Are the short, cold dark days making you dream about a winter trip to Aruba?

If so, you’re most probably suffering from the winter blues.

There’s plenty of remedies to treat your depression, but the best cure is a vacation in Aruba.

It’s the perfect winter escape, because the island is an oasis of sunshine, cool trade winds, baby blue seas and miles of fine white sand – way better than snow!

Enough daydreaming, it’s time for you to…

Book Your Winter Trip To Aruba

There’s a lot of airlines that offer flights to Aruba – far away from the cold weather.

Book a trip that lands your toes in the white soft beach sand before midday and start defrosting.

Even if you have a tight budget, you can still find great deals on flights and places to stay in Aruba.

Aruba vacation package deals! Click here to book flight + hotel vacations to beautiful Aruba!

If you’re still not convinced to visit Aruba this winter, here’s 5 reasons you should…

1. The Weather Is Better in Aruba

Anywhere with warm weather sounds more appealing than the freezing cold.

Did you know Aruba has the most sunny days through the year, compared to other islands in the Caribbean?

So if you’re looking for sunshine, there’s plenty of it here.

It’s the ultimate escape for thousands of visitors when the temperatures at home go below zero.

Ditch the coat and scarf for swimsuits, it’s always summer here!


2. The Beach Blue Beats The Winter Blues

Imagine waking up to a sun drenched sky and the beaches so close to you that you can smell the sea.

There’s over a dozen beaches and bays on the island.

It really doesn’t matter which beach you choose to visit, because all of them are beautiful, relaxing and better than the snow.

Whether you choose to the spend the whole day basking in the sun on palm beach, mangel halto or baby beach – a hot day is promised on the island.

Ditch the snow, come to Aruba!

3. Endless Activities For Adventure Seekers

You might think Aruba is small, and it can all be seen in one day. But don’t let the islands size fool you, because there’s plenty to do and see.

From low impact activities like yoga, massages, shopping, to snorkeling, off roading, and skydiving are a few of the different activities available in Aruba that will turn your winter depression into one happy island vibes.

If you love sightseeing, visit Aruba’s popular landmarks like the Alto Vista Chapel, Natural Bridge, Gold Mines, California Lighthouse, Casibari, Hooiberg and Grot Di Lourdes to name a few of the islands wonders worth seeing.

You can either book a island tour or rent a car in Aruba to explore the island.

The island is in constant development, one of the recent addition to Aruba’s list of popular beaches is Bushiri. It’s a new beach strip that just opened up after the government decided to dismantle one of the oldest hotels on the island.

There’s also a coney island in Aruba for this year’s winter 2018.

The park will be open from January 11, 2018 and remain on the island for a few months. Coney island features over 28 rides, for kids, teenagers and adults.




4. Participate in Carnival Parades & Festivals

Shake off those gloomy winter blues by participating in one of Aruba’s carnival parades. Carnival is one of the biggest traditional celebrations on the island.

The parades moves slowly through the capital of Aruba, Oranjestad and through the main streets of San Nicolas, which is considered to be the cultural heritage of the island.

Everyone is welcome to participate in these parades, however you do have to sign up in time before the groups get sold out.

You can also stand along the roadside and watch the parade go by while participants dance to locally produced music and colorfully decorated costumes.

Here’s the dates for Carnival in Aruba 2018.

Turn your back on the chilly winter and embrace a pleasurable warm summer weather during Aruba’s Carnival.

Experience carnival in Aruba.

5. Drink, Eat, Relax & Repeat

When most people are stuck in winters freezing grip, you can be relaxing under palm trees drinking a pina colada like there’s no tomorrow.

There’s plenty of restaurants in Aruba that offer exquisite meals that can’t be found anywhere else in the Caribbean. Enjoy the evening in Aruba’s at different lounges, bars, clubs and over a dozen casino’s.

Wake up in the morning and repeat it all over again, at the beach with a cold balashi!

Ice cold beer waiting for you in Aruba.

Escape The Cold

Escape the cold and book a winter trip to Aruba.

When you return home you will be rejuvenated and full of energy.




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Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, which means our partners will pay us small commission if you click an advertisement or a link and purchase something that I recommended on Vacations By Aruba. Clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Please check out our disclosure policy and privacy policy for more details. Thank you for your support!

It’s Carnival season in Aruba – keep on reading to find out the Aruba Carnival dates 2018.

Aruba Carnival Dates 2018

This schedule covers the dates for all the mayor carnival events.

