Getting Around Aruba
The best way to get around Aruba is on a bus. Most visitors stay around their resort and the beach (most likely along the northwest coast); if this is you, then you will also find the Arubus sufficient. To get from the Reina Beatrix International Airport (AUA) to your hotel, take a taxi -- the fixed-rate Aruban cabs are another hassle-free way of moving around. Renting a car is a good choice for exploring the island's east coast. Consider renting an ATV in particular, so that you can do a little off-roading in the Arikok National Park.
Aruba is also a popular port of call on cruise ships. Ships dock at the Port Authority in Oranjestad; from there you'll find car rental agencies and taxis ready to take you to your destination.
The island's Arubus system is reliable and affordable, with stops every half hour between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. and every hour to two hours after midnight. A single bus trip costs $2.25 Aruban florins (or about $1.26 USD) and a roundtrip ticket costs $4 florins (about $2.23 USD).
|Taxi||You'll find the fixed-rate taxis are a stress-free means of getting to and from most sites, especially if you intend to spend most of your vacation around the hotel. They can be flagged down off the street (look for cars with a "TX" in the license plate); before you get in, ask the driver what the fare will be to get to your destination. You can also look at his or her fare chart while you ride.|
Having a car could be handy for treks to the Arikok National Park or out-of-reach sites like Baby Beach or the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba. You can rent one at the cruise terminal or the airport and according to some guides, you'll pay anywhere from $40 to $90 USD a day for the privilege. If you're splurging already, consider upgrading your compact car for a four-wheel drive or all-terrain vehicle. Aruba's rugged east coast landscape will be much easier to handle if you're in a vehicle with some oomph.
Entry & Exit Requirements
United States citizens will need a passport to enter Aruba; you'll also be asked to present proof of a return flight or continuing travel. According to Concierge.com, "When departing Aruba, American travelers clear U.S. Customs while still on-island. The lengthy process requires going through two-sets of passport control (Aruban and American) as well as two security-screening procedures." You might want to arrive three hours before your flight to have enough time to complete the lengthy process. Also keep in mind there's a departure tax of $40 USD when leaving Aruba.
It's a good thing there are ways to amuse yourself in the terminal. U.S. citizens can stock up on $800 USD worth of duty-free goods per person every 30 days, and the only duty-free shopping on Aruba is in the airport. Visit the website for the Embassy of the Netherlands for the latest information on foreign entry and exit requirements.