Aruba Travel Guide

By Admin | Last Updated July 31, 2019

The Caribbean Island of Aruba is also known as ‘One Happy Island’. And the reasons are many. Located 15 miles north of Venezuela, Aruba is an island nation sporting beautiful, white sandy beaches. The place boasts of about 90 nationalities that co-exist on the island. The multicultural tastes are reflected by the languages spoken, the food and also the dressing style of the people.

1.07 million tourists visited Aruba in 2017 according to United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) reports. The 19 miles (30 km) long and 6 miles (10 km) wide island is a part of the Caribbean Islands. Along with The Netherlands, Curacao and Sint Maarten, Aruba forms the constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Oil and tourism are the main industries in Aruba.

The currency of Aruba is called Florin. It is readily interchangeable against the U.S. Dollars. Aruba lures adventure enthusiasts and the culturally inclined alike. Aruba’s quaint capital Oranjestad, reflects the colonial architectural tastes. Oranjestad is also a cruise ship port. That is an added attraction of the place. The southwest coast of Aruba has white, sandy beaches, turquoise seas and calm waters. The north-eastern side is more arid, rocky and has rough seas.

Mostly, the Arubans are Catholics. However, there are other religions as well that co-exist. The various religions in Aruba is a representation of the history of the place. You will find Methodists, Adventists, Baptists amongst other religions.The natural progression of events from the discovery, colonization and independence of Aruba, is depicted through the inhabitants.

The Aruban people have a natural sense of hospitality. They are a very tolerant and accepting culture. So, when visiting Aruba, you will never be far away from home.

Aruba – 15 Quick Facts

  1. Aruba is a multicultural hotspot and is inhabited by an ethnically diverse population.
  2. It is the perfect place to enjoy Indonesian food. This is due to the fact that the Dutch had ruled over Indonesia and then Aruba. So, they brought in the Indonesian cuisine into Aruba.
  3. You can see Venezuela from the Aruban Island, on a clearday. It is only 9 miles from Aruba.
  4. Aruba is the wreck-diving capital of the Caribbean.
  5. Aruba hosts the international film festival, the Aruba International Film Festival.It takes from October 7-11.
  6. Aruba opened the largest water purification plant in the 1930s, due to the scarcity of drinking water. Numerous experiments later and as a result of technological advancement, the water available now is quite soft.
  7. You will not get taxed in Aruba, for gambling. Right, its tax-free.
  8. Nearly 20 % of the island is occupied by national parks.
  9. You can find over 300 prehistoric pictographs on the island.
  10. Baseball is the top game in Aruba.
  11. The first multi-storied hotel in Aruba opened in 1959.
  12. Daylight Saving time does not apply in Aruba.
  13. The license plate of all Aruban cars has the slogan ‘One Happy Country’ printed on them.
  14. Aruba was a Spanish colony for 100 years.
  15. Aruba is a green country, which means that it uses natural resources to generate electricity.

Top Reasons To Visit Aruba

Beaches If you are fond of beaches, then you should definitely visit Aruba. Most Caribbean islands are popular for their beaches. The calm waters of lagoons surrounding the beaches also make way for snorkelling.
Arikok National Park Viewpoints, hill-tops and caves. Then there is the Natural Pool which is another star attraction in Arikok National park.
The Natural Bridge was one of the most famous attractions made entirely of coral limestone. Sadly, it collapsed on 2nd September’2005. The remains can be seen now.
Fauna Fond of Ostriches, Donkeys and Butterflies? An odd combination. You can see them all in Aruba. There are sanctuaries and farms dedicated to these animals.
Flora You get to spot a wide variety of cacti in arid Aruba. So, it is very different from the lush, green vegetation of other Caribbean islands.
Museums If you are a museum person, you should have Aruba on your travel list. The two main museums being Archaeology Museum and Historical Museum.
Churches Your love for churches can be justified, by your visit to Aruba. There are quite a few churches that can satiate your cause.
Adventure If you are an adventure sports enthusiast, visiting Aruba should be high on your list. There are quite a few sports like reef diving, shipwreck dive, wind surfing and kite surfing that will catch your fancy.
Nightlife Looking for the perfect nightlife? Aruba will not disappoint. There are bus tours at night that will take you on a whirlwind tour of the city by the night.

Getting In

Aruba can be reached by two ways – by Plane and Boat.

Airports in Aruba

You can fly into Aruba. The Queen Beatrix International Airport is located in Oranjestad. The airport is the only international airport in Aruba. It has connectivity with United States, Trinidad and Tobago, most countries in the Caribbean, America and parts of Europe.

Ports in Aruba

You can reach Aruba by cruise ships also. Though there are many ports in Aruba, cruise ships harbour in the capital city of Oranjestad.

