An island by the south of the Caribbean Sea, Aruba is unlike any other Caribbean region with its mostly arid climate with landscape that may be covered in cacti. Although dry, the island’s sunny weather has helped with Aruba’s overall tourism. It is made up of Oranjestad, Paradera, San Nicolas, Noord, Santa Cruz, and Savaneta. The island of Aruba, along with Bonaire and Curaçao, form the ABC islands, while the island with the other Dutch islands in the Caribbean are referred to as the Netherlands Antilles or the Dutch Caribbean. Aruban climate is tropical and semi-arid. Average annual temperatures are at a high of 31.5 degrees Celsius or 88.8 degrees Fahrenheit, with a low of 25.9 degrees Celsius or 78.6 degrees Fahrenheit and a daily mean of 28.1 degrees Celsius or 82.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Official languages in Aruba are Dutch and Papiamento, with the latter being the predominant language in the island. Papiamento is a mixture of mostly Portuguese, West African languages, along with Dutch and Spanish. Even with the two official languages, when in Aruba, English is also understood by many, though mostly concentrated, but not limited to the tourist parts of the island. In addition to these languages, other communities within the island also speak Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.
What to see & do
Aruba’s gross national product is mainly earned through tourism related activities. The island serves as a premier tourist destination to tourists from countries such as the United States, the Netherlands, and South America. Among the top destinations within the island include the Natural Pool (Conchi), California Lighthouse, Our Lady of Alto Vista Chapel, Aruba Aloe Factory, Casibari Rock and Ayo Rock Formations, Bushiribana Gold Mill, Aruba Ostrich Farm, Arikok National Park, Guadirikiri Caves, De Oude Molen, and The Palm Island, to name a few. When in Aruba, the activities to look forward to are tours; water activities such as scuba, snorkelling, fishing, kayaking, and windsurfing; and hiking and rock climbing, among others. Aruba is also overflowing with beaches like Baby Beach, Eagle Beach, Hadicurari Beach, Bachelor’s Beach, Rodger’s Beach, and Surfside Beach, on top of others.
How to get around within Aruba
When making your way through Aruba, local transportation options are taxis, buses, and electric streetcars. For a fee, taxis can be taken within the island and are available at the airport and hotel. Another option is the Arubus, Aruba’s bus system. Arubuses travel throughout the island and stops at 9:00 p.m.; most city or island buses are by the main station downtown. A new addition to Aruba’s transportation is the trolleys to be found by downtown Oranjestad. The battery-run double-decker trolleys start from the harbour or cruise ship port, toward the eastern part of downtown Aruba, along shops, small hotels, and restaurants.
How to get there
Serving Aruba via Oranjestad, the island’s capital, is the Queen Beatrix International Airport. The airport operates flights to and from destinations such as Toronto, Miami, New York, Chicago, and Amsterdam, to name a few, through airlines that include Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM, and United Airlines, among others.