Catch some gold fever at visit to the Bushiribana Gold Mine. Located on the northern coast of Aruba close to the Natural Bridge, this abandoned underground gold mine was built in 1872 by the Aruba Island Gold Mining Company. Operating for 10 years, this site was used to extract gold from its ore that was being mined close by at the hills of Ceru Plat.
Although this is a ruin of a gold mine, this site actually looks like an ancient medieval fortress from Europe that was somehow transported to Aruba due to its crumbling walls made of bulky stones. Interestingly enough, this almost medieval castle-like spot was where the Spanish Explorer, Alonso de Ojeda, claimed the Aruban island region for Queen Isabella’s empire.
Alonso de Ojeda christened this area as Oro Hubo, meaning a place of gold. Funnily enough, the Spaniards thought the climate was far too arid to cultivate gold and they found hardly any evidence of the infamous gold supply. Despite this, Aruba became a infamous hideaway for buccaneers and pirates, and Bushiribana is the name of the ruins of an old pirate castle that still stands today. However, in 1824 everything changed when gold was discovered near Bushiribana and the Aruba Island Gold Mining Company built a gold smelter at this site.
The Bushiribana Gold Mine is a favorite tourist attraction for those operating tours that visit the nearby Natural Bridge. This gold mine has great historical value, however this site has no signs or stand-by guides to assist in explaining the history of this area. As a result, hope that you will get a tour guide that is knowledgeable about this area or try to go with a tour stopping by this area. This former mining smelter is free of charge and therefore constantly open to visitors at any time.