Local traditions and culture in Aruba

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Aruba

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    Lucky Piles

    by SabrinaSummerville Written Jan 18, 2007

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    As I said earlier, the Arubans are a very superstitious people.

    One of their little customs is to build stone piles or towers for good luck. We drove to the North of the island and in a very wild and rugged stony part of the island we found thousands of these pillars made of stone. Some of them are really enormous, but each one consists of one stone placed on top of another reaching towards the sky. There is no mention that the higher the pile the greater the luck, so I built just a nice tidy little one.

    The secret in keeping your pile erect is ...... good balance:-)

    Lucky Stone Piles Lucky Stone Piles
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    Fireworks!

    by SabrinaSummerville Written Jan 15, 2007

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    As we drove from the airport to the Hotel we were treated to a spectacular fireworks display. I had never seen one that was quite so amazing.

    This was two days before new Year's Eve, and the fireworks kept on flashing for the next two days and nights, though not quite as spectacularly.

    Then, on New Year's Eve night, all the guests in our hotel were invited to a party on the hotel roof. From there we could see fireworks exploding in a myriad of colours all over the island.

    Later we learned that the Arubans are a very superstitious people and one of their superstitions relates to fireworks and luck. The Arubans chase away the bad luck of the old year with fireworks, and welcome in the good luck of the new year with even more fireworks.

    Ah, if only it were so easy.........;-)

    Fireworks!
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  • MrRandMcnally's Profile Photo

    Carnival!

    by MrRandMcnally Updated Dec 29, 2006

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    On January 7 2006 we unexpectedly found ourself in Aruba's carnival. We didn't know about it beforehand and there did not sseem to be a tourist influx for the event It just happened. I guess every 18 wheel truck on the Island got all dressed up and bands played as they rolled by. Groups came along in matching t-shirts and there was even a Miss Carnaval waiving to the crowd.

    I've since been told that the January event is not the real Carnival but just the opening of the Carnival season. In February you get the real thing.

    A little parade

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  • LoriPori's Profile Photo

    ROCK SCULPTURES

    by LoriPori Written Nov 10, 2006

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    While driving through the northern coast of Aruba, we came across an area filled with literally thousands of ROCK SCULPTURES, Throughout the years folks have created some pretty impressive rock art by piling one rock on top of the other and so on and some even adding some branches or other item they have found in the area. It's probably based on an Indian custom, to mark your way. I even "created" a little rock sculpture just to say I did. Actually it was pretty pathetic compared to most. On one rock formation. a little salamander peeked out from the rock as if to say "Hello".

    Very creative rock sculpture Ilona & huge rock sculpture Lori & her little pile of rocks Little salamander peeking out from the rocks
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    Smoke a Cuban Cigar

    by amapola66 Updated Oct 30, 2005

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    Sister no 1, is rather partial to a Cuban cigar of distinction. Here she is, in the cigar salon at Cuba's Cookin' enjoying a quality puff with her after dinner cognac.

    Here in the UK, don't have the restrictions regarding the taking home of Cuban cigars.
    You can buy boxes in downtown Oranjestead, but they are even cheaper in Venezuela.

    (Shhh - I was also told, that if you really want to take some home to the USA, they will package them without the labels, naturally, I wouldn't recommend breaking the law though).

    Sister no 1, con Cigar
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    Money Makes The World Go'Round!

    by RoyJava Updated Jul 18, 2005

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    A bit of confusing:
    the Aruban Florin (AWG), the Antillian Guilder (ANG) and the US$!

    They do have all about the same value, though linked to the US$ it cannot be used in other country (US$ 1,00 equals 1,78 Aruban Guilder/Florin, and is 1.77 Antillian Guilder, about 1 Euro for now). Be aware on Aruba the prices are often qouted in US$ (not the case on Curacao & Bonaire) and, paying in US$ is peace of cake (even 50 & 100 $ bills, exchange rate of 1 to 1.75). Credit-cards & cheques no problems at all ...

    aruba-money
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    Language & Electricity

    by RoyJava Updated Jun 27, 2005

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    Language: >>>
    While Dutch is the official language of the islands, the people from the ABC-islands also have their own language: Papiamentu. It is an Creole language, originally from Spanish & Portuguese, with a lot of Dutch, English, and African influences. Fortunately everybody do speak English, as well as Spanish and Dutch. Antillians have a good sense for languages.

