ABOUT ARUBA

Some of the best beaches in the world!
Outside the hurricane belt to protect your vacation!


Virtually guaranteed weather, year round. Aruba is located only 12.5 degrees north of the equator ensuring an average temperature of 28 Celsius/82 Fahrenheit with very little variation.
Go to the beach in the winter or cool down from scorching heat in other places in the summer and enjoy 'one cool summer' on Aruba. 
Our tradewinds helps keep you cool. You can plan a beach day anytime!

Activities? We have it all!
There is always something to do on Aruba.

In the warm waters of the southern Caribbean, Aruba gets more repeat visitors than other Caribbean island because of its weather and friendly people.

Only 19.6 miles long and six miles wide, yet so much variation in what to see and do.

To the south and west, Aruba is alive with resorts, shopping, and nightlife. To the north, waves and wind sculpt rugged coastlines and limestone cliffs. In our heart is our Arikok National Park with desert sand, towering cacti, and natural wonders.

Currency

The official currency of Aruba is the Aruban florin which is denoted by the letters 'Awg.' but also widely known as 'Afl.' However, the US dollar is also accepted virtually anywhere. There is no need to exchange currency. Major credit cards are accepted at most establishments (valid ID is required) while personal checks are not accepted. The Aruban florin is divided into 100 cents and there are coins of 5, 10, 25, 50 cents, 1 florin (100 cents) as well as the 5-florin coin. The square shaped 50 cent "yotin" coin is probably Aruba's best-known coin from which many souvenirs are made while the coin itself makes a unique gift for coin collectors. Banknotes are issued in denominations of 10, 25, 50, 100, and 200 florins. is the Aruban florin which is denoted by the letters 'Awg.' but also widely known as 'Afl.' However the US dollar is also widely accepted. Traveler's checks are widely accepted and there is normally no charge for using them in hotels, restaurants and stores. Major credit cards are accepted at most establishments (valid ID is required) while personal checks ar not accepted. The Aruban florin is divided into 100 cents and there are coins of 5, 10, 25, 50 cents, 1 florin (100 cents) as well as the 5 florin coin. The square shaped 50 cent "yotin" coin is probably Aruba's best-known coin from which many souvenirs are made while the coin itself makes a unique gift for coin collectors. Banknotes are issued in denominations of 10, 25, 50, 100, and 200 florins.

 

Banks

Should you need banking services when you arrive, you'll find a bank at the airport. The bank is generally open seven days a week: Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4 pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. There are also four banks with several branches at other convenient locations.

  • RBC Royal Bank (Aruba) located at Italiestraat 36. Telephone +297 523 3100

  • Aruba Bank NV located at Camacuri 12. Telephone +297 527 7777

  • Banco di Caribe NV located at Vondellaan 31. Telephone +297 523 2000

  • Caribbean Mercantile Bank NV located at Caya GF Betico Croes 53. Telephone +297 582 3118

  • CIBC First Caribbean International Bank located at Caya Frans Figaroa Tanki Flip 14 A. Telephone +297 522 5600

Banking hours

Weekdays from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Some banks close during lunchtime (12:00 - 1:30 p.m.) and some are open longer on Fridays (until 5 or 6 p.m.)

 

Languages

In Aruba, the people speak, write and read English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento fluently. Many also speak French and German.  Papiamento, is a lyrical language that evolved from these languages, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, some French, English, and a smattering of African languages. It was developed during the 16th century in the neighbouring island of Curacao to enable African slaves to communicate with their owners. In addition to their own language, Portuguese and Spanish missionaries, Dutch merchants, South American traders and Indians added additional words.

Dutch is the official language of Aruba due to the fact that Aruba was a Dutch colony. All documents and government papers are in Dutch and lessons at school are also given in Dutch. Papiamento is the mother tongue, spoken on the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao). Most of the inhabitants speak Papiamento at home or on the streets with friends.

