Sunday, February 7, 2016

FTV Touring Aruba's Local Sites

Hello Everyone!

Day one in Aruba was by far the best day I have had all of SeaTerm! Everyone was able to go out and explore. Whether it was going to Eagle Beach or renting ATVs everyone had something to do yesterday.

Divi Tree
Eagle Beach has the widest beach in Aruba and is famous for its soft white sands. It is the home of Divi trees, Aruba's natural compass. Divi trees stand at a 90 degree angle and point in the direction that the island's natural trade winds blow. Their roots grow above ground; the way they tangle is amazing to see.

Nesting Sea Turtles

A few months per year Aruba Eagle Beach is dotted with red and white markers to protect turtle nests. The turtles hatch mostly around sunset and at night. Four species of sea turtles nest in Aruba - Leatherback, Loggerhead, Green and Hawksbill. Turtles can have their nest anywhere on the island, however most nests can be found on Eagle Beach in Aruba. Each nest contains some 80 eggs. Watching the hatchlings find their way to the ocean conquering the sand and waves is a unique experience in Aruba.

Turtle Nests
Hatchlings head back to the ocean
Our Group started off the day with a tour of local Aruba sites. We went to their famous light house. Unfortunately it was being repaired, but it was still neat to see. Originally the lighthouse was designed to warn ships from the coastline of Aruba, the California Lighthouse is now a landmark for tourism. This lighthouse does much more that emit a coastal warning light; it beckons visitors to the most spectacular views of the island.

The old stone California Lighthouse
 Guadiriki Cave 
After that we ventured over to the national park side of Aruba. Located within the Park is Guadiriki cave known for its dramatic natural lighting, and nearby is Fontein cave. Inside Fontein Cave, the walls contain thousand-year-old rock art—red hand prints, sun shapes, and animals
Cave Art
We made a stop at the old gold mine ruins. 

The Aruba Island Gold Mining Company built the Bushiribana smelter in 1825 to extract gold from the ore that was being mined in the nearby hills of Ceru Plat; it operated for ten years.  Today, its remains are a stopping-off point for tourists on their way to view the Aruba Natural Bridge, Not many people know that Aruba had its very own version of the Gold Rush. For much of the 19th century the precious metal was mined on the island mainly with the aid of dynamite. Over the years Aruba's gold industry extracted 3 million pounds of the metal. Today the sandstone and coral building is mostly in ruins with only a few crumbling walls still standing. 

All along the north coast there are literally thousands of rock piles like these. Throughout the years people have created some pretty impressive rock art by piling one rock on top of the other and so on. These are known as Wishing Piles…you make a pile and make a wish.

Next stop was the natural pool that we all got to go swimming in.The Natural Pool, also known as "conchi" or "Cura di Tortuga", is a natural pool of water located in a very remote area in the north of Aruba. It is formed by rock and volcanic stone circles.

Aruba is not just beaches and coral reefs it is home to tropical dry forests which are one of the most
threatened parts of the earth’s environment. The tropical dry forest type typically experiences an annual hard dry season. The average rainfall is sufficient enough to promote growth of trees, but these tree and plant species must be able to withstand periods of low precipitation and moisture. During the driest months these species will drop their leaves much in the same manner that northern deciduous forest species loose their leaves in the fall and winter. Dry forests occur most commonly on low islands or on the lee side of mountainous islands and on coastal areas of low relief. Learn more about this ecosystem

Explore other ecosystems found in Aruba
Sorting out Forests
Make a brochure of world biomes
What is biodiversity criteria for classifying forests

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