Awash with Dutch colonial architecture in pastel colors, the picturesque capital city of Oranjestad is situated on the southern coast near the western end of the island. It is a wonderful place to explore on foot. The highrise and lowrise hotels are located on the western side of the island. Beautiful beaches run the length of this coast, while just inland, restaurants and malls beckon. San Nicolas to the east is nicknamed the Sunrise City. Great beaches and one-of-a-kind bars and eateries make it a must-see. Aruba’s desert-like interior, called the cunucu is an unexpected surprise.
From connectivity and transportation to medical and banking, Aruba offers an abundance of modern services.
Explore this section to discover a wealth of practical information to better plan your visit to Aruba.
Size: 70 square miles, 19.6 miles long, six miles across at its widest point.
Aruba’s highest elevation is Mount Jamanota at 617 feet.
Location: 2,090 miles from New York, 15 miles north of Venezuela.
Annual averages: temperature 82°F, rainfall 17”, water temperature 80°F.
Atlantic Standard time, one hour ahead of New York except during Daylight Savings when the time is the same.
Please respect the environment by not littering, not touching marine life or wildlife, and leaving rocks and shells in their original spaces. Also ensure souvenirs are not made from protected species like sea turtles, black coral, and the lignum vitae tree. And please reuse and refill drinking containers to help reduce the plastic trash problem.
Official languages are Dutch and the native language Papiamento, but English and Spanish are widely spoken.
Aruba’s distilled/purified seawater is very safe to drink
The same as North America, 110 volts AC (60 cycles).
Stores are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday, although some Mainstreet stores close for siesta from noon to 2 p.m. Certain stores are open Sunday mornings and on holidays when cruise ships are in port. Most malls open at 10 a.m. and stay open until at least 10 p.m.
US dollars or Aruban florins. One US dollar equals between 1.78 and 1.8 florins.
Weekdays from 8 or 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All banks remain open during lunch hours.
The US tipping custom is applicable on Aruba. Although many restaurants add a service charge of 15% to the bill, this is often shared among the service and kitchen staff as part of their salary. In this event, an additional gratuity in recognition of good service is appreciated, though not obligatory.
European rules of the road and signs are used. US and international drivers’ licenses are valid. Urban speed limit is 40 km/h, rural speed limit is 60 km/h unless otherwise indicated. No right turns on red light. In case of accident DON’T MOVE YOUR CAR! Notify the police immediately by calling 911.
There are no meters; fares are fixed and set by the government. Taxis are available for sightseeing.
Buses operate daily between Oranjestad and hotels on Palm and Eagle Beaches. Inquire at your hotel for schedules.
A new hop-on, hop-off open-air trolley is now operating in a loop along Caya G.F. Betico Croes (Mainstreet) in downtown Oranjestad. The terminus is near the cruise-ship terminal.