About Aruba Learn more about the Carribean Island of Aruba.
One Happy Island
Aruba (/əˈruːbə/ ə-roo-bə; Dutch: [aːˈrubaː]) is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the southern Caribbean Sea, located about 1,600 kilometres (990 mi) west of the main part of the Lesser Antilles and 29 kilometres (18 mi) north of the coast of Venezuela. It measures 32 kilometres (20 mi) long from its northwestern to its southeastern end and 10 kilometres (6 mi) across at its widest point. Together with Bonaire and Curaçao, Aruba forms a group referred to as the ABC islands. Collectively, Aruba and the other Dutch islands in the Caribbean are often called the Dutch Caribbean.
Aruba is one of the four countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The citizens of these countries all share a single nationality: Dutch. Aruba has no administrative subdivisions, but, for census purposes, is divided into eight regions. Its capital is Oranjestad.
Unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather. It has a land area of 179 km2 (69.1 sq mi) and is densely populated, with a total of 102,484 inhabitants at the 2010 Census. It lies outside Hurricane Alley.
One Happy island - 90,000 Friends You Haven't Met Yet.
- Aruba Tourism Authority
About three quarters of the Aruban gross national product is earned through tourism or related activities. Most tourists are from the United States (predominantly from the north-east US), the Netherlands and South America, mainly Venezuela and Colombia.
As part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, citizens of the Netherlands can travel with relative ease to Aruba and other islands of the Dutch Antilles. No visas are needed for Dutch citizens, only a passport, and although the currency used in Aruba is different (the Netherlands uses the Euro), money can be easily exchanged at a local bank for Aruban Florins.
For the facilitation of the passengers whose destination is the United States, the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) full pre-clearance facility in Aruba has been in effect since 1 February 2001 with the expansion in the Queen Beatrix Airport. United States and Aruba have had the agreement since 1986. It began as a USDA and Customs post. Since 2008, Aruba has been the only island to have this service for private flights.
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The renowned two-mile-long strip known as Palm Beach Aruba is home to glamorous high-rise hotels in Aruba and dotted by water sports concessions, piers, beach bars, restaurants and shops. Calm waters make this a comfortable haven for swimmers and snorkelers.
A walk along the coast at dawn or sunset is perfect for exercise and quiet reflection during your Caribbean vacation. Taking in the magnificent tangerine sunset or enjoying candle-lit, barefoot dining on the beach in Aruba can be the perfect finale to a lazy or exciting day of sun and sea.
After sunset the Palm Beach area just off the beach comes to life as buzzing clubs and casinos in Aruba offer an upbeat nightlife. Two of the largest shopping malls in Aruba cater to the needs of those on a shopping spree and also offer cinema theaters, water fountain shows bowling and Spa facilities.
Surf Side Beach
Surfside Beach is the beach located next to the airport and is only 5 minutes away from down town Oranjestad. This beach is perfect for families with children since the water is shallow and calm. The beach offers several facilities such as a kitchen, bar, bathrooms and the opportunity to rent beach chairs.
Fort Zoutman and King Willen III Tower
The oldest remains of the Dutch settlement and Aruba's oldest building, Fort Zoutman, was built in 1796 for protection against pirates and enemies. In 1868, the Willem III Tower was added to the Fort and served as Aruba's first public clock and as a lighthouse equipped with a spire and petrol lamp. After the light was extinguished in the tower, Fort Zoutman housed for almost a century different organizations like government offices, police department, library, post office and a prison. Today the buildings house the Historical Museum, which is a museum displaying many artifacts from Aruba's earliest through those reminiscent of colonial times up to the present day.
Every Tuesday night the Bon Bini Festival takes place at the 18th century assembled Fort Zoutman in Oranjestad. Featured here are Aruban folkloric acts and typical foods at bargain prices.