Hooiberg, also called the Haystack, is a 541-foot high volcanic formation located almost in the center of Aruba—you can see its classic cone-shaped presence from virtually anywhere on the island.
Visually the Haystack appears to be the tallest point on Aruba, but 617-foot Mount Jamanota in Arikok National Park holds that status—Jamanota is absorbed into the surrounding hills and doesn’t stand out like the prominent and isolated Hooiberg.
The beautiful panoramic view from the top of this local landmark is the reward for climbing the 561 steps that lead to the summit—on a clear day you can see as far as Venezuela, and you are always treated to magnificent views of Aruba.
As you climb the steep concrete steps to the summit, be sure to stop and enjoy the island vegetation—yellow poui trees and kadushi cacti are the dominant species, along with the famous windblown divi-divi trees.
The summit, like most other island high points, is covered with TV antennas and communication towers, which leaves a little to be desired, but just find your way to one of the rock outcroppings and you will soon be enjoying the well-earned bird’s eye view—joining us on the summit were several anole lizards who appeared to be enjoying the vista as well.