Vacation Tips

Helpful things to know when traveling to Aruba…

Travel & Driving | Financial & Customs | Communications | Healthcare | General Information | Other Sources for Information

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Travel & Driving

VISAs/Passport

Visitors who are citizens of the U.S. and Canada do not need a passport or VISA. A government issued birth certificate and a photo ID are required.

Queen Beatrix Airport

Located on the southern coast not far from Oranjestad (the capital city).

Airport/Departure Fees

When leaving the island, there is a US$23 departure tax. The tax will usually be included in your airline ticket price when flying a US-based airline, but you may wish to verify payment with your airline or travel agent.

Taxis & Other Ground Transportation

Taxis in Aruba charge flat rates according to your destination and do not use meters. Tipping is customarily 10% of your fare.

Cars, jeeps, bicycles and scooters may be rented at the airport and major hotels. In Aruba, everyone drives on the right side of the road.

Driving in Aruba

Foreign & International drivers licenses accepted. Free parking throughout the island. THERE ARE NO RIGHT TURNS ON RED LIGHTS. The following International road signs are used:

Communications

Telephones

You must dial 011-2978 plus the 5-digit telephone number to direct dial from the USA. To dial Aruba from anywhere else, dial 2978 plus the 5-digit number. To phone from Aruba to the USA, dial 001 + 3-digit area code + 7-digit phone number.

Internet Access

Setar, the government-owned telephone company, is the only ISP in Aruba. Setar now allows limited dial-up Internet access to nonresidents and visitors. Contact your resort for details and pricing.

Cellular Phones

GSM and cellular roaming service capabilities do not exist in Aruba.

Financial and Customs

Currency

The official currency in Aruba is the Aruba florin, although the US dollar is widely accepted. One florin equal 100 cents, and is approximately equivalent to 0.77 US dollars. Aruban coins come in 5, 10, 25 and 50 cent pieces, along with 1 and 2-1/2 florin pieces.

U.S. visitors do not have to exchange money in Aruba as US dollars (in denominations under $100) and major credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted virtually everywhere.

ATMs and Banks

Banking hours are Monday – Friday, 8 am to noon and 1:30 pm to 4 pm, though most bank branches remain open through the lunch hours.

Foreign ATMs are accepted only at ABN-AMRO Bank, Caribbean Mercantile Bank and Aruba Bank. The card must have either a Cirrus, Maestro, MasterCard or VISA logo. Cash is dispensed in local currency at the current exchange rate, and a service charge will apply. ATMs at other banks are for local bank clients only.

American Express – Services include personal check cashing, refunds, exchange and replacement of American Express Traveler Checks. S.E.L. Maduro & Sons, Rockefellerstr, 1, Oranjestad. Telephone: 23888. Office hours are 8 am – noon and 1 – 5 pm.
VISA/MasterCard – Services include cash advances and report of lost or stolen cards. 2 forms of ID and/or passport is required. Available at Aruba Bank, Mercantile Bank and Interbank.
Aruba Customs

Individuals over 18 years of age may bring one fifth of liquor, 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars and 250 grams of tobacco.

United States Customs

Your first $600 of purchases are tax-exempt. The next $1000 in items is subject to a flat 10% rate. Individuals over 18 years of age may include 100 cigars and 200 cigarettes in this limit, although cigarettes may be subject to state and local tax. Individuals over the age of 21 may include one litre of alcohol in their $600 limit (liquor cannot be mailed to the US).

Gifts shipped from Aruba can be received in the US duty-free so long as the value of the gift does not exceed $100 per day. Mark the package “UNSOLICITED GIFT” and indicate the contents and retail value. You do not need to declare gifts you have shipped.

For more information, you may write or call U.S. Customs at 1301 Constitution Ave. NW, Room 2131, Washington, D.C. 20229. Phone (202) 927-6724.

Healthcare

Medical Facilities

Dr. Horacio Oduber Hospital, Sasakiweg, Aruba, Telephone: 743000 – 280 bed hospital with reputable medical staff and modern facilities & equipment. Located across from Eagle Beach. Established in 1976.
Each hotel has medical doctors and dentists on call.
General Information

Clothing

For daytime, casual, informal summerwear is appropriate. In the evenings, dress up for a night at a casino, nightclub or elegant restaurant.

Time

Aruba uses Atlantic Standard/Eastern Standard time year round

Electricity

Aruba uses 110 AC current (60 cycles), the same standard used in the United States.

Drinking Water

Aruba’s water is pure, refreshing and safe to drink. It is distilled in the world’s second largest saltwater purification plant.

Tipping

Typically a 10-15% service charge is included in your bill. If the tip has not been included, a customary tip is 10-20% of your bill.

Legal Drinking/Gambling Age

The legal age for both drinking and gambling is 18 years of age, however, this law is not widely enforced.

Shopping

Duty-free shopping is available at the airport and at other duty-free shops. There are many bargains available for porcelain, perfumes, jewelry and clothing. The main shopping district is at Seaport Village, near Oranjestad. Store hours are generally 8 am to 6 pm, with a 2-hour lunch break between noon and 2 pm.

Religious Services

Visitors are welcome at all religious services in Aruba. Please ask your hotel for specific information. Aruba’s faiths include: The Anglican, Bahai’i Faith, Baptist, Catholic, Church of Christ, Dutch Reformed, Evangelical, Jewish, Jehovah’s Witness, Methodist and Seventh-Day Adventist.

Movies/Cinemas

Most movies shown in Aruba are American films. There is a 6-screen theatre at Oranjestad’s Seaport Cinema, along with a Drive In Theatre in Balashi.

Pets

Pet dogs and cats are allowed in Aruba if the owner can produce valid rabies and health certificates from a veterinarian. Pets from South and Central America are not allowed. However, most hotels do not allow pets.

Nude Beaches and Sunbathing

Public nudity of any kind is illegal and insulting to the Aruban people. But there are many small, isolated beaches along the northeast coast. However, there are no facilities of any type on these beaches and the surf may be extremely rough and dangerous. Topless sunbathing and swimming may be tolerated on some resort beaches, but not on resort grounds.

Gays and Lesbians in Aruba

The gay population in Aruba is not large enough to support gay businesses, such as bars, nightclubs, etc. However, Aruba is “gay friendly” and welcomes all lifestyles.

Getting Married in Aruba

Civil marriage in Aruba is only allowed if one of the partners is a resident of Aruba. Religious ceremonies may be arranged in Aruba if the partners are legally married within their own country and if the proper authorities in Aruba are contacted in advance.

Moving to Aruba

Non-citizens of Aruba cannot remain on the island for longer than 90 days without a residency permit. To obtain a permit, you must be able to show financial resources to support yourself (and anyone staying with you) without employment, along with other information. Contact the immigration authorities in Aruba for details.

Other Sources for Information

Aruba Tourism Authority – Aruba

L.G. Smith Boulevard 172
Oranjestad, ARUBA
Phone: (011) 297-582-3777
FAX: (011) 297-583-4702
EMail: ata.aruba@toaruba.com

Aruba Conventions Bureau – Ft. Lauderdale

1 Financial Plaza, Suite 136
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33394
Phone: (954) 767-6313
FAX: (954) 767-602