An eco-friendly movement is making this the place to be for unspoiled beaches and fresh Caribbean cuisine.
The thought of Aruba conjures up images of fofoti trees leaning lazily over white sand beaches; of tangled mangroves shading still, turquoise waters. But those who venture beyond the idyllic west coast will find it’s an island of topographical contradictions: Just minutes from those familiar tropical scenes, cacti rise from arid earth while volcanic cliffs are beaten down by powerful surf to the east.
Together, these dramatic landscapes form one breathtaking isle, but they make sustainability a complicated matter. In recent years, Aruba’s government has ramped up efforts to boost local farming, chefs have begun to focus on locally grown ingredients, and more hotels have turned their attention toward eco-friendly operations.
But it isn’t just Arubans who feel the need to preserve their precious, limited natural resources — tourists are known to pitch in at beach and reef cleanups and embrace green initiatives like the region’s first bikeshare program as though the island were their own. Aruba attracts more repeat visitors than any other Caribbean destination, after all, and they have to make sure there will always be something to come back to.