Aruba Travel Guide
If you like the Caribbean, you must pay a visit to the Dutch island of Aruba. With nearly perfect weather year-round and very low humidity, Aruba is one of those islands that you can bank on for beautiful days for the duration of your stay. People who visit Aruba usually find themselves coming back year after year.
There are many reasons for the return visits, not the least of which is the hospitality of the people. A bustling downtown can be found in Oranjestad, where shopping is abundant, and heckling is nonexistent. The sprawling sands of the beaches welcome you while the blue-green water cools you. Rough terrain makes for excellent inland excursions. And the food. Ahh, the food. Aruba’s cuisine is some of the finest in the Caribbean.
When you land and smell the fresh air, you feel transformed. The first time someone greets you with a warm, “Bonbini!” or “Welcome!” in the island’s native Papiamento, you’ll feel like you are where you belong. Aruba has everything you could want in a beach vacation – scuba diving, snorkeling, deep-sea fishing, and, of course, languishing in the sun.
The island’s Dutch influence is evident in some of the architecture. If you are a history buff and want to see the oldest building in Aruba, which, coincidently, is the oldest structure remaining from the Dutch settlement, visit Fort Zoutman and King Willem Tower. This structure was built in 1796 and was initially used to protect the island against pirates. After several iterations, the building is now the home of the island’s historical museum.
Fun in the sun, historical references, good food, and good people. Aruba has it all. So, the question isn’t why would you choose Aruba for your beach vacation, but why not?
Where To Stay In Aruba
Visitors to Aruba stay in a wide variety of accommodations, including private rental, guesthouses, and luxurious all-inclusive hotels. Some of the best hotels in Aruba include:
- Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
- Barcelo Aruba
- Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort
- Boardwalk Boutique Hotel Aruba
- Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort
- Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino
- Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort Spa & Casino
- Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa
- Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino
- The Ritz-Carlton Aruba
Activities In Aruba
Major tourist activities in Aruba include:
- Learning about Aruban history at one of its many museums, including the National Archaeological Museum Aruba, Fort Zoutman Historical Museum, Museum of Industry, etc.
- Visiting Cosecha Aruba in Oranjestad or going further afield to San Nicolas home to colorful street murals, local art galleries, and artisan shops
- Hiking and exploring Arikok National Park which comprises almost 20% of the island
- Snorkeling the pristine water’s around Aruba including at Arashi Beach and Boca Catalina
- Trying your luck at one of Aruba’s three casinos including Stellaris Casino
Facts About Aruba
54 square miles
Dutch & Papiamento (English also widely spoken)
Unitary Parliamentary Representative Democracy under Dutch Constitutional Monarchy
Telephone Country Code:
right side of the road
Keshi Yena: a baked spicy mixture of shredded beef, chicken, or goat stuffed into Edam or Gouda cheese.
Reina Beatrix International Airport (AUA)
127v / 60Hz – plugs are US standard two and three-prong
Visa Information For Aruba
United States and Canadian visitors to Aruba must have a valid passport that doesn’t expire for at least six months after the trip. European citizens need a passport and a European Union Travel Card. A valid passport is required of all other nationalities. Keep in mind that when you arrive in Aruba, you will need a ticket for another destination or a return ticket and the ability to prove that you have enough money available for your stay.
Residents of the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and European Union nationals are allowed to stay in Aruba for as long as one month without needing a visa. Timeshare and homeowners are allowed to remain on the island for up to 180 days. You can apply for a visa was the Department of Immigration (DIMAS) or at a Dutch embassy or consulate if you plan to stay longer.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Visa For Aruba
With a valid passport and supporting documents, it typically takes anywhere from two to fifteen business days to process a visa application for Aruba. It all depends on the Aruba Embassy/Consulate processing the request.
Is It Safe In Aruba
In comparison to major American and European cities, Aruba is relatively safe, and crime is low. It is though recommended that visitors be vigilant at all times, especially when away from the major hotels and tourist areas.
