Aruba Travel Info.com
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Located about 12 degrees north of the equator, approximately 29km (18 miles) off the Paraguana Peninsula of Venezuela. The island, one of the Lesser Antilles islands, is about 30 km (19 miles) long and about 8 km (5 miles) wide with an area of 193 sq km (75 sq miles)and a population of some 89,000. See the geography section for more information.
Aruba offers you a very large and varied choice of hotels, both low-rise and high-rise, apartments and guesthouses. There are also numerous timeshare (Aruba is a red time location all year round) and real estate opportunities.
Should you need banking services when you arrive you'll find a bank at the airport. There are also five banks with several branches at other convenient locations. ATM facilities exist at some of these banks.
The international dialing code for Aruba is 297. Area codes do not exist in Aruba, all numbers start with 8 except for cellular telephone numbers which start with 9.
The Aruba is a great place for young kids and also older ones. There are a number of children's playgrounds and all sorts of activities that will ensure that kids won't want to leave!
Aruba has a modern telecommunications network. Long distance calls can be placed from any telephone or from SETAR (Aruba's Telecommunications organization) locations around Aruba. AT&T customers can dial 800-8000 from special phones located at the airport and at the cruise ship docking area. From other phones dial 121 to contact the SETAR international operator to place a collect or AT&T calling card call. Cellular phone rental is also available (Call 297 820005)
All major credit cards are accepted and there are Credit Card & Traveller's checks representatives (American Express/VISA/Mastercard/Discover) who will help you should you have any problems. ATM machines are also available for cards compatible with the Cirrus system. It might be an idea to check whether your card will work in Aruba by calling 1-800-4-CIRRUS or 1-800-THE-PLUS. You'll find more information in the money matters section.
Aruba's currency is the florin, denoted by the letters 'Afl.' , divided into 100 cents. The rate of exchange with the US dollar is Afls 1.77 for cash and Afls. 1.79 for checks. Traveller's checks are widely accepted.
Compliments and complaints regarding Aruba's tourism can be voiced by calling the Customer Service Hotline on (297) 5839000, active Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. An answering machine logs calls outside these days and hours. The individuals and/or establishments concerned will be informed. More tourism authority information in the tourism offices section.
There is no need to buy bottled water in Aruba, the island's tap water is pure and refreshing, distilled in the world's second largest saltwater desalination plant. Oil is refined on the island's southwest coast and a by-product of this process is abundant pure drinking water and electricity. The plant is called the WEB, and there are many requests to tour the plant that is located in Balashi (tel. 297-824700).
Rarely is there a power failure and the island has decided to adopt the North American voltage standard of 110 A.C. (60 cycles), the same as in the United States and Canada. The TV standard is NTSC so your home video camera will also play back on the hotel's TV sets or large screen projectors.
The main 280-bed hospital is well-equipped both as regards staff and equipment. Oxygen tanks and hemodialysis services are available. Hotels have doctors and dentists on call and appointments can also be arranged through your hotel. Several other medical clinics also exist on the island.
Aruba has its own postage stamps since 1986. Rates to US & Canada - Afls 1.40 or US$ 0.80 for the first 10 grams. Postcards Afls. 0.60 or US$ 0.35. To Europe Afls. 1.50 or US$ 0.90 for the first 10grams. Postcards Afls. 0.70 or US$ 0.40.
There is a 6% government tax on rooms and 11% hotel service charge on rooms, both of which will be shown on your hotel bill.
Seasons - High & Low
Aruba's low season falls between April 15th and December 14th and High Season is between December 15th and April 14th. Some hotel & resort accommodation packages differ from these dates by perhaps a week or so.
When included, the service charge on food and beverage is normally around 10 to 15 per cent. At one's own discretion an extra amount can be added for good service.
Most stores open from 9am to noon or 1pm and from 2pm to 6:30pm, although some remain open between noon and 2pm. Shops are open from Monday to Saturday. Hotel stores have varying open hours so check at your hotel for these. The Alahambra bazaar is open between 5pm and midnight. Mall store hours are 10am until 6pm. You'll find more information in the shopping section.
Limited facilities for disabled persons are available. Some hotels have rooms that can completely accommodate disabled people while others have more limited facilities with ground floor rooms and wider doors to enable use of wheelchairs. Diving instructors with expertise for disabled persons are also available.
The time in Aruba is Atlantic Standard Time. It is the same as Eastern Daylight Savings time all year round.
What to wear
With Aruba's tropical climate, you will be comfortable in casual summerwear plus some light evening wear for restaurants, nightclubs and casinos (men might need a light jacket for some of these). Bathing suits are not permitted in shopping and business areas.
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