Visa

Aruba is a small country and was a part of Netherlands. People of the area can go travel great distances without any visa. The country was associated with a Dutch passport, therefore, it is a strong one and people who hold it can access 162 countries. Like –

Estonia, Gibraltar, United Kingdom, Romania, Latvia, Poland, Antigua and Barbuda, New Caledonia, Austria, Anguilla, Albania, American Samoa, Argentina, Australia, Vatican City, Bosnia and Herzegovina, San Marino, Barbados, Italy, Belgium, Brunei, Italy, Bermuda, Sweden, Brazil, Paraguay, Bahamas, Brunei, Botswana, Colombia, Belize, Chile, Canada.

Required Entry Documents for Visa

Upon arrival in Aruba a tourist must have:

  • Your passport can’t be more than 10 years old.
  • The Passport must be valid for the entirety of your stay in Aruba.
  • Tourists must have proof that they can return to your country of departure, or transit through another country. It could be a passport, residence permit or visa.
  • Tourist must proof the reason for staying in Aruba. As for example, a reservation at a hotel/vacation rental, or an invitation from family or friends.
  • Visitor must have enough money to cover their staying and any other expenses.
  • Tourist must not be considered a threat to public order, public health, national security or international relations.

Customs

Import Regulations

It is free import by non-residents older than 15 years (residents may import half the duty free quantities). For imported more amount goods is chargeable a duty.

  • 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars.
  • Distilled beverages 1 litre or 2.25 litres of wine or 3 litres beer.
  • The gift articles up to a value of AWG 100.00.
  • No restrictions on perfume.
  • An importation of leather articles from Haiti is not advisable.
  • Yet the total value of the goods per passenger exceeds AWG 500.00, declaration should be made on customs forms and cleared at the freight department.

Safety & Ease of Travel

Aruba has a good reputation among the Caribbean islands as being one of the safest. However incidents may happen and it is recommended to use common sense and not provide any temptation by leaving valuables unattended or clearly visible on the beach or in your rental car.

Getting Around

Public transport is very easily available in Aruba. Taxis are available aplenty and they are friendly lot. You can also consider travelling by bus. The local company Arubus runs frequent services across major routes in Aruba. The bus station is located right across the road at Oranjestad near the cruise port. Buses move across the main tourist areas at intervals of 15 minutes.

The taxi service at Aruba is also excellent. They have fixed fares, so that saves you from haggling with them. Taxis can be booked for an entire day, for day trips as well.

The free open air trolley is new mode of transportation in Aruba. It is great for moving across the shopping streets and main areas.

You can also hire cars for your sightseeing and commute around the city.

Motorcycles and scooters are also readily available in Aruba.

Tips For First-time Travellers To Aruba

  • If you are travelling to Aruba, pack in light clothes and do not forget the swimming costume. A light sweater will do you well, if you at all need it.
  • Carry chargers that support 110 volts, the same as in USA or Canada.
  • Always a carry a sunscreen if you are travelling to Aruba. The aridity does play havoc on your skin.
  • Though the currency is Florin, most places will exchange your dollars. You can go to banks and casinos to exchange currency.
  • In Aruba, it is not mandatory to tip.
  • You can speak in Dutch or English, as both languages are acceptable.
  • You don’t need to carry water in Aruba. The tap water is perfectly drinkable.
  • There are numerous malls in Aruba, where you can go shopping. They are Palm Beach Plaza Mall, Renaissance Mall and Paseo Herecia Mall to name a few.
  • Aruba operates at a slower pace than most other countries in U.S. So, be prepared for that.
  • In case of emergency, call on 911. For police dial 100.

Aruba Weather

Month High Temp(°C) Low Temp(°C) Rain Days
January 29° 24° 12
February 30° 25° 7
March 30° 25° 4
April 30° 26° 3
May 31° 26° 3
June 31° 26° 4
July 31° 26° 7
August 31° 26° 4
September 31° 26° 5
October 31° 26° 8
November 30° 26° 11
December 39° 25° 13

How To Visit Aruba on A Budget

  • First and foremost, you can plan your travel in the off season. Summer is the most costly time, to visit Aruba.
  • Skip the resorts and stay at a budget hotel or service apartments.
  • Pack some of your favourite snacks, while you travel to Aruba. Shop for raw vegetables and groceries at grocery store.
  • Look for ‘Happy Hour’. You can get great discounts on food and drinks.
  • Try to avail buses for your local sightseeing.
  • You can carry your own snorkel gear, to avoid renting costs.
  • Book cheap flights, by booking in advance. Or fly with stopovers. The cheapest way is to fly is from Florida or the East Coast of U.S.