The California Lighthouse overlooks the island’s northwestern tip, known as Hudishibana. It is named for the U.S. steamship, the “California” which sunk in 1910, just off the coast. Construction of the lighthouse started a few years later, in 1913.
The shipwreck of the SS California has been erroneously mistaken for the SS Californian. The SS California was traveling from Liverpool to Central America when it crashed off Aruba's coast in 1910. IT IS NOT the infamous ship that failed to respond to the Titanic’s S.O.S. But, the lack of history and fame does not make a SCUBA dive at this wreck any less spectacular.
Inside the lighthouse is not open to the public, but the outside is a historic landmark, perched on a high hill. Although not the highest point
on Aruba, it is elevated enough to view much of the islands sandy
beaches on the western coastline, making the Aruba sunsets from this point even more stunning. So why not make reservations for sunset at the restaurant?
La Trattoria El Faro Blanco, located right next to the lighthouse, has been called the best real Italian restaurant in Aruba. Besides great food, they offer indoor or outdoor seating, live dinner music and spectacular views. The restaurant was converted from a typical Aruban family house owned by the lighthouse keeper. Reservations are highly recommended, especially for sunset dinners. I suggest making a reservation about a half hour to 45 minutes before sunset. Make them well in advance since this is a very coveted time slot.
Feel like walking? There are no marked trails, but the California Sand Dunes are a wonderful place to hike and take photos. Suggestion: Park at the lighthouse and walk down the road to the dunes. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to take pictures, so remember to bring your camera.
During our Party Bus tour with our wedding party, the bus stopped at the California Lighthouse for a sunset champagne toast before continuing on to dinner at Residencia Sylvia, and then the clubs. The sunset from this vantage point is absolutely gorgeous. If you are going to visit the California Lighthouse, I think the best time is at sunset. If you are looking to explore the Aruba Nightlife after sundown, I highly recommend the Kukoo Kunuku Pub Crawl. (Nightlife tours are adult tours and you must be 18 years or older to participate.)