Aruba

Climate

The climate is tropical marine, with little seasonal temperature variation. Because of its location south in the Caribbean there is very strong sun, but a constant light breeze keeps the temperature pleasant. These persistent winds out of the east shape the island's distinctive, lop-sided divi-divi trees.The divi-divi trees have become a signature tree to Aruba's landscape. The weather is almost always dry, with most rain showers coming at night and lasting only a little while.Temperatures in Aruba do not change dramatically. Between the months of January and March the temperatures stay around 76-85 degrees; this being their high season. However starting in April and through December this is considered off season and temperatures do not change much beyond 79 and 88 degrees.It lies outside the zone usually affected by hurricanes.

Electricity

Officially 120V 60Hz, which is identical to the U.S. and Canadian standard. Outlets are North American grounded outlets, identical to standard U.S. and Canadian wall outlets. Occasionally non-grounded outlets may be found, which do not accept the third, round pin present on grounded plugs, and require an adapter. Older North American outlets may not be polarized with one slot wider than the other. Otherwise, adapters are available which accept a polarized plug and adapt it for use with a non-polarized outlet.

History

Discovered and claimed for Spain in 1499, Aruba was acquired by the Dutch in 1636. The island's economy has been dominated by three main industries. A 19th century gold rush was followed by prosperity brought on by the opening in 1924 of an oil refinery. The last decades of the 20th century saw a boom in the tourism industry. Aruba seceeded from the Netherlands Antilles Bonaire and Curacao, the ABC-Islandsin 1986 and became a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Movement toward full independence was halted at Aruba's request in 1990.

Tourism is the mainstay of the small, open Aruban economy, with offshore banking and oil refining and storage also important both ended in 2009. The rapid growth of the tourism sector over the last decade has resulted in a substantial expansion of other activities. Construction has boomed, with hotel capacity five times the 1985 level.

Etiquette

You should not wear beach attire anywhere but on the beaches or by the pool.

Make sure to properly greet someone.

Ask before snapping a picture of someone.

Men should wear dress shorts or slacks to dinner, no jeans allowed in most restaurants.

Currency & money

Aruba's currency is the florin denoted by the letters 'Awg.' but also widely known as 'Afl.' The official rate at which banks accept U.S. dollar banknotes is Awg. 1,77 and checks at Awg. 1,78. The rate of exchange granted by shops and hotels ranges from Awg. 1,75 to Awg. 1,80 per U.S. dollar. U.S. Dollars are widely accepted in Aruba, and banks may exchange other foreign currency.Traveler's checks are widely accepted and there is no charge for using them in hotels, restaurants and stores. Major credit cards are accepted at most establishments while personal checks are normally not accepted.

Cash may be obtained with MasterCard, Visa and American Express cards at credit card offices, banks, in some casinos and via Western Union. ATM cards and credit cards are accepted by ATMs of Aruba Bank, Banco di Caribe, RBTT Bank, and Caribbean Mercantile Bank. The card must have either a Cirrus or Visa Plus logo. ATM instructions are normally given in Dutch, English, Spanish and Papiamento. Cash is normally dispensed in local currency.

Entry requirements

Travelers are not allowed to work during their stay in Aruba.

a passport that is valid upon entry and for the duration of stay in Aruba. If the tourist holds a passport from a visa required country list A, he must have a valid visa sticker in his passport;

a completely filled-in and signed Embarkation and Disembarkation card ED-card;

a valid return- or onward ticket;

the necessary documents for returning to the country of origin or to a country that he has the right to enter, for example a valid residence permit temporary or permanent, a re-entry permit or a entry visa;

if so requested, the tourist has to be able to prove to the satisfaction of the migration officer that he has a valid reservation for an accommodation in Aruba e.g. hotel or apartment or that he owns property in Aruba a residence, condominium, apartment, timeshare apartment or a pleasure yacht moored in Aruba with a length of at least 14 meters measured on the water line;

if so requested, the tourist has to be able to prove to the satisfaction of the migration officer to dispose of adequate financial means to provide for hotel expenses if applicable and living expenses during his stay or that he has a declaration of guarantee from a legal resident of Aruba.

The final authorization for admission to Aruba remains with migration officer at the border-crossing/port of entry. The migration authorities at the border-crossing/port of entry have the authority to grant or refuse admission. Admission can be refused if not all admission requirements are fulfilled by the time of entering Aruba of if the tourist has been blacklisted.

Landscape

The island is flat with a few hills, arid with mostly desert vegetation and negligible natural resources other than white sandy beaches. Highest point: Mount Jamanota 188 meters.