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ORANJESTAD (August 12, 2018) – Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly newsletter.

This weeks edition features the top news headlines in Aruba.

Subscribing to my newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Aruba – whether you’re living on the island, miles away or your first visit!  

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

Four New Possible Ramsar Sites in Aruba

Nature in Aruba gets another win after four new areas on the island were signaled for possibly being officially claimed as ramsar sites.

What is a ramsar site?

Ramsar sites are protected wetlands that have a high biodiversity of flora and fauna.

Aruba only has one official ramsar site which is the Spaans Lagoon.

The four locations which can possibly be ramsar sites are:

  • Bubali Plas
  • Isla Di Oro (Mangel Halto)
  • Reefs in Oranjestad
  • Reefs in San Nicolas.

Why is it important to protect these areas as ramsar sites?

Because experts indicated that these areas are important to feed the animals that live in this habitat. To put it in perspective, there’s over 200 bird species living in Bubali Plas (great place for bird watching). All over the island you will find more species of animals, so protecting them is very important. 


Talks About Marine Park

Aruba is surrounded by amazing blue oceans and a marine environment that’s unique around the world.

To protect the island’s unique underwater environment, the government wants to implement a marine park.

What’s a marine park?

A marine park is a new law that will help conserve Aruba’s ocean and the marine species (including corals) that lives within and rely on these habitats.

The new marine park will be implemented soon in Aruba, it’s almost official.

The law to officially make this happen is now at the government advisory board which is in charge of the legislative process, according to the minister of environment.

At least three zones were already mentioned to be protected:

  • Druif beach
  • Boca grandi
  • Rodgers beach
  • Mangel halto
  • Isla di oro.

Of course a the list of protected fora and fauna will be updated with new species.





New Farming Project In Aruba

Aruba is making the first step in revolutionizing the farming industry in the Caribbean.

The minister of primary sector held a press conference this week to announce they have approved Vertical Designs Aruba (VDA) to build a vertical farming project in Aruba, using Affinor Growers company’s vertical farming technology.

Who is Affinor Growers?

Affinor is the only vertical farming technology company offering solutions for both indoor controlled growing and the greenhouse agriculture industry.

They are going to build a farm using vertical growing technologies. This will allow them to produce crops (romaine lettuce, spinach, strawberries and other local procuce) year around on land that, previously, could not be utilized for farming (considering the islands climate).

This project moves Aruba a step closer to producing its own fruits and vegetables, and not be depend on importation anymore.

Read More About Aruba – 5 Travel Hacks For Discount Flights To Aruba

More Details About The Fast Ferry Project

It looks like we will be able to visit our neighbouring islands (Bonaire & Curacao) in the near future, because the stakeholders for the fast ferry project are pushing for it be possible.

Price wise the fast ferry is interesting. According to stakeholders the cost of the ferry can be almost half the cost of what the airlines charge to fly between the islands. 

If the price really comes down to half the price this will make it affordable if you have a big group wanting to visit Bonaire or Curacao (which is going to be a different experience, very unique mode of transportation).

It’s estimated that the fast ferry will be in service by the end of 2019.

Maybe thinking about extending your vacation days in Aruba is a good thing for next year if you want to take a trip on the ferry.


Tony Roma’s in Aruba Closing Down

Did you hear the news? I’m shocked also.

It’s true.

Tony Roma’s in Palm Beach will be closing down after 25+ years of service.

Their last serving will be on August 31, 2018 at 11:00 PM.

It’s sad to see this place go, but there are other local places on the island that serve delicious BBQ, especially on Sundays.


New Gas Price

If you plan on renting a car and cruise around the island take note of the new gas prices.

As of August 8, 2018 the prices are now:

  • Gasoline 217.1 Aruban cents for one liter (+2.3 cent) ($4.58 per gallon)
  • Diesel 184.6 Aruban cents for one liter (-0.1 cent) ($3.91 per gallon)

Don’t know who to rent a car from? Use one of my personal car rental recommendations

Pro Am Golf Tournament in Aruba

One of Aruba’s premier golfing tournament is about to start!

The idea of the pro-am tournament is to partner up professional and amateur golfers into teams to compete in a 36-hole tournament.

