(CNN) — Together with neighboring Bonaire and Curacao, Aruba completes a trio known as the ABC islands. But for the tiny Dutch Caribbean island that lies less than 30 miles off the coast of Venezuela, "A" could just as easily stand for aloe. With its dry, arid climate and nearly year-round sunshine, Aruba offers ideal growing conditions for the desert-dwelling plant. In fact, so successful is aloe-growing on the island that the plant is Aruba's top export. The best place on the island to get up-close and personal with the potent, medicinal plant is the Aruba Aloe farm and factory in Hato, a short, 10- to 15-minute drive from Aruba's main hotel zone. Founded in 1890, Aruba Aloe is one of the oldest aloe companies in the world and remains an active site for growing, sorting and processing aloe, and incorporating it into local products -- including those sold under the company's own eponymous label. Aruba Aloe offers free farm and factory tours, which are led by knowledgeable, local guides. Among them is Giovanni Thodé, a slim and sprightly native Aruban. As Aruba Aloe guides do for each group that passes through the facility, Thodé -- who on a sweltering Aruba afternoon is dressed in crisp denim, an olive-colored polo shirt and a red, polka-dotted necktie -- is giving a presentation on an outdoor patio about aloe's healthful benefits.