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Aruba - Brief Summary of the area

Ah Aruba, a beach-lover’s paradise!  Aruba's beaches, considered among the best in the world, are marked by white sands and crystal clear waters.  If you’d rather explore underneath the extraordinary water, Aruba has plenty of coral reefs, marine life and wreck diving to keep even the most seasoned divers occupied. 

For newlyweds that want to visit historical attractions, Aruba will not disappoint.  Visitors can choose from many attractions including the Archaeological Museum of Aruba, Fort Zoutman, Willem III Tower and Museo Arubano, and the Numismatic Museum of Aruba. 

Tourists continually tout Aruba as “Wonderful!  If you are looking for beautiful beaches, perfect weather, incredible food, and opportunities for many activities or just becoming one with a gorgeous stretch of soft sand, Aruba is your island.”

Why not make your matrimonial memories here, in Aruba?


Most popular Beach Locations: (if applicable)

From the vantage point of the beach, visitors delight in prime views of the expanse of clear, turquoise waters stretching out and deepening to an azure blue at the horizon. The soothing sounds of the water's ebb and flow, the brilliance of an ever-present sun and the caress of a soft wind slowly lulls sunbathers while swimmers relish the refreshing splash of the waves.

Aruba's beaches, considered among the best in the world, are marked by white sands and crystal clear waters.

Arashi Beach and nearby Boca Catalina are located just south of the lighthouse near the northwestern tip of Aruba and is known for terrific snorkeling.

Palm Beach is famous for calm waters and is located right in front of the major resorts.

Eagle Beach provides shaded picnic areas and plenty of parking right off the main road.  Several hotels are nearby, just across the street from the beach.

Rodgers Beach features slightly-rough surf.  It’s located close to the Baby Beach, and offers shady areas and shower facilities.

Baby Beach, known for its tranquil swimming cove, is located in Seroe Colorado at the southeastern end of the island, near the oil refinery. {Source – Aruba Official tourism Web site}


Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation (airports, ferries, etc) How to get there – Aruba's state-of-the-art airport facility is the result of a multimillion dollar renovation and expansion project that has established the Queen Beatrix International Airport as a hub in the Caribbean.  The island is served by a number of airlines, and connections can be made to any part of the world. U.S.-bound passengers benefit from their own terminal building that houses a U.S. Immigration/Customs facility, allowing flights from Aruba to enter the U.S. as domestic flights.

For U.S. bound passengers the PFC (departure tax) is U.S. $36.75 (usually included in the price of your ticket) and for international bound passengers the PFC (departure tax) is U.S. $33.50.  If in Aruba on transit for less than 24 hours, these charges are waived.  Visitors can leave the airport and return freely within those hours.  Children under 2 years of age do not pay the Aruba Departure Tax.

Aruba is also served by seasonal charter flights from Cleveland, Newark, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Orlando, Atlanta, Charlotte, Louisville, Cincinnati, Nashville and Stewart Newburgh.

Year round charters are available from Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and Hartford. {Source – Aruba Tourism}

Entry Requirements; passports, visa, etc. – As of 23 January 2007 all persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the USA and Canada, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda are required to present a valid passport or other approved document when entering or re-entering the U.S. {Source – U.S. Department of State}

Languages Spoken / official language – Dutch is the official language of Aruba.

Currency – The Aruban Guilder is the official currency of Aruba.

Tipping – Tipping standards across Aruba are probably not far from what you're used to.  Dining establishments in Aruba typically incorporate a 10 percent to 15 percent service charge to the final bill. 

As in many islands, taxis are not metered in Aruba.  They are operated on fixed government rates.  The cabs display a rate chart inside the vehicle.  Prior to embarking on the journey, it is recommended that you and the driver agree on a fee for your travel.  Tipping for a taxi driver normally can range between 10 percent and 15 percent of the final fare, but that is not always expected.  On Sundays and holidays, $1(USD) to $3(USD) is expected as a tip no matter what 10 percent to 15 percent of the final fare is, and on trips taken after midnight, give the driver at least $1(USD). 