 

The Aruban People

Arubans are people of eye-catching appearance and are known for their warm and friendly personality. In fact, the earliest inhabitants of the island were a peace-loving tribe, the Arawak Indians who were mainly farmers and fishermen. The sincerity of a warm smile and the friendly aspect of our people have not been lost on the island's guests, with many visitors remarking that it is the people that continue to bring them back to the island year after year. With so many divergent influences on our island, Aruba still retains its value, as reflected in the openness of its people.

The modern Aruban is generally of mixed ancestry, claiming Caquetio Indian, African, and European roots. Aruba’s excellent living conditions, fabulous weather, and high level of safety continue to attract individuals representing more than 90 different nationalities from all over the world, who all live and work peacefully on Aruba.

Our population of over 110,000 inhabitants is made up of a broad international mixture of well-educated people with a pleasant nature and a zest for hospitality.

The people of Aruba are naturally welcoming and always ready to lend a helping hand. While exploring the island, don’t hesitate to have a chat with some of the Aruba natives. They can provide you with tips of-must see places on the island, or even suggest their favorite authentic Aruban restaurant. Experience Aruba through the eyes of a local!

Go with the flow

From the moment your plane lands till the moment you leave, you have to adapt to the Aruban lifestyle. The mindset in Aruba is different than in the USA, for example. Everything moves at a slightly slower pace. People worry less (one happy island), and think that everything will be alright. There is no need to rush. Just let it all go and enjoy your vacation.

 

HISTORY

Aruba’s first inhabitants were the Caquetio Indians from the Arawak tribe, who migrated there from Venezuela to escape attacks by the Caribs.

Fragments of the earliest known Indian settlements date back to about 1000 A.D., pottery remnants can still be seen at the Museum of Archaeology.

The ancient painted symbols are still visible on limestone caves found at Fontein Cave, Ayo Rock Formation, Guadirikiri Cave, Huliba Cave also known as the Tunnel Of Love (A somewhat dubious folk tale relates to a daughter of an Indian chief who fell in love and was imprisoned in the cave as her paramour was not acceptable to her father. Her beloved one was imprisoned nearby, in Huliba Cave or Tunnel of Love, but both lovers managed to meet underground. Both reportedly died in the cave and their spirit vanished into heaven through the holes in the roof of the cave).

 

The Caquetios remained more tied to South America than the Caribbean due to Aruba's mostly distant location from other Caribbean islands and strong currents in the sea which made canoe travel to the other islands difficult.

 

In 1636, Aruba was acquired by the Netherlands and remained under their control for nearly two centuries.

In 1796, the town that was later named Oranjestad, was founded and became the island's capital.

 

During the Napoleonic wars, the British Empire took control over the island, between 1799 and 1802, and between 1804 and 1816, before handing it back to the Dutch.

A 19th-century gold rush was followed by prosperity brought on by first the opening of a crude oil transhipment facility in 1924 and then in 1928 with the opening of an oil refinery. This was the Lago Oil and Transport Company a 100% owned subsidiary of Standard Oil of New Jersey. The Lago refinery was located on the east end of the island and on the west end Royal Dutch Shell had a small refinery, the Eagle Refinery which closed soon after World War II. The last decades of the 20th century saw a boom in the tourism industry, which became Aruba's primary industry when the refinery closed in 1985.

 

In 1986, Aruba seceded from the Netherlands Antilles and became a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, under the Dutch crown. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's prerogative in 1990.

 

SAFETY & SECURITY

If you are considering a trip to Aruba, you are probably concerned about safety. You know traveling abroad can have its risks and you feel like you need to be informed before booking the vacation.

 

Is Aruba safe in 2019?

Yes, generally Aruba is a safe place for vacation. As of January 2019, the US State Department has issued Aruba a level 1 travel advisory, which is the safest rating the US State Department issues.

 

Most visits to Aruba are trouble-free. The main tourist areas are generally safe, but you should take sensible precautions:

Travelers should use common sense when traveling to Aruba, as they always should when traveling internationally.

