Opposite the Palm Beach hotels, the Aruba Resort and Aruba Phoenix, the butterfly farm is an attraction that is easily accessible and can be seen over and over, as once you’ve paid to get in the first time you can visit as many times as you like. It’s possible to see the butterflies as they go through each stage of their lifecycle as the caterpillars weave cocoons and the butterflies eventually break free to take flight. The offer is therefore a great deal especially for kids that want to keep coming back to check on the butterflies to see if they’ve hatched. The tropical garden also provides plenty of shaded areas to watch the delicate creatures and the helpful guides can provide an informative insight into their habits and what occurs during metamorphosis.
Aruba Aloe Factory
Also a museum, the factory gives a detailed account of when the aloe vera plant was first introduced to Aruba in 1840. Since that time around two thirds of the island was covered with the plant and the production of aloe grew to such an extent that Aruba was the largest exporter anywhere in the world. Tours of the factory and museum explain about this long history along with artefacts from the early plantations that were used for the cultivation of the plant. The guides also go into the science of the healing qualities of aloe vera and why it’s so good for the skin. At the end of the tour is then a good chance to stock up on all the products made in house such as body creams, hair care and sun screen, as well as the new premium product line Island Remedy.
Ayo and Casibari rock formations
Aruba has some very unusual rock formations especially as most of the island is particularly flat. These natural structures are unusual both in shape and for the reason that there are so many large boulders scattered inexplicably across the landscape. The Casibari formations are clusters of boulders that are huge, often weighing several tons and the grooves that are naturally carved into the rock make for some interesting shapes.
Pathways have been created that weave through the boulders and the Ayo formations also create a good vantage point for views over the island. One of the rocks in particular is so big that there are stairs running up it to get to the top as the boulder is larger than most standard homes. Also at the site are rock drawings which are thousands of years old that point to the fact that the site was originally considered to be sacred ground by the first inhabitants.
Another good place to explore for visitors that are into natural formations. Although you’re unlikely to be the only ones in there as the caves are also home to hundreds of bats but don’t worry they’re totally harmless and are probably more nervous of you. There are three main caves, the most popular being the Fontein Cave due to the drawings on the ceiling made by the Arawak Indians which give an account of some of the island’s earliest history. Couples can romantically enter the love tunnel that is the Huliba Cave, so called because the entrance forms a heart shape. Visitors are advised to bring torches as the cave runs for 300 feet and is extremely dark. The Guadirikiri Cave is divided into two chambers with interconnecting caves and one is illuminated by a skylight where the sun pours through to give a clear view of the rock formations. The caves also have interesting stalactite and stalagmite formations and Lourdes Grotto is another cave that’s worth visiting for these.
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Palm Beach Hotels content.