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Located about 12 degrees north of the equator, approximately 29km (18 miles) off the Paraguana peninsula of Venezuela. The island, one of the Lesser Antilles islands, is about 30 km (19 miles) long and about 8 km (5 miles) wide with an area of 193 sq km (75 sq miles) and a population of some 101,000.
The island of Aruba is part of the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea, and lies about 12 degrees north of the equator, approximately 29km (18 miles) off the Paraguaná Peninsula of Venezuela. One of the Lesser Antilles islands, Aruba is about 30 km (19 miles) long and about 8 km (5 miles) wide with an area of 193 sq km (75 sq miles). The island's population is about 112,000. The capital is Oranjestad, named after the Dutch Royal House of Orange.
Antilles is the term used for the whole of the West Indies except the Bahama Islands. Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico form the Greater Antilles. The Lesser Antilles, extending in an arc from Puerto Rico to the northeastern coast of South America, include the Virgin Islands, Windward Islands, Leeward Islands, southern group of the Netherlands Antilles (including Aruba), and, usually, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago.
The Netherlands Antilles are an integral part of the Netherlands, comprising two island groups of three islands each, the Netherlands Leeward Islands and the Netherlands Windward islands, in the Caribbean Sea.
The former group, consisting of Curaçao, Bonaire, and until 1986 Aruba, is situated northwest of Caracas, Venezuela. The area of the Netherlands Leeward Islands is 925 sq km (357 sq mi).
The Netherlands Windward Islands consist of the southern half of Saint Martin (Sint Maarten) and all of Saint Eustatius and Saba, covering a total area of about 67 sq km (about 26 sq miles). These islands are situated at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles chain, to the southeast of Puerto Rico.
Some of the best beaches in the world
The beaches of Aruba are widely considered to be among the cleanest, widest, and most spectacular in the Caribbean region. An Aruba beach typically consists of powder-fine, white-sand, perfect for soaking up the Caribbean sun. All you need is plenty of suntan lotion and a refreshing cocktail, both of which are not hard to come by on Aruba!
Famous Aruba beaches include Eagle Beach which has been singled out as the number one Caribbean beach in a USA Today survey of travel writers, travel agents and frequent travelers; and Palm Beach, set against a backdrop of Aruba's leading resorts, was voted best family-friendly beach in the world by The Travel Channel and by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the best beaches in the world.
Beaches in Aruba are easily accessible. Several access and parking renovations are underway for favorite spots such as Arashi Beach on northwestern part of the island and Baby Beach on the southeastern side.The low season runs from mid-April until mid-December. The high season runs from mid-December until mid-April. Some hotels and other companies may vary this slightly. Sometimes also a mid-season is in effect for e.g. July and August.
WHEN TO GO
It is important to mention that Aruba lies south of the general hurricane paths and usually only experiences fringe effects of nearby tropical weather. Nonetheless it is not unknown that tropical systems form close by and do have their effects on the island.
The rain season is considered somewhere from October into December. Most times December is not that wet, and you can have a good vacation in the rain season as well. Often times short rain showers occur at night, and your day is still filled with plenty of sun. Sometimes some clouds will stay for a day or two, but the temperature will still be just right.
September is the hottest month, not only does the temperature rise (but just a few degrees), also in this month the winds slow down to a breeze or no wind at all. This makes the perceived temperature higher. If you're a real sun lover, this is the month to come to Aruba.
Aruba offers entertainment from early evening to the early hours of the morning. At various locations you can find dance clubs, piano bars, cocktail lounges, sports bars, wine bars, karaoke bars and other party spots. The most popular bars and clubs can be found in the high rise hotels area or in and around downtown Oranjestad. Various bars, restaurants and hotels also offer live music played by some great local musicians/bands.
Whether you join the locals on the dance floor or enjoy a drink at the bar, Aruba's bar and club scene has something to offer everyone, from a night of family fun to great places to hang out with friends or to meet new people, to fun places to dance and let loose. The legal drinking age in Aruba is 18 years and some entertainment spots cater for an over 21 age group.
Required Entry Documents
Upon arrival in Aruba a tourist must have:
a passport that is valid upon entry and for the duration of stay in Aruba. If the tourist holds a passport from a visa required country, he must have a valid visa sticker in his passport;
a completely filled-in and signed Embarkation and Disembarkation card (ED-card). This will normally provided by the airline or cruise line;
a valid return- or onward ticket;
the necessary documents for returning to the country of origin or to a country that he has the right to enter, for example a valid residence permit (temporary or permanent), a re-entry permit or a (entry) visa;
if so requested, the tourist has to be able to prove to the satisfaction of the migration officer that he has a valid reservation for an accommodation in Aruba (e.g. hotel or apartment) or that he owns property in Aruba (a residence, condominium, apartment, timeshare apartment or a pleasure yacht moored in Aruba with a length of at least 14 meters measured on the water line);
if so requested, the tourist has to be able to prove to the satisfaction of the migration officer to dispose of adequate financial means to provide for hotel expenses (if applicable) and living expenses during his stay or that he has a declaration of guarantee from a legal resident of Aruba.
The final authorization for admission to Aruba remains with the migration officer at the border-crossing/port of entry. The migration authorities at the border-crossing/port of entry have the authority to grant or refuse admission. Admission can be refused if not all admission requirements are fulfilled by the time of entering Aruba of if the tourist has been blacklisted.
Visa required persons exempted from the Visa requirement
The following persons, who normally require a visa, are exempt from this requirement:
holders of a valid residence permit (temporary or permanent) from:
another part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands;
the United States of America;
The Schengen Territory
The maximum period of time that a person can be admitted to Aruba as a tourist is in principle 30 days. The total amount of days a person can stay in Aruba as a tourist cannot exceed 180 days per year.
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