Aruba is a tourist destination like no other; this Caribbean desert island offers plenty of options for travelers looking to arrive and get around in style. Hassle-free travel is helped by good roads and even better public transportation, which can help alleviate the pressure of Oranjestad's often-congested streets.
Tourists flying into Aruba either by chartered air craft or commercial airline will enter the country via the Reina Beatrix International Airport, which is one of the most state-of-the-art airports in the Caribbean. This airport can accommodate both regional and international flights; so many foreign visitors will find that direct flights to the island are easier to come by than elsewhere in the Caribbean, which aids in keeping tourism rates high.
In order to travel to some of Aruba’s neighboring islands; tourists often experience layovers in Aruba in order to make a connecting flight to a country with a smaller airport like Curacao. This may be a great opportunity for foreign visitors to explore the island, perhaps by scheduling your arrival in the morning and departure that evening or even the next day.
Air travelers should read up on Aruba's airline regulations, which may be stricter than those imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States. However, the tight regulations are accompanied by top-notch services and an accommodating airport.
Our comprehensive guide to Aruba Air Travel contains plenty of useful information about the airlines, airports, and different routes avaliable. Take a look if you are interested.
Another travel option is to arrive by a yacht that flies your own flag. If you are a seasoned sailor, you can make arrangements to sail to the island yourself, or, if you need a little help you can hire a crewed charter. Either way, sailing is most definitely one of the more adventurous ways to get to Aruba.
There are three major ports in Aruba, but most arrive at the Oranjestad, which is owned by the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino. When you dock here, there is a small fee for each day you stay, as well as a charge for water and electricity used.in
Vacationers looking to arrive by sea can arrive in style on a cruise ship and briefly experience what Aruba has to offer. Americans started cruising to Aruba in the 1950s, and it has been a favored destination ever since. In 2002, Aruba had its 500 thousandth cruise passenger, and since then has continued to be a welcoming environment for cruisers, often embarking on beautification projects at the cruise ship terminals.
Although cruisers don’t have the luxury of spending their entire vacation touring the beautiful island of Aruba, this can be a great opportunity for a quick visit to one or two of the island’s more popular attractions or beaches, and to do some duty free shopping.
Click here to learn more about cruising to Aruba.
...experience what Aruba has to offer...
Rental cars are a good option for folks who value a sense of independence, as you won't need to wait to hop in and go exploring. Brush up on a few tips to help visitors drive in Aruba and then feel free to hit the open road. If you're planning on keeping your travels mainly in the city, you can get by in a compact car. However, if you're like most travelers, you might want to get out and explore the natural side of the island. If this is the case for you, make sure to request a vehicle with four wheel drive and good suspension, and double check that there is a spare tire that is properly inflated. One thing worthy of note, however, is that gas on the island is often much more expensive than in the United States, so you will want to take that into consideration when planning your budget.
You can learn more about renting a car in Aruba by clicking here.
Bikes and mopeds, of course, are another alternative for adventurous travelers. The perfect weather and amazing scenery make riding a good way for visitors to get outside in the beautiful surroundings. Aruba is known for having a relatively flat terrain, and that knowledge invites many tourists to utilize these small vehicles as their main mode of transportation during their stay, though it should be warned that confusing roads and heavy traffic during rush hour may make it a difficult. Seasoned Arubans would recommend that you choose a bike or moped as a fun option for a day, rather than for your entire stay.
Many vacationers will opt for taxis, as they are an affordable and familiar choice for travelers who want to avoid the hassle of deciphering bus routes and foreign street signs. Government-regulated rates and easily distinguished hired cars (those with a 'TX' on the license plate) all make traveling by taxi very convenient. Find out more by reading our Guide to Taxis in Aruba.
Buses are another option that will appeal to visitors who are on a limited budget or who enjoy experiencing a bit more of the local culture. Traveling by bus is a great way to see different parts of the islands, too. In Aruba, there is a collection of government run buses with lines that run from San Nicholas to the end of the hotel zone in Oranjestad. Additionally, 40 or so mini buses that are privately owned provide transportation throughout the island. It is important to note that while the cost of utilizing any of these buses is cheap, you'll need exact change to ride.
More information on buses in Aruba can be found here.
A new transportation option to hit the streets of Oranjestad is an electric trolley. There are currently two trollies, or street cars, in operation. One is a green single level and the other a blue double decker. They both make their way through the downtown area on a mile and a half route, crossing L.G. Smith Boulevard and traveling along Main Street with stops behind the Royal Plaza Mall and the Renaissance Mall. The entire loop takes about 20 minutes and is free to passengers.
The trolley runs Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Although it is hard to predict when it will be at each stop, it is a great option for those looking for an inexpensive, scenic, and fun ride round the capital city.
It is not at all practical to plan on using ferry service as your main source of transportation. While other Caribban islands often offer services from one port to the next so that you can sail around the island rather than drive through it, Aruba is not one of these islands. Still, there is one ferry available, and that is a small one to De Palm Island. Vacationers who would like to explore De Palm Island will find that the ferry service out to the island is reliable and pleasant. The trip is short and the snorkeling on the island is well-worth the commute.
Almost anywhere you travel in Aruba will be within easy reach of some transit options, however, it's best to know what to expect ahead of time. Vacationers have plenty of options, and all of them are safe, speedy and reliable in Aruba.
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