A rugged island fit to explore
In Dutch, Oranjestad means “orange city”. The capital of Aruba, which you will visit during your MSC cruise to the Caribbean, was founded in 1796 around Fort Zoutman, a military outpost and the first structure to be built on the island.
Today, with its tax free port, it serves as a base for exploring Aruba. After visiting the Fort and Willem III Tower, dating to 1866, you should explore Aruba, which is great for seekers of relaxation, but also for those leading an athletic life; those fascinated by nature, which has remained in a semi-wild state; and even for those looking for a high adrenaline adventure.
Visit the natural rock bridges and extremely calm waters lapping beaches such as the Baby Beach. Or, take an excursion to the caves in Arikok National Park: the Guadirikiri Cave with sunlight penetrating through openings in the ceiling; the Fontein Cave, which still contains cave drawings by the Arawak peoples on its walls; or the long Huliba Cave, also known as the Tunnel of Love for its heart-shaped entrance.
Sport-lovers will have a lot to choose from: golf, mountain biking, off-roading and even land sailing in a “glider on wheels”, a rather odd choice considering all that the island’s sea has to offer both above and below its surface. You will also be able to go deep-sea fishing, snorkelling and exploring underwater the many sea relics in the area: in addition to the cargo of SS Antilla, you can see airplanes such as the Aruba Airlines YS-11, which crashed close to Renaissance Island, a long and narrow island close to Oranjestad.
Or, you can just relax in the sun on one of the many beaches that surround the island: if you trust the words of USA Today and want to see the most beautiful beach of the Caribbean, head for Eagle Beach, on the north-western tip of the island. If you want to combine snorkelling and sunbathing, go to Mangel Halto Beach, on the southeastern coast, just south of the Spanish Lagoon.