weather, gorgeous beaches, shimmering seas, duty-free
shopping, and friendly Dutch West Indies hosts shouting
"Bon Bini" (welcome) will greet you upon arrival
in Aruba. The island will capture your heart as you
experience friendly hospitality in the hotels, restaurants,
casinos, and shops throughout the island.
Aruba is located in the heart of the southern Caribbean,
15 miles (20 km) off the coast of Venezuela. It is 19.6
miles (30 kilometers) long and 6 miles (9 km) across,
at its widest point. Aruba is located outside the hurricane
belt and enjoys an average temperature of 85 F. So there
is no bad time to visit Aruba.
The southern, leeward coast is lined with beautiful,
sparkling white sand and is commonly known as the Turquoise
Coast for the colorful tint of the water. There are
many secluded sections of private beach or more popular
strips by the hotels.
sports include windsurfing, kitesurfing, fishing, sailing
snorkeling and more. Scuba Diving in Aruba is famous
for the spectacular shipwrecks and interesting coral
formations that dominate Aruba’s underwater realm. This
includes the 400 foot Antilla wreck, which is the largest
wreck in the Caribbean.
See below for more information on activities.
following airlines have Aruba on their route:
- Royal Dutch Airlines
- Lan Airlines
the Aruba Airport website for live arrival
times and live departure
For complete entry requirements, please visit http://www.aruba.com/sigma/Entry_Req-Eng.pdf
Rates, set by the Government, are based on destination
rather than mileage traveled and are for the total number
of passengers in the car or van.
There are a number of international and local rental
agencies. It's nice to be able to explore the entire
island at your leisure. But many of the roads are rugged
and not suitable for a car. Make sure that your spare
tire is full of air before heading out into the rough
rugged terrain. Many 4-wheel drive rentals often have
no roof, so make sure you put on sun block because the
sun shines brightly in Aruba! 4-wheel drive vehicles
are numerous but they are often hard to get because
they are used for "Jeep Safari" tours that
are popular sightseeing day trips.
- Arubans drive on the right-hand side of the road.
- The minimum age of 21-25 and the maximum of 65-70
vary slighty by company.
- International driving license or any valid license
held for at least two full years is required.
- Unlimited mileage; rates subject to change without
- Deposit of US $500 or open signed credit card.
- Towing service available.
- Windsurf roof racks upon availability and upon request.
- Pick up service available, with some exceptions, at
the cruise terminal.
- Insurance recommended, but does not cover if the driver
is intoxicated in a car accident.
Scooters and motorcycles are also available and lots
of fun. A regular driver's licence is all you need!
Helmets are supplied.
Gas pumps for your rental car register in liters: 1.06
quarts to 1 liter. One gallon is 3.78 liters. Prices
at gas stations are in Aruba florins. It is not usually
the custom to pump gas for oneself, please check if
the attendants are to pump gas or if it is a self-service
There is inexpensive and reliable daily bus service
between all the districts and the hotel areas. Check
at your hotel for schedules and hours. The main bus
station is located in downtown Oranjestad across from
the waterfront shops and restaurants.
Telephone Services: For dialing direct calls from Aruba,
the code into the international circuit is 00 followed
by the country code, area code and the number. For assistance,
Aruba's International telephone country code is 297.
To direct dial Aruba from the U.S., the code is 011-297-plus
You can use the public phones (with Aruban calling cards)
that are placed all over the island. Unfortunately,
it is not possible yet to use your foreign cell phone
in Aruba, due to the specifics of the telephone net
in Aruba. If you want to rent a cellphone, there are
several places where you go.
The Central Post Office is located diagonally across
from San Francisco Church in Oranjestad. Open from Mondays
to Fridays from 7.30 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to
4.30 p.m. The Post office at the Royal Plaza Mall in
Oranjestad is open from Mondays to Saturdays from 7
a.m. to 6.45 p.m.
Aruba is tropical and very warm. You should bring light,
casual clothing. It is generally not allowed to enter
shops or casino’s in your bathing suit. Evening's lower
temperatures and breezes may warrant a light jacket
if you chill easily.
There is no need to buy bottled water, Aruba’s water
from the tap is praised for its excellent quality and
taste. Aruba’s drinking water flows from the world’s
second largest desalinization plant. It is not only
perfectly pure and safe to drink, it’s also very delicious.
Aruba has the same voltage standard as in North America
(110 volts AC). Therefore, European appliances (that
use 220 volts) generally cannot be used in Aruba (unless
you have a converter).
Aruba has always been considered one of the safest destinations
in the Caribbean, however incidents may occur. Please
do not provide temptation by leaving your valuables
unattended on the beach or in your rental car.
Generally, there is an 11% service charge on room rates.
Most hotels also apply a 6% government tax.
Most Aruban restaurants maintain a service charge of
between 10 and 20%.
Shops are open Monday through Saturday from 8 AM to
12 noon (many closing for lunch) and from 2 PM to 6
PM. Some stores close Tuesday afternoons. The Alhambra
Bazaar is open until midnight. Bargaining on prices
in Aruba is not considered polite - even in the many
bazaars. What to look for - china and crystal, clothing
and accessories, leather goods, jewelry, local crafts,
food (Edam and Gouda cheese and Dutch chocolates).
