Looking for recent Aruba news?

Then you’re in the right place…

Every week (on Sundays) I post the most recent Aruba news that pertains to you.

I write this newsletter, because I know how hard it is to find recent Aruba news in English.

Recent Aruba News Source of Information

You might be wondering where I get my information from…

I watch the news on TV, read all the different local newspapers online (and some in print) and occasionally listen to the radio station locals call to discuss what’s happening in Aruba.

I hand pick and translate what you can relate to, so you can get the most recent Aruba news in English.

So let’s start this week’s recap of recent Aruba news for 5 of March 2017…

Big Festival Announcements

This week Aruba Tourism Authority announced 3 big festivals that are going to be held during the coming months.

Here’s what’s one schedule regarding festivals in Aruba…

Flip Flop Festival

After announcing dancehall artist Konshens and reggae sensation Morgan Heritage as the two main acts last week during a press conference, the organizers of flip flop came out with another surprise announcement.

They added a hip hop superstar to the line up – Rick Ross!

This years flip flop is a must attend event if you enjoy dance hall, reggae or hip hop. It will be held on 31 March until 2 April. With the main event being held on 1 April (Morgan Heritage, Konshens and Rick Ross).

The party will kick off with dutch DJ siblings – shermanology in club emotions (31 March).

The last day of flip flop is a pool party with DJ Outkast at Renaissance Hotel (2 April).

You can still buy your early birds tickets at any gas station in Aruba for $20 (there’s not much early bird tickets left, 95% already sold).

I still have to buy mine, for the main event of course!

recent Aruba news

Flip Flop conference.

Soul Beach Music Festival

One of the biggest festivals in Aruba is back again for 2017!

Soul beach music festival is just what the name says it is – soulful!

This event is popular because of the caliber of R&B artists that are known to perform on stage. And this year promises to be bigger than ever with artists like Mary J Blige, Faith Evans and Usher!

Soul beach is also known for it hilarious stand up comedy nights.

This year on of the “Kings of Comedy” – Cedric the Entertainer is going to be on stage!

The organizers of soul beach also said during a press conference that there will be an app that you can download to see everything about soul beach (I will update you on any news from the app).

This year promises to be a big year for R&B in Aruba – are you going to be here for it?

Aruba Summer Music Festival

It’s official – Aruba summer music festival has been officially announced (including artist who are performing).

If you’re going to be in Aruba in the end of June you should put this fest on your to do list.

This years Latin flavor music festival features the reggaeton duo from Puerto Rico – Zion & Lennox.

Artists like Maluma and Juan Luis Guerra are scheduled as main performers.

The festival dates are 30 June and 1 July 2017.

If you like Latin music, you should visit for the weekend fest

recent Aruba news

Organizers from Aruba music festival at a press conference.

The End of Aruba’s Carnival 63

The 63rd edition of carnival is finally behind of us.

It was a nearly 2 months of ongoing festivals, queen elections and parades. This years carnival started with a traditional torch parade right in the first week of January and ended with the annual grand parade in the downtown area of Aruba last week.

I have to say I enjoyed myself during this carnival season, because it was the first time I participated in it.

I went in for Lighting Parade in San Nicolas! It was amazing (I can’t wait for next year).

Now I know why thousands of people fly from all over to participate in Aruba’s carnival.  

If you’ve always wanted to go in Aruba’s parade, please do so, you won’t regret it!

Check out this movie from Aruba’s grand parade 2017.

Safety Training for Employees at Playa Linda

12 employees from different departments of Playa Linda including the entire loss & prevention team recently completed a safety training successfully.

Where did the idea come from?

The main goal was to have a first response group from different departments of the resort (including the loss & prevention department) – “in case something happens”

The moment a calamity presents itself there is supposed to be more colleagues to help the guests than just the security guards. – this is what the HR director of Playa Linda, Linda Kelly, said during an interview.

What must they know about safety?

Security and safety means much more than catching thieves.

The new employees that have been trained by this safety course must know…

  • All the emergency exits
  • The resort floor plan
  • Must know how to remain calm
  • And give first aid help

The director of the loss & prevention department, Fernando Fecunda, was one of the employees who suggested this safety training to management.

He also mentioned during his interview that he’s glad management decided to take him up on his offer, because now the Playa Linda is better prepared in case of anything!

Two thumbs up for Playa Linda for providing more safety to their guests.

recent Aruba news

Selected employees for the safety team.

Neighborhood Watch Solves Crimes

A neighborhood watch created in the city of Wayaca (near the airport) was essential in catching thieves in the act of robbing a house.

A couple of months ago there was a slight increase in crimes committed inside homes from locals. After the government examined these cases it was clear that most of them were committed by Venezuelans (with no good intentions).

The reason why?

Because the situation in Venezuela is getting worse by the day with the current crisis they are dealing with.

Aruba is close to Venezuela and gets undesired visits by undocumented travelers who come here with bad intentions. They are happy to find 50 dollars in a break in, because american dollars are worth much back home.

However, the local community is starting to fight back…

They’re taking safety and security in their own hands by starting neighborhood watches via whats-app. If anything strange is happening outside, someone send a whats-app and every one is alerted. The police are also continually notified by these groups and use the information they receive as tips to solve any committed crimes.

Neighborhood watch is something normal in the US, but entirely new here in Aruba. It’s starting to pick up more between locals on the island and getting a life of it’s own.

recent Aruba news

Flyer for the neighborhood watch Aruba.

The Fight Against Mosquitoes

The company in charge of combating mosquitoes in Aruba “Gele Koorts Mosquito Bestrijding” recently did a control around Aruba to get an index of the amount of mosquito breeding places on the island (and to destroy them of course).

