Aruba Local Customs

  • Hello?
    Hello?
    by briantravelman
  • Dog Cemetery
    Dog Cemetery
    by briantravelman
  • Locals' Night Out
    Locals' Night Out
    by briantravelman

Aruba Local Customs

  • Arubans Like To Give Thumbs Ups

    If you spend some time hanging around the locals, you will quickly notice that they like to give thumbs ups, especially when posing for pictures or being filmed. Not all of them will do it, but we had it happened to us several times during our trip. I would do it too, when they did it.Our guide gave thumbs ups on several occassions, especially when...

    more
  • They Don't Want Their Own Money

    I have been to 13 countries, and have never seen anything like this before. First time in my life, I was in a place where the people didn't want to be paid in their own currency. Everyone wanted to be paid in American dollars. Sure, they would take the florin, but they always preferred U.S. Dollars, and the original price was almost always stated...

    more
  • At Fast Food Places, Wait 'Til You're...

    I go to fast foods a lot in the U.S., and as soon as the person in front of me, walks away from the counter, I walk up. Apparently, that's considered rude in Aruba.I walked up to the counter at a McDonald's, and the lady said in an angry tone, "Wait a minute, please."Don't just walk up to the counter at a fast food restaurant. They don't like that....

    more
  • Talk To The Locals In Papiamento

    The locals in Aruba, really like when you speak Papiamento, even if it's just a few simple phrases. They don't expect it, so it's fun to watch their reactions. I would recommend learning a few basic phrases, and using them with the locals. They really like it, and it will get you a good note with them. You will connect with them more, and it will...

    more
  • Coconut Vendors

    If you go to the popular tourist spots on the island, like Oranjestad, Alto Vista Chapel, and California Lighthouse, you will see these guys with stands, machetes, and coconuts. For $3 (5 florins), they will chop the top of the coconut off, and insert a straw, so you can drink the water. There wasn’t that much in there, and you have to throw the...

    more
  • Don't Assume Everyone Speaks Your...

    The official languages of Aruba are Dutch, and Papiamento, but most people also know English and Spanish. Key word being, "MOST". In the tourist areas, like Noord and Oranjestad, communication wasn't a problem, and I was able to get by with English, and basic Spanish. But I visited some really rural areas, like Piedra Plat, where the people only...

    more
  • Taxi Stands

    Getting a taxi in Noord and Oranjestad, is very easy, but if for some reason you cannot find one, some of the major tourist areas have taxi stands. If you print out a map from Google Maps, they are marked. I only know of two however, one at the airport, and one in Pos Abao, near Eagle Beach. How a taxi stand works, is you walk up to the booth, tell...

    more
  • American and European Power Outlets

    I brought a converter with me, thinking I would need it, and it just took up space in my bag.The power outlets on Aruba are the same as they are in the U.S. Most hotels also have at least one European outlet. (Ours did). I have no idea what kind of outlets they have in South America. If you are a South American tourist, it is possible that you will...

    more
  • Island Hospitality

    I have been to 13 countries, and 24 states, and nowhere have the people been as friendly as they were in Aruba. The Dutch people were very rude, but the locals were the friendliest people, I've ever met.No where have I had a stranger offer me a ride. In Aruba, the locals offered us rides on 3 different occasions. We went twice.The first time, we...

    more
  • Population Control

    In 20 years, Aruba's population has gone from 60,000, to 100,000 people, so in an effort to keep themselves from becoming overpopulated, like most of their Caribbean friends, the Aruban government has imposed some strict laws.Foreigners are no longer allowed to buy property on Aruba, and the government has actually started deporting immigrants who...

    more
  • People On Aruba Don't Like To Walk

    One of the biggest things I noticed about Aruba, is that the people there aren't very used to walking. We kept having taxis stop for us, and offer us rides, and locals were shocked when we told them we were exploring on foot.I once asked directions to St. Ann's Church, and the lady said it is a long walk. I asked how long, and she said 20 minutes....

    more
  • Leaving Aruba, going to Aruba Airport...

    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...

    more
  • Rock Piles

    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...

    more
  • Local inhabitants

    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!

    more
  • Everything above ground

    Due to the extremely hard nature of the coral bedrock that makes up Aruba, there is very little that actually goes underground here. Cemeteries consist primarily of above ground tombs and Hills are often topped with huge silver water storage tanks. Water is stored above ground and water pipes also run above ground, thus you won't get cold water out...

    more
  • Christmas in Aruba

    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...

    more
  • Lucky Piles

    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...

    more
  • Fireworks!

    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...

    more
  • Carnival!

    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...

    more
  • ROCK SCULPTURES

    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...

    more
  • Smoke a Cuban Cigar

    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...

    more
  • Money Makes The World Go'Round!

    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...

    more
  • Language & Electricity

    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...

    more
  • Curved Divi-Divi Trees Bow Your Path

    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 ... : -))

    more
  • Cacti fences

    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,

    more
  • Mango Juice Rocks !

    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!

    more
  • Ballet Folklorico Nacional di Aruba

    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...

    more
  • Currency is the Aruban Florin...

    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...

    more
  • Here it's a good one. Aruba's...

    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.

    more
  • Aruba is an island of the sun,...

    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.

    more
  • If there is a cultural thing,...

    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.

    more
  • The ARCHELOGICAL MUSEUM next...

    The ARCHELOGICAL MUSEUM next to the St Franciscuskerkis 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...

    more
  • Downtown Oranjestad we get...

    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.

    more
  • Here some of those typical...

    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...

    more
  • If you are a wind-surfing fan...

    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.

    more
  • The people of Aruba a very...

    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.

    more
  • Go ahead, drink the water....

    Go ahead, drink the water. Aruba has it's own water treatment plant, so you don't have to worry about getting sick.

    more
  • Aruba is said to have the...

    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...

    more
  • Everyone there speaks English,...

    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.

    more

Aruba Hotels

See all 49 Hotels in Aruba

Top Aruba Hotels

Oranjestad Hotels
56 Reviews - 178 Photos
Aruba Hotels
12 Reviews - 30 Photos
Sint Nicolaas Hotels
4 Reviews - 11 Photos
Noord Hotels
29 Reviews - 104 Photos

Instant Answers: Aruba

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

27 travelers online now

Comments

Aruba Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Aruba local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Aruba sightseeing.
Map of Aruba