Located about 12 degrees north of the equator, 12° 30′ North Latitude; 70° West Latitude; approximately 29km (18 miles) off the Paraguaná peninsula of Venezuela. Together with Bonaire and Curaçao, Aruba forms a group referred to as the ABC islands, the southern island chain of Netherlands Antilles. It is a autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The island measures about 30 km (19 miles) long and about 8 km (5 miles) wide with an area of 193 sq km (75 sq miles) and a population of some 101,000. The capital of Aruba is Oranjestad.
The time in Aruba is Atlantic Standard Time. It is the same as Eastern Daylight Savings time all year round. AST (UTC -4)
Aruba’s currency is the florin, denoted by the letters ‘Afl.’, divided into 100 cents. The rate of exchange with the US dollar is approximately Afls 1.78 for cash and Afls. 1.79 for checks. Traveler’s checks are widely accepted.
All major credit cards are accepted and there are Credit Card & Traveler’s checks representatives (American Express/VISA/MasterCard/Discover) who will help you should you have any problems. ATM machines are also available for cards compatible with the Cirrus system.
Should you need banking services when you arrive you’ll find a bank at the airport. There are also five banks with several branches at other convenient locations. ATM facilities exist spread all over the Island.
The international dialing code for Aruba is +297. Area codes do not exist in Aruba.
There is no need to buy bottled water in Aruba, the island’s tap water is pure and refreshing, distilled in the world’s second largest saltwater desalination plant. Oil is refined on the island’s southwest coast and a by-product of this process is abundant pure drinking water and electricity.
Rarely is there a power failure and the island has decided to adopt the North American voltage standard of 110 A.C. (60 cycles), the name as in the United States and Canada.
Aruba is situated near the equator, therefore the sun is very bright. Fortunately Aruba has a very cool and pleasant see breeze.
Always be careful in the sun and use a high sun block. The average temperature is 27 degrees / 81 Fahrenheit all year long. At night the temperature declines with approximately 3 degrees / 10 Fahrenheit.
Aruba’s first inhabitants were the Caquetios Indians from the Arawak tribe. Fragments of the earliest known Indian settlements date back to about 1000 A.D., as do the ancient painted symbols still visible on our limestone caves.
Some centuries later, the first European landed on Aruban shores. Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda is thought to have arrived about 1499. The Spanish promptly exported the Indians to Santo Domingo, where they were put to work in the copper mines.
During the years that followed, ownership of the island changed hands several times. In 1636, near the culmination of the ‘Eighty Years’ War between Spain and Holland, the Dutch took possession and remained in control for nearly two centuries. In 1805, during the Napoleonic Wars, the English briefly took control over the island, but it was returned to Dutch control in 1816.
List of important telephone numbers on Aruba:
Central di Brandweer : 911
Polis : 100
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