The mosquito’s they are particularly after are aedes aegypti, which are known to cause dengue, chikungunya and zika.

The control was one with intention to remove all the existing breeding grounds they encountered. And also make house owners aware who had mosquito breeding nest in their yards on how they can prevent mosquito breeding nest. They also shared pest control products to locals to help kill the mosquitoes.

Like I mentioned in an article before the government is taking an active role into combating mosquitoes and zika.

Click here to read why you should travel to Aruba despite zika warnings.

recent Aruba news

Busy with breeding ground examinations at a locals house

Man Dies During Diving

Unfortunately an American tourist passed away near nikki beach while he was diving.

It was during the midday that beach goers saw a body floating near nikki beach and they called the police (and ambulance). The authorities took the man out of the water and tried to give him CPR, however not even a hour after he was pronounced dead…

I’m not sure how he died, but there are stories that he had a heart attack while diving.

They most likely do an investigation into what exactly happened to him.

Condolences to the family members and friends this person left behind…

Take note that the currents are a little strong during this season in Aruba, so be careful when you’re snorkeling (or diving). Don’t go too far out if you can’t swim (and avoid going alone)!

recent Aruba news

Man unfortunately dies while diving.

Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

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If so, sign up to my newsletter to get future posts about the recent Aruba news via email. Join the newsletter by typing your email in the sign up form below.

If you sign up today I’ll send you my “Aruba on a Budget” eBook via email as a free gift!

Looking for the latest news from Aruba?

Then you’re on the right page…

Every week I post news about Aruba that pertains to you.

Why do I do that…?

Because I know how hard it is to find the latest news from Aruba in English.

Source of Information for the Latest News From Aruba

You might be wondering where I get my information from to write this newsletter?

I get the information from all my newsletters and this weeks latest news from Aruba by watching the daily news on tv, reading all the different local newspapers online (and some in print) and occasionally hear the radio that locals call and vent about what’s happening in Aruba.

At the end of the week I pick out the news that you can relate to and I translate it into English so you can read every Sunday!

So, how accurate are my words?

I would say very much on point.

Because if I read the newspapers, see the same thing on tv and hear it on the news, it must be accurate!

So let’s start this week recap for the latest news from Aruba…

Line Up For Flip Flop Festival 2017

This years flip flop festival promises to be bigger than ever, because of the artists that are performing.

The first two artists who are going to be in the line up at flip flop are Konshens and Morgan Heritage (both artist are from Jamaica).

Konshens is known in the dancehall music scene for his hits like, bruk of ya back, gal yu a bubble and Mr.Policeman.

And the Grammy award winning band, Morgan Heritage, formed by the reggae artist Denroy Peter Morgan will delight us with their musical tunes.

Flip flop will take place on 31 march until 2 april 2017.

If you’re in Aruba and want to go you can buy your early bird tickets for $15 at all gas stations in Aruba.

During the next couple of weeks the organizers of flip flop will announce the other remaining artists that will be performing.

Are you going to flip flop this year?

Try Some Italian Ice Cream by Marriott

A new shop just opened in Marriott Stellaris & Casino that sells gelato.  

It’s an Italian company named Gelato & Co.

Have you ever heard of it?

I didn’t…

But the company is known to make their gelatos (Italian ice cream), sorbets, cakes and other fresh desert with natural ingredients. They use no artificial flavors, preservatives and coloring.

We all have to live healthy to live long to keep on enjoying Aruba…

So this new place sounds like a healthy option if you’re looking for a refreshing ice cream.

You can find Gelato & Co in the lobby from Marriott Stellaris & Casino. It’s open from 10 AM to 12 AM.

I might have to visit them soon because I enjoy eating ice cream…

latest news from Aruba

New Gelato shop in Marriott.

Eagle Beach Again in Top Ranks

According to the Travelers Choice Awards by TripAdvisor, eagle beach is in the top 3 for “beaches in the Caribbean”.

The top beaches were chosen by reviews from travelers on TripAdvisor during the last 12 months.

A lot of travelers commented that eagle beach is beautiful because of the long stretch of white sand and turquoise water (a perfect destination for a beach getaway).

Arashi beach also was nominated in the top 25 beaches in the Caribbean.

The beach at Arashi is popular because you can snorkel, bathrooms are available, there’s a snack bar, great shade from palapas and is easily reached by car and public transportation.

How do you feel that one of your favorite beaches in Aruba ranks best in the Caribbean?

Way to go Aruba!

Aruba’s National Bird

The government decided to make the prikichi the national bird from Aruba.

The decision came a few weeks after the group from Aruba Bird Life Conservation went with the prime minister of Aruba to a bird life conservation festival in Colombia. 

Out of more than 200 species of birds in Aruba, the prikichi and the shoco (owl – Aruba’s national symbol) are the only two birds that are native to the island.

What’s interesting is that the scientific names for these two birds contains the word “Arubensis” which means that they are from Aruba, of course! 

I remember admiring the bright yellow and green birds when I used to play in the cunucu (yard in Papiamento) as a kid. I could recognize them without seeing them, because they made a distinct chirping sound…  

However, I noticed a decline in the amount of prikichi and shoco that are on the island.

This is because of boa constrictor snakes that are eating these birds. It’s the way of mother nature, and if we would like to preserve the prikichi and shoco we have to protect them.

So after this announcement, the prikichi (and shoco) is now a protected bird!

latest news from Aruba

A prikichi sitting on a tree branch.

Sterilizing Stray Dogs on Aruba

Animals are fun and amazing to have.