  • January 6 – Torch Parade in Oranjestad – 8:00 PM
  • January 14 – Balloon Parade in San Nicolas – 2:00 PM
  • January 19 – Children & Youth Queen Election – Entertainment Center – 7:00 PM
  • January 20 – Tumba Contest – Aruba Entertainment center – 8:00 PM
  • January 21 – Children Calypso & Road March Contest – Carnival Village – 6:00 PM
  • January 22 – Pre Finals Caiso & Soca Monarch – Carnival Village – 7:00 PM
  • January 26 – Carnival Queen & Mrs. Carnival Election – in Oranjestad – 7:00 PM
  • January 27 – Children’s Parade in Noord – 2:00 PM
  • January 27 – Final Caiso & Soca Monarch – Carnival Village – 7:00 PM  
  • January 28 – Transfer of command – Government Main Office – 10:00 AM
  • January 28 – Grand Children’s Carnival Parade in Oranjestad – 2:00 PM
  • February 1 – Hebbe Hebbe Fest – Parkinglot Post Office oranjestad – 8:00 PM
  • February 3 – Jouvert Morning & Pyjama Party in San Nicolas – 4:00 am
  • February 3 – Aruba’s Grand Lighting Parade in Oranjestad – 8:00 PM
  • February 4 – Grand Children’s Parade in San Nicolas – 2:00 PM
  • February 4 – Buring of Momito at Carnival Village in San Nicolas – 7:30 PM
  • February 8 – Lighting Parade in San Nicolas – 8:00 PM
  • February 10 – Grand Carnival Parade in San Nicolas – 12:00 AM
  • February 11 – 64th Grand Carnival Parade in Oranjestad – 12:00 AM
  • February 11 – Burning of King Momo (ending of Grand Parade) 7:30 PM
Aruba carnival dates 2018

Aruba’s carnival is a must experience!

Aruba vacation package deals! Click here to book flight + hotel vacations to beautiful Aruba!

Carnival History in Aruba

The roots of Carnival in Aruba can be traced all the way back to the 1920’s.

It all started when social clubs organized private costume and masquerade parties.

In 1955 the first grand parade was organized for the public in the downtown area.

Aruba’s carnival has grown leaps and bounds since that first parade.




Aruba’s 64th Carnival

Aruba is known for its beautiful beaches and sunny weather, but carnival brings thousands of visitors to the island for the experience.

If you’ve never been to Aruba before, you should plan to visit during carnival season. Because, it’s a perfect way to get a feel for what Aruba has to offer.

You get to experience sensational musical events, queen elections and different parades.

The parades go through the main streets of Oranjestad and San Nicolas featuring spectacular display of majestic designed costumes, participants dancing to the rhythm of local music and a great ambiance by the public who know how to keep a party going.

Carnival is an integrated and important part of the islands cultural heritage. It’s the largest cultural festival on the island!

However, it’s not only a time of celebration, but it’s also a way of breaking away from the daily toils of life and enjoying.

Aruba’s carnival is known around the world for being an unique and safe event.

Everyone is invited and allowed to participate.




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Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, which means our partners will pay us small commission if you click an advertisement or a link and purchase something that I recommended on Vacations By Aruba. Clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Please check out our disclosure policy and privacy policy for more details. Thank you for your support!

Surfside beach Aruba is a beautiful strip of turquoise water and white sand beach near the coasts of the downtown area.

There’s plenty of cool spots to check out and fun things to do here.

Let me explain….

Where Is Surfside Beach Aruba?

Surfside Beach is located near the downtown area, close to the highway on your way to your hotel from the airport.  

You can easily reach surfside beach with the bus or taxi.

If you want to rent a car in Aruba, you can easily drive to surfside.

There’s lots of free parking space in this area. Read this article if you want to know the rules about paid parking in the downtown Aruba





Things To Do At Surfside Beach Aruba

Surfside is known for turquoise shallow waters, white sand shores and peacefulness.

It’s located about a mile away from the cruise port and a few minutes from the airport.

Many locals visit surfside during the weekend to spend time with their family, but during the week, the beach is so quiet, practically making it your own private beach.

Besides swimming, spotting planes land and watching cruise ships come in, there’s plenty of cool spots to check out and plenty to do at Surfside beach in Aruba.

So whether you’re looking for a place to spend some time after you explore the island with a tour, or just want a some fun in the sun, check out these fun things to do near the area of Surfside beach Aruba.

1. Experience Local Culture

If you want to catch a glimpse of Aruba’s theater and cultural center, you should visit Cas di Cultura.

Cas di Cultura was developed by a local cultural association since 1949.

Here you will find various talent nights, theater shows by locals and visitors, school plays and Broadway musicals.