The event will be held at the Tierra del Sol golf course that has a jaw dropping view of the rugged northern coast of the island.

Date of the event – August 24 – 26, 2018

Even if you don’t plan on playing, this tournament is entertaining to watch and socialize on the island.

There’s going to be brunch buffets on each of the tournament days, BBQ party and open bar.

Aruba’s Annual Culinary Week

It’s almost time again to enjoy delicious three course menus from the top restaurants on the island for a special price!

Experience fine dining without spending hundreds of dollars

Restaurant week in Aruba will take place on August 29 – September 5, 2018.

Nine restaurants will be participating at this event and all of them offer something special:

  • Tango Argentine Grill
  • Café the Plaza
  • Fishes & More
  • Qué Pasa
  • Moomba Beach
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Dragonfly
  • Nos Clubhuis
  • Hadicurari

The 3 course menus are priced at $20.00 and $26.00.

This years rataurant week is special, because part of the profits will go to an elderly home in Aruba (Maris Stella).




Contribute To The Reader Supported Newsletter

I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home – that’s why this newsletter is free and available to everyone!

It’s free, because this online newspaper is a reader supported newsletter!

If you’d like to contribute to the cost of maintaining the website or want to buy me a beer, because you appreciate the Aruba updates – please make a contribution of your choice.

Choose 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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How To Get More News About Aruba

Do you want more related articles about Aruba like this?

If so, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get your newsletter delivered straight to your inbox every week for free.

By signing up today, I will email you my “Aruba on a Budget” eBook filled with money saving tips for your vacations in Aruba.

Sign up now by typing in your email in the opt in form below.


Read More About Aruba

How To Plan A Really Cheap Aruba Vacation

How To Find The Best Hotel For You (Low Rise vs High Rise)

Top 15 Must Have Items To Bring To The Beach in Aruba

Aruba An Island A People

Great Food & Good Times At Sweet Peppers Local Aruban Restaurant



ORANJESTAD (July 29, 2018) – Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly newsletter.

This weeks edition features the top news headlines in Aruba.

Subscribing to my newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Aruba – whether you’re living on the island, miles away or your first visit!  

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




The Casino At Ritz Carlton Has New Membership Card & Phone App

The Casino at Ritz Carlton launched a new membership card & phone application for its players!

According to the casino player development executive, the new membership card is the most powerful casino player card offered in Aruba and the Caribbean.

It’s called the ONYX membership card!

The membership card has different benefits

  • $300.00 free for slot play once you sign up
  • you’re awarded $150.00 every week to play slot machines
  • you also get $100.00 every week to play table games
  • $150.00 weekly to spend at the spa or any restaurants in Ritz Hotel
  • 4 nights free at the Ritz every 3 months (including $300 spending money on food and drinks)

How can you become a member of ONYX?

You have to be a frequent player at the Ritz Casino, if you have enough points accumulated, you will be eligible to sign up for the ONYX player card.

You can’t register without having any points, you have to level up to reach!

Inform at the Casino for more details about ONYX.

The director of casino operation at the Ritz announced the new app.

It’s an app for members of the Ritz Casino that provides you with the latest information, promotions, exclusive offers and deals which are redeemable at the casino.




Excelsior Casino Is Not Going To Close Down

There’s been news going around the local and tourist community that excelsior casino is going to close permanently – is there any truth to what you’re hearing?

Yes, they are going to close, but for renovation – not permanently!

The operators contract to run the casino is scheduled to end in September, but they recently extended the agreement. And the spokesperson for excelsior did mention that the casino will undergo a renovation and may closed partially (and temporarily).

The renovation date is yet to be set.

More information on excelsior’s renovation as they release more official news.

Related Article – How To Really Plan A Cheap Aruba Vacation

News Update On Fast Ferry in Aruba

The process to introduce a new fast ferry service between Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao is moving slowly but surely.

At the moment, the three islands (Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao) need to sign an agreement to continue with the development of the fast ferry project.

After the agreement is signed, the government of the three islands will decide which company will be selected to operate the fast ferry.

In order to maintain a schedule and logistics on the fast ferry route, the government also needs to create a public service obligation, in order to ensure transportation between the islands by the operator.

The aforementioned process can take up to 6 months to complete, according to the minister of transport.

