Aruba , Caribbean - Wontra Travels

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Welcome to Aruba

Aruba

Aruba
Continent: Americas 
Capital: Oranjestad
Population: 103,400 (2014 estimate)
Dialing Code: +297
Currency: Aruban florin (AWG)
Time zone: AST (UTC-4)
Language: Dutch, Papiamento

 


Aruba is a tiny Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela. It is a constituent country of one  of the four countries that form the ‘Kingdom of the Netherlands’  with the other countries being Netherlands, Curacao and Sint Maarten. 


Aruba offers the best sea sand and sunshine experience you could possibly want anywhere in the world. The soft breeze and relaxed environment will undoubtedly soothe any visitor. European influence is evident and predominant in its architecture, language and way of life.


It is located west of the Lesser Antilles and North of Venezuela and its first inhabitants originally migrated from Venezuela and the land is home to lots of soothing Aloe Vera plant and its waters are are filled with colorful creatures such as the Parrotfish and Flamingoes.
Aruba's capital, Oranjestad, also dazzles: orange facades brightly array the architecture, indicating the island's historical ties with The Netherlands - Aruba's head of state is still the Dutch ruling monarch.

Information & Facts

Attraction Overview

From Honeymooners to singles, from individuals to families, Aruba welcomes everyone to its shores. The beaches are the obvious choice but if you plan on doing something different than lying down on the beach all day, youll have to get yourself ready to explore this magical island. Water lovers can sign up for Scuba diving lessons, get some snorkeling fun or get on a submarine for a peek into Aruba’s underwater world.  Seafishing tours and kayaking facilities are also available.


Popular tourist spots such as the Alto Vista Chapel, the oldest chapel on the island which dates back to 1750 and the Antilla(the largest wreck in the south caribbean) can be explored.
For breathtaking views, a visit to the Carlifornia Lighthouse or Fort Zoutman and King Willem III tower  is a must. Nature lovers can also have fun at the Arikok National park. This enourmous park covers almost one-fifth of the Aruba’s total landmass and is famous for its flamingos.


Shoppers will immediately fall in love with Oranjestad and its buildings. Merchants lining the streets sell local handcraft of Aruba art. There are also lots of shopping malls to buy jewellery, leather goods and designer fashion. The annual Aruba Carnival kicks off in January and features an awesome party and nightlife experience. Other points of interest include : Seroe Colorado, The Old Mill and Plaza Daniel Leo

Business

Aruba’s economy was formerly based on gold mining, now it focuses more on its oil refining  capabilities and a budding tourism sector. Other rapidly developing sectors include finance and data processing industries. The country’s free port status, ship bunkering and repair facilities are its other sources of revenue.  Doing business is easy and meetings are usually held during office hours.


Its main exports are animals, animal products, arts and collectibles, machinery and electrical equipment and Aruba has one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean region.

Climate

Aruba has a tropical semi-arid climate meaning the island is mostly sunny and cool with short showers occurring during the months of October to December.


Visitors are advised to pack light clothing. Sweaters are useful for air conditioned hotels and restaurants

Communications

Telecommunication providers are available in the form of Setar, Mio wireless and Digicel.  Setar a government owned company also provides internet services, GSM wireless technology and landlines. Other telecomm providers offer wireless services. 

Customs

Much of the social activity takes place in hotels, where the atmosphere will be informal. The islanders do not wear shorts in town, although it is acceptable for visitors to do so.  Bathing suits are strictly for poolsides.
82% of the population is Roman Catholic. There are also Protestant, Hindu, Muslim, Confucian and Jewish communities present

Duty Free

The following items may be imported into Aruba without incurring customs duty:

• 200 cigarettes or 50 cigarillos or 25 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 1L of spirits or 2.25L of wine or 3L of beer.
• Gifts to the value of AWG400.

Banned imports:
Prohibited imports include unauthorised firearms and ammunition, and narcotics.

Restricted goods which require an import licence include plants, animals, meat and meat products, and medicines.

Banned exports:
Unauthorised firearms and ammunition, and narcotics.

Electricity

Electricity: Aruba has the same voltage standard as in North America (110 volts AC). Therefore, European appliances (that use 220 volts) generally cannot be used in Aruba (unless you have a converter).

Getting Around

Aruba has good road networks allowing access to most places. Several car rental companies are present at the airport. Taxis are also widely available but they do not have meters as the rates are fixed bby the government. It is also possible to hire scooters, motorbikes and bicycles. Ferries depart daily to De Pam Island form the mainland

Health

The island has excellent medical facilities and capable doctors on call. Tap water is considered safe to drink. Full medical insurance is advised for visitors.

Language

The official language is Dutch. English and Spanish are also spoken. The islanders also speak Papiamento, which is a combination of Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, English and Indian languages.

Money

 The official currency is the Aruban Florin (AWG; symbol ƒ) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of ƒ500, 100, 50, 25 and 10. Major credit cards are widely accepted by many shops and hotels. They can also be used in ATMs if the card bears CIRRUS or Plus System logos. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars or Euros.

Passport Visa

Visitors to Aruba require a passport valid for the duration of stay. Cruise ship passengers of any nationality do not require a visa for stops of up to 24 hours in Aruba. The Caribbean visa is a multiple-entry visa. Visa holders may visit any of the countries included under the scheme for a maximum of 90 days within one year. Each continuous period in any one country may not exceed 30 days.

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