ORANJESTAD (November 4, 2018) – Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly newsletter.

This weeks edition features the top news headlines in Aruba.

Subscribing to my newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Aruba – whether you’re living on the island, miles away or your first visit!  

If this is your first time reading my newsletter – welcome!

California Lighthouse Is Open Again For Public

California lighthouse was closed temporarily since September (2018) to the public, because the tower was in need for maintenance work. And negotiations were ongoing to find a new partner to take charge of promoting lighthouse tours.

This week the owners of the lighthouse, Monuments Fund of Aruba (SMFA), announced that the California Lighthouse is reopened for the public.

Maintenance work are completed and they signed an agreement with new operator (Experitours) that will promote the lighthouse.

From now on, Experitours will provide daily tours at the lighthouse for locals and visitors who want to see the amazing views of Aruba from the top of the lighthouse.

The California Lighthouse was built between 1914 and 1916. Until today, it’s still one of the most popular landmarks on the island and worth taking the time to visit.

It’s open daily from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

The California Lighthouse

Don’t know where the lighthouse is located?

It’s visible from Arashi beach and just a short ride away. You will notice sand dunes, cacti and water views on the ride out to lighthouse.

The lighthouse is also a perfect spot to have a glass of wine and watch the sunset.

I always buy a chilled coconut or shaved ice from a local near the lighthouse to cool down, it’s refreshing.

Beach Tennis in Aruba, Once Again!

Aruba will host two of the biggest beach tennis tournaments in the entire Caribbean during the month of November (2018).

Beach tennis in Aruba is just like regular tennis except it’s played on a regulation beach volleyball court.

This event attracts hundreds of international beach tennis players and thousands of spectators.

The first event (Pan American Games) will be held on November 8 – 11, 2018. And it’s going to be at the Tropicana Beach Tennis Club on 16 brand new beach tennis courts.

Picture By Beach Tennis Aruba

Different countries will represent on the island for the event:

  • Puerto Rico
  • Venezuela
  • Colombia
  • Curacao
  • Chile
  • Ecuador
  • Saint Martin
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • USA
  • Guadalupe
  • Netherlands
  • Italy
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bonaire
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Brasil
  • Aruba

Last year the team from Venezuela managed to take home the championship against players from Brazil.

After the Pan American Games, it will be time for the biggest beach tennis event in the world, Aruba Open.

There’s going to be competitions on 35 courts right on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Eagle Beach.

Aruba Open will be held on November 11 – 18, 2018.

This year is the 10th anniversary of Aruba Open. Over 3.000 people visited the Aruba Open daily last year. And this year it’s going to be bigger than ever!

Over $65.000 will be available in prize money during the Aruba Open.

If you’re on the island, come watch the best tennis players in the world play, enjoy the festivities around the competition and have a lot of fun!

The atmosphere while watching beach tennis players in Aruba is hard to describe in words. You have got to experience it for yourself.

17th National Beach Coastal Cleanup Was Successful

Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association held their annual coastal beach clean up on October 27, 2018 and the beaches are cleaner than ever now.

It’s the 17th year that AHATA is encouraging people to volunteer their time and energy to clean up the coastlines of One Happy Island.

Different schools, scouting groups, companies, hotels, locals and visitors got involved to clean beach areas around the island.

Hundreds of volunteers keeping Aruba’s beaches clean.

Here’s a list of beaches that benefited from the coastal clean up:

  • Roger’s Beach
  • Baby Beach
  • Pet Cemetery (Baby Beach)
  • Bachelor’s Beach
  • Boca Grandi
  • Rincon
  • Grapefield
  • Santo Largo
  • Mangel Halto
  • Bushiri
  • Eagle Beach & Palm Beach
  • Boca Catalina
  • Arashi
  • California Dunes
  • Druif Beach (behind California Lighthouse)
  • Linear Park
  • Natural Bridge, Bocas patras di Alto Vista,
  • Urirama Beach
  • Rock Stacking Garden,
  • Fuente
  • Dos Playa

Volunteers removed so much trash and garbage from reefs, beaches, and shallow waters. A total of 11 waste containers were filled with trash collected during the coastal clean up.

Aruba is a much more ecologically aware island compared to other regions in the Caribbean in recent years. So please take care of our beaches and other natural resources when you’re on the island.

Don’t leave your trash or garbage on the beach, use the nearest container and keep the beaches beautiful.

Almost 10.000 Signatures For Moratorium

Leader of the new political party (RAIZ) in Aruba, started a passive protest a few weeks ago to collect signatures for a moratorium against hotels, timeshares and condominiums.

The passive protest started after the Government announced a new hotel (St.Regis) that is planning to start construction in 2019.

St.Regis is a 5 star Casino, Spa & Residences project between RIU Antillas and Divi Phoenix, on one of the only beaches left for public use in Palm Beach.

