Aruba: Background & Geography

Introduction Aruba
Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499, Aruba was acquired by the Dutch in 1636. The island's economy has been dominated by three main industries. A 19th century gold rush was followed by prosperity brought on by the opening in 1924 of an oil refinery. The last decades of the 20th century saw a boom in the tourism industry. Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 and became a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in 1990.
Geography Aruba
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela
Geographic coordinates:
12 30 N, 69 58 W
Map references:
Central America and the Caribbean
total: 193 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 193 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
0 km
68.5 km
Maritime claims - as described in UNCLOS 1982 (see Notes and Definitions):
territorial sea: 12 NM
tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation
flat with a few hills; scant vegetation
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Jamanota 188 m
Natural resources:
NEGL; white sandy beaches
Land use:
arable land: 10.53% (including aloe 0.01%)
permanent crops: 0%
other: 89.47% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
0.01 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt
Environment - current issues:
Geography - note:
a flat, riverless island renowned for its white sand beaches; its tropical climate is moderated by constant trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean; the temperature is almost constant at about 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit)

See Also: