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Aruba’s Arikok National Park

Aruba’s Arikok National Park was formally established in 2000, though plans for the park began to take shape in the late 1960’s. The park comprises 18% of Aruba’s land mass,  totaling  32 square kilometers.  My experience in the park consists only of unguided ATV explorations. I’m no expert off-roader, but the Arikok park trails are the most rugged I’ve ever personally experienced. The desolate desert beauty of the park quickly makes you forget you are on a small Caribbean island.

You can explore the volcanic formations, the two tallest hills on the island, and beautiful bays like  Boca Prins and Dos Playa. The latter is the premier surfing beach on Aruba. During my first visit to Aruba in the late 1980’s, I explored the Caquetío Indian rock paintings in Cunucu Arikok and Fontein Cave. Some of these paintings are more than 1000 years old.

 

Here are a few photos I took this summer at Boca Prins:

Boca Prins

 

 

Snack Bar at Boca Prins

Rock Outcrop at Boca Prins

The entrance to the park has a terrific visitor’s center, with a small display area, a gift shop, and a small coffee shop. I highly recommend the fried hot dog and french fries. Not health food, but it sure tasted good.

 

The park rangers are very helpful in answering any of your questions. We were warned to avoid the non-native boa constrictors that have invaded the island. I didn’t need to be told twice.

 

Entrance to the Visitor's Center

 

 

The park is home to two species of snake that are found only on the island, as well as the Aruban Burrowing Owl, Aruban Parakeet, and the Aruban Whip tail lizard. Aruba has the most diverse lizard population in the world, most of which can be found within the park’s borders.

The park is run by the Aruba National Park Foundation, which is completely funded by the Aruban government. The foundation’s web site contains a wealth of information about the park, including a few youtube videos.

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  1. Aruba says:

    The park is just amazing. I love the splashing water @ Boca prins

  2. Aruba Spot says:

    Arikok is a must visit on Aruba.

  3. Aruba Spot says:

    I really love the Arikok Park. It’s so different from the hotel area and I like the rough nature of it. The splashing water against the coast and the old gold ruines. If you visit Aruba, you should go there too !

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