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"You, someone you love, a quiet beach, a row of palms; warm sand beneath your tummy, sand in your toes, sand in your ear; that delectable sensation of hot sun and cool breezes playing hide-and-seek on your back, the first chilly glop of suntan lotion, playful fingers spreading the glop around and around; the murmur of surf, sun flares in your eyes when you roll over, the heat in your cheeks long after you've moved into the shade; siestas, love in the afternoon, the quiet whirring of a four-bladed fan; rum punches/fruity drinks at sundown, a table for two beneath the palms, candles flickering in the trade winds; after dinner, a walk on the beach, barefoot through the surf, the moon shimmering on the sea; early to bed, early to love."

- excerpt from Caribbean Hideaways by Ian Keown, 1990 edition

  1. It's outside the hurricane belt. No fear of your dream vacation being ruined by the whims of Mother Nature.

  2. It's small enough to tour in one day, and you leave Aruba feeling like you know the whole island. You won't get that feeling in a big place like Jamaica or Cuba.

  3. Its waters are that lovely tourquoise green color and its sand is powdery white. Hawaii's waters are a deep pacific blue; Mexico's sand is brown.

  4. Its waters are so clear you can see your feet while standing neck-deep in the Caribbean sea.

  5. It's a dry country (desert island - not tropical island) with relatively low humidity. It most likely will not rain at all during your vacation. If it does, it will be a short 5-10 minute shower.

  6. The Aruban people are among the nicest in the Caribbean and will make you feel genuinely welcome and safe. You won't have to be scared of coming across a gun-toting, marijuana farmer while hiking.

  7. The island has a huge water desalinization plant, so it's safe to drink. Don't try that in Mexico!

  8. The country is financially and politically stable, so you won't be unpleasantly surprised by revolutions, political unrest, or armed militia everywhere you look.

  9. Aruba is a healthy island. The health advisory pages for this country mostly say to just update your shots before coming. Dominican Republic has malaria, polio, dysentery, rabies, etc. on the go. Its page warns not to drink/brush teeth with the water, not to eat peeled fruits, beware of meats, do not swim or wade in freshwater areas, etc.!

  10. Aruba has all the amenities of North America - MacDonalds, Subway, recognizable brand-name foods, etc., so culture-shock is at a minimum.

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This site went online 1999.
Photos by Patti MacK copyrighted 1999 and may not be used without permission.