Santa Cruz, Aruba
On the tiny island nation of Aruba, located just 25 kilometers north of mainland Venezuela, it is a heartening fact to learn that nearly 20 percent of the island has been established as the Arikok National Park. For an escape from the beach life that tends to dominate visitors' travels in Aruba, enjoy some of the park's 21 miles of marked hiking trails, where you'll find yourself mingling with indigenous birds, reptiles and even rabbits. Additionally, the tropical foliage found within the park range from native divi-divi trees, aloe plants, tropical flowers, and rare species of cacti.
From the highest hill on the island, Mount Jamanota, you'll find yourself with a refreshing perspective of the restored farm Cunucu Arikok, as well as a tip-to-tip perspective of the island itself. Along the path near the farm, take a break and soak up some sun on the benches that adorn the area. Though the park offers visitors a paved road in order to take in the scenery, the natural beauty and significant cultural remnants found in the park are best enjoyed by foot.