Avoid remote areas at night.

  • Leave your valuables in a locker or safe place before you go to the beach.

  • Pay extra attention to your surroundings at bars and nightclubs. 

  • Another tip is to always bring a friend or family member when exploring nightlife in the Caribbean.

  • Make sure purses and handbags are closed and don’t leave it inattentive.

  • Don’t go with a stranger, call a taxi if you have to.

  •  When taking a taxi, always check that it is a registered one and negotiate the price before taking the ride. Most taxis do not have meters.

  • When you are driving, drive careful when it’s raining. Main road conditions are relatively good, but roads can become slippery when wet.

  • Aruba is historical hurricane-free, Aruba lies on the southern fringes of the hurricane belt, and locals likes to boast that only six hurricanes have passed within 62 miles of this Dutch island over the past 140 years (the last two were Janet in 1955 and Ivan in 2004, while the tail of Matthew whipped the island's beaches in 2016). That means with no direct hits, the odds are in your favor that you can head worry-free to this welcoming island with its popular Palm Beach and Eagle Beach resort areas, casinos and water sports.

 

DRINKING WATER

Aruba's tap water is pure and refreshing, meeting the highest standards of quality of the World Health Organization. Aruba’s water is safe and delicious to drink, just bring enough refillable bottles. Since Aruba does not have any significant natural sources of fresh water, the water is distilled in a saltwater desalination plant. The plant is referred to as W.E.B., which is an acronym for the dutch Water- en Energiebedrijf (Water and Energy Company). There are many requests to tour the plant. To arrange a tour please call WEB at +297 582 4700.

 

TAXES

Take advantage of ample duty-free shopping while in Aruba for the best deals on everything from perfume to liquor.

*The airport tax (Passenger Facility Charge, or PFC) is $52.50 for flights to the U.S. and $47.25 for all non-U.S. flights, and the transfer charge is $3. For North American flights and most Latin American flights, the PFC is included in the airline ticket. Local airlines charge at the counter at the airport.

Restaurants and bars sometimes add a 15% Service Charge to your bill plus a "turnover tax" which is 6%. If they don't add the Service Charge, there will be a large stamp (might be in red) on your bill announcing "NO SERVICE CHARGE ADDED" plus might tell you. Hotels and condominium have different taxes, and this is where you need to read the fine print for each hotel and each condominium. If looking at a timeshare, there are different taxes and again read the fine print. Of course all of this changes and we attempted to be accurate when this was first published.

 

 

TIPPING

In Aruba it’s not mandatory to tip, but it’s your choice if you do so. However, some restaurants and bars add service charge to your bill. If you really like the service, you can still tip, of course. Tipping is customary.

 

SERVICE CHARGES ON ARUBA AND OTHER CHARGES

​Many, but not all, restaurants add a service charge (usually 15%) to your bill. The majority of this money is distributed among all restaurant employees, so your waiter will receive only a portion of this. If you feel your waiter or waitress has earned it, leave something extra.

 

If no service charge is automatically added, tip 15%-20% depending on the service.

Just be sure to read your bill carefully to see if the 15% was added or not. A lot of restaurants will even print "Service charge not included" on their menus if they don't add it.

 

There are several taxes and service charges to keep in mind when planning your budget. Most of them show up at the end of your vacation but planning for them ahead of time will help as you manage your Aruba budget. Hotel rooms and other accommodations have a series of taxes and fees that vary according to the size of the units, price, etc. Most hotels collect about 27% for taxes and service. Some resorts may charge an energy surcharge or resort fee. To be sure what you will be paying, contact the front desk of the hotel in which you stay, because you'll want to know what price will show up on your final bill. Porters and maids should be tipped per day respectively.

Taxi drivers are also tipped at approximately 15 percent.

Make sure you earmark $36 for Aruba's airport departure tax. It is most often included in ticket prices, but it is best to contact your airline to be sure that it has been or to plan for how it will be paid.

