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The island of Aruba was inhabited by Caquetios Indians sometime in 1000AD. They were an Arawak tribe from Venezuela who migrated to the island to escape savage attacks by the Carib Indians.
In 1636, Aruba was acquired by the Netherlands and they remained in control for 2 centuries. From 1799 to 1802 and 1804 to 1816, the British briefly took over but returned the island to the Dutch also in 1816.
Aruba's development and prosperity began in the 19th century when gold was discovered on the island. An oil refinery was also established in 1928, but when it closed in 1985, a new industry emerged as the island's main source of income - which was the tourism industry.
In 1986, Aruba became a separate and autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Aruba is an island located in the Caribbean Sea. It is located to the east of Venezuela, with a distance of about 29km. Together with Bonaire and Curacao, Aruba forms part of the ABC Islands, which are the westernmost islands of the Lesser Antilles.
Aruba is 32km from northwest to southeast and 10km across at its widest point. Its terrain is mostly flat and with very few hills. The highest point on the island is Mount Jamanota, with an elevation of 188m above sea level.
Aruba is a unitary parliamentary representative democracy under the constitutional monarchy of the Kingdom of Netherlands.
The head of state of Aruba is the head of the monarchy, who is represented in Aruba by the Governor. The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is elected into office by the Staten, which is the 21 member Parliament of Aruba. All members of the Staten are elected by direct and popular vote.
Aruba's defense, foreign affairs, and Supreme Court are handled by the Netherlands.
Tourism is Aruba's biggest industry and comprises 75% of the island's economy. Because of tourism, with over 1 million tourists a year visiting the island, Aruba's unemployment rate is very low.
Aruba has a dry climate and an arid landscape, which means the weather on the island is almost always sunny all year round. The island is also far from the tropical-storm belt, making hurricanes very rare on the island.
Two of Aruba's most popular beaches are Eagle Beach and Druif Beach. Eagle Beach is one of only 2 beaches in Aruba that allow nudity, and it's also famous for its low-rise resorts and wide public space. It is regarded as one of the best beaches in the world and it's also Aruba's widest beach. Its main attraction is its pristine and soft white sand.
For scuba diving, the SS Antilla is one of the Caribbean's largest shipwrecks. It was a cargo ship that was launched in 1939 and scuttled in 1940 at the port area of the Malmok Bay.
The Alto Vista Chapel is another popular Aruba tourist spot. It is a small Catholic chapel and known to be the church where the conversion of Indians to Christianity took place. The original structure was built in 1750 and then rebuilt in 1952. It sits on top of a hill northeast of the town of Noord and provides stunning views of mountains and the coastline.
The education system in Aruba is modeled after the Dutch system. The Government of Aruba finances the national education system, making public school free and compulsory. However, the choices for higher education are limited in Aruba and most students choose to study in the Netherlands, in South America, or in Europe.
Dutch is the language of instruction in schools but English and Spanish are also taught in primary school. French and German languages are also taught as supplementary languages.
- Aruba has the nickname, "Las Vegas of the Caribbean."
- The motto of the island is "Take Care of Our Tourists."
- The island's main religion is Roman Catholic but many still maintain a native belief called Brua - which is a belief in lucky charms, magic, spirit possessions, and fortune telling.
Last Updated On : October 10, 2012