Written by Mark Peters in Caribbean
Viewed by 88 readers since 01-05-2009
Aruba is famous today as a popular tourist destination for vacationers from America. Its close ties to The Netherlands have also made it popular with Dutch nationals as a place for vacations and travel abroad. Aruba has a long and unique history compared to many other Caribbean Islands, primarily because strong ocean currents kept the early inhabitants of the island from venturing out to the other islands. Due to this reason, Aruba’s development was more in line with mainland Venezuela for a number of years. Aruba is a small but gorgeous island that holds many surprises for those lucky enough to visit it. Here though are five things you may not know about the island of Aruba.
1. Though today it is an autonomous region under the protection of the Netherlands, Aruba was originally colonized by Spain. There are virtually no signs left on the island from this time, with most influence being seen from the Dutch and British who also controlled the island at one time.
2. Aruba today is thought of as a tourist mecca and vacation destination. During World War II however, Aruba was home to high quality oil refineries and was one of the major suppliers of fuel to the Allies, particularly the United States and Great Britain.
3. Though located far within the Caribbean Sea, Aruba’s oil refineries were considered so important to the Allied war effort during World War II that they were actually attacked by a German submarine. The attack failed and Aruba’s supplying of the Allies with vital fuel continued throughout the war.
4. It is somewhat unthinkable to some people that a country or major area could exist under such natural circumstances, but there are no rivers on the entire island of Aruba.
5. Aruba is home to the world’s third largest desalination plant. It takes water from the sea and turns it into clean water for drinking and other purposes. It provides more than enough water for the population and industries on the island to use.
The reasons for Aruba’s popularity as a destination of choice by vacationers from America, Venezuela and to a lesser extent Europe is easy to see for anyone who visits the island. The island is extremely beautiful, especially when noticing the diverseness of its natural surroundings and how they contrast with the many classic Victorian era buildings that remain there today. Anyone lucky enough to visit the island will be sure to create memories there that will last a lifetime.