Of all the treasures that await you in the Caribbean, you might be the most surprised by Aruba. As island vacation spots go, Aruba is on the small side measuring in at around 20 miles long. It’s also on the southern tip of what is considered the Caribbean. In fact, on a clear day you could see South America from Aruba’s shores. It is also part of the Netherlands. That would make the official language as Dutch. They also speak Papiamento, which is a kind of Creole masala of a language.

Another surprise is that for a tiny island, they have a lot of local newspapers. Seven to be exact in various languages. These are all the little factoids that you might pick up from the locals but it’s not the reason to go to Aruba. The real reason for going to Aruba is that it is Aruba. Consider the evidence:

Palm Beach

This is known as the “high rise” area of Aruba. Along the shores are all the elegant four-star hotels and casinos. Not a bad spot to call “vacation home.” There are also plenty of concession stands along the beach and areas to change in and out of your swimsuit. Good to know. Palm Beach is also focused on relaxing and swimming. You’re not going to find a lot of water sporting activities hear. What you will get is white sand, blue waters and plenty of time to pour through your Kindle.

Eagle Beach

If Palm Beach is the “high rise” zone, then Eagle Beach is the “low-rise” spot. Here you’ll find more timeshares and hotels that aren’t that high above the shoreline. The vibe on this beach is all about fun as in jet skies and parasailing. It’s also a great launching spot for a sunset catamaran cruise. During the month of June, you’ll be sharing the beach with dozens of baby turtles as they hatch and make their way to the ocean. Not bad company at all!

Reef Diving

Is “Go scuba diving” on your bucket list? If so, then Aruba is the place for you. Most of the big hotels offer scuba diving lessons. It doesn’t take a lot to be certified. Once you’ve got the skills, you can take guided tours of the amazing reefs all around the island. One extremely cool place is referred to as Jane Sea. There you can explore a 250-foot shipwreck that is sitting in just 80 feet of water. Don’t be surprised to run into the occasional spiny lobster or moray. This is their home, too.

Roll The Dice

When the sun goes down in Aruba, the fun really starts. This is a gambling kind of town and that means plenty of casino action. If you’re with kids, then you’ll want to tucker them out at Philip’s Animal Garden, the donkey sanctuary and the ostrich farm. Once they are safely tucked into bed, you can head down to the hotel casino for a little adult fun. Yes, total relaxation awaits in Aruba.