RAIZ wants to reach 10.000 signatures from locals and visitors, so they can demand politicians to take the topic of moratorium seriously and treat it as such in the parliament.

As of November 1, 2018 they managed to collect a total of 7.200 signatures.

According to the leader of RAIZ, the moratorium consist of:

  • Immediately stopping the constructions of new hotels, timeshares and condominiums by means of a national ordinance
  • Implement a “high value low impact” tourism policy by law, as was advised by our tourism institutions
  • Regulate, check and limit the quantity of tourist related activities

If you share the same belief as RAIZ to end the uncontrolled construction of hotels and condominiums, stand up and join forces to stop these developments.

Locals and visitors are allowed to sign, you can easily sign petition – Moratorium on new hotels, timeshares and condominiums

New Cruise Port In San Nicolas

Transport minister announced that the district of San Nicolas in Aruba will have its own cruise port as of 2019.

The cruise port will function as the harbour for the fast ferry between Bonaire and Curacao. But it will also be a port that welcomes big cruise ships and cargo just like the port in the downtown area.

Negotiations are in progress with Royal Caribbean cruise to dock in the future at San Nicolas Port.

The port will be named “San Nicolas Port Authority”.

It will be constructed on a terrain which was previously owned by the refinery, but transferred back into the possession of the Aruban government

With the addition of a new port, Aruba will have three seaports (Oranjestad, Barcadera and San Nicolas). The cruise port in Oranjestad is used for cargo and cruise ships. The port in Barcadera is used for cargo only.

The new port in San Nicolas will also create a spin off effect that will open more business. This gives the opportunity of any class of investor to start a business on the island, near the new cruise port.

If you always wanted to start a business in Aruba, this may well be your big opportunity you were looking for.

New Postage Stamp Series Featuring Local Domestic Pets

The post office in Aruba issued a new series of post stamps featuring local domestic pets on October 31, 2018.

All the animals illustrated on the new stamps are kept by locals for company, protection or just entertainment. But the most popular house pets with locals are dogs and cats.

The new series consists of 6 new stamps.

Let’s take a look at the new post stamps featuring Aruba’s most cherished animals.

The most beloved pets in Aruba.

Here’s a short description for the animals illustrated on the new post stamps:

  • 90c: two kittens playing with a ball of thread taken out of a basket
  • 100c: young girl posing with her pet dog
  • 130c: young girl holding her rabbit in her arm
  • 135c: young boy looking at his fishes swimming around in the aquarium
  • 220c: young tortoise (“morocoy”) being fed
  • 500c: love birds communicating with each other in their cage

You can buy the new post stamp series at the local post offices in Aruba, located at Oranjestad, Santa Cruz and San Nicolas.

Orthography for Papiamento

Papiamento, the native language of locals on the island, finally received a national ordinance for orthography.

Politicians began the process to achieve an official spelling system for Papiamento in 1976, and now it’s officially a reality in 2018.

Papiamento is a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French, with Arawak Indian and African influences. And it’s one of the few Creole Languages of the Caribbean that has survived to the present day.

Papiamento is also spoken in Curacao and Bonaire, but with a different dialect. This has to do with the evolution of Papiamento on the different islands among the locals.

In Curacao and Bonaire its pronounced Papiamentu, not Papiamento.

Arubans are multilingual, because of the different mix of nationalities that live on the island. When speaking to a local, you’re going to find out most know English, Dutch, Papiamento, and Spanish. Or even more than 4 languages, just like me.

With the new national ordinance for orthography in Papiamento, the parliament will introduce a institute for Papiamento, a new dictionary, and new courses, spelling system and translators.

Wouldn’t you like to learn to speak and write the Papiamento language? How awesome would it be if you could express yourself in Papiamento.

Legends Festival in Aruba

Carnival season will officially start with a torch parade in the first week of 2019, but there’s a kick off event on November 11, 2018.

I’m talking about the “Legends Festival”.

There’s going to be live music from the best known carnival bands, DJ’s, brass bands, steel pans and carnival dancing shows.

The event will take place at Carnival Village (located in San Nicolas). It starts at 6:00 PM until 12:00 AM, November 11, 2018.

If you’re on the island and looking for something to do that’s unique, this is one of those activities that’s a must experience to get a feel for Aruba’s carnival.

City of Christmas Lights in Aruba

The main street of Aruba is decorated with Christmas lights and decorations, indicating that the holiday season is just around the corner

During the holidays the main street is known as the “Christmas city of lights” welcoming everyone to get in the Christmas spirit and start the traditional shopping.

Stores in the main street will be open until the late hours in the night, and with special discounts on many products.

There’s also going to be local bands, known as gaita, playing local Christmas carols. And traditional Aruban holiday food and drinks.

If you want to know what it feels like during holiday season in Aruba, head to the downtown area.

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