Only 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela and located outside of the hurricane belt!
Electricity: Aruba uses 120V at 60Hz (Same as US and Canada)
Currency: U.S. Dollars are widely accepted in Aruba. If you are staying at high-end resorts you most likely will never have to exchange your currency for the Aruban Florin.
Language: Officially languages include Dutch and Papiamento. Spanish and English are both widely spoken as well.
Best Times to Visit Aruba
April to August tend to be the best months to visit Aruba. Especially since the island sits outside the hurricane belt it's a great place to visit while most of the Caribbean is off limits. The most expensive months to visit Aruba are from January to March. Prices soar due to the pleasant weather over winter. The cheapest months to travel to Aruba are typically in fall - you'll see many discounts during their low season.
Aruba only receives less than 20 inches of rainfall per year - meaning your vacation will probably stay sunny no matter the month.
Is Aruba in the Schengen Zone?
Aruba is technically a Dutch island many travelers wonder if the Schengen Zone rules apply for travel to Aruba. According to Aruba's Tourism Board: Aruba exists outside the right to abode laws of the Schengen Area, therefore, Schengen E.U. freedom of movement laws don't apply to Aruba.
Do you need a Visa for Aruba?
Dutch nationals and citizens living outside Aruba can visit visa-free for 6 months.
US citizens can visit Aruba visa-free for 30 to 60 days. Upon entry, you will have to have a valid passport, an Embarkation and Disembarkation card (usually given to you on the plane), and a valid return- or onward ticket. You may also need to provide reservation information, but this is at the officer's discretion.
Read on: What to pack for a trip to Aruba
Getting to Aruba
Flying to Aruba
Aruba has a large international airport on the western end of the island. Reina Beatrix International Airport (code: AUA) services many direct flights from large US cities.
Cruises to Aruba
Aruba has a large port for cruise ships docking in the capital, Oranjestad. Carnival, Princess Cruises, and Royal Caribbean all have routes that visit Aruba.
Getting around Aruba
Should you rent a car in Aruba?
Unless you are planning to hike some of the more remote locations on the island a rental car is not necessary. Most restaurants, beaches, and shopping areas are within walking distance. If something is not within walking distances, taxis are always available and the ride is never very long.
Taxis in Aruba
Like I said above, taxi's are widely available in Aruba and very safe. When you arrive at the airport there is a taxi line right outside the terminal. The cost will depend on what kind of hotel you are visiting and USD is accepted.
The rates when I visited were:
$18 - Downtown, Cruise ship terminal
$22 - Low Rise Hotels (Dutch Village to La Quinta)
$22 - Eagle area (Oceania to Amsterdam Manor)
$25 - High Rise Hotels (Phoenix to Marriott Hotel)
$25 - Palm Beach hotels
Cheap Transport in Aruba
Taxis are everywhere in Aruba but they add up quickly. Luckily, Aruba has a great bus system that is extremely cheap, perfect for budget travelers to Aruba! Look for Arubus N.V. - the public bus in Aruba that services all major areas of the island.
For the main bus station, head across the street from the Cruise Terminal in Oranjestad. Line 10, Line 10A, and Line 10B will take you from there to the beach and the main hotel areas. A single bus trip costs 2.50 florins (with a Smartcard) or $2.50 U.S. dollars.
Do be aware that the bus stops running at 9 PM. If you need help Arubans are SO nice. Most of the time you'll find friendly drivers and riders who will help you choose routes and provide commentary on stops and sights.
Read on: How to visit Aruba on a Budget
Best Things To Do in Aruba
One of the best reasons to go to Aruba is because it truly has something for everyone.... Want to just lounge on the beach for three days? Go to Aruba. Want to adventure to natural pools and play with flamingos? Go to Aruba. Want to snorkel or deep sea fish. Yup - Aruba is the place to go.
Best Hotels in Aruba
Unfortunately, I had a bit of an awful experience in Aruba. I stayed with Divi resorts and found multiple roaches in my room (along with one falling on our head as we slept) and the food to be extremely poor quality.
There are a wide variety of resorts and hotels located all over the island. You'll find hotels both in downtown as well as on the beach and many of the names will be familiar with many popular chains on the island. I've heard amazing things about both Marriot and Renaissance hotels.
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. Here are some books I recommend...
And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).