One of the commercial organization in Aruba (San Nicolas Business Association) wants more than a fast ferry to be constructed in San Nicolas.

The organization wants to create more businesses, and create a strong economy for the south side of the island.

They want to introduce:

  • A transshipment center
  • Parks
  • Beautiful waterfronts near the fast ferry terminal
  • New businesses (restaurants, shops, bars)

San Nicolas will be booming with activity in a short matter of time.

Design Students Makes Unofficial Model Concept For Fast Ferry Terminal

Drilling Almost Over, Now Waiting for Results

A few weeks ago the company in charge of exploring for gas and oil under Aruba’s water surface started drilling. According to the Prime Minister, drill works are almost over now and everything went as planned.

The next phase of the project will be to analyze the materials found to determine if there’s really gas or oil near the waters of Aruba. This will be done by complex processes to separate impurities to find gas or oil.

When will we find out the results?

According to the company, this can take up to one year.

If the results are negative, they will drill on a different location.

And if there is gas or oil near Aruba, is it enough and will it make sense economically for the island?


Updating The Spatial Development Plan For Aruba

If you want to construct real estate in Aruba, either for business or residential purposes, you need to take two legal frameworks into consideration:

  • Construction and Housing Ordinance
  • Construction and Housing Decree

However, before you can start to construct you need to find a piece of land on the island – you can either buy a property or long lease it.

It’s important to investigate the intended destination of this piece of land with different government departments. You can do this by consulting the spatial development plan for the island.

The spatial development plan contains a broad overview of the social needs for the island with regards to the use of land for different purposes such as housing, business, industry, agriculture and tourism.

The spatial development plan also includes information about the most desired developments on the island in broad lines and a description of different zones (tourist, economic, urban, nature reserve), including the different policies tied to these zones.

The rules are going to change for developers who wish to construct on the island, because the government is working on updating the current spatial development plan for territorial development in Aruba.

The current spatial develop program was introduced in 2009 and expires at the start of 2019 and will be adapted to protect nature areas in Aruba from being damaged by any construction (particularly in the tourism sector, hotels & other accommodation).

Once the new spatial development plan is updated, it will be fixed for 5 years.


Casibari Becomes The Next Protected Area in Aruba

The minister of infrastructure recently expanded the amount of protected areas in Aruba by adding the area of Casibari. From now on the area around Casibari is protected.

Casibari is one of the landmarks on the islands with huge boulders. Surrounding the area of casibari are traditional houses that were built decades ago, and they need to be protected and conserved.  

The minister gave a local scouting group who gather weekly in the nearby area the authority to maintain and protect the area around Casibari.

Most of the islands protected areas are located within the islands national park (about 20% of the island).

The minister of infrastructure also announced that they will be completing several projects destined to protect Aruba’s nature:

  • Marine park (protection for marine life in 3 zones around Aruba)
  • New list of protected flora & fauna





Awareness Day For Mangroves

The entire world celebrated awareness day for mangroves on July 26, 2018.

This special day for mangroves was started in Ecuador and approved officially by UNESCO in 2015.

Mangroves are called Mangel on the island. These trees are not only green and beautiful, but they provide many benefits to the ecosystem and nature.

Mangroves form a barrier between land and sea for islands surrounded by water.

They also protect the coastal beaches from erosion, regulate the water temperature, creates biodiversity of marine life, while offering a habitat and food for fish, birds and other animals.

Construction near areas with mangroves disrupts the growing and development of these trees.

One of the most controversial news was the destruction of mangroves and corals near isla di oro to construct an over water bungalow resort. However, the project was not approved by the government, because it doesn’t comply with Aruba’s regulations in the spatial development plan.

The conservation of Aruba’s nature is a priority for the Government.

Where can you find mangroves in Aruba?

The most common place to find mangroves are near the southern coast – Mangel Halto, Spaans Lagoon and Santo Largo (all located in the coast of Pos Chiquito & Savaneta).

Related Article – How To Discover The Southern Coast Of Aruba By Kayak


Contribute To The Reader Supported Newsletter

I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home – that’s why this newsletter is free and available to everyone!

It’s free, because this online newspaper is a reader supported newsletter!

