South America


Quick facts

  • Full name: Aruba
  • Capital: Oranjestad
  • Largest city: Oranjestad
  • Official language: Dutch, Papiamento
  • Area: 178.91 km2
  • Population: 104,822
  • Currency: Aruban Florin (AWG) 1 (AWG) = 100 cent
  • Foreign tourists: 1.1 million (2014)
  • Travel risks and hazards: Petty crime.

Aruba is truly an amazing island. It is part of the Dutch Lesser Antilles with over 80% of Dutch ethnicity however only mere 6% of the population speak Dutch. Almost 70 % speak Papiamento which is a Portuguese creole language making it quite a combination. Aruba also boasts wonderful beaches and an incredible mixture of colonial Spanish and Dutch architecture. Aruba is definitely a place to visit however the island has its hazards that visitors should beware of.

Motor boat passing coral reef

Traveling info

Every visitors traveling to Aruba is required to have a valid passport. Certain nationals will require visas while some are exempt among these being EU and USA citizens. (List of nationals requiring a visa in sources). The visitors who choose to drive must obtain an international driving license. Such a document can only be obtained from the driving department in the country of visitors origin or the origin country of the driving license. The right-hand side of the road is used for driving.

Turquoise shallow water near a beach

Traveling hazards

Roads in Aruba are well paved and maintained. Main roads along with roads of lesser importance are generally well lit up. Rural roads are in decent condition however lack lighting. There have been instances of aggressive and drunk driving. It is advised to drive defensively however generally roads are trouble-free.

Coral reef fish

Environmental hazards

There are no large mammals that pose a threat to humans. The island is full of lizards at almost every step however none of these are dangerous for humans. Mosquitoes are to be protected against. These may carry Zika virus, therefore, it is vital to properly protect against their bites. Centipedes on the islands are the only particularly nasty creature. Their bite causes great pain and can ever result in death for the elderly or small children. The waters of Aruba are safe, however, swimming after dusk is not advised as sharks tend to be most active around that time. The only common dangers to be encountered in the waters of Aruba are the stonefish and sea urchins. These will not directly attack anyone, and only pose a threat if being stepped on. Both of these are venomous however sea urchin only cause a lot of pain while the stonefish sting untreated may even result in death.
Aruba is one of few Caribbean islands that lie outside of the hurricane alley however it is situated close enough to be minorly affected by major hurricanes.

Iguana lizard resting between rocks on a beach

Health hazards

There are no required vaccines upon entry however there are several which are recommended. These include the routine vaccines, hepatitis A and B, typhoid and rabies vaccine. There have been reports of Zika virus on the island. It is vital to protect against mosquito bites. Pregnant women are advised to reconsider travel or to exercise increased protection against bug bites. Healthcare level is on par with the European systems. Most physicians are trained in the Netherlands and the US. Medical facilities on the island can provide service for minor as well as an emergency situation which means medical evacuation is not required.
In case of an emergency dial 911.

Turquoise blue water on an Aruban beach


Aruba is among the safest of the islands in the Caribbean region. However, this does not mean that visitors may wander around blindfolded. It is still important to take normal precautions like anywhere else. Money belts are a good way of avoiding pickpocketing. Leaving valuables in cars or bags unattended can attract opportunist thieves. It is generally safe to walk around at night however it is advised to stay vigilant and avoid secluded places. Although Aruba is an autonomous region of the Netherlands, drug laws differ from those over in Europe. Possession of drugs is punishable by fine or jail time depending on kind an amount.

Scuba diver recording on a go pro


Aruba is one of these unusual islands in the Caribbean compromising a variety of European and Creole cultures in one place. It is definitely a place to visit. Remember that planning your trip with will give you the quickest information about the nearest emergency services and will also help you purchase indispensable travel insurance for the trip of your lifetime. Please feel free to comment and share the experiences of your travels with