 

AIRPORT INFO

Queen Beatrix International Airport is an international airport, located in Oranjestad, Aruba. It has flight services to the United States, Trinidad and Tobago, most countries in the Caribbean, the northern coastal countries of South America, Canada, and some parts of Europe, notably the Netherlands. It is named after Princess Beatrix, the former queen of the Netherlands.

For your flight info or more information you can always go on: www.airportaruba.com

 

CUSTOMS

It is advised that passengers arrive at the airport three hours prior to departure to ensure enough time to check-in with your airline and clear customs. Weekends are the busiest and you can save time by departing during a weekday.

You will clear U.S. Customs in Aruba, not the United States. As an added convenience for passengers to the United States and/or Puerto Rico, Aruba has an agreement with the United States government to provide the services of the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP). When passengers clear these procedures in Aruba, passengers are not required to clear them again at their final destination in the U.S.

 

1. Check-in with your airline in the U.S. Airline Terminal. Have your passport ready to show the Airline Agent. It is not necessary to show the Agent your airline ticket/E-Ticket – the Ticket Agent only needs to see your passport to check you in. After the ticket agent confirms your reservation and seat assignment, you receive your Boarding Pass and “U.S. Customs Form” (one form per family). The Agent will take your luggage and put them on a conveyer belt. Note: This is NOT the last time you will see your luggage (see #7).

2. Proceed outside to the Departure Building (left when facing the Departure Terminal).

3. Outside the Departure Terminal, an Aruban Inspector will check your boarding pass and passport.

4. Inside the Departure Building, proceed to the booth where you clear Aruban Immigration. The Agent will check your passport and boarding pass. Here you will turn in the stub of your Tourist Card that you received upon arrival.

5. Proceed to Aruba’s X-ray security.

6. Pass through an area of Duty-Free shops and food eateries. As there are tables and chairs in this area, you may want to fill out the “U.S. Customs Form” here.

7. Enter the “Baggage Claim Area”. Retrieve the luggage that you checked at the Airline Ticket Counter. There are free luggage carts in this area. Note: The “U.S. Customs Form” must be filled out BEFORE you leave the Baggage Claim area.

8. With luggage, proceed to the next room to the U.S. Immigration and Customs booth. The U.S. Agent will check your passport and boarding pass and take the “U.S. Customs Form”.

9. In the next room, place your luggage on the conveyer belt. You may/or may not have your luggage inspected. At this point, you will not see your luggage again until you arrive in the U.S.

10. Next area is U.S. X-ray security.

11. Take the escalator/elevator upstairs to the gate departure area.

 

BUYING REAL ESTATE ON ARUBA

Non-residents 

All non-residents can buy land or a house in Aruba, following the same process as Aruban residents.

Most of the land on Aruba is “Erfpacht” or “leased land”. This is because the government is not permitted to “sell” land, so any land that has been in the hands of the Government (probably about 85% if the land) cannot be ‘sold’. They are permitted to “sell” leases! So the land generally starts off with a ”Long-lease” where you may a nominal yearly fee equal to a few hundred dollars. After the 60 years the lease period will automatically be extended with another 60 years. When the lease period is extended, it is possible that the yearly fee will increase but it is generally nominal.

 

Although this sounds strange, most find this safer than land in other countries, since Aruba has no “Eminent Domain”. In other words, they can not take your land away! 

 

The long-lease fee is collected yearly and will determine by the Directorate of Land Administration.

 

Property taxes are quite low, so the cost to own a home on Aruba tends to be much lower than living in most other civilized countries.

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Most of the houses situated in Arashi, Malmok, Tierra del Sol, Topaz, Safir, Esmeralda, Ruby, Opal, Salinja Cerca and Palm Beach are built on lease land. Many non-residents have bought there and will keep buying in those areas, although the homes are built on lease land. This has to do with the locations. These areas are close to the spas, golf course, tennis courts and shopping malls. Another huge advantage is the distance to the ocean.

Buying a house in Aruba, means you have to pay land tax. This land tax is usually based on the selling price and is paid each year. 

0.0% for properties with a value of AWG 120,000 or less

0.2% for properties with a value between AWG 120,000 and AWG 250,000

0.3% for properties with a value between AWG 250,000 and AWG 500,000

0.4% for properties with a value between AWG 500,000 and AWG 750,000

0.6% for properties with a value of AWG 750,000

 

Closing Costs 
When you are considering buying a house in Aruba, it also means that there are additional costs involved besides the purchase price. These additional costs - the closing costs - are approximately 5 to 8 percent depending on the selling price.

The closing costs are calculated as follows (one-time payments):

 

Transfer tax
approximately 3 percent when the selling price is < AWG 250,000 
approximately 6 percent when the selling price is > AWG 250,000 
notary fees transfer deed: approximately 1 percent of selling price 
notary fees mortgage deed: approximately 1 percent of selling price

Of course, all of this is subject to changes.

 

Buying Process

Absolute Real Estate works with a preliminary Sale/Purchase Agreement, signed by the owner of the property. This agreement contains the basic terms and conditions applicable for the sale/purchase of the property.

The Seller is committed to sell the property to you after signing this agreement! 
A security deposit of 10 percent of the Sale and Purchase agreement will be required in most cases. The Security Deposit amount should be transferred to the Notary of your choice; we can assist you if needed.

  • The notary may typically require the following documentation to process the sale/purchase agreements:

  • Copy of a valid identification card.

  • Information of sale form and personal data form filled in (provided by the notary)

  • Copy of the security deposit slip.

  • Notary process may take maximum 6 - 8 weeks; the charges vary depending on complexity of the transaction.

 

You will be contacted by the notary or your broker for an appointment to sign the deed and make final payments prior to the appointment date. 
It is recommended that your financing is in place by the time that the official Deeds of Sale/Purchase and Transfer of Property are signed at the notary office. 

 

If you have any further questions regarding buying a home, please do not hesitate to call us for free advice at (297) 586-4290, USA toll free: 1-866-978-4871 or e-mail us at info@arubavillarentals.com

TRANSPORTATION

There are several ways to get around on the island. The most convenient way is by car, but you can find other ways to get from point A to point B.

Car rental
renting a car is the safest and easiest way to get around on the island. There are dozens of car rentals with good quality cars. Give us a call at 586-4289 and we will gladly help you renting a car.

Bike rental
renting a bike is a bit more dangerous. Since there are no biking lanes, it is harder to get around. You have to ride on the same road as cars do, which can be tricky sometimes. Lots of roads in Aruba are sandy, off-road looking roads. Biking here can be tough. Something else to keep in mind is that stray dogs might show up at night.

 

If you still like biking, what you should consider is renting a mountain bike and go for a mountain biking trip!

 

Taxi
Another way to get around is to call a taxi. In Aruba, it’s not usual to hail a cab off the street. There are lots of different cabs you can call, and they are all familiar with the places you want to go to.

The prices are always fixed. You pay for the cab, not the amount of people.

 

Buses

There is an inexpensive and reliable daily bus service between all the districts and the hotel areas. For the bus schedule we refer to our enclosure.

 

CAR RENTALS AND REQUIREMENTS

If you haven’t already rented a jeep or a car, you may wish to consider renting one.

Although many visitors initially think that Aruba is only a “small island” and that a car is an exaggerated luxury, most of the time they’ve changed their mind within a few days. In fact, having a car on Aruba (depending on where you stay) is almost a must if you would like to see most of Aruba. We’ve made a selection of companies that offer rental services. These companies normally offer good vehicles against reasonable prices. With many of them we have special arrangements. Don’t hesitate to call our office if you wish to reserve a car, we even might be able to arrange a discount price.

