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States, it is not necessary to obtain the local currency since U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere and dollars may be withdrawn from ATM's as well.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.
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.
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.
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.
The ARCHELOGICAL MUSEUM next to the St Franciscuskerk
is a one room eposure of the pre-colombian history of Aruba. While Arubians are proud of there Indian history and many places still remember this past by there names, and local archeologists do a lot of excavating, this liliput exposition is a shame for the goverments effort on this terain. The positive side: it's completely free,
if there is a guard, he's sleeping, so don't disturb...
which can be sead from this guy: the classical way to let the native indians to there final rest.
Downtown Oranjestad we get FORT ZOUTMAN an old part of the dutch defense of the island. There is a nice museum in it whitch shows parts of the history of the island aswell as some documentation of fauna en flora.
Every tuesday night there is a cultural performance with dancing, foodtasting and/or life music.
Here some of those typical Arubian houses. A low piramidal roof for passat winds, borders decorated with the own island blend of traditional decoration: a mix of old french designs and indian motives whitch have to keep te bad gosts away. Old houses were build with coral stones and adobe for a cooler place. Ocker earth with Aloe Vera was used as paint.
The people of Aruba a very friendly. However, some of the waiters will lure you into double-tipping them. Every restaurant on the island automatically adds 15% to the bill, although some of the waiter's deny this fact, and ask for an additional tip. Get an itimized bill and check it.
Aruba is said to have the third most beautiful Carnival in the world after Rio Brazil and Trinidad in the Caribbean, but it ranks of course number 1 in safety amongst the top 5 most beautiful Carnivals.
Carnival in Aruba is a sense of celebrating humanity, celebrating being happy and Arubans are good in doing just that. Aruba has celebrated this year its 46th annual Carnival. What simply began as a street music celebration, with locals playing their drums while dancing with masquerades and costumes has evolved in being Aruba's top Cultural attraction, attracting thousands of visitors.
Carnival in Aruba originated in the town of San Nicolas. With the coming of the refinery many Caribbean islanders especially from Trinidad came to Aruba to settle. At that time San Nicolas was the town to live as the refinery was located there. You can say that the land that invented Calypso music and great Carnival costumes, Trinidad, has gave a piece of its culture to Aruba and Aruba has made something out of it.
Carnival is the most popular cultural celebration on the island. Carnival in Aruba officially starts on the eleventh month of the year November, 11th day at 11hours 11minutes 11seconds in the morning, but it is not until early January that the first Carnival activities start. It starts with the torch parade in the streets of Oranjestad and the additional activities such as queen elections, carnival jump ups and the famous Roadmarch and Calypsonian contest in the entire month of January. In February is when we see the first Carnival parade initiate. In Aruba there are three children Carnival parades only for children at separate days each weekend in the three main towns of the island, Oranjestad, San Nicolas and Noord. There is a lightning parade which is also famous and there are two adult parades one in San Nicolas and one in Oranjestad. The adult parade in Oranjestad is the Grand Carnival parade which start 11:00 am in the morning and ends at 7:00pm while celebrations continue the entire night with locals dancing and having fun along side the streets.
The Grand Carnival parade is always scheduled each year in the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday. It is on the day before Ash Wednesday which is Tuesday that we do burn King Momo a made up large doll and say farewell to the Carnival.
On Ash Wednesday many Arubans do go to church to receive a painted ash cross on their forehead. So on Ash Wednesday and the days after no more Carnival music is to be heard on the island and the celebrations are over until next year.
The RoadMarch Contest is a very rhythmic Carnival music contest held at the Joe Laveist Sports park in San Nicolas. The contest has a duration of 3 days. The winning song of the contest will be heard playing in the bands leading the many parades. The Calypsonian Contest are slow rhythm songs, the words of these songs often reflects on the problems that society is facing today. So Roadmarch is much more of a jamming song and Calypso is more like a listening slow dance songs. Calypso is not heard in the parades only the jamming Roadmarch Songs. A popular Carnival activity is the Jouvert Morning, many people get up at 3:00 am in the morning and head to the town of San Nicolas for Jouvert Morning which starts at 4:00am.
Jouvert Morning is the peoples parade in which people dance behind the many bands that are playing in their pyjamas until the sunrises at 7:00am. On that same day at 2:00pm the Grand Carnival parade in San Nicolas will start. The lightning parade is night parade with costumes lit up with lights in the streets of Oranjestad. The lightning parade starts at 9:00pm and ends before midnight. All in all there is much to do and see in Aruba in terms of culture celebrations during the month of January and February and may be March depending on what day Ash Wednesday falls which marks the end of the activities.
ARUBA'S CULTURAL FEATURES.
Arubans are very delighted if visitors would try to speak a few words to them in Papiamento. For instance if you are going to a store and you greet the one that is attending you, you would want to say Bon Tardi which is good afternoon in Englsih or Bon dia which is good morning.
And if you are leaving the store you would like to say thank you and good bye. Thank you in English is Masha Danki in Papiamento and goodbye in English is Ayo in Papiamento. It is just these few words that can make the Arubans smile so beautifully.
Papiamento is a language only spoken on the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. It is a mixture of Portuguese, French, English, Dutch, Spanish and West African.
Words in Papiamento;
Bon Dia: Good morning.
Bon Tardi: Good afternoon.
Bon Nochi: Good evening.
Ayo: bye bye.
Travelers should never expect fast service in the Caribbean which includes Aruba. Arubans do take life one second at the time.
The overall service on the island is excellent and very customer oriented, in Aruba the client is king.
If you are planning to book your vacation in January, February try to book well in it advance as it is the Carnival season and flights may be filled.
That’s all for now,
Everyone there speaks English, Spanish and an island dialect called Papiamento. The American dollar is accepted everywhere. Go up these stairs at the mall and you can spend all the dollars you want.
No problem, go have fun.
If you are a wind-surfing fan then you have to go to Aruba in June. Then there is the Hi-winds Pro am windsurfing tournament. You can find the tournament near the Marriot Hotel.
Go ahead, drink the water. Aruba has it's own water treatment plant, so you don't have to worry about getting sick.
LG Smith Boulevard 55-B, Oranjestad, Aruba, 1347, Caribbean
Good for: Business
My husband and I enjoyed our honeymoon here. There is a great restaurant on site and the staff are...more
Palm Beach Road, Noord 43E, Noord, Caribbean
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples