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

A Land Rover off-road journey in collaboration with Aruba Tourism UK.
Garment-Dyed Cotton Tracksuit in Blue BlackCompletely happy New Yr from not-so-sunny Shetland!

This is my first weblog publish of 2018, led to as a result of I tried to go for a mountain bike trip first thing this morning to start out burning off the results of my Christmas/New Yr indulgences. Half a mile into the trip and I found myself unceremoniously sliding down the highway having had my back tyre slip out from beneath me on black sheet ice. Serves me proper for making an attempt to exercise in freezing temperatures! I limped house with no severe damage beyond a bruised ego and resolved to take a seat and spend the remainder of the day blogging about warmer instances; particularly, that epic off-highway jeep safari I went on final October on the tiny Caribbean island of Aruba, just 18 miles north of Venezuela.

I was visiting Aruba as a guest of Aruba Tourism, flown over from Glasgow to Amsterdam after which on to Oranjestad to sample the culinary delights of the island and to take pleasure in a couple of grand adventures. I was with a small group of other European bloggers and journalists, and we had an absolute blast – they had been such a terrific group of people. I loved our off-highway safari so much I resolved to write down a separate blog put up in regards to the experience. If you’re ever in Aruba you really should go on this tour!

About ABC Tours Aruba
ABC Tours Aruba provide a range of off-street adventures not for the faint-hearted. They have a fleet of Land Rover Defender Inventory cars modified to suit the local terrain, as well as a workforce of guides with in depth native information.

All of their itineraries embrace visits to Aruba’s most attention-grabbing historical sites as well as its greatest pure monuments. Their professional guides can help you discover Aruba like an area by bringing you down the highway much less-travelled, and provide you with insight into the island’s fascinating history and lore.

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

ABC Tour’s jeeps are handpainted in brilliant tiger stripes and there’s enough room in the again for eight passengers. Guides deliver coolers of water and cups in the event you need, but it’s really useful you carry a small day bag of provisions with you including suncream (go for the SPF 50, it’s hot!) and water.

We started our tour on the ABC Tour workplace 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 long before we had been off-street, bumping down dirt tracks into the Aruban wilderness to discover the world past the hotels and eating places.

Our first stop was on the natural arches and black stone seashore in the Arikok Nationwide Park.
Black Stone Seaside & Pure Bridges in Arikok National Park

Formed from hundreds of years of the sea eroding the coral limestone on the north coast of Aruba, the natural bridges are a popular vacationer attraction, particularly for the reason that nearby larger Natural Bridge collapsed in 2005.

To the proper of the two pure bridges (the third has just lately collapsed), you’ll discover the Black Stone Seaside, Aruba’s only black ‘sand’ seaside. The graceful and shimmering black pebbles lining these beach had been formed from historical lava bubbling up from the seabed thousands and thousands of years in the past. The open sea crashes onto these shores and there may be fierce tides so swimming isn’t advisable.

Close by, be careful for the blowholes (recognized domestically as the Eyes of God) within the earth resulting in a subterranean cavern.

Ayo Rock Formations & Arawak Petroglyphs
These monolithic rock boulders are a moderately unusual sight on an otherwise flat island. Our guide stopped on the method to the Black Stone Seaside to point out the formations (focusing totally on the large rock formed like a screaming monkey’s head), telling us that they had been a sacred site to the Arawak individuals, the original inhabitants of Aruba.

On the best way again from the seaside we stopped for a better take a look at one of many Ayo rocks. This one was hollow and was considered a sacred site by the Arawak Indians. They carved paintings on the rocks whereas performing their religious rites, and these petroglyphs, courting to round 1000 Ad, are nonetheless in excellent condition.

It was here I caught my first sighting of the Aruban whiptail lizard with its placing turquoise spots. This lizard is endemic to Aruba, and it’s also 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 considered one of George’s favourite native haunts: a hidden pure pool for a bit of cliff leaping and swimming within the shade. It’s one of the simplest ways to scrub the dust of the safari off.

The one indication that there’s something to see on this particular space is the ladder heading straight down the side of the cliffs. Just a little scramble across the coral limestone (dodging loads of tiny little crabs) and you can leap straight in!

The Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins
All through the nineteenth stone island blue crew neck jumper century, adventurers travelled the Caribbean looking 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 turned the title Aruba over time.

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

Boca Catalina Seashore
By this time it was midday and the heat was fairly robust, so we visited the Boca Catalina Seaside to cool off and do a little bit of snorkelling. Ok, I’d like 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. Somebody wanted to stay on the beach and watch all of the bags, right

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

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

The North Coast Safari that I loved is one in all their hottest tours, and I would actually, actually recommend it if you ever visit the island and fancy one thing different – one thing to get that adrenaline flowing in any case that holiday rest and relaxation!

For extra details about Aruba visit You may additionally take pleasure in my earlier Aruba blog posts: Frankie’s Abaco Avocado & Rum Cocktail, Visit 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 impressed by my culinary visit to Aruba.