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Aruba Facts and Information
Flight and Transfers
Direct flights from Gatwick to Queen Beatrix International Airport in Aruba take approximately 9 hours and 30 minutes. If you pre-book your transfers with us, you’ll be met at the airport by a Tropical Sky representative who will guide you to your transfer vehicle.
British Citizens travelling to the Aruba require a full British passport which must be valid for 6 months after departure from this country. All children and infants must also have their own passports for entry into the Aruba. A visa is not required. Please check up to date visa requirements with the Foreign Office.
It’s a bit complicated, but what you mainly need to know is that Aruba is a very popular holiday destinations for Americans, meaning that everyone involved in the tourism industry (and indeed, most people generally) will be able to speak at least passable English. However, Aruba has two official languages: Dutch and Papiamento, meaning all government documents will be in both of these languages. Papiamento is a creole language derived primarily from Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English and a variety of African dialects. This broad range of sources means that it sounds simultaneously familiar and unintelligible to speakers of any of its derivative languages.
If you’re just staying at your hotel with a couple of trips into the town centre or the tourist sights then you’ll be fine without a car – taxis, buses and pre-arranged hotel tours are fine for this purpose. However, if you plan to explore the island you’ll need a car.
Self-Drive: Driving in Aruba never feels remotely as precarious as some parts of the Caribbean. Nevertheless, the driving style here is casual, so expect the frequent non-appearance of indicators when the car ahead turns. Prices are fairly reasonable.
Bus: The impressively named ‘Arubus’ buses serve Oranjestad and the main hotel areas making them a good choice if you just want to get around here. Buses don’t travel to the more rural areas, so you’ll have to look into other transport if this is your goal.
Taxi: The fares are fixed for specific distances, so there won’t be any haggling process involved in getting a taxi here.
The official currency is the Aruban Florin. But just to keep you on your toes, the word ‘florin’ is interchangeable with ‘guilder’, which was the previous currency. US Dollars are widely accepted, as are credit cards.
Health and Vaccinations
There are no specific vaccinations needed before you visit Aruba, although it’s worth re-checking before you visit to ensure the situation hasn’t changed. The water in Aruba is completely safe to drink and is of excellent quality. For more information please visit the NaTHNaC and MASTA travel health websites.
GMT -5 during summer (-4 in winter)