General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.
ATMs Not all ATMs in the Caribbean operate like those in your home country. Some may only accept a four digit PIN number, so if yours is longer you may want to change it before your trip. Ensure you keep your travel money in your primary chequing account as some ATMs default to this account and will not allow you to choose another. Withdrawal fees are generally much higher outside your home country.
The main banks are Aruba Bank (tel 297/582-1550), Banco di Caribe (tel 297/523-2220), Caribbean Mercantile Bank (tel 297/582-3118) and RBTT Bank (tel 297/523-3100). Generally they accept major credit cards on the Cirrus/Maestro and Electron/Plus networks and dispense Aruban florins. RBTT Bank ATMs also dispense US dollars.
BANKING AND BUSINESS HOURS Banks Mon-Fri generally 8am-4pm (some are closed 12 noon-1:30pm; Banco di Caribe is open until 5pm)
Post Office Oranjestad (main branch) and San Nicolas branch: Mon-Fri 7:30am-12 noon and 1-4:30pm
CHURCHES/RELIGIONS Mostly Roman Catholic. Protestant, Hinduism, Muslim, Confucian and Jewish also represented.
CURRENCY AND CREDIT CARDS The local currency is the Aruban florin (Af. or AWG), which is divided into 100 cents. Paper money runs in denominations of Af.10, Af.25, Af.50, Af.100 and Af.500 bills, and coins in 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, Af.1, Af.2.5 and Af.5 pieces. US dollars are widely accepted and most shops, hotels and restaurants accept major credit cards and traveller's cheques.
To ensure hassle-free purchases during your trip, you may want to contact your credit card company and let them know you will be travelling abroad.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS American Express: lost or stolen card, 336/393-1111 (call collect); lost or stolen cheques or cheque cards, 800/221-7282 Discover Card: 801/902-3100 MasterCard: 800-1561 Visa: 410/902-8022 (call collect) Western Union: Oranjestad (142 L G Smith Blvd), 297/582-2473; San Nicolas (7-A Grensweg), 297/584-1421
DEPARTURE TAX All passengers must pay a passenger facility charge (PFC) upon departure: US$36.75 for US-bound passengers and US$33.50 for all other international-bound passengers. Children under two years are exempt.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Citizens of Canada and the United States require a valid passport, an original or government-certified birth certificate (or an original certificate of naturalization or a miniature Certificate of Proof of Canadian Citizenship for those born outside Canada; or a certificate of naturalization with raised seal for those born outside the US) and photo identification. Citizens of the United Kingdom require a valid passport. All visitors must have an onward or return ticket and must provide proof of sufficient funds for the duration of their stay.
Nationals of other countries require a valid passport and may require a visa. Consult your nearest Kingdom of the Netherlands consulate/embassy or call the Department of Immigration and Naturalization Aruba (DINA) at 297/582-7155.
Note: As of January 23, 2007, all persons travelling by air to the Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda will require a valid passport, Air NEXUS card or US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document to enter and/or re-enter the United States in accordance with the US Government's Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. For more information visit the US Government's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at www.travel.state.gov.
Some countries require single/lone parents or other adults travelling alone with children to provide documents showing evidence of parental/custodial and/or access rights, and/or documents authorizing consent from the parents, legal guardian, and/or the court for the children to travel. Parents of adopted children, particularly those of a different nationality, should carry the proper documents.
NEAREST FOREIGN REPRESENTATION Honorary British Consulate: 599-9/747-3322 (Curaçao) Honorary Consul of Canada: 599-9/466-1115 or 599-9/466-1121 (Curaçao), 58-212/600-3000 (after-hours emergency, Venezuela), 613/996-8885 (call collect to Ottawa) US Consulate: 599-9/461-3066 (Curaçao)
January 11, 2007
British pound sterling
European Union euro
HEALTH STANDARDS Dr Horacio Oduber Hospital (tel 587-4300), located across from Punta Brabu Beach, is the only hospital on the island. Private clinics are also available, including Dr Rudy Engelbrecht/Centro Medico (tel 524-8833), who offers 24-hour emergency service, and the Posada Clinic Aruba (tel 586-6624 or 582-0840), which offers hemodialysis. Hyperbaric Oxygen Producing Environment/HOPE (tel 594-6461 or 730-7246), located in Oranjestad, has a hyperbaric chamber.
