Aruba has the same voltage standards as North America (110 volts AC). Therefore, European appliances (that use 220 volts) generally cannot be used in Aruba (unless you have a converter).
It is advisable to wear light clothing, since the temperatures in Aruba are very high. If you go shopping, it is generally not allowed to enter shops or casinos in your bathing suit. If you're going on a sailing trip, or if you're going out at night, sometimes the wind can make it bit chilly, so bring a light vest or blouse.
There are several banks on Aruba that can offer you their services. Banking hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. The Caribbean Mercantile Bank has a location at the airport, which is also open on weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aruba Bank on Main Street is open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m
The Central Bank of Aruba does not permit coin change to be given in any other currency than the Arubian currency; the exception is in the casinos. You may drop your leftover coins in the charity box at the airport. Aruba's currency is the Arubian Florin (AFL or AWG). The exchange rate for 1 USD is generally 1.75 AFL and if you buy USD, the exchange rate is usually AFL 1.80. To cash traveler's checks, you have to bring your identification. A large number of ATM machines are spread throughout the island, so there is no need for you to worry about availability of the currency. A great thing about Aruba is that you can pay with USD you do not have to change in the local Arubian Florin. You may get Arubian money back as change.
For dialing direct calls from Aruba, the code for the international circuit is 00 followed by the country code, area code and the number. For assistance, call 121. Aruba's International telephone country code is 297. To direct dial Aruba from the U.S., the code is 011-297- plus the number. (Recently a number has been added to all existing phone numbers in Aruba. For all regular and fax numbers the number "5" has to be placed to the front of the old number. For all Cell, Primo and GSM phones the number "9" has to be placed to the front of the old number. ) You can use the public phones (with Arubian calling cards) that are located throughout the island. For some cell phone carriers it is possible to use your cell phone in Aruba, please check with your cell phone provider for details. If you want to rent a cell phone, there are several places where you can go.
For dialing direct calls from Aruba, the code for the international circuit is 00 followed by the country code, area code and the number. For assistance, call 121. Aruba's International telephone country code is 297. To direct dial Aruba from the U.S., the code is 011-297-plus the number.
Rates, set by the Government, are based on destination rather than mileages traveled and are for the total number of passengers in the car or van.
The Central Post Office is located diagonally across from San Francisco Church in Oranjestad. Open from Mondays to Fridays from 7.30 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. The Post office at the Royal Plaza Mall in Oranjestad is open from Mondays to Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 6.45 p.m.
Gas pumps for your rental car register in liters: 1.06 quarts to 1 liter. One gallon is 3.78 liters. Prices at gas stations are in Aruba florins converted at Afl. 1.75 to US$1.00. It is not the custom to pump gas for oneself; please allow the attendants to assist you
Aruba has always been considered one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean, however incidents may occur. Please do not provide temptation by leaving your valuables unattended on the beach or in your rental car.
Generally, there is an 11% service charge on room rates. Most hotels also apply a 6% government tax.
Most Aruban restaurants maintain a service charge of between 10 to 20%.
Both the US immigration office as the US customs office is present at the Queen Beatrix International Airport. This is a rather unique combination to have these two US government departments present at a non-US Island.
Aruba is 19.6 miles long and 6 miles across, totaling 77 square miles or 193 square kilometers. Aruba is located 12" 30' North Latitude; 70" West Latitude; 19 miles or 31 km north of the Venezuelan coast.
Aruba's climate has little variation from yearly average of a sunny 81"F or 27"C tempered by northeasterly trade winds. Aruba is out of the range of the Caribbean hurricanes.
Atlantic Standard Time year round (equivalent to Eastern Daylight Savings Time). The difference between the European Time and Aruba Time is 5 or 6 hours (depending on Summer-time or Winter-time)
100,000 persons (2002). Average life expectancy age: male 71.6 years; female 76.8 years. Death rate: Per 1,000 population 6.0 (world average 9.9) (2002). The birth rate is substantially lower than the Caribbean average but the extremely low mortality rate maintains a rate of natural increase.
Official language Dutch, Native language: Papiamento. English and Spanish are widely spoken by practically all Arubians.
There is no need to buy bottled water; Aruba's water from the tap is praised for its excellent quality and taste. Aruba's drinking water flows from the world's second largest desalinization plant. It is not only perfectly pure and safe to drink, it's also very delicious.