Activities and Attractions
Tierra del Sol, at the island's northwest tip, is Aruba's
first world-class golf course. The 18-hole, par-71 course
was designed by Robert Trent Jones II to take full advantage
of its rugged natural surroundings. The course manages
to pair peerless course design with a celebration of
The Aruba Golf Club presents the challenge of the Caribbean's
most unusual nine-hole golf course, with oiled sand
greens, the ever-present trade winds, and an occasional
goat as a live hazard.
Adventure Golf, a miniature golf course surrounded by
water, is located on L.G. Smith Blvd., behind La Cabana
All-Suite Beach Resort & Casino. There are also
paddle boats and other amenities.
Aruba's topography offers a variety of exotic locations
for adventurous visitors. From the challenging sand
dunes to the desert-like plains that will make you feel
like the star of your own western motion picture. Along
the way capture spectacular views atop the Arikok Hills
with your camera. Riding experience is not required.
Several ranches offer horseback tours and adventures.
Tennis and Racquetball
The Aruba Racquet Club, Aruba's first world-class tennis
center, is located at Rooi Santo 21 in the Palm Beach
area. It features eight lighted courts, an exhibition
center court, a pro shop, a swimming pool, aerobics
classes, a fitness center, and a bar and restaurant.
Opening hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Most leading hotels
also have tennis courts and tennis instructors.
Diving in Aruba is famous for the spectacular shipwrecks
and interesting coral formations that dominate Aruba’s
underwater realm. This includes the 400 foot Antilla
wreck, which is the largest wreck in the Caribbean.
Good snorkeling spots include Arashi beach, Boca Grandi,
Baby Beach and many more. Gear can be rented at watersports
centers along the hotel area. There are several tours
that combine sailing and snorkeling.
The smooth seas of the south and west coasts are perfect
for both beginners and experienced skiers. Jet skis
are restricted to certain areas. Please ask your hotel
The constant 15-knot trade winds, along with the variety
of flat-water locations and challenging wave conditions,
have made Aruba one of the most popular spots on earth
for windsurfers. Whether you're a beginner, an expert
or anywhere in between, you can find a suitable location
for your skill level.
Novices can take advantage of the gentler winds and
abundance of equipment and instructors along the island's
southern shore, and advanced students and experts have
a choice of any number of prime locations along the
northern and southeastern coasts.
Every year in June, Aruba hosts the Hi-Winds Amateur
World Challenge windsurfing tournament. This ten-day
competition attracts the most competitive professional
windsurfers and hundreds of amateurs to the island of
In the temperate waters around Aruba, a variety of Atlantic
game fish can be caught year-round. Sailfish, white
and blue marlin, wahoo, shark, barracuda, amberjack,
kingfish, bonito, and blackfin and yellowfin tuna are
You can experience a full day or a half-day charter
on fishing boats. Excursions can be arranged through
your hotel activity desk or directly with the captain
of the boat of your choice. Most charter fishing boats
operate from Seaport Marina, across from the Sonesta
Hotel in Oranjestad.
Kite Boarding is one of the newest watersports that
is quickly gaining popularity anywhere in the world
where there is water. With the help of very large inflatable
kites, about 90 ft of flying lines and boards not unlike
small surfboards with footstraps proficient kite boarders
are able to skim across the water surface at 30+ miles
an hour and get launched 10, 20, 30, even 40 to 50 ft
up in the air. This is a sport like no other. With some
perseverance you will be amazed at how steep the learning
curve is too. Aruba is one of the premier locations
for this exciting new sport.
Kayaking is a relatively new adventure on Aruba, and
visitors are taking to it with enthusiasm. Because the
waters on the leeward side of the island are so calm,
kayaking is relaxing and peaceful way to explore Aruba’s
coast. No experience is necessary. A well-informed local
guide leads you through the basics and handles all the
details from pick-up to drop-off at your hotel.
Enjoy Aruba from a different angle. Parasailing is a
unique and exciting way to look at Aruba's beautiful
beaches and scenery. It is an ultimate feeling of freedom.
Get a bird's-eye view, while you are towed along by
a speedboat. The ride takes about 20 to 25 minutes and
ascends and descents directly from the boat. The airtime
of your ride is 8 to 10 minutes.
Flat terrain and deserted back roads make ideal conditions
for bike enthusiasts. Traffic is too heavy in the tourist
areas and on the main road along the western coast,
and wind can be a deterrent for some. However, the paved
roads and smoother dirt paths along the northern coast
are scenic and enjoyable when the wind is calm.
Arikok National Park has already laid 20 miles of trails
and more are planned. Some of the rock-bordered dirt
paths lead to formal presentations and learning centers;
others branch out to the isolate undeveloped areas along
the park’s north and south boundaries.
You have not lived until you have experienced the spirit
of Carnival as it is celebrated in Aruba!
Carnival means weeks of events that bring you colorfully
decorated floats, contagiously throbbing music, luxuriously
costumed groups of celebrants of all ages, King &
Queen elections, electrifying jump ups and torch light
parades that wind their way through the streets at night,
the Jouvert morning: the Children's Parades and finally
the Grand Parade.This has got to be the greatest party