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Aruba is located deep in the Caribbean, just about 15 miles north of Venezuela. It is only 20 miles long and 6 miles wide, making it the smallest of the Dutch Caribbean, or "ABC" Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and CuraƧao). Aruba became a separate country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1986, yet the island retains much of its early Dutch character. Despite its diminutive size, Aruba offers every Caribbean delight imaginable from water sports, to casinos, colonial heritage, forts, serene white-sand beaches, and so on. Blessed with pleasant trade winds and a nearly rain-free climate, Aruba is an island of enchanting contrasts. On the western shore, soft powder beaches fringed with palm trees slope gently to the warm, turquoise sea. Meanwhile, the island's interior is a desert-like landscape punctuated by divi-divi trees and the occasional pastel-colored cottage.

No large mammals populate Aruba but you can expect to see a great variety of small lizards and geckoes, as well as hundreds of species of local and migrating birds. The Bubali Bird Sanctuary near Palm Beach is home and refuge for many of these creatures. With the island's friendly people, beaches, well-organized tourist industry, and perpetually sunny climate, Aruba claims one of the highest rates of repeat visitors in the Caribbean!
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