For hotels, an automatic 15 percent to 20 percent service charge to cover beverage, food and room costs is usually part of your bill. {Source – Aruba Guide}

Taxes – For Tourists in Aruba, there is a 6 percent government room tax on all accommodations. {Source – Trip Advisor}

Electricity - 120V 60 Hz


2 parallel flat prongs

Other (immunizations, health issues) - Before visiting the Aruba, your doctor or health-care provider will determine what you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities.  {Source – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention}


Marriage Requirements, Licenses & Wedding Information

Civil marriages are now possible in Aruba, but they must take place at the Civil Town House.  Couples may also arrange a religious blessing after they have been legally married or just hold a romantic celebration beachside if they prefer. The following are the guidelines for the various ceremonies:

Civil legal requirements:

• All Civil/Legal Ceremonies must take place in the Civil Town House
• Documents include:
• A) Copies of birth certificate for bride and groom with apostille (state certification).
• B) Passport picture page or valid state issued picture I.D. for Bride and Groom.
• C) Witness (18 years up) passport picture page or valid state issued picture I.D. (minimum 2 witnesses) Witnesses can provided locally if bride and groom are traveling alone at approximately $50 each by a wedding planner.
• D) Certificate of no impediment for bride and groom (also referred to as a “single status report” and in some states called a “negative statement of marriage”).  This certificate of no impediment is obtained at the bureau of vital statistics which is located in the department of health.
• E) If either party has been divorced we need to receive a copy of the 1st and last page of the divorce decree(s).
• F) If either party is a widow(er) we need to receive a copy of the pertaining death certificate. Ceremony can take place in the late morning or early afternoon on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays. Saturdays are also available in the late mornings at an additional $150 surcharge.
• All documents are to be faxed for review and then submitted by courier (i.e. FedEx) at least one (1) month prior to desired wedding date.
{Source – Aruba Official tourism Web site}


Tourism Office address, phone and Web site

Aruba Tourism Authority
L.G. Smith Blvd. 172
Eagle, Aruba
Dutch Caribbean
E-mail: ata.aruba@aruba.com
Phone: International code +(297) 582-3777
Fax: International code +(297) 583-4702
Website: www.aruba.com


Other Travel related Web sites for the country or location

www.visitaruba.com

www.arubatourism.com

www.arubabound.com


Climate Information (what the seasons are like & when is the best time of year to travel)

Because of it’s proximity to the equator, the sun is strong, especially between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Aruba, and visitors enjoy morning sunrises and evening sunsets at roughly the same times each day, regardless of the seasons.

From January to March, the trade winds provide ideal windsurfing conditions off the windward coast of Aruba.  Since the terrain is almost flat, these same winds sweep clouds quickly over the island without allowing moisture to build into rain showers. Therefore, the sea off the leeward coasts is rarely stirred up by a storm, and visitors may count on ideal conditions for scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming.

Aruba enjoys a very healthy climate, making it a year-round paradise for residents and visitors alike.  The average temperature is 82 F, with cooling trade winds and the rarity of tropical storms and hurricanes. Aruba lies outside the hurricane belt therefore the rainfall is very moderate, averaging about 16.1" per year.  Aruba is just as comfortable in July as it is in January.  The difference between median day and night temperatures, and between summer and winter temperatures, is just 3.6.  The rainfall occurs mainly in short showers during November and December.  Aruba's weather is in a word, perfect. {Source – Aruba Tourism}

High & Low Season for travel – The peak tourist season is between mid-December and mid-April, but this has more to do with the weather in North America and Europe than it does with the weather on Aruba which is warm and fairly dry all year round. The high season for cruise ships runs from October to April.  It's therefore best to visit outside this period, when the port towns are almost sleepy and you can expect room rates to be almost halved.  This parched speck of an island off the coast of Venezuela has guaranteed sunshine and is blessed with beaches that make you say 'ahhh'.  {Source – Caribbean Forum}


Link to a good Map

Map of Aruba


Local Attractions & Must Do’s

Miles of wide-open seas present myriad seagoing and water sports adventures and make Aruba, one cool destination.  Under the brilliance of a constant sun, water provides the ultimate playground.  An entire vacation can be filled with water adventures ranging from the breathtaking look at an underwater world while diving, surrounding by thriving reefs and marine life during a day's adventure, or in exploring the ghostly hulls of underwater wrecks during a night dive. 