2. Enjoy A Walk in The Park

Surfside beach has a new park called “linear park”.

You can walk for miles, enjoy the fresh Caribbean air and exercise on the different gym equipment for free.

The linear park spans from near the airport through surfside beach until the downtown area.

It’s very well visited by locals who jog or walk early in the morning and during the evening times.

3. Take Kids To a Playground

If you’re on vacation with kids, you should take them to a playground called “Neptali Park”.

It’s a community playground, which is well visited by local children and their parents.

There’s different swings, slides, merry go rounds and more other different recreational equipments.

The park open from 4:00 PM and closes after the sun sets (closed on Monday) – entrance to the park is free of charge.

You can drink from a water cooler or buy other refreshments or snacks from a vending machine.




4. Relax At Reflexions Beach Bar

Reflexion beach bar offers a nice pool to cool down, if you don’t want to swim at the beach. They also have a restaurant, to enjoy a nice breakfast, lunch or dinner.

You can even rent an umbrella or chair here and place an order for one or two cocktails on the beach….

You’ll also find umbrella and chair rentals here.

5. Happy Hour at Surfside Beach Bar

There’s a second beach bar, on surfside called “Surfside Beach Bar”.

This beach bar is known for their happy hours, on Wednesday and Saturday, from 5:00 PM until 7:00 PM. It’s a great spot to hang out, drink and enjoy the view of the Caribbean.

You should try their delicious skewers, and infamous “Surfside Boom” drink, which knocks the blues out of everyone who tries it 🙂

They also serve lunch, dinner and coffee.

surfside beach Aruba

Surfside Beach Bar Aruba

6. Splash Around The Inflatable Water Park

There’s an inflatable water park waiting for you at surfside beach in Aruba.

It’s called splash park.

The idea of this inflatable water park in unique on the island.

Splash park is great place to take your family members for a challenge on their obstacle course.  so expect to have a lot of fun here with your family.

So prepare to bounce on trampolines, swing on monkey bars and climb high towers.

surfside beach Aruba

Splash Park!

7. Go on A Dive Excursion

Discover surfside’s underwater scenery with S.E. Fly N Dive school.

Sign up for a dive excursion and let the dive instructors shows you different dive sites, shallow reefs and shipwrecks.

Even if you’re not a certified diver, they offer half day training courses which includes theory and skills lessons, with a chance to dive in the open waters.

Your tour includes snorkeling or dive equipment, open bar and sandwiches.

surfside beach aruba

Go diving…

8. Dine Barefoot on the Beach

There’s a few restaurants in the area of surfside beach worth mentioning and one of them is called “Barefoot”.

Barefoot is one of the many restaurants where you can dine with your feet in the sand as the sound of ocean waves in the background sets a tropical mood.

Enjoy a delicious dish while you overlook the Caribbean sea.

surfside beach Aruba

Dine barefoot on the beach.

9. Dine On a Private Pier

Pinchos is another restaurant near the area of surfside beach in Aruba.

It’s a chic grill and bar on a private pier overlooking the turquoise waters.

The atmosphere at Pincho’s is very romantic during the evening.

Visit pinchos for a variety of grilled mouthwatering dishes & delicious beverages.

surfside beach Aruba

Dine on a private pier overlooking the water.




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The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba announced that they signed a long term management contract with International Promo Hotels.

IPH is in charge of renovating the hotel and re-branding it into a Courtyard Resort by Marriott.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

I enjoyed a weekend stay at the resort during the month of September, 2017 – so this article is an update about the transformation of The Mill in Aruba.

The resort is partially operational during the renovations, construction works will be done phase by phase until renovation is fully completed.

Previous to this visit, I stayed at The Mill about a year ago. The room I stayed in this time was outdated compared to one I stayed in back then.

So I’m looking forward to stay in the renovated rooms from Courtyard by Marriott.





During my visit they were still in the first phase of the renovation project (enhancement of the pool), which can be inconvenient for their guests.

The Mill has 2 free form saltwater swimming pools and a children’s pool.

Pool constructions started in June, 2017 and should take about 4 months to complete. The pools will be worked on one at a time, with a time frame of about 2 months to complete each pool.

Before the 188-room tropical oasis started construction, the pool side looked like this….

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

Two beautiful free form swimming pools.

The biggest pool (on the right side in the picture above) is currently being reconstructed into a new design and is properly closed off, which keeps guests at a safe distance during the renovations.   

Construction workers managed to keep the noise on an acceptable level during their working hours – the noise didn’t really bother me at all.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

The pool is being reconstructed into a new design.

