Oranjestad changes

By | Category: Travel destinations

Aruba in party mood

The capital of the Caribbean island of Aruba – Oranjestad – is fighting back against the drift of tourist and tourist offerings to other parts of the island.

Part of the fight back is in connection with the new street car service that only began last year. New routes are on the way giving visitors an easier way to explore the capital and all it offers. The more touristy and cultural parts  that visitors naturally want to see are linked to the commercial part of the city so the shopping complexes will now be more easily available.

Downtown Oranjestad was always at the heart of Aruban life and more and more of us have been visiting the island. Last year the number of British visitors was up by 6.2% higher than the overall increase the island enjoyed. But the development of this growth in tourism meant that its heart – the mainstreet area – found itself in direct competition with such areas as Palm Beach, where shops and restaurants moved to be near the tourist dollars.

However, the government-backed initiative centred around the clean energy-powered streetcars, is ushering in a new era for Oranjestad. The streetcars, designed in San Francisco, take shoppers and sightseers through the heart of the downtown area free of charge. Travellers can hop on and off at various stops en route, giving them access to historic Dutch colonial architecture and top-class shopping.

Two routes now connect to the heart of Oranjestad, a vertical and a horizontal option. The latter, now completed, runs from the cruise ship terminal to Mainstreet and to new central point, Plaza Nikki. The vertical corridor, now under construction, links the Central Post Office, the University of Aruba and the San Francisco Church, with the renovated courthouse buildings and Mainstreet, flowing into Laza Padu and the seat of the Aruban government and newly-expanded City Hall.

Picturesque water fountains and lush landscaping complete the improved look of Oranjestad,

For more information about Aruba, click here.

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