Aruba Travel Guide

DUTY-FREE SHOPPING

Overview

The following items can be imported into Aruba duty-free (people over 16 years of age who do not live in Aruba):

200 cigarettes or 25 cigars or 50 cigarillos or 250 g tobacco,

1 liter of spirits,

Gifts and items for personal use up to the equivalent of Afl 400.

ECONOMY

Business etiquette

Business hours: I. General Mon-Fri 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Economy

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Aruba (Chamber of Commerce Aruba)
LG Smith Boulevard 10, PO Box 140, Oranjestad
Tel: (582) 11 20
Internet: www.arubachamber.com

Business contacts

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Aruba (Chamber of Commerce Aruba)
LG Smith Boulevard 10, PO Box 140, Oranjestad
Tel: (582) 11 20
Internet: www.arubachamber.com

Aruba Travel Guide

SHOP

Overview

Shopping in Aruba is virtually duty-free and the stores sell goods from all over the world. It is worth shopping for perfume, tablecloths and duvet covers, jewelry, watches, cameras, crystal glass, china and other luxury items. According to thefreegeography, Aruba is a country in Central America.

There are numerous modern and architecturally interesting shopping centers in the city center of Oranjestad, including the Palm Beach Plaza (Internet: www.palmbeachplaza.com), the Renaissance Marketplace & Mall (Internet: www.shoprenaissancearuba.com) and the Sun Plaza (Internet: www.sunplaza-aruba.com).

Local handicrafts such as paintings and prints with island motifs, pottery and objects made of Kwihi wood or metal or models of the cunucu, the traditional Aruban country houses, are popular souvenirs. Since Aruba is an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, windmills and wooden shoes in a Caribbean ambience are typical Aruban souvenirs.

The times of the gold rush are long gone, but you can still find very beautiful pieces of jewelery at low prices at local jewelers.

Aloe grows in abundance in Aruba, and toiletries are produced and sold locally.

On the weekends, the flea market on LG Smith Boulevard in Oranjestad attracts many tourists. Here you will find a wide range of Aruban handicrafts, clothing, leather goods and souvenirs as well as Caribbean snacks and grill specialties.

Opening hours

Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Some larger shopping centers are open until 8:00 p.m. A free, nostalgically designed shuttle bus takes tourists on a shopping tour through the capital’s business district.

NIGHTLIFE

Introduction

Above all else, Aruba’s nightlife is colorful. For the islanders, music is an expression of pure joie de vivre, and there is plenty of it here. Every evening fiery rhythms from the bars and nightclubs penetrate the streets. Salsa and merengue sounds invite you to dance along, but you can also hear pieces from the American charts, European house music, rock and jazz.

Carnival is the most exuberant event of the year, when carnival parades, competitions and street parties celebrate fantastically costumed participants to Caribbean sounds for a month. The warm-up parties are not only about the colorful and cheerful carnival atmosphere but also about enjoying beer.

In the city center of Oranjestadt, chic caf√©s, cozy pubs and trendy cocktail bars beckon all year round. There are also several discos and nightclubs in Oranjestad with revues and live shows. Latin American dances and live concerts are also regularly held in Aruba’s theaters and event halls, as well as in some restaurants and hotels.

The party buses (Internet: www.kukookunuku.com or www.bananabusaruba.com), which transport their guests from one party to the next, offer a special evening program.

Aruba is also known for its numerous casinos, which are open from 11 a.m. until the early hours of the morning (access from 18 years of age).

The drive-in theater and the only other movie theater show the latest American, European, and South American films.

CULINARY

Regional specialities

Among the local specialties include Stoba (stew with lamb or goat meat), Cala (fried beans), Keshi yena (cheese casserole with chicken or beef and vegetables), Pastechi (with Fleich or cheese-filled pastries), Ayacas (in sheets wrapped meat rolls) and sopito (thick fish soup).

Tip

Hotels charge a 15% service charge on food and drinks. Some restaurants have a 15% service charge; if not, a tip of 10 to 15% of the invoice amount is appropriate.

Regional drinks

The drinking water is obtained in one of the largest seawater desalination plants in the world and is considered one of the best in the world. The Balashi beer, brewed according to the purity law, is also exported to the neighboring islands of Bonaire and Curacao and even to Holland. As everywhere in the Caribbean, alcoholic mixed drinks and cocktails are often refined with a strong dash of rum. The deep red Coecoei liqueur is extracted from the agave and is often used for cocktails. The wine made in Aruba is a specialty: The grapes of the sea grape tree are processed into a full-bodied wine and only served on special occasions.

Minimum age for consuming alcoholic beverages

In Aruba you are allowed to drink alcohol from the age of 18.

ACCOMMODATION

Hotels

Most of the hotels on Palm Beach and Eagle Beach offer a very high level of comfort. Many of these luxuriously appointed hotels are located directly on the beach, have swimming pools, shopping, sports facilities, and evening entertainment. Hotel prices are significantly lower in summer as the main season here extends over winter. 16.6% tax and service are added to the hotel prices, 15% on meals.

Categories:
All accommodations are divided into luxury and 1st class. Further information from the Aruba Tourism Authority in Seeheim (see addresses) or from the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association (AHATA), PO Box 542, LG Smith Boulevard 174, Oranjestad. (Tel: (8) 2 26 07).