A lot of locals have dogs and cats here in Aruba, but some of them don’t know how to take care for their pets.

This negligence of animals is resulting in a high amount of stray dogs in Aruba.

The situation is getting out of control, because there are too many dogs wandering around looking sick, emaciated and full of disease.

Last year veterinaries together with bucuti and tara beach resort started a program to sterilize dogs and cats. The resort was paying half of all costs for sterilization for the locals.

Since the program first started a total of 6000 dogs and cats were registered and almost 4000 of them got sterilized.

The total amount subsidized by bucuti and tara resort until now is about 380.000 Aruban guilders (which is about 217.000 us dollars).

The sterilization program is currently ongoing and proving to be successful, but it’s only a small part of the solution.

The other part of the solution is to teach pet owners how to take care of their dogs (or stop people that can’t take care of pets from getting one).

If you’re ever interested in adopting a four legged friend, you’re welcome to do so at one of our veterinaries.

Bushiribana Gold Ruins Graffiti

This week someone wrote “Aruba Pro Pedofiel” on the walls of the gold mine ruins (what was this person thinking?)

However, this not the first time that they wrote this slogan on the gold mill walls (it’s the 4th time).

It all started with one father whose daughter was molested and began writing “Aruba pro pedofiel” all over the island. Now a few more angry parents are also starting to paint this slogan around the island, because of a recent child molestation case. They are mad because the child molester didn’t get a long enough jail sentence. 

I understand that they want to voice their opinion, but damaging local property and a tourist attraction is not the solution…

I hope this trend stops and that the government starts giving longer sentence for child molesters.

latest news from aruba

This is not the way to resolve this.

Archaeological Museum Closed

If you have a visit to the archaeological museum planned when in Aruba (in the first two weeks of March) you’re going to be disappointing, because they’re going to be closed on 28 of February 2017.

The reason they are closing is because they are installing a new air conditioning system.

So if you had planned to visit the archaeological museum you have to reschedule…

They said it will be known publicly when the museum will open again.

latest news from Aruba

The museum is going to be closed for renovation

Too Much Tourist Getting into Accidents

This week a lot of accidents took place with tourists in the mix.

Many of them which are unfortunate and some could of been completely prevented.

The first accident happened between a local and two tourists in the downtown area.

The rental car involved in this accident failed to give the other party preference and caused the accident. They were not hurt severely, but needed to be taken to the hospital for observation.

Another accident happened this week with a lady that was speeding in a residential area and lost control of her rental car. She managed to turn over the car, knock down a traffic sign and hit full on into a house that was under construction.

It was a miracle that she came out of the accident without any major injuries.

latest news from Aruba

She completely turned over the car.

A couple parked their car near Malmok beach to go snorkeling.

But when they returned to their car, they were shocked to see that someone broke into their car and took their belongings.

I don’t know if they left their belongings visible, but if that was the case, this could of easily been avoided.

This is enough to give anyone with a bad intention the impulse to break in…

latest news from Aruba

Police taking notes of what happened

If you’re going to drive in Aruba always be careful (while driving and parking).

They will break in your car, anywhere in the world, even in broad daylight, if you leave your belonging visible.

My advice to you is…

  • Never speed (stay in the driving limit)
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Never drive and text on your phone
  • When leaving your car hide all personal belongings out of sight.

If you’re looking to rent a car for your upcoming trip click here to see our rental rates.

Security Cameras

The government is going to use technology to bring down the crime rate on the island.

Minister, Arthur Dowers wants to put cameras on certain areas of the island to increase security for locals and tourists. They are currently running a few tests with these cameras positioned near the hotel and downtown area. Because some area’s for example by the pelican pier are reported to have locals selling drugs to tourist. They are a molestation for people who are not interested (and it’s against the law)…

With the help of these cameras the government is planning to catch these drug dealers red handed.

If the cameras prove to be successful more will be added (there are talks that about 600 cameras will be placed all over the island).

latest news in Aruba

security camera near the beach in Aruba

Latest News From Aruba about CITGO

The rehabilitation of the refinery is finally starting to take place after the government signed a contract with CITGO in 2016,

About one week ago more than a 100 people were contracted and officially given a badge to enter the refinery.

Today there are more than 200 people who are working to recover the refinery.

This week the government announced that about 200 specialists from Trinidad & Tobago will be contracted to help rehabilitation process. 

It seems that a lot of foreign workers are being contracted, but that was part of the deal. More foreigners than locals would be contracted to rehabilitate the refinery. But, after the refinery is in full swing, 80% of the employees have to be locals. 

When the rehabilitation of the refinery is completed those who were contracted from away have to go back and locals are going to run and maintain the refinery.

The director of Aruba investment bank, Frendsel Giel said that the refinery will yield more than 340 million dollars annually for Aruba. The majority of this money will go to workers, local contractors and the government. And the city of San Nicolas will be booming again!

The reopening of the refinery will definitely give a boost to Aruba’s economy.

Green Corridor Bridge

Last week the director of ODINSA (an infrastructure company from Colombia), Carlos Zubieta Uribe, shared a positive update about the developments of the bridge that they are in charge of constructing during a press conference.

He said that the construction of the bridge is on schedule and everything is going according to plans.

After they complete the structure they will move to the next phase of the project that includes adding lights to the bridge, putting road signs and putting asphalt on the road.

The deadline of this bridge is set to be in August of 2017.

The bridge is part of the green corridor project, which is a renovation of the existing highway and creation of a new one from the airport to the area of pos chiquito (and savaneta) including several new roundabouts.

