A narrow passage between coral cliffs above Aruba’s Spanish Lagoon, Frenchman’s Pass is like many of the island’s attractions in that it’s a historical point of interest that also boasts stunning scenery. However, this pleasant sight for history buffs nature lovers, and ghost hunters alike, is mainly seen by visitors driving through it.
Legend has it that Caribbean pirates trying to overtake Aruba were confronted at this narrow, wooded passageway. It is believed there was a bloody battle with many indigenous lives lost; so, some people claim the ghosts of the fallen rise and cry from the pass at night. Some tours of the island drive through Frenchman's Pass via 4WD vehicles on the way to Baby Beach. You can also travel through to the Bushiribana gold mill ruins.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is no signage indicating where Frenchman's Pass begins, so you may not realize you were on it until you've been through it.
- Some claim that visitors lose their radio signal while driving through, which adds to the passageway’s haunted history.
- This is also home to hundreds of parakeets and egrets, making it an ideal stop for nature lovers.
How to Get There
Frenchman’s Pass is located just north of the Spanish Lagoon on the western side of Aruba and south of Oranjestad. You can reach Frenchman’s Pass by heading north on Sabana Basora. From the cruise ship terminal, it’s about 20 minutes’ drive to the pass; take Lloyd G. Smith Boulevard to Route 1.
When to Get There
Aruba is pleasant and warm year-round, and it’s outside the hurricane belt, so visitors don’t usually have to worry about storms. Aruba is also a popular weekend destination, so the airport is more crowded Friday through Sunday.
Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations
Another local legend says that the Ayo and Casibari Rock Formations, Aruba’s popular natural attractions, were used by the indigenous Arawak people to hear incoming thunderstorms that were approaching the island. The rock formations are free to visit and offer great views of the Caribbean.