Aruba is a self-governed state located on the same name island. It is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Aruba is situated in the south part of the Caribbean Sea. The capital city is Oranjestad.
Aruba is the smallest island country among all the Lesser Antilles. The climate here is tropical and dry. The average annual temperature is +28℃. In October and November brief rain showers occur. Any season is good for traveling to Aruba but the best time is February.
The official languages are Dutch and Papiamento. The majority of the population are the Catholics (80.8%) and almost 8% are the Protestants.
The most popular beaches in Aruba are Arashi beach, Hadikurari beach, Baby beach, Palm Eagle beach, Bukuti beach and Druif beach. Arashi and Hadikurari are the best places for snorkeling. And Bukuti beach and Druif beach are just the best beaches in the Caribbean and in the world. On the northeast, there are some nude beaches.
A diverse underwater world attracts many divers to the island. Any lover of scuba diving dreams of coming to Aruba. Those who do not have a permit for an independent diving, can have a submarine tour. Due to strong winds, the island is a good place for kitesurfing and windsurfing.
Throughout the year, Aruba holds many festivals. In September, there takes place a famous festival of electronic music Electric, in October is a Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival. Mini-festivals BonBini are held every week and devoted to the local cuisine, music and dances. All the foodies will have fun and enjoy good food on a large food festival Battle of the Food Trucks.
The citizens of CIS countries have to take a transit flight to come to Aruba as there are no direct flights between these countries. There are regular flights from London, Amsterdam and the Spanish city Valencia. All the flights arrive at the airport of the capital city of Aruba. There are very many flights to Aruba from the USA. Such a transit flight may be the optimal way for the European tourists to get to Aruba.
The tourists can get to Aruba by one of the cruise ships which regularly arrive at the port of the island. This is convenient for those travelers who want to combine transfer with their holidays and who have a lot of free time. The lovers of sea trips can get to Aruba by their own or rented yacht.
The citizens of the EU can travel to this country and stay there within 90 days visa-free. However, the travelers from CIS countries must obtain a visa in the Embassy of the Netherlands or a visa center. A visa allows the travelers stay in the country for 30 days. A visa-free transit is allowed provided that the tourists will not stay on the island over 24 hours. If the transit stay is over 24 hours, the tourists must obtain a visa beforehand.
You can submit the documents for a visa personally, with a trusted person or make a use of the travel agency service. The documents are normally processed within 2-5 working days.
You can import and export foreign and national currency without any restrictions. If the total cost of imported goods is over 500 florins (AWG), you must fill in the declaration form and pay additional fee.
The tourists can import in Aruba duty-free the following goods:
- a small amount of alcohol and tobacco;
- perfume in any amount;
- personal belongings the total cost of which does not exceed 100 florins.
It is prohibited to import in Aruba leather products from Haiti.
The import of art objects, valuable items and artifacts found on the sea bottom in some other country is allowed only if you have a special permit.
If the tourists want to bring from Aruba art objects and valuable items found on the sea bottom, they will need to obtain a permit.
There are almost no authentic Indian dishes in the cuisine of Aruba. On the island, you will be offered European dishes but with a local twist. Clearly, the staple food on the island is seafood. A special oil and greens seasoning is typical for many dishes here.
We recommend trying a meat loaf Ajax and a goat or lamb stew Stob.
Chicken is the main ingredient for a hot dish Keshi yena and citrus-marinated chicken.
The soups are usually cooked with chicken or fish. The local chefs are very proud of their fish soup Zuppa di Pesce.
The foodies can treat themselves to salmon and trout balls Banco di Pesce, traditional shrimps with greens in coconut milk, squid, shrimp kebab and grilled shark steaks.
The local desserts will satisfy those who have a sweet tooth. The tourists should try traditional black fruit cake Bolo Preto, coconut pie, prune pie, caramel flan Kesio and various puddings.
The official currency is Aruban Florin (AWG) which equal to 100 cents. The Central Bank of Aruba issues the bank notes from 10 to 500 florins and 1, 2 and 5 florins coins and coins from 5 to 50 cents. The US dollars are accepted everywhere in the country.
Aruban florin is a non-convertible currency and it cannot be exchanged beyond the territory of Aruba. When your travel comes to an end, spend all the national money in Aruba.
You can exchange currency at banks, in exchange offices, and hotels. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere so you do not really need to have cash. You can cash traveler’s checks at banks, in many stores and hotels.
ATMs are almost everywhere in Aruba.
Details of interest
Sightseeing in Aruba
First of all, Aruba is amazing sandy beaches. But they are not the only sight in the country. The tourists can see architectural and natural sights on the island.
- The museum in the capital city Oranjestad can be described as archaeological, numismatic, geological and historical museum. Despite its miniature size, the island can boast of its rich cultural heritage.
- On the territory of the Arikok National Park, there are many different sights which can be of a great touristic interest. If you like hiking, you will enjoy your trip in the Arikok and Hamanota mountains. In the Fontein cave, you will have a chance to see the petroglyphs. The lovers of historical and architectural monuments should visit the abandoned gold mine in Miralamar and a complex of buildings in an old Dutch plantation in the Prince Valley.
- The complex of Quadriki caves. The chambers illuminated by the sunlight streaming through holes in the roof of the cave making a surrealistic play of light and shadow.
- The Huliba cave is nicknamed the Tunnel of Love because the entrance to the cave is heart-shaped.
- The California Lighthouse. The old lighthouse built in the 18th century and it is located in one of the most remote and isolated parts of the island. Old buildings, rocks, sand and coral reefs make a truly unique and amazing atmosphere.
- Ajo Rock is the area of cliffs and canyons which is not typical for the island. On the huge stones, one can see ancient petroglyphs.
- Charlie’s Bar in the city of San Nicolas is a legendary place known since the 40s of the last century.
- A Catholic church Lourdes Grotto carved out of rock on the Seroe Preto hill near San Nicolas.
Souvenirs in Aruba
In Aruba, the tourists usually buy:
- pictures and sculptures by the local artists;
- Dutch lace;
- Cuban cigars;
- cheap but good precious stones such as topaz, diamond and emerald.