AYO ROCK FORMATIONS
After talking to the locals and getting suggestions of places to go, we headed off to try and find something of interest.
We ended up at Ayo Rock Formations by mistake, but it was on my list.
Driving in Aruba is an adventure. There's hardly any street signs and consider yourself lucky if you find a "tourist" sign that tells you "this way" to an attraction. The funny thing is...it will tell you to turn there for an attraction, but along the way you will come to several places you have to turn right or left and there will be no signs to follow up which way to go. According to the locals, this is a government thing.
So we were driving all over the place, trying to find any of the rock formations. The maps they give you for Aruba are next to 0% helpful. We were using 3 different "maps" at all times and it pretty much just gives you a general area it's located with no streets to get there. You're lucky if you can figure out the town you need to pass in order to get there.
We stumbled upon the Ayo Rock Formations when looking for something totally different, but this was on my "things to see/do" list.
There's free parking in a small lot and the grounds are landscaped nicely. There's plenty of shade below and it's a great place to have a picnic. There isn't any tables, but plenty of rock walls under the trees to sit on.
They do have restrooms, with a sign that said they were free to use...only problem is, they were locked!
They have made a pathway and steps, so walking this self-guided tour is fairly easy to do and no getting lost because it's quite obvious which way to go. There are some tight squeezes and "holes" that you swear there's no way anyone is fitting in, until you get up close and see that you can. Just take things easy. This place kinda reminds me of The Baths in Tortola...only no refreshing water inside the caves.
It's a very short distance. You circle up the rocks, around, and back down and around. It takes less than 1 hour. The view is nice and some great picture opportunities of the land around you.
I didn't realize that they had another rock formation (Casibari) and I wish we would have been able to see it as well. But, we were lucky to find this one. Maybe next time.
Ayo Rock Formations are monolithic rock boulders located on the island of Aruba in the Caribbean. They are located near Ayo village, about 3.2 km from the natural bridge towards Casibari. Casibari Boulders are about 3.2 km inland between Natural Bridge (now defunct) and Oranjestad. The Arawak people were the earliest settlers on the island. They used to visit Ayo Rock Formations so that they could hear incoming thunderstorms closing in on the island of Aruba. Towering stone boulders, placed in such close proximity and in unusual designs, combined with the tranquil environment of Ayo, create a sense of awe and an understanding of why the area was once considered a sacred site by the island's original inhabitants (the Arawak Indians).
This place is definitely worth a short stop to check it out. It's amazing how these huge bolders/rocks are placed and the way you can get around them. It doesn't take long to follow the path and circle around, but it makes for a nice place to stop, look around, and have some lunch if you are out exploring. It's just too bad they didn't have the bathrooms open when we were there and I'm not sure if this is normally like this or not.