Spanish Lagoon, or in Dutch ‘Het Spaans Lagoen’, is located about 10 kilometres southeast of the town of Organjestad, on the southwest coast of Aruba. It covers an area of 70 hectares and borders the most southern tip of Parke Nacional Arikok. It is the island’s most significant coastal lagoon and one of the largest natural lagoons in the Caribbean. It is fringed by tidal mudflats and well-developed mangroves and has a narrow coastal inlet about 2 kilometres long and 200-500 metres (650-1,650 feet) wide.
Spanish Lagoon is Aruba’s only Ramsar site. It was designated in 1980 (Ramsar site no. 198) because of its importance as a feeding and breeding area for waterbirds and as a nursery area for a variety of fish species and crustaceans. Spanish Lagoon falls outside of Parke Nacional Arikok and is therefore not under active management.