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Aruba

Aruba Travel Guide

Why Aruba?

  • Windsurfing especially at Fisherman's Hut or Bachelor's Beach
  • Palm Beach and the divi divi trees
  • Tierra del Sol - a world class 18-hole golf course
  • The largest natural coral rock bridge in the Caribbean
  • Shopping and casino action

Aruba Island Guide

You'll find that planning your trip to Aruba will be a snap if you take advantage of the tips and information available under the tabs on this site. Accommodations like villa rentals, hotels, and resorts are all described in depth to make planning your stay in Aruba easier than ever. Do you need a rental car, or want to locate your villa?—there's a tab for those tasks. While on the island you can enjoy duty-free shopping, exotic foods, and water sports of every description or just languish on the miles of white sand beaches and let your worries disappear with the tropical breezes.

Aruba Weather/Climate

Average Temperatures
Highs Lows
January 86 ° F 76 ° F
February 86 ° F 76 ° F
March 87 ° F 77 ° F
April 88 ° F 79 ° F
May 89 ° F 80 ° F
June 89 ° F 80 ° F
July 89 ° F 80 ° F
August 90 ° F 80 ° F
September 91 ° F 81 ° F
October 89 ° F 90 ° F
November 88 ° F 79 ° F
December 86 ° F 77 ° F

Average Rainfall
January 0.78
February 0.42
March 0.2
April .93
May 0.56
June 0.44
July 0.54
August 0.31
September 0.8
October 1.48
November 2.04
December 1.49

Overview

Perfect 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. Whether you come by air or sea, Aruba will capture your heart as you experience friendly hospitality in the hotels, restaurants, casinos and shops throughout the island.

In 1636 the Dutch took possession of Aruba. Shifting from an industrial economy to one promoting tourism has transformed Aruba's landscape, skyline, and ensured their place as a major tourist attraction for visitors from around the world. Aruba's people comprise a mixture of races and cultures, a smooth well-blended mix that produces "One Happy Island."

The topography of the 20-mile-long island just off the northern coast of South America is as diverse as its people. The east coast is rough and rolling with breakers, caves, the natural rock bridge, dunes and deserts. The west coast has smooth, long white-sand beaches, lush flora, vibrant underwater life, and a bird sanctuary. Strong trade winds cool the island, shaping the divi divi trees in their westward slant and spawning a world-class windsurfing destination. Complete windsurfing centers dot the western coastline providing all the necessary equipment and instruction for beginner to advanced boardsailers. Swimming and snorkeling at any of the beaches is easy with a gently sloping drop-off into the Caribbean Sea. All types of water sports are available and several WWII wrecks provide premier dive sites.

Shop 'till you drop is certainly possible in the many brightly painted, old Dutch colonial local and duty-free shops in Oranjestad and at the major hotels. The best time to shop is when there isn't a cruise ship in port; downtown gets crowded when everyone races down the gangplank.

The many types of accommodations available in Aruba ensure something for everyone. Large, high-rise hotels, condominium units, low-rise beachfront resorts, and private homes host visitors in comfortable, affordable luxury. Casual restaurants, bars, casinos, nightlife, and international cuisine in quaint French, Italian, Chinese and South American restaurants tempt guests with fabulous entrees and special entertainment.

Aruba's sightseeing is well worth spending a day exploring the northwestern windward coast with bold stretches of rocks and cliffs pounded by breaking seas and pre-Columbian cave markings. Drive south through San Nicholas past the new golf course to the lighthouse and enjoy the huge cacti and European architecture which sprinkles the landscape.

Old and young, families and honeymooners will find Aruba an island of surprises and imaginative individuality.

Top 5 Things To Do

Top 5 Thing to Do

Scuba Diving

Scuba Aruba's 7 shipwrecks

If you're into scuba diving and exploring ship wrecks, Aruba's the place to be. Scuba Diving magazine has consistently listed Aruba as a top wreck diving spot for the last 12 years. It's a feat the island takes great pride in. The 7 wreck sites that are littered along Aruba's north and western shores are a rich historical collection including a pilot boat, Convair 240, oil tanker, fuel barge, steamship and freighters. With so many dive sites, there's something for all experience levels.

