliding down the road having had my back tyre slip out from beneath me on black sheet ice. Serves me right for making an attempt to train in freezing temperatures! I limped house with no severe harm past a bruised ego and resolved to sit and spend the rest of the day blogging about warmer times; namely, that epic off-road jeep safari I went on last October on the tiny Caribbean island of Aruba, simply 18 miles north of Venezuela.
I used to be visiting Aruba as a visitor of Aruba Tourism, flown over from Glasgow to Amsterdam and then on to Oranjestad to sample the culinary delights of the island and to get pleasure from 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 individuals. I enjoyed our off-highway safari so much I resolved to write a separate weblog post in regards to the experience. If you’re ever in Aruba you really must go on this tour!
About ABC Tours Aruba
ABC Tours Aruba offer a range of off-street adventures not for the faint-hearted. They have a fleet of Land Rover Defender Stock automobiles modified to go well with the native terrain, as well as a staff of guides with in depth local knowledge.
All of their itineraries embody visits to Aruba’s most attention-grabbing historical sites in addition to its best natural monuments. Their professional guides allow you to explore Aruba like a local by bringing you down the highway less-travelled, and give you perception into the island’s fascinating history and lore.
Our guide’s name was George, and he is a cousin to Frankie, who I wrote about previously – he’s Aruba’s infamous freediver who handled us to a reasonably delicious Abaco Avocado & Rum Cocktail (served with some octopus!) on the shores of Mangel Halto.
ABC Tour’s jeeps are handpainted in shiny tiger stripes and there’s enough room within the again for eight passengers. Guides bring coolers of water and cups in the event you want, but it’s recommended you bring a small day bag of provisions with you together with suncream (go for the SPF 50, it’s hot!) and water.
We began our tour on the ABC Tour office and headed to the north coast of Aruba by means of a panorama vastly contrasting to the white sandy beaches and palm trees of the south coast. It didn’t take lengthy before we have been off-road, bumping down dirt tracks into the Aruban wilderness to explore the world past the accommodations and eating places.
Our first cease was at the natural arches and black stone beach within the Arikok Nationwide Park.
Black Stone Seashore & Natural Bridges in Arikok National Park
Formed from hundreds of years of the sea eroding the coral limestone on the north coast of Aruba, the pure bridges are a preferred vacationer attraction, especially since the close by larger Natural Bridge collapsed in 2005.
To the suitable of the two natural bridges (the third has lately collapsed), you’ll find the Black Stone Beach, Aruba’s solely black ‘sand’ seaside. The graceful and shimmering black pebbles lining these seashore have 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 might be fierce tides so swimming is just not really useful.
Nearby, be careful for the blowholes (recognized 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 quite unusual sight on an in any other case flat island. Our guide stopped on the option to the Black Stone Beach to level out the formations (focusing totally on the massive rock shaped like a screaming monkey’s head), telling us that they have been a sacred site to the Arawak people, the unique inhabitants of Aruba.
On the best way again from the beach we stopped for a closer have a look at one of the Ayo rocks. This one was hollow and was thought-about a sacred site by the Arawak Indians. They carved paintings on the rocks while performing their religious rites, and these petroglyphs, courting to around 1000 Advert, are nonetheless in excellent condition.
It was here I caught my first sighting of the Aruban stone island embroidered beanie whiptail lizard with its hanging turquoise spots. This lizard is endemic to Aruba, and it’s additionally identified locally as the kododo blauw.
Swimming in a Hidden Natural Pool
After leaving the Ayo Rock Formations we headed again to the coast to one in every of George’s favourite native haunts: a hidden pure pool for a bit of cliff jumping and swimming within the shade. It’s the easiest way to wash the dust of the safari off.
The only indication that there’s something to see on this specific space is the ladder heading straight down the aspect of the cliffs. Slightly scramble throughout the coral limestone (dodging a great deal of tiny little crabs) and you may jump straight in!
The Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins
All through the 19th century, adventurers travelled the Caribbean seeking wealth and treasure. Legend has it that one of the treasure islands was named Oro Ruba, that means ‘red gold’ and that Oro Ruba turned the identify Aruba over time.
In 1824 gold was discovered in Aruba and mined extensively on the island. The remains of one in all the various gold mills can nonetheless be seen at the Bushiribana site.
Boca Catalina Seaside
By this time it was midday and the heat was quite sturdy, so we visited the Boca Catalina Seashore to cool off and do a bit of snorkelling. Ok, I’d like to say I went snorkelling too, however I hid below the shade of a tree just like the ginger vampire that I’m and watched my travelling companions snorkel. Someone needed to remain on the seashore and watch all the luggage, right
A tropical mockingbird and a yellow bananaquit (aka: chickadee of the Caribbean) saved me company under the shade of the tree.
ABC Tours Aruba offer half day and full day jeep tours from as little as $seventy nine USD plus tax. They’ll even choose you up from your lodge or resort, and you’ll make sure to have an epic journey.
The North Coast Safari that I loved is one of their hottest tours, and I would really, actually suggest it when you ever go to the island and fancy one thing completely different – one thing to get that adrenaline flowing in spite of everything that holiday rest and relaxation!
For more details about Aruba go to Aruba.com. You might also get pleasure from my earlier Aruba blog posts: Frankie’s Abaco Avocado & Rum Cocktail, Go to the Flamingo Seaside at Renaissance Aruba, Aruban Pan Bati Recipe and Aruban Keshi Yena (Stuffed Cheese) Recipe. My Luxurious Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon & Tobiko Recipe was also inspired by my culinary go to to Aruba.