Located in Aruba’s desert interior, the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins are the stone remains of a gold smelter that was established by prospectors in the 19th century. Once considered sacred by the indigenous Arawak people, the site offers a unique look at Aruba’s history and can be explored with a variety of guided tours.
During the 19th century, gold was mined on Aruba, leading to the construction of this gold smelter in 1872. Crumbling walls of sandstone and coral are all that’s left of this fortress-like complex, but the views of the Caribbean remain spectacular. Located on the east coast in the area known as Ayo, the Bushiribana ruins are free to visit and explore, and are included in most tours of Aruba, including those by bus, 4WD vehicles, ATVs, and UTVs.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Head to the ruins early to catch excellent views of the sunrise.
- Wear sturdy shoes if you plan to climb the ruins.
- The ruins make an interesting stop for history buffs and photographers.
How to Get There
Located on the east side of Aruba, the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins are about a 20-minute drive from the cruise ship terminal. Follow Route 6 straight across the island, and they’re about a 17-minute drive from Queen Beatrix International Airport in Oranjestad; the drive from the airport takes about the same amount of time via Route 1 north.
When to Get There
Aruba isn’t threatened by tropical storms, and the weather is warm year-round with an average temperature of 82°F (28°C), so there is no wrong time to visit. However, Aruba is most crowded during the winter months. If traveling in the summer months when the sun is at its strongest, visit the ruins early in the day when it’s coolest.
Old Dutch Windmill
Located near Palm Beach (about a 20-minute drive from the ruins), this piece of Aruba's Dutch heritage was built in Holland in 1804, disassembled, shipped to Aruba, and reconstructed in 1960. It’s currently home to a restaurant, but the bold red exterior of the landmark against the Caribbean blue sky makes for a fun photo on its own.