    Electricity: >>>
    110-130 volts a.c. 50 cycles. 60 cycles will work fine, too, except items like hair dryers, irons and some battery charging equipment, which may overheat if used for an extended period of time (like mine!). European appliances that run on 220 volt cannot be used, so bring adapters.

    poster-aruba
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    Curved Divi-Divi Trees Bow Your Path

    by RoyJava Updated Jun 27, 2005

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    Good to know >>>
    When you should get lost at Aruba, just follow the world-famous Divi-Divi trees. These gnarled spooky trees permanently bent towards Westerly side, caused by the constant trade winds. They will be your natural compass and show you the bustling hotel district ... just trust the bonsai-like figures!
    Good to know ... : -))

    divi-divi-hooiberg-aruba
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    Cacti fences

    by kazander Written Apr 24, 2005

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    I remember our tour guide explaining to us that the farmers in Aruba grew these cacti in straight lines to form fences to keep their animals in. What a great way to use nature to your advantage! It also makes a lot of sense seeing as there are not many trees on certain parts of the island,

    Aruba Cacti Fence
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  • amapola66's Profile Photo

    Mango Juice Rocks !

    by amapola66 Written Apr 5, 2005

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    The Small Person developed an addiction to fresh mango juice. The one she liked the best, was at Mangos bar at the Amsterdam Manor. She also took to ordering mango icecreams & smoothies all over the island.

    Highly recommended for small people all over the world.

    Yum!

    Mango Juice Rocks !
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    Ballet Folklorico Nacional di Aruba

    by cruisingbug Written Apr 22, 2004

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    These dancers appeared at Welcome Night at our resort (which was actually closer to our departure due to the weeklong, island-wide blackout, but that's another story). If you have a chance to see them, do so! From Caribbean (including Aruban) to Latin to African dances, this talented troupe wowed the crowd and seemed to have endless energy. A great show, which we would have paid good money for if it hadn't been free!

    Ballet Folklorico Nacional di Aruba

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  • annk's Profile Photo

    Currency is the Aruban Florin...

    by annk Updated Sep 6, 2002

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    Currency is the Aruban Florin which is divided into 100 cents. Silver coins are in denominations of 5, 10, 25 & 50 cents, one florin, 2 1/2 florins and 5 florins. The florin fluctuates with the dollar and exchange rate is AF 1.77 to the U.S. dollar.

    If visiting from the States, it is not necessary to obtain the local currency since U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere and dollars may be withdrawn from ATM's as well. Just don't take $50 or $100 dollar bills as they are not accepted due to counterfeit problems.

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  • Here it's a good one. Aruba's...

    by idrincon Written Aug 26, 2002

    Here it's a good one. Aruba's natives speak Papiamento, and some Spanish and English. However, not all of them have a good skill on the latter two.. so be patiente and do not be afraid to ask again is pronunciation is hard to understand.

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  • mocca's Profile Photo

    Aruba is an island of the sun,...

    by mocca Written Aug 26, 2002

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    Aruba is an island of the sun, to enjoy the good weather and most people will do this, but it still has some nice culture. There are old dutch colonial houses scattered around the island, and a windmill, so even on Aruba you can take in some culture.

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  • Jefvdw's Profile Photo

    If there is a cultural thing,...

    by Jefvdw Written Aug 25, 2002

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    If there is a cultural thing, it are the people themself.
    In the last years the interest to conservate the old houses is growing. The Netherlands are financially helping to restaurate our heritage.
    Visit downtown and in the outback (=cunucu) for old typical houses.

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