Aruba lies at the heart of the southern Caribbean, about 2.5 hours by air from Miami, Florida, and within easy flying distance of other U.S. cities. The island is 19.6 miles (31,5 km) long and 6 miles (9,7km) across at its widest point, with a total area of 70 square miles (112,6 km). Aruba is situated just 15 miles (24km) north of Venezuela and the South American Continent.
Our topography and vegetation are unusual for a Caribbean island. On the south and west coasts are miles of pristine white beaches that rank among the most beautiful in the world, rimmed by calm blue seas with visibility in some areas to a depth of a hundred feet. The northeast coast, along the windward shore, is rugged and wild. The interior is desert-like, with a variety of cacti and dramatic rock formations. The islandıs most famous trees are the watapana, or divi-divi trees, all permanently sculpted into graceful, southwest-bending shapes, by the constant trade winds.
Bon Bini, Welkom, Bienvenue, Willkommen, Bienvenidos, Welcome, Bemvindo
Chances are, you will be welcomed to Aruba with one of these seven expressions. They all mean the same thing, and the first three are in Papiamento, Dutch and French, respectively. Most Arubans have an aptitude for languages, as might be expected on a small island located "Where happiness lives."
The official language of Aruba is Dutch, but most Arubans are fluent in several languages, including English and Spanish. Youıll also hear the local Papiamento, a lilting, melodic language which has evolved over the centuries from an eclectic mixture of Spanish, Dutch and Portuguese with a sprinkling of Arawak Indian, English and French.
Arubaıs unique tropical location in the Southern Caribbean Sea is tempered by refreshing trade winds. Its arid and dry climate makes it an ideal year round tourist destination. Aruba is located below the hurricane belt.
The average daytime temperature is 82F (27.7 C). The difference between summer and winter temperatures, is just 3.6F (1.7C). The average rainfall is less that 20 inches (51cm) a year, occurring mainly in short showers during November and December.
There are eleven casinos on the island. A few are open 24 hours. In general, however, opening hours are 11 a.m. for slots and 1 p.m. through early morning for table games. Hours vary seasonally, so please check before making plans. Only adults over 18 are allowed in the casinos.
|ARUBA ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
AS PROOF OF IDENTITY, United States of America CITIZENS & RESIDENTS, MAY SUBMIT ONE OF THE FOLLOWING:
A valid U.S. passport.
U.S citizens born in U.S. must have an original (official state issued) birth certificate with a raised seal and updated photo I.D. (state issued, e.g. a driverıs license)
Naturalized U.S. citizens must have an original Certificate of Naturalization and an updated I.D. (state issued)
A U.S. resident (non U.S. citizen) must have a re-entry permit to the U.S. or an Alien Registration Card (green Card).
Taxis do not have meters. Rates are fixed and should be checked in advance. Most taxi drivers have participated in the governmentıs Tourism Awareness Program.
AUTHENTIC ARUBAN CUISINE
Aruba offers a variety of authentic dishes that are exotic and delicious:
Sanger Yena (Aruban sausage, known as black pudding in England) or Scavechi (marinated fried fish).
Sopi di pisca (fresh fish), bestia chiquito (mutton), giambo (okra, Aruban style bouillabaisse), mariscos (seafood) or mondongo (tripe).
Balchi pisca (fish balls), Keri Keri (grated stewed fish), Keshi Yena (filled cheese shell), Komkomber stoba (stewed Aruban cucumber), Mochi di Pisca Estilo Arubano (fish Aruban style) or Stoba di bestia chiquito (stewed lamb or goat).
Pan Bati (Aruban pancake) or Funchi (Aruban polenta).
Bolita di keeshi (deep fried cheese balls), Cala (black-eyed pea puffs), Calco (pickled or stewed conch), Croquette (meat or fish), Pastechi (filled pastries) or Suls (pickled pork).
Cocada (coconut candy), Dushi di Tamarijn (sweet & sour tamarind) Quesillo (Aruban flan), Pan Bollo (bread pudding) or Soenchi (meringue kisses).
Coecoei (Aruban Liqueur) or ponche Crema (Aruban eggnog), Pink Panther is a mixture of these two liqueurs.
Take home a touch of Aruba Coecoei and Ponche Crema are available at local supermarkets or liquor stores. Cookbooks with your hotel for the nearest bookstore, supermarket or liquor store.
DEEP-SEA FISHING: In the temperature waters around Aruba, a variety of Atlantic game fish can be caught year round. Sailfish, white and blue marlin, wahoo, amberjack, kingfish, bonito, and blackfin and yellow fin tuna are abundant.
SWIMMING: The clear, calm waters of Palm Beach, Eagle Beach, Druif Beach, Baby Beach and Rodgers Beach are safe to swim any time of day, any time of year. There are also several hidden little bays around the island, as well as the Conchi, or natural pool, near Arikok. Please ask your hotel about safety before planning to swim anywhere other than the main beach areas.
SCUBA DIVING AND SNORKELING: The waters of Aruba offer some of the best diving in the world. Go reef diving. Explore wrecks sunk during World War 2. Rodalesıs Scuba Diving Magazine has named Aruba the number #1 destination from wreck diving. Or snorkel closer to the surface and still enjoy the beauty of the coral formations and the adventure of the wreck sites.
If youıre a novice, you can take a Resort certification scuba diving course, either before your trip or after arriving on the island. If you already have your open Water Certification, Aruba is ready and waiting.
SNUBA (SNORKELING + SCUBA): A water sport that allows underwater explorers as young as 8 years old to descend to depths up to 20 feet by using the breathing apparatus of the regulator.
KAYAKING: No experience necessary to explore Aruba in this most adventurous way.
WATER SKIING AND JET SKIING: The smooth seas of the south and west coasts are perfect for both beginners and experienced skier. Jet skis are restricted to certain areas.
WINDSURFING: The constant trade winds, along with the variety of flat-water locations and challenging waves conditions, have made Aruba one of the most popular spots on earth for windsurfers. Whether youıre a beginner, an expert or anywhere in between, you can find a suitable location for your skill level.
Para-sailing, sunfish and speedboat rides are also available.
The stores of Aruba are stocked with well-priced imported merchandise- perfume, liquor, linens, jewelry, watches, cameras, designer fashions, crystal and china are among the luxury items available at excellent prices. Many stores also feature local handicrafts.
Most stores and boutiques are located in Oranjestad. There are also shops at the major hotels and at the airport. In Oranjestad, the major shopping centers are: The Atrium, Midtown Mall, Port of Call Marketplace, Royal Plaza, Seaport Marketplace, Seaport Village Mall, Aventura Mall, and Sun Plaza Mall. Other major shopping areas are Centro Commercial, in Noord, and the San Nicolas Shopping District.
Stores on the main streets are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, although most are closed for lunch between noon and 2 p.m. Shops in the malls and shopping centers are open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some stores are open on Sundays and holidays when cruise ships are in port.