This sheltered pool on Aruba's inaccessible eastern coast is a popular attraction for the few tourists who manage to reach this far. Locally it is called conchi which means shell.
Aruba – Been There

It's not hard to see why Aruba is a tourist hub

Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Aruba – Been There It's not hard to see why Aruba is a tourist hub

Sun, sea and sand are the perfect ingredients for a hard-earned holiday and the Caribbean island of Aruba offers them in abundance.

Jochem Wijnands
Jochem Wijnands Founder / photographer

The biggest selling point is Aruba’s endless stretch of sandy beach that extends north from Oranjestad. On the sheltered side of the island, the fine yellow sand gently slopes down to the warm waters of the shallow cerulean sea. The five kilometer stretch of Palm Beach boasts a number of large, American hotels and resorts. Many tourists arrive by chartered plane to lounge on the beach or at the pool for five days and then catch a plane back to Dallas or Atlanta. So don’t be surprised if you can’t spot a single tourist on many parts of the island.

Just beyond the California Lighthouse, built in 1914 and named after a ship that sank on this coast and beautifully sited on a small hill, is the start of no man’s land. The east coast is practically uninhabited, although small stacks of rocks populate the shore, witness to a local tradition about making wishes come true. It seems you can have a wish for every rock you can balance on top of another, although you lose them all if it your pile collapses.

It is a rough terrain where ocean winds lash the land – a vast contrast to the comfortably secluded beaches of the west coast, common in the Caribbean on islands that turn their backs to the stormy Atlantic. Over time, the water has cut a path through the hardened lava, creating dramatic caves and bridges. Unfortunately, Aruba’s largest natural bridge, once one of the world’s largest at 7 meters high and 35 meters long, collapsed in 2005. What remains is a parking lot, a snack bar and pile of rubble. Yet people still come to catch a glimpse of the memory of its spectacle.

In the middle of this rugged, inhospitable coast, surrounded by fast-flowing waters and massive waves, lies paradise: a conchi, or natural pool, that is ideal for swimming and cliff diving. The area is inaccessible by car, so visitors arrive on horseback or quad bikes.

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Aruba’s weather can be classified as sunny and warm. With a low average annual rainfall, the island displays typical semi-desert characteristics and there is very little difference between summer and winter, night and day. While the average daily temperature hovers around 27˚C, the trade winds offer welcome relief. Photo by Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

Jochem Wijnands

NIKON D2X

Aperture
ƒ/4.2
Exposure
1/80
ISO
160
Focal
14 mm

Aruba’s weather can be classified as sunny and warm. With a low average annual rainfall, the island displays typical semi-desert characteristics and there is very little difference between summer and winter, night and day. While the average daily temperature hovers around 27˚C, the trade winds offer welcome relief.

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