Information & Facts
Oranjestad is the main business centre in Aruba and the focus
for the island's growing international financial services. English
is considered to be the language of business. Meetings are
generally held in formal settings such as offices or conference
centres; smoking and chewing gum are not acceptable. Handshaking is
customary for introductions between both men and women; female
business associates should be treated with as much respect as men
and often hold high positions in companies. Punctuality for
meetings is required. Business hours are 9am to 5pm.
With an average temperature of 82°F (28°C) Aruba is kept
relatively cool by the constant trade winds. The peak tourist
season is between mid-December and mid-April, and if you can visit
outside this period you can expect room rates to be almost halved.
Rainfall is infrequent, but likely to occur between October and
January, if at all.
The international access code for Aruba is +297. The outgoing
code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 001 for the
United States). City codes are not required. International, direct
and operator-assisted calls are possible worldwide. A GSM network
covers the island. Cellular phones are available for rental and
Internet cafes are widely available in tourist areas.
Travellers to Aruba over the age of 18 do not need to pay
customs duty on 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars; 1 litre alcohol and
gift articles to the value of f100. If goods per person exceed f500
in value this should be declared on customs forms for clearance at
the freight department.
Electric current in Aruba is 127 volts, 60Hz. Flat
two- and three-pin plugs are standard. The Schuko plug and
receptacle with side grounding contacts is also used.
To explore the interior or northern windward part of the island,
it is necessary to hire a car. There is a useful, frequent bus
service between Malmok, on the northwest of the island through
Oranjestad, the resort strip, past the airport and on to San
Nicolas in the Southeast. Local buses can be found in Oranjestad's
bus station alongside Royal Plaza. Taxis are freely available and
can be hired at hotels and tourist spots. Establish the fare
beforehand as taxis are unmetered, but rates are regulated by the
government on a zone system.
There are no special health requirements for visitors to Aruba,
but travellers coming from yellow fever infected countries in
Africa or the Americas, aged over six months, need an immunisation
certificate. Aruba has experienced occasional outbreaks of dengue
fever, a flu-like illness transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes that
favour densely populated areas, therefore the use of insect
repellent is advised. Visitors are warned that some types of fish,
including some tropical reef fish, are poisonous when eaten, even
cooked. Medical care is good in Aruba, which has one hospital, the
Dr. H.E. Oduber Hospital, with three classes of service for
patients depending on the level of their insurance. Health
insurance is recommended. Food and water are considered safe.
The official language in Aruba is Dutch but English and
Spanish are taught in school and are also widely spoken. Some
French is also understood. Most islanders also speak the native
The official currency is the Aruban Florin (AWG), which is
divided into 100 cents. The Florin is tied to the US Dollar. US
currency is accepted everywhere and other major currencies can be
exchanged at banks. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted and
there are ATMs in Oranjestad. Travellers cheques are also widely
accepted and it is best to have cheques in US dollars or Euros to
avoid additional charges.
All passports must be valid for period of intended stay.
Visitors must hold sufficient funds, onward or return tickets and
all documents for next destination. As part of the Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travellers travelling
between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the
Caribbean region are required to present a passport or other valid
travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. If
departing from the USA a valid passport will be required by
Crime is not a major problem in Aruba and most visits are
trouble-free, however visitors are still advised to take
common-sense precautions, locking valuables in the hotel safe and
taking care when walking home at night.
Local time in Aruba is GMT -4.
A 10 or 15% tip is usually added to restaurant, bar and room
service bills in Aruba, otherwise a tip should be extended, usually
10-20% depending on the service. There is an 11% room tax on hotel
bills. Taxis should be tipped around 15% and porters expect a tip
of US$1 per bag.