Summing up almost 20% of the island the Arikok National Park is a must see when traveling to Aruba.
The conservation fee for entrance is $11 for tourist and allows re-admittance as long as you have your wristband. With 20 different sites along the different trails I would recommend either spending a full day at the park or going for two half days. You can save time and travel the area by car if you have a 4-wheeler but hiking does offer a completely different experience.
My friends and I decided to go for two half days and still weren’t able to see it all. On the first day we hiked up to the top of Sero (Mount) Jamanota, the highest point of the Aruban island, standing at 188 meters (617 feet).
On our way there we were able to see the gold mining holes of Miralamar. There were also several different types of birds, animals and plants – including lots of cactus.
The trail is quite confusing because there are little to no signs indicating which way to go and your only guidance is the map you receive at the visitor center. There are two different paths you can take to mountain but you won’t know which is easier until you’re trying to find the most efficient way back. The hike is not the easiest and there is no shade so make sure to take lots of water, sunscreen and prepare for the awkward tan lines. If you have a 4-wheeler you can drive up a significant portion of the hike and finish the last 15-20 minutes on foot. We did see someone biking up and down the hill which seemed beyond difficult.
The hike to the top has viewpoints where you can see both ends of the island with the best Panasonic view of the South side. This hike is a great way to get lost in your thoughts and appreciate the experiences traveling has to offer.