Bhutan, a Buddhist kingdom on the Himalayas’ eastern edge, is known for its monasteries, fortresses (or dzongs) and dramatic landscapes that range from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys. In the High Himalayas, peaks such as 7,326m Jomolhari are popular trekking destinations. Paro Taktsang monastery (also known as Tiger’s Nest) clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley.
Aruba has a lot of hiking and walking trails, the best of which are in Arikok National Park. It is possible to be accompanied on a hike by a park tour guide but this would need to be booked in advance. Aruba’s sun is in tense, and the desert-like landscape (think Arizona) doesn’t offer much tree shade, but with plenty of water and a good light hat, hiking is definitely worth the effort since you get to see places you would not otherwise reach. There are challenging hills, caves, abandoned gold ruins and mines, and limestone cliffs. Hike up to the top of Mount Jamanota you will see a 360 degree view of Aruba from Aruba’s highest point. Most trails are clearly marked within the park. Sneakers are fine, and you can never go wrong with hiking boots as well. To get a good look at the caves a flashlight is recommended.
Scuba Diving in Aruba is spectacular. Aruba’s waters average 80 degrees F and go as low as the 70s in “winter” (which does not actually exist in Aruba!). Coral reefs, wrecks, a wide variety of marine life, and spawning coral displays are just some of the things you can expect to see. Currents affect visibility in some areas, and this of course changes with sea conditions. On the resort side of the island one can expect visibility of 18 to 36m (59-118 feet). Except in the rainy season (October to January) freshwater runoff to the ocean is low to none. In terms of wrecks, planes and shipwrecks are popular, including the Antilla, which is the largest shipwreck in the Caribbean. It is not unusual to see less common species such as sea horses, basket stars and eels. Unfortunately what used to be a less common sight, the destructive Lionfish has become more invasive after first being spotted in 2009. It is probably the only species for which spearfishing is actively encouraged, in all other cases spearfishing is illegal. Most scuba diving operators offer a variety of courses from beginners’ resort courses to courses designed for Dive Masters
Dedicated road bicycles have drop handlebars and multiple gears, although there are single and fixed gear varieties. Road bikes also use narrow, high-pressure tires to decrease rolling resistance, and tend to be somewhat lighter than other types of bicycle. The drop handlebars are often positioned lower than the saddle in order to put the rider in a more aerodynamic position. In an effort to become more aerodynamic, some riders have begun using aerobars.
And when aerobars where invented is unclear but they seem to date back to the early 1980s. The light weight and aerodynamics of a road bike allows this type of bicycle to be the second most efficient self-powered means of transportation, behind only recumbent bicycles due to the latter’s higher aerodynamic efficiency.
Mountain bikes fitted with slick or semi-slick are also popular for commuters. Though less efficient, the upright riding position allows the cyclist a better view of traffic, and they can also be readily fitted with mudguards, cargo racks and other accessories. Mountain bikes are usually ridden on unpaved roads and tracks but they are not to be confused with cyclocross bikes.
Windsurfing & Kitesurfing
Aruba’s constant trade winds have made the Island a very popular spot for windsurfers. Beginners to hard-core enthusiasts will find suitable locations for their skill levels from flat-water sailing to challenging wave conditions. Aruba is host to the annual Hi-Winds Windsurfing Pro-Am Grand Prix World Cup event in June.