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Aruba has approximately 18 percent of the island dedicated to
Arikok National Park
. It has many walking trails that are well kept and open to the public for exploring. Some tour companies offer guided tours through this massive protected area that is teeming with unusual plants and wildlife. The park is safe to explore if you stay on the main path.
It is located near Mt. Arikok, close the center of the island and is a natural preserve which features some of the oldest Arawak drawings, as well as trails that showcase Aruba's great variety of plants and animals like the divi-divi and kwihi trees, rare and exotic cacti, aloe, tropical flowers, birds and iguanas.
De Palm Island
is located just a 5 minute ferry ride from the mainland. It's the "hot spot" for snorkeling, snuba and scuba diving in Aruba. Abundant
with spectacular coral formations and colorful blue Parrot Fish
that are a thrill for young and old alike. Hammocks, food and beverage
facilities, fun games, a playground for the small ones, snuba and
snorkeling (including equipment) are all available.
The constant 15-knot trade winds, along with the variety of flat-water locations and challenging wave conditions, have made Aruba one of the most popular spots on earth for windsurfers and kitesurfers.
Aruba's desert landscape lends itself to trademark images of cacti, aloe and huge areas typified by gigantic hills of sand.
Many people that are touring the island by jeep or scooter enjoy driving along the northeast coast shoreline to view the massive sand dunes. It is not permitted to drive on the sand dunes, but they can be explored on foot.
The stores of Aruba are stocked with well-priced imported merchandise. Aruba is a "Shopper's Paradise," with perfume, liquor, linens, jewelry, watches, cameras, designer fashions, crystal and china among the luxury items available at excellent prices. You will be pleasantly surprised to find a wide selection of hand crafted items made by native Arubans. Quite often the process of producing them is carried on right in front of your eyes, on the beachfront and at concession stands set up along the harbor.
The wharf at Oranjestad's colorful harbor side can be a bargain hunter's dream. Paintings, T-shirts, photographs (some of them historical), pottery and jewelry are all set up along the main street. Transactions are carried out in both dollars and florins, and bargaining is expected.
The official languages are Dutch and Papiamento, the native language. English and Spanish are also widely spoken. Some hotels even have German speaking employees.
The official currency of Aruba is the Aruban florin, which is divided into 100 cents. Silver coins are in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents, one florin, 2 1/2 florins and 5 florins. The square shaped 50-cent "yotin" coin is probably Aruba's best-known coin.
The florin fluctuates with the dollar on the world market. Current
exchange rates are Af. 1.77 to the U.S. Dollar and Af. 1.34 to the
Canadian Dollar. U.S. dollars are widely accepted in Aruba, and
banks may exchange other foreign currency.
|Aruba enjoys a very healthy climate, making it a year-round paradise for residents and visitors alike. The average temperature is 82ºF (28ºC), with cooling trade winds and the rarity of tropical storms and hurricanes. Aruba lies outside the hurricane belt therefore the rainfall is very moderate, averaging about 16.1" (408.9 mm) per year.|
| Persons planning to visit Aruba as a tourist for a period not exceeding 90 days for the purpose of recreation, sports, health, honeymoon reasons, study, religious purposes or business must submit the following documentation:
. A valid travel document, which should be provided with a visa for Aruba in case it concerns a national NOT mentioned in list A;
. The necessary documents for returning to the country of origin (valid permanent resident document)
. Proof of sufficient funds to stay in Aruba;
. Return or onward ticket and other documents required for the next destination (visa etc.).
Non-compliance with one of the above mentioned documentations might result in refusal of entry to Aruba. The Immigration of Aruba based on the funds the tourist is traveling with shall determine the period of stay in Aruba.
DBA Empire Travel Cruises and Vacations
DTR Travel Inc. (North)