There’s only one pool available for guests, which is already partially renovated. The pool has several seats in it, indicating that there’s going to be a swim up bar here 🙂 – a great upgrade if you enjoy drinks by the pool.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

Did you notice the seats on the bottom left?

Extra Services During Renovations

The resort’s mini market and fitness room were closed. Both of these facilities still need to be reconstructed, which should happen in the next phase of the renovation project.

Because of the inconvenience renovations can bring with them, the resort had some extra and special services available for their guests.

For example, a free shuttle to the beach side (and to an alternative swimming pool at Tropicana Beach Resort) and daily “two for one” happy hour from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM.

Both the restaurant and bar are open, so happy hour is still on!

Vodka cranberry and Aruba Ariba, please – one for each hand, of course 🙂

I enjoyed entertainment by popular local artist Claudius Phillips and his band Oreo. In case happy hour at Bang Goza Bar isn’t enough fun for you and want to venture out to some other cool beach bars, you should visit Bugaloe Beach Bear and Grill, which is just minutes away from The Mill.

If you’re interested in other offsite activities, you have all the options. Because there’s plenty of fun things to do in Aruba during your stay.

It’s All About Positive Changes

A new management has been appointed and they are guiding the renovations step by step.

According to the General Manager, every inch of the hotel will be renovated.

The new resort will feature a renovated lobby, new room interiors, a renewed restaurant, multiple bars around the property, a new business room, a new pool deck, a brand new spa area, fitness rooms and a kids activity center.

Not only will the exterior of the resort and the interior be renovated and re-branded, but a new way of offering service will be implemented that are up to Marriott’s standards.



What You Should Expect?

Be aware that staying at a resort that’s in the midst of renovations can be inconvenient.

Expect the Courtyard by Marriott to be completed within a year from now and revealed to the public.

Here are some more pictures of renovations from The Mill Resorts and Suites in Aruba to Courtyard by Marriott.

Here’s a map of the resort….

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

We stayed in room 118, close to the tennis court.

The picture below is the Bang Goza bar, the ambience is alive and well here during happy hour. It’s also a favorite hang out spot for locals.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

Bang Goza Bar.

The palapas that were used to offer guests shade have been placed in the yard, next to where the towel huts used to be.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

Some of the palapas that were on the pool deck.

Every square inch of the resort is being renovated. From top to bottom.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

Everything is being renovated, even the roof.

The rooms are being renovated, section by section. Expect a 5 star room at the Courtyard by Marriott.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

There’s no access to the right wing of the resort.

The Mill Resort and Suites in Aruba

A view of the pool at the moment.

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Are you looking for a place where you can do some wine tasting in Aruba?

A place where you can get away from the crowds and just relax…

If so I have to tell you about one of the most perfect places to do so – it’s truly a hidden gem on the island.

I didn’t know this place exist, until I accidentally bumped into the owner, now it’s one of my favorite places for wine tasting in Aruba.

This place I’m talking about is called “The Wine Room” and it’s a charming place that brings wine lovers together.

So let me tell you more about “The Wine Room in Aruba” and what you should expect on your visit…

wine tasting in Aruba

Pin wine tasting in Aruba on your to do list!

Wine Tasting in Aruba at The Wine Room

The wine room is located in the downtown area, tucked away from the crowds.

It’s owned by native islander, Monrick Croes, who turned his passion for wines into a chic bar for wine tasting in Aruba.

The wine room is a place where you can escape the daily tolls of life and just relax!

A candlelit atmosphere greets you as you enter the wine room.

The walls are decorated with beautiful wine paintings, vintage wine art and a wine rack with over 200 bottles of the best wines in Aruba.

wine tasting in Aruba

A view from inside of the wine room.

One of a Kind Wines

The wine rooms list of wines covers various exclusive brand names from different vineyards around the world.

All wines are self-imported by Monrick, so you won’t find any of them for sale in a supermarket or any wine stores in Aruba.

You can also buy wines at the wine room, they are sold by bottle or case.

wine tasting in Aruba

Wine and steak, two of my favorites!

Wine Tasting & Food Pairing

You can’t just drink a Merlot or a Pinot, and pair it with cheese or olives, there’s so much more to it.

Monrick is not only the owner of the wine room, but he’s also going to be your host.

He has a broad knowledge in the world of wines – so he’s the perfect sommelier to show you the fine points of wine tasting and food pairing in Aruba.

The food at the wine room can be described in one word – Delicious!

Monrick does the grocery shopping, prepares all the dishes, sets your plate and serves it to you in a friendly and entertaining fashion.

