Getting Around Aruba
The best way to get around Aruba is by bus. Although, many visitors stay close to their resorts and respective beaches along the northwest coast. Fixed-rate Aruban cabs are another hassle-free way of getting around. Renting a car is a good choice for exploring the island's east coast, while renting an all-terrain vehicle for off-roading in the Arikok National Park is another option for the more adventurous crowd.
Aruba is also a popular port of call for 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.
To get from Aruba's Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA) to your hotel, it will be easiest to take a taxi. Fares are fixed. For example, fares to the high-rise area will cost $25; rides to low-rise properties generally cost $22.
The island's Arubus system is reliable and affordable with buses running every 15 minutes from 5:45 a.m. until 6 p.m. and every 40 minutes until 11:30 p.m. The central bus station sits in downtown Oranjestad, adjacent to the cruise ship terminal. Retour cards good for two trips cost 8.75 Aruban florin (or about $5). Day passes, which cover unlimited travel on all the routes, cost 17.50 florin (less than $10). The bus covers the major resort areas and downtown, as well as Baby Beach.
If you'll be staying in the downtown area, you can use the hop-on, hop-off trolley, which passes through Main Street and the newly renovated pedestrian mall of downtown from the cruise ship terminal. The tram, which is free to ride, makes six stops at monuments and museums along the way.
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 your hotel. You can have your hotel concierge call a taxi, you can grab one easily at the airport or sometimes they can be flagged down off the street (look for cars with a "TX" in the license plate), though it's best to call ahead. 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. Taxis here at not metered, so it's best to agree on the fare before starting your trip.
Having a car can be handy for treks to Arikok National Park or out of reach sites like Baby Beach or the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba. You can rent a car near the cruise terminal or the airport and daily rates can range anywhere from $40 to $90. 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. Keep in mind: speed limits and distances are posted in kilometers. An international driving permit is not needed.
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