One of the "coolest" Caribbean destinations, Aruba has an average temperature of 82 degrees year-round, thanks to the trade winds. The island also is known for its white sand beaches and friendly people. Aruba's Meetings & Incentives Partnership--an association dedicated to supporting group programs--makes the island an ideal meeting and incentive destination. Its members include convention-friendly resorts with fully equipped meeting facilities; Tierra del Sol, the spectacular Robert Trent Jones, Jr.designed, 18-hole championship golf course; and The Aruba Gastronomic Association, which offers a dine-around program highlighting the island's diversity. Known for its heritage and Dutch influence, Aruba is an excellent location for theme parties. Popular sites include the downtown area of Oranjestad, where multicolored houses with carved wooden doors form a festive backdrop, and Aruba's beaches, which make perfect settings for beach olympic festivals and al fresco dining events.

FAST FACTS Aruba Convention Bureau

1 Financial Plaza

Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33394

Phone: (954) 767-3395, ext. 12

Fax: (954) 767-0714

Web: www.arubaconventionbureau.com

Director: Adriaan Arends

Marketing Manager: Nelson Henriquez

Location and Transportation:Queen Beatrix International Airport is approximately three miles from Oranjestad, the city center. Major U.S. airports that serve Aruba include New York; Newark, NJ; Tampa, FL; Baltimore/ Washington, D.C.; Miami; Houston; Atlanta; and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Hotels and Meeting Venues:Aruba has 28 hotels and 6,500 guest rooms. The Sonesta Seaport Conference Center, the island's new 40,000-square-foot conference center in downtown Oranjestad, offers 20,000 square feet of meeting and function space. The Wyndham Aruba Beach Resort & Casino and Allegro Aruba Resort & Casino, located on Palm Beach, also offer large meeting venues.

Recreation:Golf, horseback riding, hiking, gaming, and a full array of water sports, including scuba diving, snorkeling, parasailing, and wind surfing, are among the island's popular recreational attractions.

Climate:Aruba enjoys a desert-like climate tempered by trade winds, with a year-round average temperature of 82 degrees.

Seasons:December to April is peak season; May, October, and November are shoulder seasons; and June through September is low season.