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About Aruba

Information for Caribbean Vacations in Aruba

Aruba is a small Caribbean island off the coast of South America, specifically in the Leeward Antilles island arc. Aruba is a mostly flat, riverless island renowned for its white sand beaches. Aruba and its neighbors to the east, Curaçao and Bonaire, are collectively known as the ABC islands. With little seasonal temperature variation exists, Aruba attracts tourists all year round to the island, a mere 27 km north of the Paraguaná Peninsula, which is part of the Venezuelan mainland.

About Aruba | Aruba History | Aruba Culture


Aruba's Queen Beatrix International Airport is located near Oranjestad, the capital of the island, and a wide range of hotels are available, from luxury resorts to local bed & breakfast inns. A good selection of private homes and villas are also available for rental as a holiday vacation travel destination.


Watersports are the reason most tourists come to Aruba, with windsurfing, scuba diving, sailing, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling tours and even a submarine ride being popular attractions. Aruba also offers golfing, hiking, horseback riding, 4x4 safaris, and tennis. After the sun goes down, enjoy the poolside bars, restaurants and casino for Aruba's famous nightlife.


During the Dia Di San Juan celebration in June, Arubans dress in red and yellow to represent fire. This celebration has its origins in Arawak harvest festivals, but Spanish missionaries combined these with the celebration of San Juan. Aruba is the only country in the world that celebrates this day with dancing and singing. Dande is a traditional Aruban New Year's celebration. The name “dande,” is derived from a Papiamento word which means “to revel”, and marks the anniversary of King William III declaring slaves to be free. April 30 is Queen's Day, an official holiday honoring Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, with ceremonies, parades, and national sporting and musical events. Aruba's carnival is a big annual event on the island, with vibrant displays of color in the parades with dancers in fantastic fancy dress, competitions and many "jump-ups" (street parties).


The first people to inhabit the island migrated north from the Orinoco Basin in South America. They were a nation of Arawak Indians called the Caiquetios who settled here approximately 2,000 years ago. The Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda was the first European to discover the island in 1499, claiming the island for Queen Isabella. The Spanish decided that the island was too arid for the sugar cane plantations that were the usual fate of most of the Caribbean islands, so they had little interest in it other than as a source of slaves. The Arawak Indians were able to survive here long after they were eliminated from the rest of the Caribbean islands.

In 1636, Aruba came to the attention of the Dutch, who had recently been driven from their base in St.Maarten by the Spanish. they needed another base to establish a colonial presence. They soon captured the islands of Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire from the Spanish, who put up very little resistance. The discovery of gold in 1824 caused many of the Arawak slave to be returned from Hispañola to work in the new mines. Aruba has been a Dutch possession for most of the years since, with brief interuptions during the Napoleonic War and World War II.


Passport Requirement

passport Please be advised that the Passport requirements for U.S. Citizens to re-enter the country from Aruba and the Caribbean is changing. Effective December 31, 2006 all U.S citizens traveling into the United States from Aruba and the Caribbean must have a valid U.S. passport. U.S. Birth certificates will no longer be acceptable as a travel document. On December 31, 2007, a passport or other accepted documentation is required for all air, sea, and land border crossings.


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