Geography of Aruba


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Geography of Aruba

While there is an abundance of reasons to travel to Aruba the geography and climate are certainly the most important and attractive. The island of Aruba is located just 19 miles North of Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea and neighbors another Dutch Island, Curacao The geographic coordinates (for the technical people) are 12 30 N, 69 58 W(Archaelogical Museum, 3).

The Island itself is rather small, being only 193 square kilometers which is slightly larger than Washington D.C. However, the cement streets of our nations capital are nothing compared to the 68 kilometers of coastline, which is sandy, white on the south side and rough, jagged rock on the north. This island, like many in the Caribbean has become a tourist hotspot for its tropical marine climate, with minimal seasonal temperature variation. A major reason why Aruba has become so popular is due to the fact that it lies on the outside of the Caribbean hurricane belt. The average temperature in Aruba is 81 degree’s, which makes the river less countryside dry, with scarce vegetation. The terrain is flat, with very few hills. However, the largest mountain on the Island is Mount Jamanota standing tall at 188 Meters.

Aruba’s geography is rather simple to understand because the island is so small.
Geologically, Aruba is more complex. The geological formation of Aruba’s geography is composed of three major rock groups; Igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary. To the reader who just looks at the textbook, this means that Aruba (the Island) was there long before the late 15th century when the Spanish first came here. Actually, Aruba was formed from the process of volcanism some 90-95 million years ago. The Island of Aruba is the result of lava hardening from a volcano that occurred almost 100 million years ago underwater. Eventually sediments formed new types of rocks, which came to the surface and began the process of island building. On the Island today the north coast is made up of a jagged coastline filled with all sorts of rocks. “Limestone’s are the youngest rocks that make up Aruba and that surround the islands older rocks. Limestone formed after and on top of the older rocks.” (Archaeological Museum Aruba, 3) While limestone is very common rock on Aruba, a white and black speckled plutonic rock called quartzdiorite is also another prevalent part of the landscape.

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(Archaeological Museum Aruba)

If you get sick of the beach on your visit to Aruba there is more to the island than just sandy white beaches and flamboyant hotels. Arikok National Park was established when tourism began to grow on the island in order to preserve the geography and natural Caribbean feel. Arikok National Park consists of 20% of the island both on the inland and the northern Windward coast. The park is also home to some very historic sites such as the Fountein cave that the native Arawak used to inhabit as well as an old gold mine at Miralamar that Dutch settlers and peasants used to work in (Lonely Planet
Publications).

Arikok Park is also the home of Mount Jamanota which is the tallest hill on the island at 624 feet. If you feel like seeing Venezuela, and Curacao then the climb to the summit is a must on a clear day. Another main attraction that is visible from the top of the peak is one of Aruba’s natural bridges. Created by the waves pounding on the rocks for thousands of years, the natural bridge is 100 feet long and 23 feet tall. It is also a popular rest area for the day safari’s trips that so many tourists participate in while vacationing in Aruba(Lonely Planet Publications).


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