What to know about Aruba

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Aruba is the perfect destination for adventures or to relax. This small island is a nice travel for couples, friends and families. It’s very rare that a hurricane would hit the island this means it’s safe to visit Aruba all-year round, how great is that?

In this blog I want to explain everything you need to know before you go:

Emergency number: 911

General information about Aruba

Aruba is a small, beautiful island located in the Caribbean Sea. It belongs to the ABC islands of the Lesser Antilles. It’s easy to rent a car for a few days to drive around the island and discover everything. The island is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

  • Capital: Oranjestad
  • Currency: Aruban florin (AWG) but you can pay with dollars.
  • Official languages: Dutch and Papiamento
  • Largest religion: Roman Catholic
  • Surface: 180 km2
  • Inhabitants: 107.195 (2021)
  • National day: 18th of March

Besides the general information about Aruba there are also some nice things you should know before you go:

  • Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are three island that together is called the ABC islands. These island share a political history and the status of Dutch underlying possession.
  • Almost everywhere you can pay in US dollars.
  • There is a time difference between Belgium and Aruba. When it’s summertime in Belgium, it’s 6 hours earlier in Aruba. When it’s winter in Belgium, it’s 5 hours earlier in Aruba.
  • It’s the island with the lowest crime rate in the Caribbean. So it’s a safe place to travel to.
  • Tap water is safe to drink.
  • Aruba is know for Aloe Vera plants which they use in products.
  • Balashi is the local beer and you can go to the factory to eat some lunch that is made with the beer.
  • You must drink the Aruba Ariba cocktail which is the national cocktail of Aruba. The cocktail is made with rum, vodka, crème de banana, orange juice, coecoei, pineapple juice and cranberry juice.
  • There are wild donkeys in Aruba.

Weather and landscape in Aruba

The weather in Aruba is wonderful, it’s a tropical climate. The most amazing thing is that Aruba lies outside the hurricane alley which is important if you want to travel there during hurricane season like September.

Aruba has a dry season and rainy season. Even during the rainy season it’s possible to visit this island there will still be sunny days. December and March are the best months to visit the island because the temperatures are good and the rainfall is the lowest. The hottest month is September where the temperature rises to 30 degrees Celsius.

Transport in Aruba

For the transport you can rent a car for a day or multiple days. A car is easy to drive around the island and discover all the ‘hidden’ places. Watch out because most cars are just for the main roads, so you can’t drive with some cars to the natural bridge or you can’t ride in some places in Arikok National Park.

For these places you can rent a buggy, a quad or a car that can go off road. Arikok National Park is a place where you definitely need a 4×4 if you want to go to the natural pool. I would recommend a big buggy, not a small one like ours. You can also rent a quad but remember that it’s hot and you can burn really fast, so I wouldn’t rent it for a whole day because that’s exhausting. If you want to rent a buggy, you can rent it at Arubiana, it has good reviews.

We rented a buggy at HS Rental and it was a challenge with the small buggy, but hey, we made it and it was cheaper than the big buggy’s. And to be honest we had so much fun.

Tip: ‘rent a car and drive around’. Go to the grocery shop and buy some food, it’s amazing to picnic by the beach and watch the sunset.

Drive through the towns and get out to buy a coconut or something else from the locals they love it and you learn a lot about the country and the food. Walk around in the towns and try to find some amazing places.

You can also do horseback riding in Aruba. Rancho Loco Aruba has different tours, you can find more information here. The Gold Mine Ranch also gives tours with horses, you can find more information on their website.

We planned our whole trip ourselves, but you can also do trips with different tour operators. The tours we saw the most where the Palm Tours.

Essentials in the suitcase

There are some things you should not forget when you travel to Aruba. Here I write down some essentials that you should bring:

  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Scarf
  • Bikini/swim suit
  • Portable hammock (from Decathlon, it’s cheap and easy to hang everywhere)
  • Portable towel (from Decathlon, it’s an easy dry towel that you can fold really small)
  • Mosquito repellent
  • A big hat or cap
  • Clothes (raincoat, dresses, skirts, t-shirts, shorts, etc.)
  • Shoes (slippers, sneakers, heels, etc.)
  • Snorkel set (or if you don’t have one, rent it)
  • Water resistant bag
  • A headlamp (that’s always in my suitcase in case I need it)
  • Camera
  • Medication
  • Etc.

I hope you liked this blog about Aruba. It’s a touristic country but just drive around and seek those beautiful places because this small country has a lot to offer.

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