Top 5 Thing to Do

Shopping in Oranjestad

Stroll through shops in Orangestad

In Oranjestad, head to the heart of the city where brightly painted, old Dutch colonial offer a rich shopping experience. The Royal Plaza Mall, on L.G. Smith Blvd., houses a number of shops. Next door is the 90-shop Seaport Village Mall, part of it underneath the Renaissance Aruba Beach Resort & Casino, and across the street on the piers is the Seaport Marketplace. There are also a number of shops on Main St. (Caya G.F. Betico Croes), a couple of blocks from the waterfront. Spend the day browsing these duty-free shops and you'll find locally made handicrafts, souvenirs, Cuban Cigars, Dutch Delft, Dutch Cheeses, liquor, jewelry, table linens, perfumes, leather goods, designer fashions, electronics, cameras, and more. Oranjestad can get really crowded when a cruise ship is docked, so the best time to shop is when there isn't a one in port. Most of the stores are open from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m., but some close between noon and 2 for lunch.

Top 5 Thing to Do

Natural Pools

Dive off rocks into the natural pools

You'll have to venture off the beaten path, down a rocky, rough "road" (for lack of a better word) to find Aruba's natural pools, but the treacherous drive is well worth it. Hike down the steep stairs, climb over the slippery rocks and you'll find waves crashing over the top and cascading into beautifully protected pools, or "conchi" called "Cura di Tortuga". Climb up another level into a small "hot tub" where the water is warmer and the view amazing. It's fun to dive in from the rock cliffs. It's also a great place to see tropical fish, so bring your snorkel gear and a disposable waterproof camera. Again, these natural pools are a bit hard to find but there are small signs along the way. You can also find horseback and ATV tours to the pools. A great option if your rental car doesn't have 4-wheel drive. Don't forget your water shoes! Some of the rocks are sharp. Your feet will thank us.

Top 5 Thing to Do

Lighthouse

The lighthouse named "California" makes a great backdrop for pictures

In 1910, at Aruba's far northwestern end in an area known as "Hudishibana," a lighthouse was built. It was named "California" after a steamship which sank nearby 2 years prior to the lighthouse's construction. With stunning view of sandy beaches, rolling sand dunes and the rocky coral shoreline, it's no wonder the lighthouse is one of Aruba's most popular attractions. You can't go inside, but its high seaside perch makes for beautiful pictures. It's located just a few yards from the Tierra del Sol golf course and La Trattoria el Faro Blanco restaurant which translates to "Restaurant by the White Lighthouse".

Top 5 Thing to Do

Historic Gold Mine

Explore Aruba's historic gold mines

During the gold rush in the 19th century, a treasure island was discovered and named "Oro Ruba", which means "red gold". Now called Aruba, this island was ascended upon by adventurers in search of gold and wealth. In 1824, gold was finally discovered and the industry there produced more than 3 million pounds of gold over the years that followed. Today, that history can be explored at two gold mines on the island -- Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins and Balashi Gold Mill Ruins. Remnants of this colorful history is still visible today.

Transportation on Aruba

Getting to Aruba and getting around. Our transportation tips will help make your trip smoother. More good sand advice.

Entry Documents

US Citizens need a valid USA passport.

Airlines Flying Here

American Airlines, Continental, Delta, Jet Blue, Spirit Airlines, United, US Airways Air Canada, Avianca, Copa, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Surinam Airways

Airport

Queen Beatrix International Airport

Departure Tax

$34.25 U.S

Driving

On the right - need to show driver's license to rent a car.

Aruba Weddings and Honeymoons

Vacationers don't just stay in Aruba villas - they come to paradise to get married and celebrate their honeymoons! Civil ceremonies held weekday mornings at the islands' Town Hall. Private ceremonies can be held elsewhere.Cost: Documents Required: Couples must present a marriage license, an original birth certificate, and copies of passport ID pages for the couple a

Know Before You Go...® - Aruba Travel Tips

Before making their way to Aruba villas, vacationers like to know a little bit of helpful information to make them feel more at home during their stay. Take a look at our travel tips to make your time in villas in Aruba even more relaxing.

Capital: Oranjestad
Population: 71,891
Size: 193 sq km, slightly larger than Washington, DC
Electric Current: 110
Time: 02:58 am zone:-4 (GMT/UTC -4)
Official Language: Dutch (official), Papiamento (a Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English dialect), English (widely spoken), Spanish
Topography: flat with a few hills; scant vegetation
Telephone: international: country code - 297

Aruba Tourism Authority

A. Shuttestraat 2Oranjestad, Aruba, N.A.

011-297-82-1019
011-297-83-4702
www.aruba.com

Aruba Hotel & tourism Association

297-58-22607
ata.aruba@aruba.com
www.aruba.com
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