The wine room’s menu has different cheese platters, vegetarian tapas, from the oven dishes like champignon Au gratin and escargots a la bourguignon, succulent steak dishes, dessert and coffee.




Wine Not? Book now!

Take a break from the ordinary while in Aruba and relax while you tempt your taste buds with a wine tasting and food pairing at the wine room.

The ambiance is perfect for friends coming together, business meetings, or a romantic night of sipping great wines and having endless conversations.

I recommend you to visit Monrick at his wine room and indulge into an explosion of flavors in your mouth and great experience with a touch of Aruban hospitality.




Make Your Reservation

If you want to know more about the different packages for wine tasting at the wine room, please send me an email by filling the form below.

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Once a week (on Sundays) I make a recap of the most recent Aruba newspaper headlines for you in English, so you can stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home.

If this is your first time reading my newsletter – welcome!

Recent Aruba Newspaper

If you want to keep up with what’s happening on the island – you’re in the right place!

Until this day, the newsletter is free.

Why I am not charging, yet?

It’s all because of generous and loyal readers newsletter who love Aruba and want to stay in touch with the island that don’t mind supporting the newsletter by giving a small donation that covers all the costs of running a website (which are mainly maintenance, hosting fees etc.)

So, let’s start with the first headline of this week….

New Algae Pilot Plant

The government officially opened a pilot plant near the refinery to cultivate algae on the island.

The project is a sustainable one, also innovative and commercially good for Aruba, because the algae market is a 100 billion dollar market, which can potentially grow our economy.

According to the strategic adviser of the pilot plant, the project is still in its first phase.

This means that they are currently investigating which type of algae is the best to cultivate in Aruba.

Most likely they will be growing a micro algae called spirulina arubensis.

This type of algae is not easily visible to the eye and can easily be grown during the whole year in Aruba using carbon dioxide.

The next step of the project is to optimize the cultivation process, to maximize the amount of algae that can be produced within a specific period.

The first batch of algae will be sold and used by local businesses that are interested.

After they scale up the production of algae, they will start exporting the end product internationally.




Watch Out For Fake 100 Guilder Bills

The central bank of Aruba made a public service announcement to warn the public that there are fake 100 guilder bills in circulation on the island.

It’s important that locals as well as visitors take notice of these fake bills, and know the difference to spot them right away.

According to management of central bank of Aruba, the fake 100 guilder bills are easy to spot, if you know what to look for.

The main difference between a real and fake 100 guilder bill is the quality of paper used to make these counterfeit bills and the green which is not identical.

You can also spot a fake 100 guilder bill by checking out the serial number, if the serial numbers are 0822322538 and 0836336552 they’re fake.

False 100 guilder bills don’t have a watermark, and the logo from central bank Aruba isn’t visible.

When you hold a real 100 guilder bill against the light you notice a divi divi tree or watapana tree, however the fake bills have these trees directly printed on the paper bill.

If you get caught counterfeiting money in Aruba, you can get a prison sentence of up to 9 years.

recent Aruba newspaper

Fake 100 guilder bill.

Gas Price on the Rise

The price of gasoline and diesel increased again on September 13, 2017.

Gasoline is now 5,4 cents more expensive – 183 cents per liter ($1.00 is valued at 1,75 Aruban Florins – 175 cents).

Diesel will now cost you 147.6 cents per liter – an increase of 6 cents.

If you’re renting a car, take note of these changes for the price for petrol into consideration for gas money budget.

Don’t have a car yet for your vacation in Aruba?

I can help you find a good car for a good price and arrange a pick up free at the airport to your rental car in Aruba.

Use this link to contact me for car rental quotation and I will email you back as soon as possible.

New Office For Refinery Of Aruba

Refinery of Aruba makes some major moves by establishing their own office in San Nicolas, close to the refinery.

It’s the first time in over 75 years that the government and local people own the refinery.

The name of the company is RDA (refenaderia di Aruba) and the government is leasing the refinery to citgo to boost our economy.

There’s different departments in the RDA office, such as fuel marketing and supply Aruba, Aruba Safety Council, department of labor and government.

The new office gives locals who want to work in the refinery to easily apply for jobs.

There’s already over 500 people working in the refinery at the moment.

During the last couple of weeks 39 more locals have been hired for different positions like unit supervisors, area maintenance supervisor, shift supervisor, administration, and other technical functions.

At the moment engineers are busy with inspection of the all the machinery in the refinery, before they partially startup the refinery.


New Office For Public Ministry

The minister of justice officially opened a new building for the department of public ministry.

They nicknamed the new office for the public ministry “safe house”.