Soon you will be able to drive on the new highway and bridge of the “green corridor”.


latest news from Aruba

Green Corridor Bridge


Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

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Read this weeks Aruba breaking news recap to know what has been happening recently…

Aruba Breaking News

It’s hard to find any kind of Aruba breaking news in English online.

That’s why I decided to do a weekly round up of Aruba breaking news.

You can get the latest Aruba breaking news by email when you subscribe to my newsletter.

How can you sign up?

Type your email in the signup form below…

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Grand Opening Barcelo Aruba Casino

This week we start the Aruba breaking news with a wonderful casino opening at Barcelo Aruba.

Their new casino was revealed for the first time.

The new name of the casino is – LIV.

They celebrated by inviting guests only that were staying at Barcelo Aruba.

Aruba breaking news

LIV casino logo

It wasn’t too long ago that the Occidental Grand closed its doors (including its casino – named Aura).

After a battle with the ex employees from the Aura casino – the new owners of the hotel and from the casino (Island Gaming) decided to take 26 of the 46 employees back into service.

The rest of the employees decided to take 4 months pay and left.

Despite all the drama in the court between Barcelo Aruba and the ex employees, they ended up with a beautiful casino.

Do you like to gamble?

If so, are you looking forward to try your luck at LIV?

Cleaning Up Old Bushiri Building

Aruba breaking news

Serlimar cleaning up the place at Bushiri

A local waste collection company (Serlimar) is in charge of cleaning the area around Bushiri hotel.

They acted so fast I could’t believe it…

Not even a week after the Prime Minister decided to bring down the old building they already cleaned the front area of the hotel.

In the meanwhile that the cleaning is being done planning is being made to see how exactly they will bring down the old structure.

It’s going to take a while before this becomes a recreational area for locals (and a public beach).

But things are moving pretty fast so it might be done before we expect it.

Aren’t you glad it won’t turn into another hotel or condominium?

What’s Happening in Oranjestad

Aruba Breaking News

Welcome Plaza near cruise port.

The downtown area of Aruba is being renovated right now (around cruise port).

The government is constructing a welcome plaza right next to the cruise port that includes a couple of new kiosks and local snack shops.

Right now the kiosks are stationed near the central bus station, but the sight isn’t nice.

Re-positioning the kiosk will make this area more beautiful and attractive.

The exact date that the new plaza will be finished is not yet known.

However, the construction workers are pretty fast so I’m sensing an inauguration of Welcome Plaza very soon.

A New Tower for Alto Vista Chapel

Aruba breaking news

Placing the new copper tower

The Alto Vista Chapel is Aruba’s birthplace for Catholic religion.

The chapel is an important place for locals.

It’s a church where they come to pray in case of illness or any kind of problems their facing.

Recently the pastor in charge (Pader Santiago) said that the chapel needed a new tower (and a few shingles on the roof needed to be replaced).

The tower was made in Venezuela and a local engineer placed the new copper tower in place. The total cost (including fabrication, transport and placement) was around $8000.

Pader Santiago said that it’s been almost 10 years that any renovations has been made on the chapel.

This renovation came in a timely manner and the end result is beautiful.  

Click here to read more about Alto Vista Chapel

Airport Arrival Enhancement Project

Aruba breaking news

Minister Arthur Dowers (middle) presents new arrival hall

The department of immigration in the arrival hall was reopened after being completely renovated.

The problem of the old arrival hall was that it was too small for the amount of passengers and not many immigration booths available.

This caused stagnation making for long waiting time.

The project included..

  • new set of equipment
  • a new booth for inspections
  • more e-gates
  • new floors
  • a transition ramp for the baggage claim area.

Due to construction only a third of the arrival hall was open.

Passengers were inconvenienced by taking other routes to immigration due to the magnitude of this renovation.

The CEO of Aruba Airport Authority (James Fazio) gave a welcome speech during the grand opening.

He mentioned that the investments in new equipment and facility in the arrival hall will help the personal of the department of immigration to better safeguard Aruba’s frontiers and manage the flow of passengers.

The estimated costs of the entire renovations was around 2 million Aruban guilders (that’s about 1.2 million US dollars). 

Now their are more electronic gates where you can pass through making the process easier and faster. However, some nationalities are still required to pass trough the normal booth by immigration.

Isn’t this great news? No more long lines and waiting…

Introduction of ESTA in Aruba

The government is going to introduce a new way to control and screen who comes into Aruba (or not) with the help of a ESTA system (Electronic System for Travel Authorization).

Everyone needs to fill it in (only travelers with a dutch passport don’t need to).

It’s a new technology similar to the ED card. However, the difference is that the ESTA has the power to keep someone from entering Aruba. 

Travelers will be screened before given a “green light” to enter the island.

What do you think about the new ESTA system?

New Employees CITGO

Aruba breaking news

A few new citgo employees and ministers.

This week CITGO and refinery of Aruba welcomed its first workers!

The press was invited to witness 100 badges being handed to the first of many employees who are going to be working in the refinery.

Most of the selected workers are locals who already have experience in the former refinery Valero.

More people are going to be hired to work in the refinery, because contractors are actively looking for employees.

I’m happy to see that this is becoming a reality…

Aruba has The Top 10 Golf Course in the Caribbean
Aruba breaking news

Tierra del Sol golf course.

USA today named the golf course of Tierra del Sol among the top 10 in the Caribbean.

It was ranked #7 in the top 10 list by expert golfers.

The golf course at Tierra del Sol was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr II.

It’s the only 18 hole championship golf course (situated on the northwest point of Aruba).

The local trees, birds, and view of the north coast ocean makes this golf course special.

Aruba organized (in December 2016) the first Aruba Cup that featured various professional players from the USA, Canada and Latin America.

