“Una isla feliz” is Aruba's motto. “A happy island” - this is the motto that seems to be a good life. The only 180 km² large Caribbean island is one of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao). Geographically counts Aruba, which is a popular cruise destination, to South America.
Aruba - speaks for itself
No wonder, the distance to the Venezuelan mainland is only a few kilometers. Aruba is politically anchored in the Netherlands; it is one of the four parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands with its own constitution, government and the Aruba florin as its currency.
Aruba at a glance
How does the visitor perceive Aruba? The landscape of the island, 30 km long and 9 km wide, appears mostly flat. The two highest peaks on the island are the Jamanota at 188 meters and the Hoolberg at 165 meters. In the west there are beautiful long sandy beaches; rocky coasts rise to the east. In the interior of the island, hills with cacti and agaves, the remains of a gold mine, a national park, a bird sanctuary and much more await curious guests.
The climate hardly changes. Throughout the year the temperatures fluctuate fairly consistently at around 27 degrees Celsius. At 510 mm, there is little rain throughout the year. However, when it rains it can pour down hard and Oranjestad's streets are difficult to pass.
Aruba is outside the hurricane zone. These are almost ideal weather conditions for vacationers. More than 1,5 million guests visit the island every year. Three quarters of the visitors come from the USA.
Aruba's tourism authority puts the number of inhabitants at 120.000. The first recorded inhabitants of the island were Caquetio Indians. Their oldest settlements were dated to 2500 BC. Dated. Spanish conquerors discovered and settled Aruba from 1499. At that time, Aruba, along with the two other ABC islands, was considered "useless". In 1636, the Netherlands took possession of Aruba. It stayed that way until 1805 when ownership changed to England. However, this phase lasted only 11 years. Since 1816, Aruba has been part of the Netherlands again and Oranjestad is the capital.
Aruba lives mainly from tourism. The island did quite well as a tax haven for a long time. However, since the OECD criticized Aruba's status as a tax haven, the Dutch government has taken steps to comply with the OECD's requirements and to improve its international reputation. Despite these regulations, a number of offshore banks are still based on the island. Services in the field of data processing have recently also contributed to economic development.
The official currency is the Aruba Florin. An Aruba Florin is divided into 100 cents. The square 50 cent coin called yotin is striking. Aruba's currency is based on the dollar. For one dollar you get 1,79 Aruba Florin. Since the US dollar is accepted everywhere on the island, there is no need to exchange it if you have dollars with you.
Aruba is a popular cruise destination. In 2016, 307 cruise ships called at Aruba with around 656.000 passengers, in 2017 there were 352 calls with over 790.000 passengers. What does the guest see and do when the cruise ship docks in the port of Oranjestad? More information can be found at Aruba sightseeing.
(Update February 2018)