Aruba Travel Tips

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aruba travel review

Aruba, welcomes you to The Kingdom of the Netherlands… in the Caribbean! Indeed, Aruba is part of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, which are shielded away from the hurricane belt. Thus, along with Bonaire and Curacao, Aruba is a tropical paradise that is outstanding to visit all year round!

In this page you will find practical information to plan a scuba diving trip to Aruba:

Aruba Photos

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Where to stay?

While Aruba is a small island, the different regions of the islands are each unique. Of course, no matter where you’re staying you can always make it to the other side of the island quite quickly, should you want or need to!

  • Oranjestad is the capital of Aruba. It offers a unique blend of old and new.
  • Noord is the main tourist district. Most of the high rise hotels, condominiums and luxury resorts are located here in the Palm Beach area. The area also has natural attractions.
Oranjestad, Aruba

Oranjestad, Aruba by Robert Ciavarro

  • San Nicolas is best known for iconic beaches and island charm. You will find a simpler lifestyle here.
  • Santa Cruz is all about nature and culture. There is a large national park here. It is primarily a residential area, with an infrastructure that supports those that live here. Most visitors will be staying at small homes or bed and breakfast style accommodations.
  • Paradera is home to three of Aruba’s iconic landscapes which are the Hooiberg cone shaped moutain, the Casibari and Ayo rock formations. Also, there are not many hotels in this area, but you will find vacation rentals.
  • Savaneta, the Village by the Sea is a laid back area off the radar of most tourist. You will find small boutique hotels, bed and breakfast-style accommodations and a few vacation rentals.

Activities and excursions in Aruba

Aruba offers something for everyone. The Danish influence is uniquely different from that of their neighbors. Plus, being out of the hurricane zone means the reefs are not damaged by storms as it is in other areas. This leads to some of the best coral reefs in the world. It also means that the weather is great all year round.

  • Beaches: The island has white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. There are fifteen public beaches. Each can be reached by public transportation. You can also visit the coast line almost anywhere around the island.
  • Underwater activities: Snorkeling and scuba diving in Aruba are very popular.
  • Water sports: kayaking, boating and deep sea fishing are other water activities.
  • Arikok National Park
  • Aruba’s nightlife is some of the Caribbean’s best. Bars, restaurants, casinos and much more are found in most touristy places.
  • Cultural activities of many kind that will get you to discover the unique culture of this Caribbean island.
Aruba's Eagle Beach photo by Chris Ford

Aruba’s Eagle Beach photo by Chris Ford

Best time to visit Aruba

The best time to visit Aruba is literally always! Indeed, the weather is consistently warm year-round with a temperature around 82°F (28°C). Plus, Aruba is located south of the hurricane belt, so that is not a concern.

Prices vary greatly with the high season being mid-December until mid-April and the low Season of mid-April until mid-December. Over 60% of the tourist are from North America, many traveling to escape the cold.

Health and Safety

Aruba’s general hospital is Dr. Horacio Oduber hospital, located in Oranjestad. The hospital’s website provides information for international visitors. The medical facility is equipped with reputable medical staff, 280 beds and modern equipment.

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Aruba, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents do happen!). I recommend this diving insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and focus on providing scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.

Where is Aruba located in the world?

Aruba is part of the The Kingdom of the Netherlands. The other three are Netherlands, Curaçao and St Maarten. Aruba along with Bonaire and Curacao are often called the ABC Islands. These are the three western-most islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, north of Venezuela. Bonaire along with St Eustatius and Saba are jointly referred to as the Caribbean Netherlands. They are special municipalities of the Netherlands.

Let’s make it simple, Aruba is a Dutch island in the Caribbeans! The languages spoken are mostly Dutch and a creole language called Papiamento. The capital of the island is Oranjestad and, unlike in the Netherlands of Europe, the currency is the Aruban Florins.

How to get to Aruba?

