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Fort Zoutman

The oldest building on the island, this 18th-century Dutch fort once warded off attacks. Now, it contains a museum devoted to the island’s history.

The stone Fort Zoutman is modest in size, but rich in history. Admire its well-preserved Willem III Tower, browse the interesting exhibits of the Aruba Historical Museum and turn up on Tuesday evenings for an authentic taste of Aruban culture at the Bon Bini Festival.

Fort Zoutman was originally built by the Dutch in 1798 and was intended to provide defense for their colonial outpost and to warn of attacking enemies or pirates. As the need for defense dwindled, the fort was put to different uses, serving as a government office, a police station, a jail, courtroom, library and even a post office. Nowadays, it houses an interesting museum.

Before going inside, take a moment to examine the Willem III Tower, the tallest and best-preserved part of the structure. The Willem III Tower was added in 1868 and functioned as a lighthouse, before it was retired in 1963. Note the cannons outside the fort, which act as a reminder of the structure’s original defensive purpose.

Enter the museum to learn about the development of Aruba from prehistoric times through to the present day. Among the items on show are a number of domestic tools and Dutch furniture. Illuminating displays reveal further details about island life, covering topics such as gold mining and aloe harvesting. The museum has little in the way of informative descriptions, so be sure to hire a guide if you want a more in-depth explanation of island history.

Go to the fort on Tuesday nights to experience the fun-filled Bon Bini Festival, which attracts both tourists and locals alike. “Bon bini” means “welcome” in the local Papiamento language. Expect live music, colorful costumed dancers and lots of flavorful home-style Caribbean cooking.

The Aruba Historical Museum at Fort Zoutman is open Monday through Friday from morning until early afternoon. There is an admission fee for the museum and for the Bon Bini Festival. The fort is best reached on foot and is less than 15 minutes’ walk from the Cruise Ship Dock in Oranjestad.


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Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino $136
Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino

L G Smith Boulevard 82, Oranjestad
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Oranjestad, this beachfront resort is in the city center and within a 5-minute walk of Oranjestad Protestant Church, Aruba Town Hall, and Fort Zoutman. National Archaeological Museum Aruba and Wilhelmina Park are also within 10 minutes.

    Easy 3 MIN Walk TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 2
    Easy 3 MIN Walk TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 2

    Easy 3 MIN Walk TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 2

    Oranjestad
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in the heart of Oranjestad, this apartment building is steps from Leeward Antilles and Aruba Town Hall. Eagle Beach and Renaissance Mall Aruba are also within 3 mi (5 km).

      Easy 3 MIN Walk TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 3
      Easy 3 MIN Walk TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 3

      Easy 3 MIN Walk TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 3

      Oranjestad
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in the heart of Oranjestad, this apartment building is steps from Leeward Antilles and Aruba Town Hall. Eagle Beach and Renaissance Mall Aruba are also within 3 mi (5 km).

        Easy 3 MIN TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 1
        Easy 3 MIN TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 1

        Easy 3 MIN TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 1

        Oranjestad
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Oranjestad, this apartment building is steps from Leeward Antilles and Aruba Town Hall. Eagle Beach and Renaissance Mall Aruba are also within 3 mi (5 km).

          Easy 3 MIN Walk TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 4
          Easy 3 MIN Walk TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 4

          Easy 3 MIN Walk TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 4

          Oranjestad
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in the heart of Oranjestad, this apartment building is steps from Leeward Antilles and Aruba Town Hall. Eagle Beach and Renaissance Mall Aruba are also within 3 mi (5 km).

            Marriott Vacation Club Aruba Surf Club
            Marriott Vacation Club Aruba Surf Club

            Marriott Vacation Club Aruba Surf Club

            Oranjestad
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Oranjestad, this villa is steps from Leeward Antilles and Aruba Town Hall. Eagle Beach and Renaissance Mall Aruba are also within 3 mi (5 km).

              Villa Bella Mare Steps to Beach in Malmok
              Villa Bella Mare Steps to Beach in Malmok

              Villa Bella Mare Steps to Beach in Malmok

              Oranjestad
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Oranjestad, this vacation home is steps from Leeward Antilles and Aruba Town Hall. Eagle Beach and Renaissance Mall Aruba are also within 3 mi (5 km).

                Easy 3 MIN Walk TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 5
                Easy 3 MIN Walk TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 5

                Easy 3 MIN Walk TO THE Beach From Lagoon Studio 5

                Oranjestad
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in the heart of Oranjestad, this apartment building is within a 5-minute walk of Leeward Antilles and Aruba Town Hall. Eagle Beach and Renaissance Mall Aruba are also within 3 mi (5 km).