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Meet the Animals of Aruba

Updated: Mar 29

With its crystal-clear waters, exciting surfing conditions, miles of white-sand beach, glittering resorts and cute capital city, Aruba is one of the most popular Caribbean destinations. However, sometimes you need a day away from the beach. If you’re an animal lover, we suggest these three compact, cute-critter centers, dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals from around the island and the nearby region. Have fun!

Check out the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba. Spend some up-close-and-personal time with these four-legged cuties, who are in good hands with the center’s employees and volunteers.

Historically, donkeys were Aruba’s main form of transportation. As a result, many are injured or are in poor health. The fortunate ones have been rescued by the nonprofit Donkey Sanctuary (located in the Santa Cruz neighborhood on the northeast side of the island) and are living the good life now.

Bring along some apples and carrots for your new, docile friends. While it’s fun for all ages, kids especially love the chance to meet these sweet creatures. Admission is free, but visitors are encouraged to donate to the organization to help further its efforts to save Aruban donkeys. Tours are available. The sanctuary is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Next, head to the nearby Aruba Ostrich Farm, where you’ll learn all about these amazingly speedy birds, their feeding habitats, how they protect themselves against predators and more. Take a guided tour of the incubator, hatchery and special pens for young ostriches and emus. The farm charges $14 per adult and $7 per child and is open seven days a week.

At Philip’s Animal Garden, meet a variety of rescued exotic animals who have been given a suitable living environment. From farm animals who have lost their owner, to sibling ocelot monkeys, to red monkeys and alpacas, Philip Merryweather has worked tirelessly to rescue and rehabilitate animals that need a safe home. Meet a shy jaguarundi, a couple of pot-bellied pigs, a Nigerian dwarf goat and more. The center is open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 pm., with tours every half-hour.

Make a day of it, visiting all three shelters, or combine one with a trip to a beach outside your resort area. Need help planning it out? Let’s chat.

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