The Queen Beatrix International Airport is the gateway for air transportation to Aruba. Located in the capital, Oranjestad, the airport serves on hundred cites around the world with direct flights. There is frequent nonstop service to the major United States and Canadian hubs, as well as daily flights to major hubs around the world.

Aruba airport photo by john cook

Aruba Airport by John Cook

Do I need a visa for Aruba?

Visas are not required for visits up to 90 days for the citizens of a great number of countries. You will find all the relevant information and list of countries on the visa waiver program here on the Kingdom of the Netherlands webpage.

The visa requirements for all parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean for a visit, as a tourist, are mostly the same.  Thus, requirements for Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten and for the Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba are roughly the same.

Please note…

Any traveler that comes from a Central American, Latin American or African countries with some risk of yellow fever will be required to show proof of the Yellow Fever Vaccine as from 2018. You will find all the details on the Aruba Airport website.

Getting Around

Aruba is a small island and easy to get around. Arubus is the government owned and operated public transportation system. A daily bus pass is $10 and it will get you to most places on the island. There is taxi service as well. It is highly regulated by the government.

While Aruba is a very well-known tourist destination, there are few tourist during the low season. Weather wise there is not much difference over the year.

Scuba diving

You will find all information about sea life, best time to visit, top dive spots, etc. in our review: Aruba Diving

Diving Reviews for this region

Jamaica

Jamaica is a great vacation and scuba diving destination in the Caribbean Sea!

Jamaica Diving Review

Aruba

The island of Aruba is surrounded by outstanding reefs, and has a number of wrecks.

Aruba Diving Review

Cuba

The marine protection programs in Cuba has resulted in pristine coral reefs.

Cuba Diving Review

U.S. Virgin Islands

The United States Virgin Islands – America’s Caribbean. Outstanding scuba diving in a vacation haven.

U.S. Virgin Islands Diving Review

Cayman Islands

You can dive a different dive site every day for a year!

Cayman Islands Diving Review

Bonaire

Bonaire has been voted the Best Shore Dive Destination 22 consecutive times by the readers of Scuba Diving Magazine.

Bonaire Diving Review

St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis has excellent scuba diving that is close to shore meaning short boat rides. Being a small island, dive boats can always find a sheltered dive site in poor weather.

St. Kitts and Nevis Diving Review

The Caribbean

The Caribbean is one of the most dived destinations in the world. A great destination for beginners as well as experts. With thousands of dive sites it offers something for just about everyone.

The Caribbean Diving Review

Saba

Saba offers Scuba divers site sites that are pristine and loaded with marine life.

Saba Diving Review

Turks & Caicos

The Turks & Caicos Islands provides Scuba divers with a dive experience not easily matched.

Turks & Caicos Diving Review

Saint Martin

A great selection of wrecks and reefs for divers of all skill levels.

Saint Martin Diving Review

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a lessor known dive destinations with outstanding diving from both the north and south coast. It is also the kick off point to the nearby Silver Banks.

Dominican Republic Diving Review

Bahamas

The Bahamas offer a wide range of diving sites. There are sites that are great for learning to dive and others for experienced divers. Cave divers will find many opportunities.

Bahamas Diving Review

Liveaboard Reviews in Aruba & Caribbean

Jardines Aggressor II

The Jardines Aggressor is a liveaboard o

Jardines Aggressor II Liveaboard Review

Juliet Sailing & Diving

The almost 32 meters Juliet is a schoone

Juliet Sailing & Diving Liveaboard Review

MV Shear Water

The MV Shear Water is a 20 meters liveab

MV Shear Water Liveaboard Review

MY Dolphin Dream

The 25 meters Dolphin Dream is a charter

MY Dolphin Dream Liveaboard Review

MV Avalon II

The Avalon Liveaboards vessels are well-

MV Avalon II Liveaboard Review

MV Bahamas Aggressor

There are few more luxurious dive vessel

MV Bahamas Aggressor Liveaboard Review

MV Avalon I

MV Avalon I is one of the most luxurious

MV Avalon I Liveaboard Review

Cruise ship Reviews in Aruba & Caribbean

No review found

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