The safe house is considered as a new system of working to combat crime on the island, but it’s also the “house” where all the departments that work together to combat crime are located.

According to Aruba’s general prosecutor they got the concept and method of combating crime from the Netherlands.

The new system for the safe house is to focus on people who break the law, domestic violence, youths that show violent tendencies, people with mental issues and people who have already been detained once.

Moving Into The New Hospital

Aruba’s hospital got expanded with two new buildings, which are ready to use, but the patients need to be transferred from existing hospital building to the new ones.

That’s why all nurses are following series of training to successfully transfer all patients from the existing hospital the new ones.

The staff at the hospital have to learn the correct way to transport different type patients.

They trained different scenarios, like entering and exiting the elevators, testing out the new nurse calling system, figure.out how the new beds work and how to receive patients in the new emergency rooms to name a few of the long checklist that they have to cover before actually making the move.

According to a manager the nurse training sessions are to make sure that the staff gets used to the new buildings, get orientated with all departments and rooms and to introduce them to a new method of working.

The difference between the two new buildings and the existing one is that the new buildings are bigger and more spacious and have newer equipment.

Because the buildings are spacious, the distance between patients and nurses are are bigger. This means that the nurses also have to get used to and practice to get to the patients as soon as possible.

Before the end of 2017 all patients will be transferred to the new hospital buildings and the existing one will be renovated.




Funding Dog Sterilization Campaigns

Stimami steralisami (which means if you love me, sterilize me) is a organization that helps other foundations with the sterilization of stray cats and dogs in Aruba and they received good news from their sponsors.

They have been funding the costs to sterilize these stray animals for about 2 years now since they started their awareness campaign in 2015.

The main sponsors for stimami steralisami during these 2 years have been Aruba Tourism Authority, Aruba Tourism Product Enhancement Fund and Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort.

They recently announced that they will be continue to support the efforts of stimami steralisami to stop the stray animal situation in Aruba.

Since stimami steralisami opened its doors they already sterilized 4.500 dogs and cats.

Their goal is to sterilize 11.000 stray animals within 5 years.

Ley Seco in Aruba

The government approved a temporary law on government election day –  supermarkets and bars can’t sell alcohol during election period.

This law is known locally known as “ley seco”.

Ley seco officially starts on September 21, 2017 until September 23, 2017.

All bars and supermarkets that are located inland are prohibited to sell alcohol to locals.

Some bars are even forced to close, because they only sell alcohol. Supermarkets are allowed to stay open, but they have to close the alcohol section.

Places that have exceptions to sell alcohol are restaurants, mini markets and bars within the low and high rise area.

Ley seco doesn’t count for visitors, so you can buy alcohol at supermarkets like price smart, superfood, ling & sons with no problems during ley seco.




The Fight To Protect Nature

Since the government announced that 16 areas around the island will be protected by Arikok, they only made one of these 16 areas officially under the protection of the national park.

To get more areas under the protection of Arikok, the organization Aruba bird life conservation sent 2 petitions to sit with the government and discuss the status of the rest of the 6 nature area’s that should be protected by national park Arikok.

According to the director of Aruba bird life conservation they made the first petition on July 4, 2017 and the second on August 23, 2017.

However, they haven’t heard a response yet from the government….

I am sure the government has our nature at mind, because without it Aruba wouldn’t be this beautiful. But with the current elections, the government is distracted by the current  political campaigns and their focus is different.

After the election which is (September 22, 2017) is when all other priorities, such as the areas still needed to be officially announced under protection of Arikok.

According to ABC, these 16 areas are very important to Aruba for many reasons, as well as locally and internationally.

For example the mangroves are important for birds during migration.

The government made plenty positive choices after voting to protect these 16 nature areas. For example, they stopped destroying nature areas around the island and are more green conscious.

Aruba bird life conservation also received support by the locals by getting got over 11.000 signatures to protect these nature areas.

The only area officially protected by Arikok at the moment is spaans lagoen.

Charity Dinner At Tango Argentine Grill

Local artist Edith Mensonides and the chef at tango Argentine grill are preparing a delicious charity lunch paired with wines called “taste of art”.

Edith Mensonides is a local artist who specializes in abstract and figurative paintings.

She will be decorating and painting plates for everyone attending the charity lunch as a memory.

You’re invited to attend the charity lunch on September 29, 2017 at 12:00 PM – 15:00 PM.

The menu for the taste of art charity lunch, is an appetizer of escargots, green shell mussels with lemon sauce and cherry tomatoes.

Followed by salmon, croutons and cream cheese.

