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Cruise ships dock in Oranjestad, Aruba's capital. Disembarkation takes you thorough one of three terminals where you will find shops, information, and various services. Just outside the terminal you will find taxis offering private tours and vehicle rental agents. The main bus terminal is just across the street. This will also be the meeting point for tours (booked privately or through the cruise line).
It's a short walk from the terminal to the main street (Caya G. F. Betico Croes) in Oranjestad where you can shop, eat, and/or gamble!
Written Apr 16, 2012
There are various possibilities for getting around Aruba. We rented a regular car. The roads on the west side of the island are paved, but on the east side, they are sometimes sand or dirt (photo 4). You can't really get lost as the island is not very big, but not all of the signs are what you will be accustomed to. Some were easy to figure out (stop, no left turn), but some were unfamiliar to me. A yellow/orange diamond meant that it was a right-of-way road. A triangle bordered in red with a big black vertical line with a little cross in the middle mean that you have the right of way at the intersection.
I had a little difficulty with the frequently seen signs that had two cars next to each other, the right one black and the left one red. I discovered that this one meant "No passing". And a dark blue circle rimmed in red with a red slash across it was "No Stopping or Parking". Photo three shows an interesting variation on a traffic light.
You can rent a Land Rover Defender Jeep and go on a Safari (photo 5 - billed as the most fun you've had driving). Or you can get a a fully automatic All Terrain Vehicle (A.T.V.). Quad racer (photo 2).
Updated Apr 24, 2011
The bus system in Aruba is so very good! The buses have many convenient stops all over the island. Visible on the Bus is a sign denoting the Hotel area, Hotel or town where the bus will stop. The buses are clean and the drivers are friendly. The cost for a trip to downtown from Palm Beach, which is a good distance away, is only $1.25. They do prefer exact change, if possible. If you get a round-trip, it's only $2.00....a steal! The buses run till late at night also....stopping at most big hotels and resorts or at least within a short walking distance. The streets are well lit for the most part too.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Unless you have your own boat forget about any regular ferry service to Curacao or Bonaire.
The non-US destination flights depart out of a separate terminal to the left at Aruba. If you are headed to Curacao or Bonaire you will have to pay a $32 facilities tax..cash/credit cards accepted. There are two other primary competitors to the NAs. DAE which flys ATRs and Folker 100s between the islands and Tiarra Air which flys Shorts 360s and is the probably the best way to get to Coro in Venezuela for the 15 min flight. We paid 401 AWG RT per person for the following routing a day and a half prior to departure..airport taxes/transit fees ($2 if you transit Curacao to Bonaire) AUA-CUR-BON-CUR-AUA. Flights left on time more or less except for our CUR-AUA flight which was late due to late arriving crew. Longest flight is 20 min or so..don't expect food or drinks served on the plane due to the short flights. Staff was very nice.
Written Sep 6, 2010
Phone: 00297 5889314
Want to visit Aruba and don't have a yacht to get you there from S. Florida? Then you get to fly from the East Coast of the US, Europe or Central, S. America. Aruba's Queen Beatrix Airport is served by all major US carriers including low fare carriers such as Spirt and Jet Blue, Copa, KLM and a couple from Venezuela also serve the island. US carriers have their own terminal since you clear US Customs/Imigration in Aruba and don't have to go thru the hassle when you land in the US. If you are flying thru ATL this can be helpful as you may need the extra connection time. Duty Free in the airport is not much to write home about as you can get better stuff in town. Keep in mind that there is better shops in the main terminal on the ground floor..eat/shop here prior to going thru security and heading upstiars to the gate area...there is also a smoking area next to a coffee stand in the food court on the lower level.
Updated Sep 2, 2010
Our cruise docked in downtown Oranjestad along with at least 3 other large ships, the two docks are next to each other. From both docks you can easily walk to the shops and restaurants in the city. If you want to just go to the beach there are taxis or the bus station is just across the street from where you exit the port. We walked to the nearest beach as we wanted to stop by the grocery store and get a little exercise, but I don't recommend that for most people as it took us at least 30-40 minutes, there's not much to see in between the two and you need to know where you are going.
In addition to taxis, there appeared to be folks selling organized tours and renting cars right after you left the port, I didn't pay much attention to them as we knew we were going to the beach.
Written Feb 7, 2010
I tried to find a direct flight to Aruba from London Gatwick, but was not successful. I think if you are on a package tour, you would be lucky, but as we are visiting on route to Venezuela, the best price and option was to get a flight to Amsterdam and fly KLM from there. Flying to Aruba was cheaper than flying to Caracas and means the Opra Singer doesn't have to make the long trek from Punto Fijo to Caracas and back to collect us (6hrs each way). It also means of course, that we get to spend the difference on a few days in Aruba on route :-)
Aruba's modern Queen Beatrix International Airport can accommodate commercial jet aircrafts as large as the Boeing 747. The island is served by a number of airlines, and connections can be made to any part of the world.
The journey to Aruba on KLM was the worst long haul flight I have ever had. Service was terrible. See my warning or dangers tips for details.
Handy hint : Take some of your own food supplies !
Updated Mar 5, 2008
In Renaissance Resort it's possible to book helicopter trip around the island or choose from many excursions.
What could be more romantic than helicopter coming to pick you up and take you to a distant restaurant where you could enjoy the night and great food together and then flight back to your resort with "own" helicopter...
Written Feb 16, 2008
Oneway flight from Curacao to Aruba is about 90 USD...it varies depending whether you book in advance or from the airport...
Airlines operating from Aruba are Tiara Air, Insel Air and Dutch Antilles Express
These airlines have connection to several Caribbean islands (via curacao) and for example to Venezuela.
Written Feb 16, 2008
Although many people may opt for a car rental and taxis can get expensive after 6 days, the bus routes are a great alternative. They run all through the island and stop in downtown "O". Stop signs are located all over and are easy to spot not too mention the price per person was around $1.10 US. It got us to downtown and the grocery store just as fast as a taxi and much cheaper. I do love the taxis though and they were great tour guides when asked.
Written Jan 23, 2008
Bucuti Beach Resort Aruba
3 Reviews and 1625 Opinions My husband and I enjoyed our honeymoon here. There is a great restaurant on site and the staff are...