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With a year-round average temperature of 89 degrees and water so turquoise it looks fake, there are few better places than Aruba for a relaxing, sun-soaked vacation. But stray from your resort and you’ll find an island that also caters to environmentalists, adventurers, and animal lovers. Aruba’s off-roading tours are a fantastic way to discover the unique terrain and natural wonders of this fascinating island.
It’s easy to book an off-roading tour through the concierge at your hotel; popular companies include De Palm Tours and ABC Aruba Tours. Both companies pick you up from the main entrance of your hotel and cost around $100 for a full-day tour (between six to eight hours).
Our tour guide, Rocky Junior, arrived in a bright yellow Jeep at nine in the morning. He suggested we finish our cups of coffee quickly; things could get messy otherwise. Sure enough, after the first ten minutes, we had crossed over from Palm Beach, the flat resort stretch of Aruba, to Arikok National Park, which covers about a fifth of the island. There are no roads, per se, throughout Arikok, which indeed meant a winding, bumpy ride over dormant volcanoes, with gorgeous views of the Caribbean below. Rocky Junior explained to us that Aruba emerged from the water as an active volcano some 95 million years ago. It’s also only 12 miles from the equator, creating an arid terrain of endless cacti.
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