For the main dish, one can enjoy a savory land and sea plate, served with halibut, steak, sweet mashed potatoes, grilled vegetables and gravy.

There’s going to be chocolate and vanilla ice cream for dessert.

The price for taste of art culinary experience is $60.00 plus 15% service charge.

All the profit of the charity lunch will be donated to an elderly home in Aruba, called SABA.

For reservations email tango@arubawineanddine

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Once a week (on Sundays) I make a recap of the most recent news on Aruba in English that’s relevant to you.

If this is your first time reading my newsletter – welcome!

Recent News on Aruba

If you want to keep up with what’s happening on the island – this newsletter was made for you!

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Free WiFi in Downtown Area

The government started a new project to install free WiFi in the downtown area.

During a press conference in the main street, the prime minister introduced the new WiFi project. The press, minister of economy, the president of Oranjestad business improvements were present during the ceremony.

The vision of the prime minister is to make the downtown area digital – adding offers, deals, promotions available via websites and apps. According to him, the new WiFi project connects good with the vision they have for commerce in the main street.

WiFi is going to be free for locals and visitors in the downtown area, this includes entire Caya Betico Croes and Plaza Daniel Leo.

The government partnered with Setar (a local phone provider) to install WiFi in the main street.

With the new WiFi project the prime minister hopes to attract more people to visit the downtown area.

According to the prime minister the downtown area of Aruba has a bright and positive future, because of the recently renovated main street and the addition of new technology in the form of WiFi.

The prime minister also explained his vision for the downtown area during his speech, for example transforming the second floors of certain stores into apartments and condominiums.

He also wants to add more restaurants and bars to attract more people to the downtown area.

There’s aso plans to add colorful canopy style cloths to provide shade in the downtown area and music provided by surround systems.

Restoring Important Church Document

20 years of historical documents from the protestant church in Oranjestad are going to be restored.

The department of national archives started a project named “20 years of Protestantism”.

It all started when the national archives of Aruba decided to restore all the archives of the protestant church in the downtown area.

They are going to be restoring documents dating back to 1822 (about 195 years old), which totals about 154 boxes full of papers.

The restoration project has 2 goals – first to educate the public on how important it is to value and conserve documents that are part of our history, culture and heritage.

They also want to successfully restore the all the church documents and conserve them for many more years.

The project is funded by Prins Bernhard Culture Fund Caribbean, which will buy all the materials necessary to restore the old documents.

After they restore the documents, they will be place them into a digital format.

Expect an exposition of all the restored protestant church documents as soon as they are finished.  




Update About CITGO

Engineers and contractors are performing a crucial part of the start up phase this month in the refinery.

Last week they started inspection of all the machinery in the refinery.

The inspections are being done by an international contractor called YTT, which is an association of Technip France and Y&V Engineering and Construction.

During the next months they have to complete the inspection of the plant successfully, to find out which equipment are in good conditions and which ones not.

They will be repairing all equipments that are of high priority and order parts that take a long time to deliver.

All works are on schedule, within a few short years the refinery should be completely rehabilitated and running as a up-grader for crude oil.

Local Fishermen Concerned

Aruba’s local fishermen are concerned with a new law that the department of environment wants to implement.

The law that has these fishermen concerned is the banning of catching various species of fishes.

After hearing the news, the department of agriculture and local fishermen organization hadicurari also don’t agree with the new law, because they weren’t involved in the decision to create the list of endangered fish species.

Management of hadicurari had a meeting with the president from the department of environment to discuss the new rules they plan to implement.

The result of the meeting was that the law hasn’t been approved by the government yet, so the law isn’t official yet.

Local fishermen want a meeting with the prime minister, to demand that the department of environment sit with them to consult and ask for advice to create a fair list of endangered fish species that will be protected.


Aruba Helps St. Maarten

The government sends members of red cross and the military to give a helping hand to those affected by hurricane Irma.

They will be giving assistance at shelters, ambulances, elderly homes and hospitals.

All red cross volunteers form part of the national intervention team and have different expertise like, vulnerability capacity assessment, psycho-social support, water and sanitation team and emergency medical technicians.

The military will stop people from looting and give assistance and order where necessary.

Hurricane Irma caused enormous damage to St. Maarten, and reportedly left over 10 people dead.

Locals in Aruba also gave a massive helping hand by donating food, clothing, kids toys and other necessary products.

A total of 67 dialysis patients from St. Maarten have came to Aruba by plane to receive proper care, because the hospitals have been partially destructed.

Practically every building has been destroyed during hurricane Irma, there’s also nearly no communication possible at the moment in St. Maarten.

