A very easy island
Language: Officially Dutch but Papiamento, Spanish and English are widely spoken.
Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time, one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
Rainy Season: This is an arid land. Most showers occur from September to December. They usually are short, quickly pushed away by the trade winds.
Currency: Aruba has its own currency, called the Arubian florin. The U.S. dollar is worth 1.77 florin. Prices are often quoted in both currencies. Dollars are readily accepted everywhere as are credit cards. Banks generally are open from 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Taxes & Tipping: A 19-22% hotel tax. A 1.5% "turnover tax" is added to or included in the price of all goods and services. Tipping restaurants is 15%. Some hotels may include an energy surcharge. Read the details carefully.
Electrical Current: The same as in the U.S., 110 volts,
60 cycles. European items requiring 220 volts will not work without a built-in or external converter.
Documents: All tourists need passports, some need a visa. See entry requirements. A return or onward
ticket and proof of sufficient funds may also be required.
Rental Cars: Readily available
with many of the large name companies (Avis, Budget,
Hertz) are represented. Cost is reasonable, around $200 per week for
a small car. Driving is on the right.
Where to Stay: Aruba has a wide variety of accommodations that include all inclusives, time shares, large hotels as well as guesthouses and apartments. The tourist board has a sizable but incomplete list of accommodations, so never fail to check the specials on Priceline, Kayak and other sites. Aruba is one of the Caribbean's timeshare
destinations; many properties are available for timeshare rentals.
Safety/Health Warnings: Because of the constant cooling trade winds, many people do not realize just how hot the sun is in Aruba, among the southernmost Caribbean islands. Precautions are necessary the first few days to avoid burning to the color of a robust rose wine.
Snakes & Other Venomous Creatures: Aruba is home to a venomous rattlesnake, the Colebra (Crotalus durissus), though they are seldom seen. They normally inhabit the most sparsely populated areas of Aruba between Jamanota, Fontein and San Nicolas. All other snakes are harmless. Locals say that possession of a snake rattle is good luck, perhaps because they are so rare.
Calendar of Events: What's happening every day of the year.