The Aruba cup was streamed live via Global TV, Golf Channel, Fox Sports and ESPN.

The second tournament of Aruba cup will be held in December of 2017.

If you like to golf (or would like to learn how to) you should visit the player shop at Tierra del Sol.

Local Food Fenders Still Using Plastic Bags

On the 1st of January 2017 plastic bags were banned.

Everyone was used to plastic bags when doing shopping, but now you have to bring your own reusable bag (or buy one).

However, some local food vendors are doing as if there is no plastic bag ban.

They are still giving out plastic bags to customers.

The government is taking notice of this and reminded them that the plastic bag ban is in full effect. And if they don’t comply with the rules they are running a risk into getting a fined ($6000 US dollars).

If you happen to buy food at local places and they give you a plastic bag give them back and tell them you support the plastic bag ban (and that they should also).

Aruba Flip Flop Festival 2017

Aruba breaking news

2017 Flip Flop – 31 March until 2 April

Flip Flop is a music festival that has grown immensely since it was introduced for the first time 6 years ago.

This years flip flop event will be held on 31 March until 2 April 2017.

However, this years flip flop will be different…

Different in the sense that the organizers are charging a fee for entrance (it used to be a free).

The representatives of flip flop said they are charging for entrance so they can bring artist of higher caliber.

And they are right, because this year Morgan Heritage will be the main act.

Paying for entrance to get artists like Morgan Heritage is a good deal in my opinion.

The prices for super early birds are now 25 Aruban guilders (not even 15 US dollars).

Tickets are available by citgo palm beach, boulevard, st.cruz and essoville.

Your Thoughts on This weeks Aruba Breaking news?

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Voice your opinion by leaving a comment…

When you’re at home and want to know what’s going on with Aruba you look for news online. However, finding local Aruba news in English can be hard.

Local Aruba News Update

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Sign up for my newsletter to get weekly local Aruba news updates via email if this is your first time reading local Aruba news on Vacations By Aruba.

The sign up form for the newsletter is at the end of this article.

Plans for Bushiri Hotels

Do you know the building that used to be the ex Bushiri hotel (in front of Certified Supermarket on LG Smith Boulevard)?

Well a lot of offers have been made by investors and the private sector to buy the building. Buyers want to make it into a hotel, condominiums and other business ideas.

However, the government recently notified the press that they have their own ideas for this old ruin.

The ex Bushiri Hotel will be transformed into a recreational area for locals to use.

And the beach will become public.

But there are many things that should be worked out before construction starts.

For example, many locals that know the hotel from back then say that the beach at Bushiri is very deep.

According to them no one really swims there since the hotel closed down. Only fishermen who use a nearby pier to unload their fresh fish go here.

So the government needs to examine (and fix) the beach before it becomes public. 

The Damage Hurricane Matthew Left Behind

It wasn’t too long ago that Aruba was taunted by the giant hurricane Matthew.

The damage this tropical storm left behind was unbelievable.

The beach at Divi was completely gone. Including palapas and huts.

Near Malmok beach all the sea stars, conch and snails were completely washed away.

The gas station near the hotel area in Noord suffered a lot of water damage.

Last week the total cost of renovation of this area was announced. The gas station alone was around 300.000 Aruban guilders (that is 171.429$). 

Plus various shops in that area lost a lot of money also.

Restaurants like Gari Wasabi, Subway and other shops like Natures Discount were heavily damaged and needed renovations.

They lost a lot of equipment also due to the flood.

The total renovation cost of the gas station including shops, restaurants and condominium in the area are estimated to be around 500.000 Aruban guilders (that’s about 285.714$).

Check out a video of the floods near the area in Noord.

Black widow spider in Aruba?

A local spotted some strange insect in their yard. After further inspecting the creepy crawler they noticed it was a spider they had never seen before.

They informed the Department of Public Health and told them to let someone come and see what kind of spider it is.

It seems that the spider is a black widow spider (viuda preto).

So how can Aruba probably have black widow spiders?

The spiders can enter Aruba during the importing of products like fruits, vegetables, car tires and construction materials.

There hasn’t been any other reported cases of encounters with black widows (for a long time until this once)

I don’t think you should be worried about black widow spiders (I know I am not worried about it).

Gas price went up again…

It was about a month ago that I posted the last update on gas price.

The Minster of Economy announced on 8 February that the price for gas is going to raise again due to the price in the combustibles market.

The price for gasoline is now 180.4 cent per liter (increase of 1 cent). Only the price of diesel was reduced to 147.2 cent (-1.2 cent). All prices include BBO/BAZV.

This time it doesn’t seem much, but a raise is a raise still.

So if you’re planning to rent a car in Aruba don’t forget to budget for gas.

Click here to read more about renting a car via Vacations By Aruba.

Be Careful When Driving in Aruba

Last night police received a call that an accident happened with a rental car near Savaneta.

When the police came they were surprised to see a white Mitsubishi stuck in a ditch.

The tourist said he was going to Flying Fishbone (a well known restaurant in Aruba), but he completely missed the entrance of the restaurant and got off on the wrong side of the road into a ditch.

No one was hurt in this accident.

That’s a situation you don’t want to be in.

So, if it’s your first time (or not) driving in Aruba always be careful.

  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Watch the speed limit.

The white rental car

More Police Visibility in The Tourist Area

There will be more visibility in the tourist section (low rise and high rise hotel area).

The police station in the area of Noord just received 2 new police cars from Aruba Tourism & Security Foundation and Korps Politie Aruba.

The 2 new Toyota RAV4 Hybrids are going to be used to reinforce visibility in the beach area.

