The Iconic Fofoti Trees on Eagle Beach, Aruba

One of Eagle Beach’s Fofoti trees

photography by: Serge Melki/ Flickr

Reading time: minutes

Renowned for its fine sand and turquoise waters, Eagle Beach in Oranjestad is often dubbed as Aruba’s top-rated oceanfront. Interestingly though, slightly away from the beach’s throngs of sunbathers lies a pair of endemic trees, whose quirky shape has baffled onlookers for years. Known as Fofoti trees, these arboreal sculptures offer a much-needed shade from the scorching sun as well as a backdrop for globe-trotting Instagrammers.

Akin to most of its nearby counterparts, the Caribbean Island of Aruba boasts a glut of golden beaches that in turn attracts swarms of tourists from all across the globe. Nestled on the northern outskirts of the Arubian capital, Oranjestad, Eagle Beach is everything you’d expect from a popular seaside attraction – vacationists basking in the sun, wading in the ocean or sipping a scrumptious cocktail.


Whoever finds himself in the northern tip of the beach, though, will encounter a rather bizarre sight, two bent buttonwood trees with a twisted trunk, somewhat reminiscent of a peppermint stick. Apparently, these oddly-shaped trees were sculpted for years on end by the region’s trade winds, hence their crooked posture.


Locally Named “Fofoti” trees, the plant is in fact a type of mangrove that is native to the island, and for centuries, has been used as a building material for boats. Some even attribute a slew of medicinal properties to its bark, a tea of which still serves as a treatment for skin rashes or eye-sore.


Unfortunately, Fofotis, like many other endemic species of flora throughout Aruba, are under the threat of extinction due to the Island’s rapid development. It remains to be seen if this charming tree will stand the test of time, yet one thing is clear, the wind-swept buttonwoods on Eagle Beach are as eye-catching as the beach itself.