How To Get To Aruba
Most visitors to Aruba arrive via the Queen Beatrix International Airport (IATA: AUA, ICAO: TNCA) located in the capital city, located in Oranjestad.
From Canada, book flights to Aruba via:
- Air Canada: Toronto–Pearson
- Sunwing Airlines: Toronto–Pearson
- WestJet: Toronto–Pearson
From the United States, book flights to Aruba via:
- American Airlines: Charlotte, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York–LaGuardia, Philadelphia (Seasonal: Chicago–O’Hare)
- Delta Air Lines: Atlanta, New York–JFK (Seasonal: Boston, Minneapolis/St. Paul)
- JetBlue: Boston, Fort Lauderdale, New York–JFK
- Southwest Airlines: Baltimore
- Spirit Airlines: Fort Lauderdale
- Sun Country Airlines: Seasonal: Minneapolis/St. Paul
- Surinam Airways: Miami
- United Airlines: Chicago–O’Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Newark (Seasonal: Washington–Dulles)
From the United Kingdom, book flights to Aruba via:
- TUI Airways: Seasonal: London–Gatwick
From Europe, book flights to Aruba via:
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: Amsterdam
- Sunclass Airlines: Seasonal charter: Stockholm–Arlanda
- TUI fly Netherlands: Amsterdam
Within the Caribbean region, book flights to Aruba via:
- Air Century: Santo Domingo–La Isabela
- Albatros Airlines: Las Piedras
- Aruba Airlines: Barranquilla, Bonaire, Curaçao, Medellin–JMC, Riohacha
- Divi Divi Air: Curaçao (Charter: Bonaire)
- EZAir: Bonaire, Curaçao
- Sky High Aviation Services: Santo Domingo–Las Américas
- Surinam Airways: Paramaribo
- Winair: Curaçao, St. Maarten
From South America region, book flights to Aruba via:
- Avianca: Bogotá
- Copa Airlines: Panama City
- Copa Airlines Colombia: Panama City
- Wingo: Bogotá
When To Go To Aruba
High Season for Aruba is January through June. With the weather warm and sunny, hotels are booked far in advance, and everything is open. The low season for visiting Aruba is October to December, which is the rainy season. Resorts are typically open during this period and offer deep discount.
Major events attracting visitors to Aruba include:
- January: Aruba Carnival
- May: Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival
- July: Aruba Hi-Winds Kitesurfing Windsurfing Tournament
- August: Aruba International Regatta
- September: Casibari Jazz Festival Aruba
- October: KLM Aruba Marathon
Weather In Aruba
Aruba’s climate is pleasant year-round; the weather is hardly ever anything but warm, sunny, dry, and breezy. Because Aruba is located outside of the hurricane belt, there is rarely the threat of a tropical storm. Every month of the year has an average high temperature ranging between 85°F (29°C) and 89°F (32°C) with average lows between 76°F (24°C) to 80°F (27°C). December through April is high season. Cruise ships are plentiful from October through April.
Getting Married In Aruba
The only requirement for a legal marriage in Aruba is a simple civil ceremony at Aruba’s Town Hall. After that, couples can have a religious or nondenominational blessing at another location.
In addition to the completed application for marriage, both the bride and groom will need their:
- birth certificates along with driver’s licenses or other forms of identification
- certificates of no impediment or single status report
Also, if applicable:
- divorce papers i.e., decree absolute and/or death certificate of spouse
- proof of parental consent if under 18, stamped and signed by a solicitor
- proof of name change by Deed Poll, stamped and signed by a solicitor
None but would recommend at least two days before the ceremony.
The ceremony fee is US$200, which includes a wedding certificate.
Two witnesses must be present at the ceremony. When applying for the marriage license, you will need to submit a copy of their birth certificates or passport or valid state ID.
With a minimum of two witnesses, couples can get married in Aruba at their venue of choice, so whether that be on the beach, at their hotel, or one of the church buildings. Non-Protestants can be married by the Protestant Church.
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