Located near the northwest tip of Aruba and the popular Arashi Beach, California Lighthouse is a landmark on this small tropical island. Known for impressive views of the Caribbean Sea, as well as the nighttime stars, the lighthouse is one of the most photogenic spots in Aruba.
Built between 1914 and 1916 and named after the S.S. California, the lighthouse is open to the public, allowing visitors to climb to its highest lookout point and take in panoramic views. There's also a small Italian restaurant located in the base of the lighthouse that has earned rave reviews. Daily tours of the lighthouse last 25 to 30 minutes, and many sightseeing tours include it on their routes. You can also visit the lighthouse on a variety of island tours, including those via Jeep, ATV, and Segway.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Children aged four years and younger are admitted free.
- V.I.P. tours can be booked for anytime between 5:30pm and 8am for a midnight, sunset, or sunrise viewing.
- The adjacent California Sand Dunes are a popular spot where kids like to slide down the slopes.
How to Get There
The California Lighthouse is located at the north end of L.G. Smith Boulevard in Noord, Aruba, in a section known as Hudishibana. From the Aruba Cruise Terminal, it’s roughly a 20-minute drive to the lighthouse; simply follow L. G. Smith Boulevard north. The lighthouse is also accessible via taxi or tour bus.
When to Get There
The California Lighthouse is arguably the best place to catch the sunset on Aruba, which also means it can be crowded at that time. The lighthouse is open from 8:30am to 11:30pm daily. It’s also possible to book V.I.P. tours anytime between 5:30pm and 8am for a midnight, sunset, or sunrise viewing.
Alto Vista Chapel
Located about 20 minutes south, on the eastern side of the island, the Alto Vista Chapel, or “Pilgrims Church,” is another photographer’s dream. Built by Spanish missionaries in 1750, the bright yellow chapel hosts services as well as tour groups. Outside the chapel lies the “peace labyrinth,” which is used by pilgrims for prayer and meditation.