Your wheels spit dirt as you urge your ATV up a challenging section of Aruba’s northern coastline. Your entire group is bouncing along the island’s rocky coastline as you start on your half-day off-roading adventure tour with Kini Kini Transfer & Tours.. The landscape bristles with long-limbed cacti and Aruba’s famous divi-divi trees, their perpetually bent trunks the result of the constant trade winds that blow across the island.
You arrive at Baby Natural Bridge, and your guide explains how thousands of years’ worth of pounding waves and wind have slowly chiseled this 25-foot-long coral limestone archway. You ask your guide about the multiple small stacks of stones you notice dotting the shoreline. He explains they’re the result of a local legend, which states that whoever creates these miniature stone cairns will have their wishes granted. For fun, everyone in your group stacks their own stone tower and makes a wish. Before you know it, you’re once again skimming the exhilarating coastline full of rambling dunes and magnificent vistas. You taste salt on your lips as the ocean’s waves explode like geysers, misting everything around you.
The next stop on your off-roading adventure tour is at the ruins of Bushiribana Gold Smelter, a vestige of Aruba’s Gold Rush. The 19th-century ruins seem more like those of an old castle or fortress. Your group clambers around inside its crumbling walls while you climb up to a rectangular window opening that frames a postcard-perfect view of the Caribbean Sea.
Back on your ATVs, the roads narrow as you make your way inland to the monolithic Ayo Rock Formation. Your guide points out ancient carved petroglyphs, and you learn that this mysterious cluster of boulders was once a sacred site of the indigenous Arawaks. Lizards dart among the stones as you hike to the top, snapping several photographs of the breathtaking view before you’re on your way again.
Everyone hops back onto their ATVs for the final leg of the off-roading adventure tour. You wind your way along rugged back roads and over gorgeous seaside bluffs. When you reach a stretch of beach, you and your companions exchange silent nods of agreement, and moments later you’re in a heart-pumping race across the sand. Your grin is wide as you tear across the beach, laughing in the wind.