Aruba History

Aruba History

According to, Aruba is an island in the Caribbean. It is a Dutch possession with its own parliament and a Dutch governor. The capital is Oranjestad with 33,000 residents. Savaneta is a town home to the island’s oldest settlement, and is the island’s former capital. It was here that the Dutch settled after the recaptured city in 1816.

The island is located 45 kilometers from the coast of Venezuela. Together with Bonaire and Curacao, it forms the group called the ABC Islands.

Hoiiberg is a 165 meter high volcanic formation on the island. It is located almost in the middle of the island, and can be seen literally everywhere on the island. With its 188 meters, Mount Jamanato is the highest point on the island.


1000s – The first to inhabit Aruba were Arawak Indians (possibly Caquetio ) who arrived from Venezuela. Remains from their culture can still be seen on the island.

1499 – The island was “rediscovered” in August by resp. Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso de Ojeda, and came under Spanish possession until 1636, when it became Dutch.

1508 – Alonso de Ojeda is appointed the first governor of the island.

1515 – Arawak Indians are transported to Hispaniola to work as slaves in copper mines.

1527 – Spain formally begins colonization of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Governor Juan de Ampues asked Charles V of Spain for permission to return the Arawak Indians to the island, which was granted.

1636 – The Dutch colonize the island and form part of the Dutch West India Company, gaining a trading monopoly on the western hemisphere, whose territories consisted of West Africa (between the Tropics of Cancer and the Cape of Good Hope ), and America, which also included the Pacific and eastern parts. of New Guinea. The company contributed greatly to the Dutch colonization of America.

Construction of the historic Fort Zoutman and Willem III Tower began. Today it is the oldest building on the island.

1796 – The town, later called Oranjestad, was founded and became the island’s capital.

1799-1802 – The British occupy Aruba.

1805-1815 – The British occupy Aruba again.

1815 – Dutch troops fight Napoleon during the Hundred Days.

1816 – Holland regains the island after it came under British rule during the Napoleonic Wars.

1824 – Gold is finally found after a long search at Bushiribana, and since then the industry has produced more than 3 million pounds of gold. (See drone over the ruins here ).

1845-1986 – Aruba belonged to the Netherlands Antilles, but has been separated since 1986.

1850 – Aloe plant arrives on the island.

1874 – The use of Guano (manure) as fertilizer is discovered, Aruba becomes a major supplier of calcium phosphate.

1916 – Gold mining ceased due to dwindling supply.

1929 – An oil refinery is established at San Nicolaas.

1935 – The first airport is established in Aruba. Read more here.

1940-1942 – Aruba was a British protectorate.

1942 – A German submarine attacks the oil refinery on February 16 and sinks the tanker SS Pedernales, which is moored at the port of San Nicolaas.

1942-1945 – Aruba becomes a US protectorate.

1954 – Aruba becomes part of the Autonomous Federation of the Netherlands Antilles.

1959 – Aruba’s first hotel, the Aruba Caribbean Hotel, opens. It closed in 1975. Read here.

1983 – The Netherlands and the Government of the Netherlands Antilles agree that Aruba should receive separate status from 1986, with a view to achieving independence in 1996.

1985 – Exxon Corporation closes the San Nicolaas oil refinery and begins dismantling the plant and the colony. It ruined the island’s economy.

After this, tourism in particular became an important thing. Although the first cruise ship arrived in Aruba in 1957, the tourism industry only began to develop in earnest in the late 20th century and is today the island’s primary economy.

1986 – The island gains autonomous status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

1991 – Oil refining is resumed by the Coastal Corporation until 1995. It was sold to Valero in 2004, and was open for a number of years until 2009. The following year, Valero announced plans to reopen the refinery.

1996 – Aruba joins the US list of major drug-producing or transit countries.

On July 7-28, Hurricane Cesar ravaged, causing 51 deaths (26 in Costa Rica ) in the Caribbean and Central America. As it crossed the Pacific it changed its name to Douglas.

2000 – Aruba is cited as one of 35 “uncooperative tax havens” by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It was later removed from the list as the island has promised greater openness.

2003 – US exchanges tax information with Aruba in the fight against money laundering.

2005 – Aruba’s 7.6 meter high and 30 meter long tourist attraction, Natural Bridge collapsed on 2 September.

2010 – On 10 October, the Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist as an administrative unit.

Aruba History