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Aruba:
Geography

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Aruba Page


Background
Definition
Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499, Aruba was acquired by the Dutch in 1636. The island's economy has been dominated by three main industries. A 19th century gold rush was followed by prosperity brought on by the opening in 1924 of an oil refinery. The last decades of the 20th century saw a boom in the tourism industry. Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986 and became a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in 1990.
Location
Definition
Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela
Geographic coordinates
Definition
12 30 N, 69 58 W
Map references
Definition
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 193 sq km
land: 193 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly larger than Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
68.5 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate
Definition
tropical marine; little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain
Definition
flat with a few hills; scant vegetation
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Caribbean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mount Jamanota 188 m
Natural resources
Definition
NEGL; white sandy beaches
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 10.53%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 89.47% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
0.01 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards
Definition
hurricanes; lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt and is rarely threatened
Environment - current issues
Definition
NA
Geography - note
Definition
a flat, riverless island renowned for its white sand beaches; its tropical climate is moderated by constant trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean; the temperature is almost constant at about 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit)


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