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Aruba Adventures Away from the Beach with Kids. Five spots on the island provide uncommon experiences, extra vacation fun, and awesome memory making potential for families. Aruba Cactus and Caribbean Sea

I like my Caribbean vacations to be sunny and dry and over the years I have convinced my kids to feel the same way. Aruba is one of our favorite Caribbean islands. The benefit of a holiday on Aruba is the not just the awesome weather and the miles of white sandy beaches caressed by aquamarine water but the possibilities to make your own discoveries away from the beach.Lunch Time at Butterfly Farm on Aruba
Whisper to butterflies.  Aruba’s Butterfly Farm provides an unforgettable up-close encounter with butterflies in tropical surroundings. The main exhibit is a tropical garden populated with butterflies from all over the world as well as some of the world’s most colorful and unusual island creatures. Visitors are invited to observe the life cycle of a butterfly from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis and finally to butterfly. Lucky visitors that arrive early may get to witness butterflies emerging from their chrysalises and taking their first flights. Bonus Points: An admission ticket serves as a free pass for the duration for your stay in Aruba so visit early and return at no charge. FYI: There is also a location on St. Martin. (The Butterfly Farm Aruba N.V J. Irausquin Boulevard Z/N Orangestad or

Walk by the divi-divi trees. Spanning almost 20 % of Aruba’s total land mass, Arikok National Park is an area of unique scenic beauty and the location of the highest point in Aruba, Mount Jamanota. It’s habitat is in sharp contrast to more tropical Caribbean parks like El Junque on the island of Puerto Rico but is no less dramatic and every bit as fragile. Animals within the reserve include the indigenous conejo rabbit, Kododo Blauw lizards, and the rattles-less Cascabel rattlesnake. Numerous trails crisscross the park land, showcasing au-natural Aruba. Several tour companies offer guided tours of the park. Bonus Points: Look for the Arawak petroglyphs on the ceiling in the Fontein Cave.Aruba Ostrich Farm Curious Resident
Leave it to the birds. The Aruba Ostrich Farm, located along the road leading to the Natural Bridge, is a dramatically wild, rugged spot along the North Coast. The farm offers a unique opportunity to interact with ostriches and their flightless Australian relatives, emus. During informative tours visitors are invited to touch and feed the tall birds and sometimes even have a chance to balance on an ostrich egg. Savanna Lodge located on the farm offers ostrich dishes. Bonus Points: The Lodge also offers a savanna-style cook out complete with torches and a campfire. Aruba Donkey Refuges Residents Awaiting Visitors

Meet and greet an island donkey. If you have a child who loves horses and animals then this is a must stop on the island. The Donkey Sanctuary is safe haven to more than 100 donkeys not able to safely reside on the island.  Admission is free but donations are definitely needed. Volunteers welcome visitors to the Sanctuary and encourage encounters with the gregarious resident population. Docents will provide a bit of history and introduce guests to the curious donkeys each with a name, personality and its own story. The best part for kids is the chance to feed the little donkeys. If you don’t bring your own carrots or apples it is still possible to purchase bags of food.  Bonus Points: It is possible to purchase ice cream and refreshing drinks on site. 

Explore a pirate’s cave. With the advent of popular tales of pirates and buried treasure, the caves of Aruba have gained significant notoriety. Anyone looking for a feel of Aruba’s swashbuckling history should check out the caves along the southeast coast. Guadirikiri Cave’s sunlit main cavern is a wonderful photo op while the adventurous will love the 100-foot long tunnel which is home to hundreds of harmless bats. Although unconfirmed, it is rumored that Guadirikiri Cave and others nearby were once the hiding place of pirates. Bonus Points: The Huliba Cave is known as the Tunnel of Love because of its heart-shaped entrance but to explore the 300-foot long passageway it is essential to use a flashlight even at high noon. 

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Content researched and posted by Nancy Nelson-Duac, Curator of the Good Stuff for the Family Travel Files. Images provided Aruba Tourism. Copyright updated for 2018.