Aruba is a Caribbean island 15 miles north of the coast of Venezuela. The island is an autonomous dependency of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is 30 kilometers (19.6 miles) long and 9 kilometers (6 miles) across, at its widest point, with an area of approximately 70 square miles (184 square kilometers).

This flat, riderless island is renowned for its white sand beaches. Its tropical climate is moderated by constant trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean. The temperature is almost constant at about 27°C (81°F). The yearly rainfall usually does not exceed 20 inches. Aruba lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt.

Aruba is divided into the northeast and southwest coasts. The southwest has the white sand beaches, turquoise seas, and warm waters. The northeast coast, exposed to the Atlantic, has a few white sand beaches, cacti, rough seas with treacherous currents, and a rocky coastline. The time in Aruba is Atlantic standard time  it is the same as Eastern Daylight Savings time all year round

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 seceded from the Netherlands Antilles (Bonaire and Curacao, the ABC Islands) in 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.

Access : Coordinates: 12.5, -69.966667 / By plane :  Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA IATA) (on the western side of the island). This is the only airport that sees regular commercial traffic on the island . Queen Beatrix International Airport (Q1139661)

Aruba no longer has a national airline. American Airlines is a popular carrier that schedules flights from Charlotte, Miami, and Philadelphia. Other major carriers from the US include Southwest (Baltimore, Orlando), United (Chicago, Newark, Houston Intercontinental, Washington/Dulles), Delta (Atlanta, New York JFK), and JetBlue Airways (New York JFK, Boston).

First Choice Airways flies charter flights from the London and Manchester in the UK, and KLM flights to Amsterdam connect to most of the rest of Europe. Avianca and Aires connect Aruba to Colombia. Daily connections to Venezuela include Caracas, Maracaibo, Las Piedras and Valencia, by Aeropostal, Aserca, Santa Barbara Airlines and Avior. InselAir has several daily flights to Curacao, and from there to 11 destinations in South America including Medellin – Colombia and Valencia (Venezuela), the Caribbean and Miami.

There is an office of the American Department of Homeland Security at the airport for those traveling to the United States.

By boat :  Cruise ships can dock quite close to the downtown area, offering their passengers an easy walk to many stores and services

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.

Highlights :

  • Oranjestad is the capital of the Caribbean island of Aruba.
  • Natural Pool (Conchi) , California Lighthouse , Our Lady of Alto Visto Chapel
  • Aruba Aloe Factory , Casibari Rock & Ayo Rock Formations , Natural Bridge @ Boca Andicuri , Bushiribban Gold Mill / Smelting Station , Aruba Ostrich Farm
  • Boca Catalina and the Antilla Shipwreck , Arikok National Park , Guadirkiri Caves
  • The Palm Island , Hooiberg (Haystack Mountain) , Butterfly Farm
  • Bubali Bird Sanctuary  De Oude Molen/ Windmill , Donkey Sanctuary
  • Aruba Model Train Museum , Numismatic Museum , Archaeological Museum , Historical Museum
  • Beaches :
  • Baby Beach , Boca Prins , San Nicolaas Beach , Eagle Beach , Hadikurari Beach
  • Palm Beach , Malmok Beach , Arashi Beach , Boca Catalina , Manchebo Beach
  • Andicuri , Druif Beach , Surfside Beach , Dos Playa , De Palm Island
  • Mangel Halto , Santo Largo , Boca Grandi , Bachelor’s Beach , Rodgers Beach

Activities : sightseeing / photo opportunities / trekking

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