By Ilona Kauremszky

Q: What type of dining is there in Aruba? I'm also thinking of the health and safety aspects of water. I'll be taking my grandchildren (eight and nine years old) on a trip there.

A: For a wee island country off the coast of Venezuala, this Caribbean isle offers a smorgasbord of international cuisine. From Argentinian steaks to Aruban fried funchi, you'll be able to indulge in Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, Italian and even French cuisine. For the youngsters who are most likely familiar with fast food fare, don't despair. You'll spot the popular food chains like Taco Bell, Wendy's, and McDonalds nearby.

Aruba even has its own Aruba Gastronomic Association (AGA). This group of member restaurants is annually inspected and many of them specialize in menus a la Aruba. To help prepare you for the trip, has a special section devoted to dining. Here you can click on a list of AGA members, download menus and view a dining video in QuickTime or Windows Media. "Aruba's drinking water quality is among the best in the world, even compared with the top brands of bottled water.

The tap water is pure distilled water, filtered through beds of coral stones, where it absorbs important minerals such as calcium and also oxygen. This gives the water its delicious taste. The drinking water from the tap is safe for consumption without further treatment such as boiling, a luxury most water supplies in the world have only on an intermittent basis," says Archel Rouse of the Aruba Tourist Authority. For more travel-related information on Aruba, contact the Aruba Tourist Authority toll-free at 1-800-268-3042 or (905) 264-3434.


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