Local traditions and culture in Aruba

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Most Viewed Local Customs in Aruba

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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.........;-)

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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:-)

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    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".

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    Christmas in Aruba

    by SabrinaSummerville Written Jan 28, 2007

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    The Arubans go "all out" (to quote a local) to celebrate Christmas. In fairness, the Arubans go all out to celebrate any occasion of any kind - this is a true party island!

    I was fascinated by scenes such as this life size crib in gardens, Christmas music playing from sound systems set up in the gardens of houses where the occupants were clearly at work for the day, incredible displays of brightly coloured Christmas lights strung on palm trees.

    Oh, just go there and see for yourself:-)

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    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!

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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!

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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,

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    Rock Piles

    by grandmaR Updated Apr 24, 2011

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    On the east side of the island near where the old Natural Bridge was located, we saw a number of mysterious small stacks of rocks. I was told that they were piled there by tourists following an Indian custom - you must stack 3 rocks on top of one another. Each rock has its own name (love, wealth, and health). When you stack them, make a wish, if the rocks are blown over by the waves, your wish will be granted. Guides tell visitors this story and stop and let visitors make their own rock piles

    But according to internet sources

    The true story on these rock piles is that originally they were made by an Aruban artist expressing his art with rocks. There was an article in the Aruba Today newspaper about these very famous rock piles along the coast of 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 ... : -))

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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 ...

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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.

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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).

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    Local inhabitants

    by Kisu Written Feb 16, 2008

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    You'll meet these cool guys anywhere, mostly nearby the sea and rocks. Have a lunch on the beach and soon you'll see 10 iguanas around you waiting for tiny snack...They are harmless and really picturesque!

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    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.

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  • Leaving Aruba, going to Aruba Airport Tip

    by droid_travel14 Updated Mar 24, 2014

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    Let me give you a handy piece of advice for flying from Aruba back to your home. When they tell you to be at the airport 3 - 3.5 hours before your flight, they are not joking. It will take you that long to go through the multiple security checkpoints and get through customs. The lines at the airport are ridiculously long, there's probably no way around it, that's just the way it is. We did see several couples that had missed their flight because they didn't get to the airport soon enough.
    Also, I believe we rode the De Palms Tour bus from the airport to our resort and then also rode it from the resort back to the airport at the end of our stay, I believe it was a lot cheaper than getting a taxi at the airport.

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