If you are adventurous and want to explore more of what Aruba has to offer, it’s a good idea to rent a four-wheel drive Jeep. There are great sites to see but the roads to get there are often rugged and not suitable for a car. Make sure that your spare tire is full of air before heading out into the rough rugged terrain. Also, things like a 2/3 bottle of frozen water, sunscreen, a hat etc. If you want air conditioning and plan to stay on the main paved roads, there are many types of cars to choose from.

 

You can rent your vehicle at the airport or you can call and ask to be picked up at your villa. Aruba Villa Rentals has also arranged for one or more car rental companies to drive you or with you to our office so that you feel comfortable.

  • Arubans drive on the right-hand side of the road.

  • The minimum age of 21-25 and the maximum of 65-70 vary slightly by company

  • Unlimited mileage; rates may change without notice.

  • Most of the time a deposit of US $500 or open signed credit card is required to rent a jeep or a car.

  • Towing service available

  • Pick Up service available, with some exceptions

  • Insurance recommend but does not cover if the driver is intoxicated in a car accident.

  • No texting and driving

  • No drinking and driving

 

Constitutional Form

Aruba has a constitutional monarchy (as part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands) with a parliamentary democracy. The governor of Aruba is appointed by the monarch and has a symbolic role. The 21 members of the parliament (legislative branch) are elected by direct popular vote for a four-year period. The 8 members of the council of ministers (executive branch) are appointed by the parliament. The judges in the judicial branch are appointed by the monarch.

 

Area

Aruba is 6 miles across and 19.6 miles long with a total area of 77 Square miles (180 Square kilometers).

Geographical Position

Aruba is part of the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea, and lies about 12 degrees north of the equator, approximately 29km (18 miles) off the Paraguaná Peninsula of Venezuela.

 

Time Zone

(GMT – 04:00 Georgetown, La Paz, Manaus, San Juan) During the months between the Spring Daylight Savings Time change to the Fall Daylight Savings Time change, we are the same time as EST. During the other months, we are one hour ahead of EST.

 

Capital: Oranjestad

Population: 104,822 (2016)

Life expectancy: 75.57 (2015)

Literacy rate: 97.5 % ( 2015 est.)

Temperature: Average of 82°F (27°C)

Rainfall: Average of 15.7 inches (400mm) per year

Language: Papiamento (official), Dutch, English, Spanish

Airport: International Airport Queen Beatrix

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Economic Activities

Tourism, petroleum bunkering, hospitality, and financial and business services are the mainstays of the small open Aruban economy.Tourism accounts for majority of economic activity. As of 2014, over 1.7 million tourists visited Aruba annually, with the large majority of those from the US.

Currency

Aruban Florin (AWG) and US$ is widely accepted.

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Exchange Rate

AWG 1.78 = US$ 1.00 (Please check current rates).

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Major Airlines

American Airlines, US Airways, Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, Air Canada, Air Transet, Skyservice, Spirit Airlines EUROPE

 KLM, ArkeFly, Thomson Holidays CARIBBEAN

Aruba Airlines, Insel Air, LATIN AMERICA

Avianca, Venezolana, SAM Aires, Avior, Aserca, Aires, Copa Airlines, SLM, Varig, PAWA Domincana

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Major Sea Ports

Cruise Port

Commercial Port

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Business Hours

8am-4pm

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Store Hours

8am-6pm

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Official Holidays

January 1                       New Year’s Day

January 25                    G.F. Betico Croes Day

Date varies per year    Carnaval Monday

March 18                       National Flag and Anthem Day

Date varies per year    Good Friday

Date varies per year    Easter Monday

April 30                         Kings day

May 1                            Labor Day

Date varies per year    Ascension Day

December 25              Christmas Day

December 26              Boxing Day

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Electricity System

110-127 Volt, 60 cycles. (North American voltage standard). The TV standard is NTSC, so your home video camera will also play back. Most houses have 220V for air conditioning.