Natural bridges have been carved out of rock along the north coast by pounding surf. Similarly formed, Aruba’s caves contain intriguing Indian rock drawings. Fontein is the largest and most easily accessible. Natural light penetrates the ceiling of the Quadirikiri cave, creating an eerie effect. A more challenging climb is the nearby Tunnel of Love with its heart-shaped entrance.
Aruba has 48 different types of native trees, 11 of which are now very scarce and in some cases have only 5 examples left. The loss of native trees is due to wood cutting, changing weather and marauding goats. A tree planting programme is under way and negotiations with goat owners are in progress to keep them out of protected areas. About 170 species of birds can be found on Aruba, and about 50 species breed on the island but if you include the migratory birds which come in November-January the total rises to around 300 species. The most common birds are the trupiaal (with its bright orange colours), the chuchubi, the prikichi (a little parrot) and the barika geel (the little yellow-bellied bird you will find eating the sugar on the table in your hotel). The shoco, a burrowing owl, is endangered. An interesting site to see waterfowl is the Bubali Plassen, opposite the Olde Molen. Here you can often find cormorants, herons and fish eagle. Brown pelicans can be found along the south shore.
As well as various kinds of lizards, Aruba has large iguanas, that are hunted to prepare a typical Arubian soup. Two kinds of snakes can be found on Aruba: the Santanero, a harmless little snake (however, be careful when you pick it up, because it defecates in your hand) and the not so harmless rattle snake. Aruba’s rattle snake, the cascabel, is a nearly extinct unique subspecies and does not use its rattle. Rattle snakes live in the triangular area between the Jamanota, Fontein and San Nicolas. The best place to go looking for rattle snakes, if you really want to, is the area south of the Jamanota mountain. In the unlikely event that you get a bite from a rattle snake, go immediately to the hospital. They have anti-serum.
Pure aloe, available in the open all over the island, takes the sting out of sunburn and starts a healing process. It’s very easy to make this natural remedy yourself; cut a leaf of the aloe vera plant and remove the inside pulp of the leaf. A good way to get this pulp is to cut off about 1 1/2 inches of thick leaf and then slice down the one side with a knife. Then scrape out the pulp from core area with the knife. Apply this repeatedly on the sun burned skin. You can also blend the pulp with ice to make less slimy and cool. Visit: http://arubaaloe.com/
The Arikok National Park, a natural preserve that covers one-fifth of the island, contains forty species of trees and hearty desert vegetation that survive blazing sun and constant wind. Cacti in all shapes and sizes dot its surreal desert landscape. Arikok is home to all of Aruba’s animals including the cascabel (endangered native rattlesnake), santanero (harmless cat-eyed snake) and eight species of lagadishi (endemic lizards) including the iguana. A passing shoco (burrowing owl, cottontail rabbit, burico (wild donkey) or cabrito (free-ranging goat) may just happen by.
The 620-foot-high Mount Jamanota towers over Arikok’s rugged red dirt roads, valleys, ravines, boulders, terraces, and unforgiving terrain. The irregular north coast is like the border of an incomplete puzzle, with gaps and inlets that have formed such intriguing retreats as Fuente, Daimari, Andicuri and Wairuri. Dos Playa has a wide beach but very rough surf, as does Boca Prins, a secluded cove fringed by sugary white sand dunes. The Natural Pool is a tranquil pool protected by rocks amidst some of the park’s most rugged firmament.
Natural bridges have been carved out of rock along the north coast by pounding surf. Similarly formed, Aruba’s caves contain intriguing Indian rock drawings. Fontein is the largest and most easily accessible. Natural light penetrates the ceiling of the Quadirikiri cave, cr
The Arikok National Park covers a triangle of land between Boca Prins and San Fuego and bounded on the east by the sea as far as Boca Keto. After decades of discussion the plan converts 17% of the island into a protected park area. Work is continuing to provide trails, clean up and upgrade the park, clearing litter and reconstructing benches and a stairway built at Fuerte Prins in the 1960s. The three centres will be linked by trails for cars and walkers. Arikok Centre contains the 184.5 m Arikok hill, the second highest point in Aruba. Prins Centre in the northeast includes the former Prins Plantation, the functioning Fontein Plantation and the Fontein Cave. The Jamanota Centre in the south includes the 189 m Jamanota hill, the highest point the island, and the old gold mining operation at Miralamas. The Spanish Lagoon area is also included.
Flora & Fauna of Aruba at different web pages:
Arikok National Park Foundation, Aruba
Aruba's landscape is home to numerous species of flora and fauna
No large land mammals roam Aruba
Aruba: A birdwatcher's paradise
Aruba wildlife, trees and nature