Listen to the Minister of Justice (Arthur Dowers) and president of Aruba Hotel & Security Foundation (Jim Hepple) talk more about the new police cars and their plans to ensure security for every tourist on Aruba.

Queen of Aruba Carnival 63

It’s carnival season in Aruba. And it’s a local tradition to have a queen that opens all the carnival parades and represents Aruba during the entire year.

Aruba’s famous Queen election took place on 10-February-2017. 

local aruba news

Mrs Carnival Julie Tromp (left) and Aruba’s Carnival Queen Sabina Rey (right).

The new Queen of Aruba’s carnival 63 is Sabina Rey representing the bario (local way of saying city) of Santa Cruz. And Mrs Carnival of Aruba is Julie Tromp representing Champagne Carnival Group.

Congratulations ladies!

Check out the Carnival Schedule for 2017 here.

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News From Aruba

Vacations By Aruba is a travel blog that promotes Aruba.

So naturally you would expect to only read “tourist” news.

However, if something “bad” is happening on the island I would also like to inform you about it. Just as much as I do the good things that’s going on in Aruba.

So here’s what is been going on in Aruba last week…

Be Careful in Aruba

There was two cases of tourists who lost their belongings.

Fortunately one of them was lucky to get all of his stolen items returned.

The first incident happened near the beach at Ritz Carlton – Fisherman’s Hut.

A family decided to go to fisherman’s hut since they were on a cruise stop on the island. They left their belongings behind unattended under one of the huts and went swimming.

When they returned they were surprised to find that all their belongings were gone.

The police was notified and came quick to the scene to find out what happened and brought the family back to the cruise port.

When they returned to the cruise port, they found their belongings back.

The person who returned the families belongings did the right thing.

The second scene happened at midnight.

A lady went for a late night swim on the beach in front of Hilton Hotel. After a while she spotted someone standing under the palapa where she left her belongings.

Before she could get out the water and find out what’s going on someone took her belongings. Left with here clothes and purse. The police found her clothes a few meters further from where the incident happened.

These two incidents could of been easily prevented.

Aruba is a safe place for tourist.

However, if you’re not going to be careful when traveling these things are bound to happen – anywhere.

Even in Aruba – Paradise!

My advice for you, whether it’s you’re first time or return visitor – be careful with your belongings.

Some tips for safety in Aruba are…

  • Don’t leave your belongings unattended
  • Don’t give out personal info about your credit cards
  • Avoid walking in dark areas at night
  • Don’t leave with all you’re cash at hand. (Leave money in the safe at the hotel)
  • Park your rental car in a safe place and always lock the doors
  • Don’t leave phones, wallets, tablets and money where it can be seen in the car.

Something new to do in San Nicolas

There’s a new initiative going on in San Nicolas to get the local community and tourists more in touch with the city’s rich culture and history.

It’s called “Experience San Nicolas”.

Experience San Nicolas is a unique way to get in touch with the rich culture of San Nicolas.

The culture of San Nicolas is a mixture of all the nationalities that live in the city. This mix of nationalities gave birth to a whole pot of delicious culinary dishes, art, music and it made history. 

Experience San Nicolas will be held on the first Sunday of every month.

Shops like WEMA, El Gallo Royo, Alankar, JM Enterprises, La Aruba, Joy’s Restaurant, Aruba Store and O’Niel Restaurant will have different deals and promotions.

Search for “Experience San Nicolas” on Facebook to see their page for updates.

Here’s the program for the 3rd edition of Experience San Nicolas, which is today 5 February 2017.

Experience San Nicolas Program for 5 Feb 2017

Giving Away Free Re-usable Bags

If you didn’t know it yet, plastic bags have been banned in Aruba.

The decision to ban plastic bags was made, because plastic bags cause damage to Aruba’s environment.

You usually see plastic bags that flew away stuck in the trees along the roads.

But plastic bags are gone for good now!

Following the ban on plastic bags AHATA (Aruba Hotel and Tourism Authority) gave away re-usable bags for free to people. They gave away the bags at two supermarkets where a lot of locals shop for groceries, Save a Lot in Noord and Hong Kong in Paradera.

Here’s a video of what exactly went on that day…

Aruba Bird life Conservation is on a mission

The members of Aruba Bird life Conservation and 15 kids traveled as special guests to the annual festival of birds in Colombia.

The prime Minister of Aruba, Mike Eman, was also on board for the trip.  

The mission of Aruba bird life conservation and the government is to learn from other countries how they protect their birds.  

Greg Peterson, of Aruba Bird life Conservation said the birds in Aruba are not protected as they should be. That’s the reason why this trip was essential in learning how Colombia protects their birds. So Aruba can implement these different strategies to conserve Aruba’s birds.

The kids and all invites learned how to analyze, observe and recognize birds they saw.

The prime minster said during a speech that there is plans of making a marine park in Aruba. This should be interesting, there’s plenty of places to build it.

I hope the marine park becomes reality.

It will be another fun thing to do in Aruba.

Aruba has over 900 different species of birds. And protecting them is going to be top priority from now on.

Accident At Mangel Halto

Last week a teenage boy managed to get the car he was driving into the beach at Mangel Halto.

The boy who was driving didn’t have a driver license and was under the age limit of driving. He was driving near the beach at Mangel Halto and somehow ended up in the sea.

The car that made it into the water.

Bystanders quickly notified the police and ambulance.

The authorities didn’t take long to respond and got to the scene quick.

Two other girls were also in the car.

They all got out without injuries and sent to the hospital for further check up. 

The boy probably took the car without his parents knowledge and this happened to him.