Health care standards are comparable to North America. Patients may be airlifted to facilities in Curaçao in unique circumstances. Your home medical program may not provide payment for medical services outside your home country. Obtaining adequate medical/travel insurance, including air ambulance coverage, and consulting a physician or travel medicine specialist six to eight weeks prior to your trip to determine health risks and necessary vaccinations is recommended.
Most hotels have a doctor and dentist on call. Contact your hotel front desk for more information or to make an appointment.
Many hotels can accommodate travellers with disabilities. Visitors may also lease/rent medical and health care products and services from LABCO (tel 297/582-6651; www.labcomed.com).
There are plenty of pharmacies, however, they are prohibited from filling prescriptions by doctors not residing on the island. Each district has one drug store that is open for 24 hours.
For all emergencies dial 911.
ILLEGAL ITEMS There are harsh penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs, and strict regulations for exporting or temporarily importing firearms.
For more information contact the Aruba customs department at 297/582-1800.
LANGUAGE The official language is Dutch, but English and Spanish are widely spoken. On Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao the native language Papiamentu, a mixture of Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, French, English, Caribbean Indian and various African languages, is also spoken.
POSTAGE The main post office, located at J E Irausquinplein 9 in Oranjestad, is open Mon-Fri 7:30am-4:30pm (closed 12 noon-1pm). Additional post offices are located in the Royal Plaza Mall (tel 582-0360) in Oranjestad, San Nicolas (tel 584-5009), Noord (tel 586-0280) and Piedra Plat (tel 583-9965).
Airmail to North America can take one to two weeks and to the UK, two to three weeks. Courier service is also available.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS Jan 1 New Year's Day Jan 25 G F Betico Croes Day Feb (varies) Carnival Monday Mar 18 National Anthem and Flag Day Mar/Apr (varies) Good Friday Mar/Apr (varies) Easter Monday Apr 30 Queen's Birthday May 1 Labour Day May (varies) Ascension Day Dec 25 Christmas Day Dec 26 Boxing Day
SHOPPING HOURS Stores are generally open Mon-Sat 8am-6pm except those in malls, which open at 9:30am, and some may close 12 noon-2pm. When cruise ships are in port some stores remain open on Sun and holidays.
TAXES Hotels add a 19% government tax and service charge to all bills. This includes a 6.8% government tax and a 12.2% service charge and AHATA (Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association) fee.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS The phone system on Aruba is modern and cellular and Internet services are available.
The country code is 297. Local phone numbers have seven digits. For local directory assistance dial 118 and for international directory assistance dial 121. To make an international call dial 00 + country code + area code + local number.
Telecommunication services are provided by Servicio di Telecommunication di Aruba (SETAR) International (tel 525-1000). SETAR prepaid phone cards are available at SETAR Teleshops, convenience stores, gas stations and retail stores, and can be used in phone booths throughout the island.
For more information see the section in FAQs: Can I use my calling card from here?
To make a collect call to Canada or the United States, to use a major credit card or calling card, or to bill a third party dial 188.
SETAR (tel 584-7626) and Digicel (tel 522-2200) provide cellular roaming services. SETAR also rents cell phones, which you can reserve in advance on their website. Check with your service provider to see if they have a roaming agreement with one of these companies. The Chapeau Aruba N V Business Center (tel 586-4250) in the Hyatt Regency Aruba also rents cell phones.
Wi-Fi is available at numerous locations around Aruba. You will need to buy a prepaid access code from SETAR (tel 583-4000). You can also access the Internet from your hotel room and SETAR Teleshops with SETAR's 123 Instant Access service.
TEMPERATURES The year-round average temperature is 82°F with low humidity.
TIME ZONE The island is on Atlantic Standard Time year round, which is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the summer the time is the same as on the east coast of North America and during the winter, the time is one hour ahead.
Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All
information should be verified prior to travel.