Armed with bathing suit, sunscreen and an adventurous spirit, go-getters pilot their way through tranquil lagoons by kayak, capture the wind to send themselves airborne while kite-surfing or wrestle the big fish from deep waters on a half- or full-day fishing trip.  An invigorating adrenaline rush is also the payoff to a high-powered speedboat or Jet Ski ride or in lifting up over open seas on a parasail trip.  Aruba's seas offer the promise of infinite possibilities to the free spirited vacationer.

Thrill Seekers can prepare themselves for the ride of their lives, by partaking in an unforgettable adventure exploring the wild side of Aruba by All Terrain Vehicle (ATV). Tours are led by an expert guide who will safely guide you through the streets of Aruba, cruising by island residents' charming and colorful homes. {Source – Aruba Official tourism Web site}


Top 5 Most Popular Hotels

Rated internationally as a 5-Star Resort, Playa Linda is comprised of 209 studios, one-bedroom, and Lanai Suites and two-bedroom luxury suites.  Each of these beautifully decorated and fully appointed vacation homes is spacious and exceptionally well-designed.

Playa Linda Beach Resort won the RCI Gold Crown Award for fourteen consecutive years (1992-2006), a designation given to resorts that have attained the highest level of excellence in resort accommodations and hospitality.  Interval International also bestowed 5-Star Status on the resort for 2005 and 2006 Playa Linda Beach Resort is also the only resort at Palm Beach with the distinction of being a Green Globe 21 and ISO 14001 certified Resort an honor shared with only 6 hotels in Aruba.

The Westin Aruba Resort is the perfect island destination, offering the charm of the Dutch Caribbean, a magnificent beach, glittering casino, and a host of outdoor pleasures.  Located on the luxurious strip of Palm Beach, Aruba, amidst sparkling blue water and soft sand beaches, visitors are invited to create the memories of a lifetime.  Enjoy sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, and golf.  Take a refreshing swim in the ocean.  Drift in the gorgeous seaside pool. Or relax with a refreshing massage, body wrap or facial at the Spa.  Discover the ideal blend of Caribbean warmth and Las-Vegas-style excitement at the Westin Aruba Resort!

When you think of Aruba hotels, consider the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort Aruba. Choosing this enticing Aruba resort will make your Aruba vacation special from the moment you arrive.  Our porte cochere entrance, with beautiful, lush landscaping welcomes you to a tropical paradise that is unique among hotels in Aruba.

With a $40 million resort renovation ending in January 2008, guests will bask in a peaceful Caribbean resort atmosphere from the moment they arrive.  At the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, the hotel lobby will be renovated, creating beautiful and relaxing public space.  In addition to offering the most spacious hotel rooms in Aruba, the guestrooms in the South and Atrium Towers have been completely updated with plush linens, luxurious bathrooms and high- tech amenities like the Jack Pack- allowing guests to connect their media devices to new LCD widescreen TV's.  

As always, guests can enjoy the lagoon-style pool.  In January, the Aruba Marriott Resort welcomed the world-renowned Ruth's Chris Steak House.  Experience the best the Island has to offer at the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino:  The Aruba Playground for all generations.

Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino features 556 rooms and suites and the finest amenities and activities on Aruba.  Two distinctive lodging options at this Aruba hotel offer both style and a tropical elegance.  The Renaissance Marina Hotel is a hip adult-exclusive destination for travelers over 18 while the Renaissance Ocean Suites is perfect for families.  Both Aruba resort options have pools or you can enjoy the 40-acres of private beach on Renaissance Island.  For a special treat, book a massage at our exclusive Spa Cove on the Island.  Aruba's best shopping; dining, casinos, and nightlife are all at the Renaissance Aruba Resort.  For groups, the Renaissance Convention Center offers 22,000 sq ft of function space as well as special themed events on Renaissance Island.  The Renaissance Aruba Resort is a Caribbean vacation from the ordinary