Kiosk Owners Are Concerned

Kiosk owners near the central bus station are concerned about their chances for moving to the newly constructed kiosk area near the cruise terminal.

The government didn’t inform the kiosk owners when they will move into the new kiosks since construction has been completed.

They are concerned that the government will transfer the new kiosk to other people, which wouldn’t be fair.

So, what’s the hold up with the opening of the new kiosk?

One of the representatives of the kiosk owners explained that they reached out to the prime minister and other concerning departments, but haven’t heard any reply from them as of yet.

According to the kiosk owners they have been living like nomads, because they have been relocated numerous times during the years.

According to the government, the newly built kiosks are still closed, because they still have to finish up on contracts and paper works before they open them.




Law Against Expired Products

The government just approved a new law that will give the department of public health more authority while they regulate products in supermarkets.

With the introduction of this new law, workers of the department of public health have more flexibility and authority to apply sanctions against supermarkets who don’t make use of proper packaging or sell expired products.

The issue before the introduction of the new law was that when a auditor from the department of health recognizes a expired product in the supermarket, they can’t take it off the shelf if the product still has a label on it.

Another issue that the department of public health had was to take measures against product that have been recalled. Because supermarket vendors (especially Chinese stores) remove the serial numbers from products and when a certain product gets recalled, it’s hard to recognize it and take it out the market.

Now it’s possible for auditors to take action.

They can now identify and stop the circulation and elimination of expired products in supermarkets on the island.

New changes in the law include that it’s not possible for supermarkets to promote expired products, or sell products without their original packaging.

If the language on the packaging of a product is not common in Aruba, a label (in English, Papiamento, Spanish or Dutch) containing additional information about the origin of the product and who imported it has to be added.

It’s also not allowed to alter the label or expiration date of any product without a valid reason.

According to the minister of public health the new law will take effect in 2018.

Want to rent a car in Aruba? Click here to ask me for a car rental quotation.

Air Navigation Services Aruba

This week Aruba’s airport inaugurated a new radar system to regulate air traffic.

All guests that were present for the revealing of the radar system got a glimpse of the new air traffic surveillance system on two big screens in the control tower.

This new radar system has advanced features that standard radars don’t have and it’s the only one in the Caribbean and Latin America.

According to the director of air navigation services Aruba, the new radar system will bring more security in our air traffic.

It also gives the air traffic controllers more tools to safely guide and allocate more planes, even during high season.

The project started in 2015, when local air traffic controllers went to Spain to follow courses on how to work with the new radar system.

In 2016 they started installation of the new system at the airport after signing a contract with the manufacturer of the radar.

During the month of May 2017 management started with theoretical lessons, management and supervision of the radar.

In the following months all local air traffic controllers will be receiving extra lessons and trainings by a certified professional.

At the end of January 2018 all local air traffic controllers will be certified to work with the radar system.


New Orthopedagogy Clinic Aruba

This week the minister of justice officially opened the new orthopedagogy clinic.

After several years of planning and construction, the new clinic is finally opened.

During his opening speech, the minister of justice explained that the clinic is a benefit to the community, because it’s the only place where youths who have social, mental and emotional issues and who form a risk to the community can go for help.

The new clinic is opened in the district of Dakota.

Accident At Natural Pool

Yesterday a man drowned at one of Aruba’s most popular attraction conchi (natural pool).

The police received a call that someone was in trouble at the natural pool.

When the police arrived at the scene, they found a man with no signs of life.

After a doctor arrived, they confirmed that this man drowned during swim at the natural pool.

At first it wasn’t clear who the man was, but after investigation, the man turned out to be a local born in 1970.

The exact reason why drowned isn’t clear, because the police didn’t release any information.

So why would I publish this news about natural pool.

Take this a warning to be cautious and alert when visiting the natural pool or any other beaches near the rough coasts of the island

Because the natural pool isn’t dangerous by itself, but if one is careless, accident can happen

Don’t do anything dangerous in these areas and always pay attention to your surroundings, and take care of yourself when visiting the natural pool.

Support Vacations By Aruba

I invest my personal time to make this newsletter available to you for free, because I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home.

If you want to support me with maintaining the website costs or want to buy me a beer so I can stay creative (because nothing great was invented by drinking water) – please make a donation of your choice.

Click on the amount you wish to donate and you will be directed to pay pal on the next page.

You’re awesome!

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Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

Did you enjoy reading this week’s important Aruba news recap?

If so sign up for my newsletter to get future news updates out of Aruba straight to your email – for free.

Join my newsletter today and I’ll email you my “Aruba on a Budget” e-book as a gift…