Aruba Basics

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The Basics

Time: GMT -4

Electricity: Electric current in Aruba is 127 volts, 60Hz. Flat two and three-pin plugs are standard.

Money: The official currency is the Aruban Florin (AWG). 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.

Currency Exchange Rates

AWG1.00 = USD 0.56GBP 0.44CAD 0.73AUD 0.82ZAR 8.14EUR 0.50NZD 0.88
Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only.

Language: The official languages in Aruba are Dutch and the native Papiamento. English and Spanish are taught in school and are also widely spoken. Some French is also understood.

Entry requirements for Americans: United States passport holders must have a passport valid for period of intended stay. A visa is not required for stays of up to 90 days.

Entry requirements for UK nationals: UK nationals require a passport valid for period of intended stay and may stay for 90 days without a visa.

Entry requirements for Canadians: Canadian nationals require a passport valid for period of intended stay. A visa is not required for stays of up to 90 days.

Entry requirements for Australians: Australian nationals require a passport valid for period of intended stay, but no visa for stays of up to 90 days.

Entry requirements for South Africans: South African nationals must hold a passport valid for period of intended stay, and a visa. Holders of a valid multiple entry 'C' or 'D' visa issued by a Schengen member state can stay for up to 90 days without a visa.

Entry requirements for New Zealanders: New Zealanders require a passport valid for period of intended stay, but a visa is not needed for a stay of up to 90 days.

Entry requirements for Irish nationals: Irish nationals require a passport valid for period of intended stay, but no visa for stays of up to 90 days.

Passport/Visa Note: All passports must be valid for period of intended stay. It is highly recommended that travellers always have six months validity on their passports after departure. 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 immigration authorities. Most visas can be extended up to a total of 180 days per calendar year.

Getting around: Hiring a car is a great way to get around the island, and many companies offer three-day specials for such excursions. However, travellers planning to stay on or near their resort will quickly find they don't really need one. Aruba has a good bus system that connects most hotels with downtown Oranjestad, running from roughly 6am to midnight, Monday through Saturday. Schedules are available at the Arubus office. Taxis are also available (although hard to hail, so it's best to have the hotel or restauarant call for one), and a preferable mode of transport after dark. There are no meters but drivers have a list of official fares. There are surcharges on Sunday, holidays, and after midnight.

Travel Health: 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. 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. There are three classes of service for patients depending on the level of their insurance. Health insurance is recommended. Food and water are considered safe.

Tipping: A 10 or 15% tip is usually included on restaurant, bar and room service bills in Aruba, otherwise a tip should be added, 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.

Safety Information: Crime is not a major problem in Aruba and most visits are trouble-free. However, visitors are still advised to take common-sense precautions, such as locking valuables in the hotel safe and taking care when walking home at night.

Business: 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.

Communications: The international dialling code for Aruba is +297. Internet cafes, as as well as hotels with free wifi, are widely available. The Aruba Tourism Authority has also introduced free wifi zones in renowned tourist areas on the island.

Duty Free: 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 AWG 100. If goods per person exceed AWG 500 in value this should be declared on customs forms for clearance at the freight department.