We all did things we weren’t allowed to do as kids and learned our lesson – this will definitely teach them a lesson.

Thank God none of them got hurt.

Carnival Casio & Soca Monarch Winners

It’s carnival season in Aruba and the biggest music festival during carnival took place last night.

Casio & Soca Monarch is the largest local music event featuring the island’s greatest music creators and bands of carnival.

The music event took place on 3 days featuring over a 100 song compositions by carnival bands and only 2 winners to be selected at the final day. One person as the Casio Monarch and the other as Soca Monarch (one person can also win both prizes, if their song is good enough)

The winners of this years Caiso Monarch is Mighty Talent Jr. (The son of Claudius Philips, you might know him from happy hour at La Cabana) and Blacky won the Soca monarch. He’s a talented singer from San Nicolas.

Click here to see the carnival schedule for 2017.

Might Talent Jr (Left) and Blacky (right)

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It’s that time of the week again to read up on some fresh Aruba local news.

If this is you’re first time reading news articles on my blog, welcome.

I know it is hard to find Aruba local news online in English. I also know how much it means to you to feel connected to Aruba, by reading my news articles. 

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Aruba Local News 

This week a lot happened in Aruba.

So here’s some Aruba local news that you can relate too that stood out this week.

Let’s start by congratulating…

A New General Manager At Hilton Aruba

The Hilton Aruba announced the arrival of a new general manager.

The new manager is Hans-Georg Roehrbein. 

Before his new position in Aruba, he was general manager of the Marriott Hotel in Egypt. He supervised over a 1000 rooms, a dozen F&B outlets and 1600 employees.

He started his career as sous chef at the Marriott hotel in Miami and now has over 30 years of experience in the hotel industry.

I would like to wish him much success leading the Hilton Aruba.

80/20 Rule For CITGO

The reopening of Aruba’s refinery is in full swing.

A lot of locals and politicians want to ensure that the people of Aruba get most of the jobs in the refinery.

The minister of Labor, Paul Croes, stated and promised that 80% of the employees at CITGO will be locals.

He also said the unemployment rate is going to drop about 2% because of the reopening of Aruba’s refinery. 

The government is planning to work closely with high schools and universities in Aruba.

This will help students get into the economic and energy sector so they can get a job in the refinery. It’s a 25 year contract between CITGO and Aruba, so a good move to invest in Aruba’s youth and future leaders.

Finally Claimed Jackpot Lottery 3.1 Million

Many people have speculated why anyone hasn’t claimed the biggest Aruba lottery jackpot yet.

The reason no one claimed it for so long is because the winner went to a lawyer before they claimed the prize.

I guess the process itself was a long one since they won it, but they finally claimed it.

The winner wanted to stay anonymous, so the lawyer, Chris Lejuez was authorized to claim the check.

A remarkable fact is that the winning ticket was received as a free ticket they had won.

They only added 2 guilders to win the jackpot.

I’m glad someone finally claimed it.

I was beginning to think that they lost the ticket somehow taking so long to claim it.

Protest Against Car Insurance Payments

This week truck drivers protested by blocking the road in front of the parliament.

They were protesting against the government for forcing everyone to pay their car insurance in one time payment in 2017.

Previously you could of paid your car insurance quarterly. Now, there’s a new law that is going to change the rules.

The drivers parked their trucks in the middle of the streets in front of the parliament.

You couldn’t go near the downtown area ( or LG smith boulevard).

The truck drivers are protesting against Minister of Finance, Angel Bermudez, to stop the situation.

What’s going to happen to Bushiri hotel?

Minister of Infrastructure, Benny Zievinger, wants to bring down the remaining structure of Bushiri Hotel.

It’s an ugly site down the road in LG Smith Boulevard. It’s going to be a long process, before the government can bring down the building.

In the meantime there’s already offers to buy the land to build another hotel. There’s also interest in the private sector to build a malls or other commercial projects.

Child Breaks Hand at Bushiribana Gold Mill

This week a terrible accident happened at Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruin that could’ve been easily prevented.

A person who was there, told the police a family reached with ATV’s at the gold mill.

Afterwards the mother and father went to the coastline to see the beach.

They left their child at the gold mine without supervision.

The child decided to climb on the rocks, but the hard wind caused the child to a fall. 

The poor kid suffered a broken hand.

The police and paramedics responded quick after they were notified about the accident. They brought the kid to the hospital to get further treatment.

The parents are wrong for this one though, how could you leave the child alone?

If you’re travelling with kids in Aruba, keep them safe.

Aura Casino Is a Closed Case

There seems to be an agreement made between the new owners of Aura Casino (Island Gaming) and the ex employees.

In total there are 44 employees that were fired by their previous employers.

However, only 26 of them will continue to work at the hotel. 

The owners, Island Gaming, reduced the size of the casino during renovation by more than half of its original size.

It was impossible to take all 44 employees back, they only took back 26 people.

From the rest of the employees 15 chose a package (4 months of pay).

However, 3 of the employees opted not to accept anything the company offered.

They are still in process in the court about a possible solution.

I guess this case is finally coming to an end after months.

Faster Service in Aruba’s Airport

The CEO of Aruba’s airport, James Fazio, explained that they are going to eliminate one of the two points of control in the USA Hall.

The main concern is the baggage area.

The plan is to remove the baggage reclaim area which will automatically take out the need to control for a second time.

So eventually you will check in your luggage, go to the immigration department, continue to passenger screening on to the US pre clearance (in the crying room) 🙁

Smoking Going To Be Banned in Casino

The government is creating a law that will ban smoking in the casino.

