Electricity

Electric current in Aruba is 127 volts, 60Hz. Flat two and three-pin plugs are standard.

Language

The official languages in Aruba are Dutch and the native Papiamento. English and Spanish are taught in school and are also widely spoken. Some French is also understood.

Money

The official currency is the Aruban Florin (AWG). The Florin is tied to the US Dollar. US currency is accepted everywhere and other major currencies can be exchanged at banks. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted and there are ATMs in Oranjestad.

Tipping

A 10 or 15-percent tip is usually included on restaurant, bar and room service bills in Aruba. Otherwise, a tip should be added, usually 10 to 20 percent depending on the service. There is an 11-percent room tax on hotel bills. Taxis should be tipped around 15 percent and porters expect a tip of US$1 per bag.

Health

There are no special health requirements for visitors to Aruba, but travellers coming from yellow fever infected countries need an immunisation certificate. Aruba has experienced occasional outbreaks of dengue fever, a flu-like illness transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes that favour densely populated areas. The use of insect repellent is advised. Visitors are warned that some types of fish, including some tropical reef fish, are poisonous when eaten, even cooked. Medical care is good in Aruba, which has one hospital, and four modern medical centres spread over the island. Health insurance is recommended; food and water are considered safe.

Safety

Crime is not a major problem in Aruba and most visits are trouble-free. However, visitors are still advised to take common-sense precautions, such as locking valuables in the hotel safe and taking care when walking home at night.


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Doing business

Oranjestad is the main business centre in Aruba and the focus for the island's growing international financial services. English is considered to be the language of business. Meetings are generally held in formal settings such as offices or conference centres; smoking and chewing gum are not acceptable. Handshaking is customary for introductions between both men and women; female business associates should be treated with as much respect as men and often hold high positions in companies. Punctuality for meetings is required. Business hours are 9am to 5pm.

Duty free

Travellers to Aruba do not need to pay customs duty on 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, one litre of alcohol and gift articles to the value of AWG 400.

Communications

The international dialling code for Aruba is +297. Visitors with unlocked phones can purchase local SIM cards and all of the destination's resorts and hotels offer WiFi, as do many of its cafes and restaurants.

Passport & Visa

All passports must be valid for period of intended stay. It is highly recommended that travellers always have six months' validity on their passports after departure. Visitors must hold sufficient funds, onward or return tickets, and all documents for next destination. As part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travellers travelling between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean region are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. Travellers departing from the USA must present a valid passport to immigration authorities. Most visas can be extended up to a total of 180 days per calendar year.

Entry requirements

United States passport holders must have a passport valid for period of intended stay. A visa is not required for stays of up to 90 days.

UK nationals require a passport valid for period of intended stay and may stay for 90 days without a visa.

Canadian nationals require a passport valid for period of intended stay. A visa is not required for stays of up to 90 days.

Australian nationals require a passport valid for period of intended stay, but no visa for stays of up to 90 days.

South African nationals must hold a passport valid for period of intended stay, and a visa. Holders of a valid multiple entry 'C' or 'D' visa issued by a Schengen member state can stay for up to 90 days without a visa.

Irish nationals require a passport valid for period of intended stay, but no visa for stays of up to 90 days.

New Zealanders require a passport valid for period of intended stay, but a visa is not needed for a stay of up to 90 days.

Useful contacts

Aruba Tourism Authority, Oranjestad: +1 800 862 7822 or www.aruba.com

Emergencies: 911

Embassies / consulates in other countries

Royal Netherlands Embassy, Washington DC, United States (also responsible for Aruba): +1 202 244 5300.

Royal Netherlands Embassy, London, United Kingdom (also responsible for Aruba): +44 (0)20 7590 3200.

Royal Netherlands Embassy, Ottawa, Canada (also responsible for Aruba): +1 613 237 5030.

Royal Netherlands Embassy, Canberra, Australia (also responsible for Aruba): +61 (0)2 6220 9400.

Royal Netherlands Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa (also responsible for Aruba): +27 (0)12 425 4500.

Royal Netherlands Embassy, Dublin, Ireland (also responsible for Aruba): +353 (0)1 269 3444.

Royal Netherlands Embassy, Wellington, New Zealand (also responsible for Aruba): +64 (0)4 471 6390.

Embassies / consulates in Aruba

US Consulate General, Curacao (also responsible for Aruba): +599 (0)9 461 3066.

British Consulate General Amsterdam, Amsterdam (also responsible for Aruba): +31 70 427 0427.

Consulate of Canada, Curaçao (also responsible for Aruba): +599 (0)9 560 9936.