Caves, coves, and cliffs; Aruba’s National Park has it all.
An island treasure, Aruba’s Arikok National Park is a must-see on the island. Arikok makes up almost 20% of the island, with sprawling views of local flora and cacti, caves, gorgeous cliffs overlooking the turquoise ocean, and more. Everyone should experience the natural, historical, and cultural history woven into this natural park’s winding roads and destinations. If one ever can travel to this tiny, equatorial island, we’ve compiled the top three things one must see at Arikok National Park.
Fontien and Guadirikiri Caves
With bats, unique rock structures, skylights, and ancient Indian drawings, these caves are a magical experience for anyone. They’re both accessible by tour or personally and open during park hours from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
In the Guadirikiri Cave, a narrow passage leads one into two high ceiling chambers with sunlight streaming through two natural skylights, illuminating the limestone. Guadirikiri extends about 100ft back into dark caverns where harmless bats reside. By some phenomena, sometimes a twirling dust tunnel will form in the streaming rays, like a mini tornado. Legend says it’s a good omen for the tunnel to appear while one stands near the skylight, and they will receive good fortune and blessings soon.
Though Guadirkiri has beauty, Fontien remains more popular due to its uniquely preserved drawings from the Caquetios, the native people of northwestern Venezuela. The rust-red symbols scrawled across the ceilings and walls are about 2,500 – -3,000 years old. It’s incredible to walk through such history right before one’s eyes.
Hidden away in the Airkok’s northeast coast, Boca Prins is a natural wonder. Pristine white beaches led to thrashing blue waves against rocks jutting from the waters. Behind the beach lies dusty chappal terrain and rolling white dunes.
The cove is surrounded by rugged cliffs that look out to the sprawling ocean. Though a beach, swimming is prohibited because of the strong undercurrent and many rocks. Regardless, the views alone are enough to draw many just to sit and experience the picturesque scenery, or many stop for a bite to eat along the coast.
Natural Pool (Conchi)
One of Aruba’s most infamous spots, the Arikok natural pool, draws thousands of tourists annually. Conchi is a tranquil pool created from a depression surrounded by volcanic rock, and unlike the Boca Prins, the natural pool is a famous swimming hole for locals and visitors.
Conchi is surrounded by very rugged terrain making it inaccessible by a car. People must reach the natural pool on horseback, hiking, or four-wheelers.
Arikok National Park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors pay 11 USD to access the park for the entire day and are given a wristband to show proof of payment. Some choose to pay extra for a park tour guide, while others create their own adventure. Whatever you choose, Arikok National Park is a truly phenomenal experience and showcases all the natural beauty Aruba offers.