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|British Virgin Islands||Cayman Islands||Dominica||Grenada|
|Saint Vincent_Grenadines||Virgini Islands||Antigua_Barbuda||Aruba|
|Cuba||Dominican Republic||Guadeloupe||Saint Lucia|
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|Aruba Travel Guide
Edit This The best resource for sights, hotels, restaurants, bars, what to do and see
Aruba is a lively island with high-rise resorts and posh casinos lining its white-sand beaches. You'll find plenty of things to do, too: sunbathing, world-class windsurfing and waterskiing by day, and discos, cabarets, dinner shows and high-stakes gambling at night. Aruba was acquired by the Dutch in the 17th century. However, it's no longer officially a member of the Netherlands Antilles group. Since 1986, it has been a "separate entity within the Kingdom of the Netherlands ."
|But because of its proximity to
Bonaire and Curacao , the other members of the so-called "ABC Islands," many
people continue to lump them together. Actually, all three islands have been
influenced as much by Venezuela . Aruba is just 24 km (approx. 15 miles) off
the coast of Venezuela. It is mostly flat and arid, scattered with fields of
cacti and aloe plants. To get updated information on the island of Aruba
visit our website at: www.aruba.com
Aruba's Queen Beatrix Airport is located on the southern coast approximately 4 miles (6km) southeast of Oranjestad. Plenty of taxis are available for trips to the city or the resort area.
You'll need a car to explore the interior or northern windward coast. There are international and local car rental agencies; the bigger chains have offices at the airport and luxury hotels. If you want to drop your car off at the airport insure that the agency you rent from has this facility or you'll be stuck with meeting an agent in the carpark - big hassle. Your home driving license is valid though you must be at least 21 years old. Drive on the right-hand side of the road and note that speed limits are signposted in km/h.
There's a frequent bus service between Malmok in the island's northwest and San Nicolas in the southeast. It passes through Oranjestad the hotel beach strip and runs right by the airport. This service and other local buses depart from Oranjestad's funky pastel bus station next to Royal Plaza. Taxis hang around the larger hotels and popular tourist spots. They're unmetered but rates are regulated by the government and are calculated using a zone system. Since drivers are required to carry a rate card you should be able to establish the exact fare beforehand. Taxis can also be hired hourly for sightseeing tours.
[Add Local transport mode]
And for those who realise people visit from all over the world.....
The public transport is excellent. We stayed two weeks and only hired a car for 3 days to visit the parts where the bus did not go. It would be wrong to say the more remote parts!
World66 rating: [rate it]
Aruba's national airline is Air Aruba (FQ). Air Aruba stopped all their operations 2 years ago. Currently only Avia Air is operating area flights, to Bonaire, Curacao and Venezuela. American Airlines KLM and Continental also provide flights to Aruba.
DCA Airlines (Dutch Caribbean Airlines) based in Curacao, provide regular service from Curacao to Aruba, while there are daily flights from Curacao to Amsterdam with DCA, offering connecting flights form Curacao to Aruba. Approximate flight times
From Oranjestad to London is 11 hours 40 minutes (including a connection normally in Amsterdam) to Los Angeles is 10 hours and to New York is 4 hours.
Queen Beatrix (AUA) is 3.5km (2.5 miles) southeast of Oranjestad. Airport facilities include a duty-free shop bank (0800-1600 Monday to Sunday) restaurants (1100-2230 Monday and Thursday to Sunday 1100-1900 Tuesday to Wednesday) and tourist information (0700-2300 tel: (8) 29041 or 24800 ext 164). A taxi service is available between the airport and the city. Bus services run to the city centre.
US$20 per person for all travellers over two years of age. This is normally included in the ticket price.
Aruba has extensive virtually duty-free shopping facilities and many cruise ships call in on their Caribbean itineraries.
For info on DCA airlines, visit: www.flydca.net
Economy—overview: Tourism is the mainstay of the Aruban economy although offshore banking and oil refining and storage are also important. 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. In addition the reopening of the country's oil refinery in 1993 a major source of employment and foreign exchange earnings has further spurred growth. Aruba's small labor force and less than 1% unemployment rate have led to a large number of unfilled job vacancies despite sharp rises in wage rates in recent years.
GDP: purchasing power parity—$1.4 billion (1996 est.)
GDP—real growth rate: 4% (1996 est.)
GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$21 000 (1996 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:
Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3.2% (1996)
Labor force: NA
by occupation: most employment is in the tourist industry (1996)
Unemployment rate: 0.6% (1996 est.)
revenues: $376 million
expenditures: $409 million including capital expenditures of $107 million (1997 est.)
Industries: tourism transshipment facilities oil refining
Industrial production growth rate: NA%
Electricity—capacity: 90 000 kW (1995)
Electricity—production: 340 million kWh (1995)
Electricity—consumption per capita: 5 154 kWh (1995)
Agriculture—products: aloes; livestock; fishing
total value: $1.7 billion (including oil re-exports) (f.o.b. 1996)
commodities: mostly refined petroleum products
partners: US 64% EU
total value: $2 billion (f.o.b. 1996)
commodities: food consumer goods manufactures petroleum products crude oil for refining and reexport
partners: US 8% EU
Debt—external: $669 million (December 1995)
Economic aid: the Netherlands provided a 1996 aid package of $224 million to Aruba the Netherlands Antilles and Suriname
Currency: 1 Aruban florin (Af.) = 100 cents
Exchange rates: Aruban florins (Af.) per US$1—1.7900 (fixed rate since 1986)
Fiscal year: calendar year