When you think of Aruba visions of pristine beaches and aqua green water come to mind but like most places, there is far more to see than the items appearing on the "Tourists Attractions" list. We visited the Casibari Rock Formations on our way to see the "natural bridge" on the other side of the island.
As we got further away from the tourist area we could clearly see that Aruba is really a desert island that rose from the sea many thousands of years ago. Large expanses of sand and cacti can be seen everywhere and when we arrived at the Rock Garden it felt like the middle of nowhere for a moment. There are clusters of houses scattered around the landscape and the sea is never truly beyond one's sight.
Click any image to enlarge!
I took this perimeter shot before climbing to the top. You can get a sense of how large these boulders are. At this point it started to feel a bit desert-like, the temperatures were only in the mid 80's but the humidity was stifling.
So now it's off to climb to the top for the promised scenic view. Climbing is at your own risk, as indicated by signage on the front of the formation.
This is one of the views from the top. The mountain in the background is said to be the second highest point on the island. To reach this level some twisting and turning is required but once you get here the view is pretty awesome. I don't know what the actual height is but would guess it's some 70 feet or so. We had a strong 35 mph wind blowing which made you concentrate on keeping your footing and your hats. :-)
Next we have another ground level image. This one was taken after the climb to the top.
Now one of the things they don't tell you is that there is a rear staircase to exit from the top of the formation. From here you would think "why not take the stairs?", but those stair as so steep they look like a roller coaster ride when you see them from above. :-)
In a way, the stairs provide a bit of relief for those thinking they had to climb back down the same path they ascended. Come to think of it, foot traffic could become rather treacherous with people both going up and coming back down.
Before closing out, let's have one more view from the top.
From this view I can see all the way to the downtown area where the cruise ships dock. The Carnival whale tail exhaust can be made out (upper right). This is on the other side of the island. By the way, Aruba is approximately 6 miles wide by 19 miles long so it's easy to see the coastline from anywhere with a little elevation.
I have more elevated views but we'll save them for a future post. In the meantime, I appreciate you clicking by for a visit.