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Science, Photography, and Trip Reviews



Resorts, beaches, pools, palm trees, cacti. and iguanas

Riu Palace Antillas, Riu Palace Aruba, and Hyatt Resort

Butterfly Gardens, California Lighthouse, Alta Vista Chapel, and Natural Bridge

The beautiful Palm Beach shoreline where you find numerous resorts in Aruba.

The beautiful Palm Beach shoreline where you find numerous resorts.

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Palm Beach Resorts

Aruba is a desert island located in the southern Caribbean only about 17 miles from Venezuela in South America. It is an official country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, having been declared so on January 1st, 1986. Aruba has many nice resorts with gorgeous beaches and large pools. The resorts have an attractive tropical appearance because there are a lot of imported plants. Aruba is very popular with travelers from the United States, and 80% of the people that go there return for another visit. It is a fascinating island with interesting sights and lots of cacti when you get away from the resorts and cities. Nearly everything there including food has to be imported.

Riu Palace Antillas

Riu Palace Antillas resort in Aruba.

Riu Palace Antillas.

We stayed at the Riu Palace Antillas resort, pictured above, and which is located on the very attractive Palm Beach. The picture of Palm Beach at the top of this page was taken from our room on the fifteenth floor. The resort is adult only and all inclusive. A number of amenities and activities are offered as well as a choice of rooms. There are several restaurants to choose from. The large pool is pictured below.

Large pool at the Rui Palace Antillas.

Large pool at the Rui Palace Antillas.

A view of the beach and Caribbean Sea looking straight out from our room is seen below. There are usually a number of boats anchored offshore.

View of beach and Caribbean Sea from the Rui Palace Antillas.

View of beach and Caribbean Sea from the Rui Palace Antillas.

You see iguanas like the one pictured below. It was easily three feet long and had no fear of people. They are always fun to watch and to photograph.

Iguana near the pool at the Riu Palace Antillas.

Iguana near the pool at the Riu Palace Antillas.

The resorts offer great places to rest and relax among the palm trees, as seen in the picture below. The palm trees are found between the beach and the many resorts along Palm Beach.

Beach scene walking between resorts.

Beach scene walking between resorts.

Riu Palace Aruba

Riu Palace Aruba.

Riu Palace Aruba.

Next door to the Riu Palace Antillas is its sister resort the Riu Palace Aruba. This resort is also all inclusive, but is not adult only as it caters also to families with children. We saw some children there, but mostly adult couples. Adults have privileges at both resorts, and we ate some afternoon meals at the Riu Palace Aruba. It also has multiple restaurants. This resort is newer than the Antillas resort and more modern. The attractive property is seen in the picture above.

Beach scene near resorts.

Beach scene near resorts.

Above is another beach scene seen when walking between the many resorts. It makes for a very nice walk.

Hyatt Resort

Hyatt resort.

Hyatt resort.

The Hyatt resort is not far from the Riu Palace resorts. It is a very attractive property, seen above, and has a number of waterfalls. It is popular with both couples and families. Note the picture above. If you are looking for high quality resorts and great beaches Aruba is a place to go. There are many resorts to choose from.

Tours of Aruba

There are a number of tours and activities for visitors to Aruba. They include both full day and half day tours of the island. You can also snorkel, kayak, enjoy a glass bottom boat, experience the Atlantis submarine, go on a sunset sail, go horseback riding, and more.

Butterfly Gardens

Butterfly at Butterfly Gardens.

Butterfly at Butterfly Gardens.

We chose to do the half day tour because it goes to the important sights on the island. We first went to the Butterfly Gardens. They are located close to the Rui Palace resorts. The Butterfly Gardens were very interesting. They have butterflies from all over the world. The key to raising butterflies is having the right kind of flower or food source for the different kinds of butterflies. There were a lot of different kinds of flowers, making the gardens very attractive. Butterflies were flying everywhere you looked. A butterfly on a plant is seen above.

        Hanging chrysalises at Butterfly Gardens.

Hanging chrysalises at Butterfly Gardens.

A butterfly starts out as an egg that becomes a caterpillar. Once fully grown the caterpillar uses a silken pad that it spins to attach itself to a leaf, twig, or other surface. The skin of the caterpillar comes off revealing a hard skin underneath called a chrysalis (pupal stage). Above is a row of hanging chrysalises. It is within the chrysalis that the caterpillar transforms into a butterfly. In the picture below an opening in the chrysalis shows a butterfly inside. Once the butterfly is fully developed it breaks out of the chrysalis. In the early morning especially, you might see butterflies emerging from chrysalises.

Chrysalis with butterfly at Butterfly Gardens.

Chrysalis with butterfly at Butterfly Gardens.

Below is a tropical butterfly that likes a diet of fruit. Between the flowers and butterflies there are great photo opportunities. Do not miss the Butterfly Gardens.

Tropical butterfly at Butterfly Gardens.

Tropical butterfly at Butterfly Gardens.

California Lighthouse

California Lighthouse in Aruba.

California Lighthouse.

The California Lighthouse is located on the northwest tip of Aruba. It is at Hudishibana close to Arashi Beach. The lighthouse was built after the steamship California wrecked in nearby waters on September 23, 1893. It is named for the steamship. The terrain in the area is as seen in the picture below. There are a lot of rocks.

Beach scene near Californai Lighthouse.

Beach scene near California Lighthouse.

Alta Vista Chapel

Alta Vista Chapel in Aruba.

Alta Vista Chapel.

The Alta Vista Chapel, known as the Pilgrims Church and seen above, is a Catholic chapel. It is located on the northeast corner of the island close to Noord. The chapel, painted bright yellow, was completed in 1952, and is situated on the same sight as the original chapel which was built in 1750, but did not survive. The original chapel is said to be the first church established on the island. The nave of the chapel is shown below.

Alta Vista Chapel Nave in Aruba.

Alta Vista Chapel Nave.

The chapel is surrounded by a desert environment of sand, rock, and a lot of attractive cacti. Note the seen shown below.

Tall cacti at Alta Vista Chapel in Aruba.

Tall cacti at Alta Vista Chapel.

Natural Bridges

Collapse of famous Natural Bridge in Aruba.

Collapse of famous Natural Bridge.

One of the most popular tourist spots in Aruba was the famous Natural Bridge. It is formed of coral limestone and had one of the longest spans of this type of bridge in the world. It stood 23 feet (7 meters) above sea level and had a span of more than 100 feet (30 meters). On September 2, 2005 the bridge collapsed. The collapsed bridge is seen in the picture above. Nearby is a smaller natural bridge called Baby Bridge. It is pictured below.

Baby Bridge, a natural bridge in Aruba.

Baby Bridge, a natural bridge.

Beach scene near Natural Bridge in Aruba.

Beach scene near Natural Bridge.

An attractive beach seen near the Natural Bridge is shown in the above picture. The island is indeed picturesque.

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