With year-round balmy weather, friendly natives and white sand beaches, it’s no wonder 1.5 million tourists travel to Aruba each year. Because its temperatures sit comfortably around 80 F, visitors can be found scuba diving off Hadicurari Beach, touring Arikok National Park, or shopping in Oranjestad by day, and attending carnivals, food and wine festivals, sporting events, and concerts by night.
Best Time of Year To Go: With its prime location just outside the hurricane belt, Aruba enjoys the most sunny days of any other Caribbean island, making any time of year ideal for travel. Many people like to visit during January or February to enjoy the six-week Carnival featuring various parades, festivals and lots of music and dancing. Hotels will be much more expensive during this time and tend to fill up quickly. When booking the day to arrive and depart, keep in mind the slowest day at Queen Beatrix International Airport is Wednesday.
Peak Season: Because the weather is so nice all year-round, the high season is based on the weather in the U.S. From mid-December to mid-April when it is cold or rainy, is when people like to escape to the warm tropical climate in Aruba.
Climate: Warm, sunny and dry with a year-round temperature of 82 F.
Currency: Aruban Florin, but the U.S. dollar is widely accepted.
Official Language(s): Dutch and local Papiamento; but most Arubans, especially business owners, will usually speak a minimum of four languages including English and French.
Tipping: Most restaurants add a 10-15 percent service charge to the bill to be distributed to the entire waitstaff and kitchen staff. If the service was exceptional, it is typical to leave 5-10 percent more to go directly to your server. If the service charge is not included, 15-20 percent is appropriate.
Taxis: Cabs operate on fixed government rates and do not have meters so review the rate chart inside the taxi and agree on an amount with your driver before leaving. Ten to 15 percent tip of the final fare is common, but on Sundays and holidays, USD $1-3 is to be given regardless of what 10-15 percent of the fare is.
Best Airlines Offering Service: KLM, Delta, United, US Airways, and American Airlines fly frequently from the U.S. to Queen Beatrix International Airport.