The smoking ban is going to take a while to take full effect. Because all the casinos have to adapt their establishments to comfort both smokers and non-smokers.

For example the casino at the Hyatt is already making plans to create a room where you can smoke.

It’s going to take about a year for this smoking ban to become reality.

Do you like to smoke in the casino?

What are your thoughts on the smoking ban…

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It’s that time of the week again where I spread some positive island vibes in your way with some Aruba news update.

Aruba is your home away from home…

And knowing whats going on in paradise is good a feeling.

This weeks Aruba news update

I have to admit it’s hard keeping up with news in Aruba if you just don’t understand the local language.

Most news sites are in Papiamento and google doesn’t translate very well…

This is where my Vacations By Aruba newsletter comes in very handy!

You get the latest Aruba news update straight to your email.

You can sign up for the newsletter at the end of this Aruba news update article.

The recent comments I have received from my loyal readers is that I’m doing a good job and that I should continue keeping them informed.

So here’s a few good ones out of a bunch of things that happened this week…

A new hotel in Aruba

Last year the Minister of tourism announced that Aruba will get another hotel.

Airport Hotel – “Aruba Airport Hotel & Business Center”.

Last week a ceremonial ground-breaking event took place next to the airport, where the hotel will be constructed.

The airport hotel will be perfect if you’re using Aruba as a travel hub.

You can stay at the airport hotel instead of going to the hotel area just to stay a night or a couple of hours.

The airport hotel is also going to function as a business center.

For example, you can rent a room to have a meeting with your business partners. Or rent an office space for a few hours to finish up on projects.

The airport hotel is a 30 million dollar investment and will take 18 months to complete.

I think this hotel is a great idea. Because it’s different. It will cater to a lot of business travelers and sustain Aruba’s Tourism.

The hotels in the low and high rise are going to have more rooms available because of this move.

Biggest lotto jackpot yet…

Aruba’s lottery had the biggest jackpot in history last year.

It was 3.1 million AWG ($1.771.428).

On the 20th of December 2016 someone won the jackpot.

Representatives of Aruba lottery said the winning ticket was bought in Santa Cruz by a vendor named Lucky Mack.

The winning numbers were 04-12-23-27 & Mega Ball 14.  

However the winner hasn’t claimed the prize yet.

They have exactly 90 days to come forth and claim it.

I wish I had that ticket!

The things I would do with the money…

Electric cars for sale in Aruba

Last week Garage Centraal (a car dealership in Aruba) displayed their first electrical car for sale in their showroom.

The Prime Minister of Aruba, Mike Eman, was present and revealed the new Hyundai Ioniq to the public. 

This was a significant moment in the history of Aruba.

Because the Minister has been stimulating car dealerships to start selling electric cars since 2012.

The growth of electrical cars in Aruba is not big.

Maybe after the introduction by Garage Centraal things will pick up.

Now it’s time for the other car dealerships to start selling electric cars.

Would you drive an electric rental car in Aruba?

The Beach Between Divi & Tamarijn

The beach between Divi and Tamarijn was severely damaged by Hurricane Matthew.

Click to see the damage of hurricane Matthew.

Everyone’s asking for recent pics from the beach at Divi, so they can be relaxed about their upcoming vacations.

Matthew is long gone…

However it seems that it’s raining a little too much on Aruba after the storm.

The big waves between Divi and Tamarijn are causing damage to the beach.

Taking out some palapa huts.

The damage reported by the resort is over a million dollars.

But Divi, Dienst Openbare Werken and Aruba Tourism Authority have partnered up to repair the beach and come up with a permanent solution.

DOW proposed that a study be done to monitor the behavior of the beach.

How the beach erodes, what season of the year it happens and how the beach grows back naturally.

With this data they can simulate the process and prevent any kind of future threats to our precious beaches. The entire study is expected to cost about 500 thousand AWG ($285.714). And will take a year to complete.

It’s a good investment of time and money to preserve our beaches.

The property itself…

The Divi & Tamarijn in Aruba are well known for maintaining their hotels.

Last year the Tamarijn resort renovated the lobby, added a new restaurant, built a new terrace and pizza bar. The rooms are refurbished. All the balconies are looking nice with amazing views. 

Renovation is still taking place and the hotel is practically full of visitors.

There’s also talks into building a gym at the Divi Links.

Can you imagine overlooking the beach while you get in shape?  

I can…

Aruba’s coast guard doing a good job…

Aruba’s coast guard is continuing to do a good job of finding and catching illegals in Aruba.

The coast guard showed up without notice by some construction workers this week.

During the day last Friday, they went to a site near Palm Beach and caught various people without the right documents to be in Aruba.

They arrested everyone who was not properly documented.

Calling all Aruba’s volunteers…

One of the biggest volunteer events is going to held on 10/11 of March.

This event is called Aruba Doet (Aruba Does).

You might be thinking, Aruba does what?

It means Aruba’s own people doing volunteer work to fix places and help people in need. 

Like painting schools buildings. Fixing playgrounds. Spend a day with elderly people. Clean up the beach and more.

If you’re in Aruba in March and want to help clean up the beach, remember to subscribe as a volunteer.

A weather update for this week…

It has been raining constantly the last 2 weeks here in Aruba.

Not constant rain, but every day it rained for a while.

Some days it was very hard rain and the other day cloudy and drizzling.

The director of Meteo Aruba said that it rained more than usual in Aruba.

However, these last couple of days were very good.

Today the sky is clear and the sun is bright.

I checked the early afternoon scan from Aruba weather report and it shows clear skies over Aruba.

No significant signs of rain expected, so I think we will have dry conditions throughout this week. And hopefully the next one also.

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