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Exploring Aruba - Alto Vista Church

Known officially as Our Lady of Alto Vista this is a small Catholic chapel that stands on the hills above the north shore and to the northeast of the town of Noord, on the island of Aruba. The present chapel at Alto Vista was completed in 1952 and stands in the same location as the original chapel, built by Domingo Silvestre, an Indian from Santa Ana de Coro, Venezuela, in 1750.

Early in the 18th century a small group of Indians, who were Catholic, settled this area, probably to avoid the unrest on other parts of the island and maybe because there was a well that supplied brackish water, the reason for this original settlement is not fully understood. Whatever the reason, this handful of Indians began to gather at the spot where the early chapel was later built. In 1816 the chapel was closed and left to the elements. When Aruba was attacked by German submarine in World War II, Catholics in Aruba decided to build a votive chapel at the site of the original chapel at Alto Visa.

The tiny and colorful Chapel is reached by pilgrims following a winding road dotted with crosses to mark the stations of the cross. Tour groups using jeeps and horses also make the journey. Open every day for visitors, the Chapel has a 35 minute Mass on Tuesdays at 5 pm by a priest from Santa Anna Church.