- Type: Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: Less than 1 hour
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Named after a British steamship that wrecked just offshore in 1861, the California Lighthouse is one of the most popular stops in Aruba. Unfortunately, recent travelers say it's also one of the most overrated. One TripAdvisor user says, "The lighthouse itself is not very impressive," and complains of not being able to tour the inside nor climb to the top. Another reviewer suggests you drive by the lighthouse, but don't stop: "You don't need to stay here for more than ten minutes," they write, "perhaps grab lunch at the adjacent restaurant that also has great views, otherwise move right along." On the other hand, experts and real-life travelers do agree that the view from the 1910-era lighthouse is very romantic.
So what's the verdict? If you can venture away from the hotel area (keep in mind you'll need a four-wheel drive vehicle to navigate the windy dirt roads), and you like lighthouses or good Italian food (the adjacent La Trattoria restaurant gets better user reviews than the lighthouse itself), then by all means make the journey. After all, people are going to ask if you stopped at this must-see anyway. But if you're already jammed packed with things to do in Aruba, this could be an attraction to knock off the list.
Located at the northernmost tip of Aruba, the California Lighthouse is free to visit any time of day.