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Oranjestad, Aruba City Info
Destination Guide

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Caribbean > Aruba

90,000 (approx.) Visitors annually: approx. 900,000

Capital city:
Oranjestad (pop 20,500)

Dutch, Papiamento (a mix of Spanish, Dutch, English, French, and Portuguese), English and Spanish

Roman Catholic (82%), Protestant, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim

Autonomous state within the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Aruba is an island in the Carribean Sea 20 miles from the northern coast of Venezuela.

70 - 75 square miles

Highest peak is 617 ft.

Time Zone:
The time in Aruba is Atlantic Standard Time. It is the same as Eastern Daylight Savings time, but continues all year round.

The international dialing code for Aruba is 297. Area codes do not exist in Aruba, all numbers start with 8 except for cellular telephone numbers which start with 9.

Aruba is a great place for all ages. There are a number of children's playgrounds and all sorts of activities that will ensure that children won't want to leave!

Communications System:
Aruba has a modern telecommunications network. Long distance calls can be placed from any telephone or from SETAR (Aruba's Telecommunications organization) locations around Aruba. AT&T customers can dial 800-8000 from special phones located at the airport and at the cruise ship docking area. From other phones dial 121 to contact the SETAR international operator to place a collect or calling card call. Cellular phone rental is also available (Call 297 820005)

Emergency numbers:
Police 100
Fire alarm/Hospital 115
Hospital & Ambulance 874300
Ambulance: Oranjstad 821234
San Nicholas 845050
Air Ambulance: Richard Rupert 829197
Fax 832791
Cellular 932329/930201
Medical Center 848833
Dept. for National Security 811911

The main 280-bed hospital is well-equipped with staff and equipment. Oxygen tanks and hemodialysis services are available. Hotels have doctors and dentists on call and appointments can be arranged. Several other medical clinics also exist on the island.

Postal Rates:
Aruba has had its own postage stamps since 1986.

Room Tax:
There is a 6% government tax on rooms and 11% hotel service charge on rooms, both of which will be shown on your hotel bill.

Should you need banking services when you arrive you'll find a bank at the airport. There are also five banks with several branches at other convenient locations. ATM facilities exist at some of these banks.

Credit Cards:
All major credit cards are accepted.

Aruba's currency is the florin, denoted by the letters 'Afl.' , divided into 100 cents. Traveller's checks are widely accepted. Note: The Dutch Antillean florin used on the nearby islands of Bonaire and Curaçao isn't accepted on the island of Aruba.

There is a 7% government tax on hotel rooms. Hotels add a 10-15% service charge, plus other energy surcharges. Restaurant service charges are also in the 10-15% range; there's no need to tip on top of this except for superior service.

Customer Service:
Compliments and complaints regarding Aruba's tourism can be voiced by calling the Customer Service Hotline on (297) 839000, active Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. An answering machine records calls outside these days and hours. The individuals and/or establishments concerned will be informed.

Average Temperatures (in Fahrenheit):
High Low
January - March 81 79
April - June 83 81
July - September 84 83
October - December 84 80

The Caribbean climate is constant. The average year-round temperatures for the region is 82°F. . The extremes of temperature are 65°F low, 95°F high, but, the absence of high humidity and the presence of tropical breezes, make this an ideal climate. Downtown shopping areas feel hot at midday any time of the year, but air-conditioning provides comfort inside the shops. Near beaches, water and the trade winds keep things at just the right temperature.

Aruba is below the hurricane belt, so the traveler will not be able to experience a hurricane in Aruba.

Women usually wear casual cottons, linens and lightweight synthetics, hats for protection against the sun, flat heeled , sturdy shoes for walking and hiking. Shorts and slacks can be worn on the streets of Oranjestad. There is no need for formal evening wear. A light sweater for the cooler evenings might come in handy. Men might consider casual shirts and shorts. It is no longer customary for men to wear ties at business appointments. Sport coat for business is optional. Be sure to bring sun screen and insect repellent.

National Holidays:
New Year's Day - January 1
Betico Croes' Birthday - January 25
Carnival Monday - Late February
National Anthem & Flag Day - March 18
Good Friday - March; April (varies)
Easter Monday - March; April (varies)
Queen's Day - April 30
Labor Day - May 1
Ascension Day - May (varies)
Christmas Day - December 25
Boxing Day - December 26

Drinking Water:
Aruba has the world's second largest desalination plant which supplies the island with pure, fresh water. Imported bottled water is also readily available.

Same as in North America, i.e. 110Volts AC at 60 cycles.

Store Hours:
Most stores open from 9am to noon or 1pm and from 2pm to 6:30pm, although some remain open between noon and 2pm. Shops are open from Monday to Saturday. Hotel stores have varying open hours so check at your hotel for these. The Alahambra bazaar is open between 5pm and midnight. Mall store hours are 10am until 6pm.

Special Facilities:
Limited facilities for disabled persons are available. Some hotels have rooms that can completely accommodate disabled people while others have more limited facilities with ground floor rooms and wider doors to enable use of wheelchairs.

Equivalent Weights And Measures:
1 cm - 0.39 inches
1 meter - 3.28 feet / 1.09 yards
1 km - 0.62 miles
1 liter - 0.26 gallons
1 inch - 2.54 cm
1 foot - 0.39 meters
1 yard - 0.91 meters
1 mile - 1.60 km
1 gallon - 3.78 liters

Passports & Visas:
U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport or a birth certificate with a raised seal and a government-issued photo ID. Visitors from the member countries of the European Union must also carry their European Union Travel Card, as well as a passport. All other nationalities must have a valid passport.

Arriving & Departing:
By Air
Flights leave daily to Aruba's Reina Beatrix International Airport (AUA) (AUA, 297/8-24800) from New York area airports and Miami International Airport, with easy connections from most American cities. Flights to Aruba take 21/2 hours from Miami and 4 hours from New York.

Transfers Between the Airport and Town:
By Taxi:
A taxi from the airport to most hotels takes about 20 minutes. It will cost about $16 to get to Eagle Beach; $18 to the high-rise hotels on Palm Beach; and $9 to the hotels downtown. There is a taxi stand right outside the baggage claim area of the airport.

Getting Around:
Buses run hourly trips between the beach hotels and the capital, Oranjestad for around $1. Buses run from Oranjestad to San Nicolas for the same fare.

Ferries run between the islands., and also offer cruises.

Bicycles and Mopeds:
Rentals are available. These forms of transportation are ideal because of the compact size of Aruba.

Horse-Drawn Carriages:
Horse drawn carriages offer tours of the capital.

Island roads can be very steep and winding, and are in poor condition. Children and livestock walk in the road as there are no sidewalks. The automobile is not the preferred mode of transportation.


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