Alto Vista Chapel

This is a very special place where your stress melts away, cacti is growing along the sides of the winding roads and you can hear the waves crashing far off in the distance in this halo of peacefulness stands a sacred building happy to greet you. Although this building represents Catholicism, it does wonders for those of other faiths or none at at all. If you are looking to relieve a bit of tension, then visit the Alto Vista Chapel and leave all of your worldly worries behind.

This bright yellow Catholic chapel stands above the hills on the island’s north shore, near the town of Noord. Considered to be the birthplace of Catholicism in Aruba, this chapel was originally built in 1750 by Domingo Silvestre and Santa Ana de Coro, a Spanish pioneer and an Aruban native respectively.

Sadly, the present-day Alto Vista is a more recent version due to German submarine attacks on Aruba. The original cross from this chapel’s altar was found and is now kept at Santa Anna Church in Noord. When this chapel was rebuilt, the Virgin Marie of Alto Vista was embellished with 78 gemstones and a golden crown at Wilhelmina Stadium in Stadionweg. The Aruban people also donated rings, money, and other gold valuables for this cause.

Outside of this church which is a key part to Aruba’s national heritage are two graves. Although some believe that the native Aruban people were buried there, it is actually the graves of Miguel Enrique Albarez and Domingo Antonio Silvestre.

Tours to Alto Vista Chapel are made daily by tour operators using horses and jeeps, however you can also drive yourself to this chapel for some peace and tranquility. It is open daily for visitors, and mass is celebrated every Tuesday at 5pm with a priest from Santa Anna Church. In addition, every year Arubans make a pilgrimage to Alto Vista Chapel in October.