Aruba, along with Curacao and Sint Maarten, are constituent nations that are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are also referred to as the ABC Islands and form the Netherlands Antilles in the southern Caribbean. The island itself is roughly 20 miles by six miles in size, and even though it's just 18 miles from Venezuela, it's worlds away from what you might expect. Arubans are very friendly and welcoming. While there, you will hear English, Dutch, Spanish and a local dialect known as Papiamento, found only in the ABC Islands. The climate is also very different here because Aruba lies below the hurricane latitudes. The big storms that frequently wreak havoc in the Caribbean pass well to the north of Aruba. Subsequently, the island is rocky, arid and strewn with cactus.