If you’d like to contribute to the cost of maintaining the website or want to buy me a beer, because you appreciate the Aruba updates – please make a contribution of your choice.

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

You’re awesome!

[sdonations]2[/sdonations]

How To Get More News About Aruba

Do you want more related articles about Aruba like this?

If so, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get your newsletter delivered straight to your inbox every week for free.

By signing up today, I will email you my “Aruba on a Budget” eBook filled with money saving tips for your vacations in Aruba.

Sign up now by typing in your email in the opt in form below.


Read More About Aruba

How To Find The Best Hotel For You (Low Rise vs High Rise)

Top 15 Must Have Items To Bring To The Beach in Aruba

7 Things You Can Do in Aruba in One Day

21 Unusual & Unique Activities in Aruba






Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly newsletter.

This weeks edition features the top news headlines in Aruba.

Subscribing to my newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Aruba – whether you’re living on the island, miles away or your first visit!  

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

New Extended Store Opening Hours in Aruba

As of July 9, 2018 all stores (supermarkets, internet cafes, copy centers and other retail stores on the island) will be allowed to stay open until 12:00 AM.

Stores can stay open until late without requesting for permission by the government. It’s not a obligation for stores to stay open until late, but if they choose to, it is possible.

Here’s the new opening hours for stores on the island:

  • Monday to Saturday 6:00 AM – 12:00 AM
  • Sunday (and holidays) 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM
  • Labor Day – All Stores Closed

Take Note – opening times are noted 6:00 AM, but all stores have different opening times. Holidays stores are open, but some stores may choose to remain closed.

The new extended store opening hours means more shopping time for you and longer nightlife experience.

It’s expected that supermarkets and certain retail shops in the downtown area will take advantage of this new law by the government (and you should also).


Green Corridor Project Update

It’s been a few months since the new infrastructure highway project green corridor was opened for the public.

However, the project is not yet complete due to delays of the contractor.

According to the minister of infrastructure, the contractor still needs to complete several aspects of the green corridor project, before officially completing the project.

A definite date for completing the project is not yet known, but contractors are aiming for end of August 2018.

Green corridor is a highway starting from the airport heading south of the island, with 3 new roundabouts and a bridge. This highways shortens the drive time crossing the other side of the island.

Gasoline Price Goes Down

There’s a new price at the gas station for gasoline and diesel.

This time the price got reduced, the new prices are…

  • Gasoline (214,8 Aruban florins per liter / reduced 4,9 cents
  • Diesel (184,7 Aruban florins per liter / reduced 4,3 cents

Prices includes all taxes

Planning to rent a car on the island? Check out our rental prices and reserve your car today!

If you’re not planning to rent a car in Aruba, you would have to rely on public transportation bus or taxi (read last weeks newsletter for new taxi rates).




Every Tuesday Discount on Fruits & Vegetables at Ling & Sons

After a successful promo for discount on vegetables and fruit (20% off) at Ling & Sons, management decided to extend the promo.

Every Tuesday you can enjoy discount on fruits and vegetables at the largest American style supermarket on the island.

Promotion valid until mentioned otherwise.

Nature Is Important Enough To Protect

There’s a new law being revised at the government advisory board to protect 17 nature areas and marine park.

According to the minister of infrastructure, the plan is to let the 17 areas, including marine park fall under protection of national park of Aruba (Arikok).

This will be done in an effort to conserve and protect nature.

Aruba Marriott Supports Stimami Steralisami

Aruba Marriott organized different activities to raise funds for the stimami steralisami program.

Among the activities they did were a dog walk, flea market for dog owners, and a plastic duck race in the lazy river pool of the Marriott resort.

A total of 25.000 Aruban florins (+/- $14.000) was raised for stimami steralisami.

Stimami steralisami is a foundation focused on reducing the amount of stray dogs and cats on the island by sponsoring the costs of sterilization, castration (and awareness programs) for pet owners.


Long Table Event Was A Success

This week Renaissance Resort & Casino organized their second long table event. 

For one night only, they served a long table, seating 1000 people, spanning from LG Smith Boulevard to main street.

Tickets were on sale for $25.00 for a 3 course menu including 2 glasses of wine (sold out a month in advance!)

This years proceedings ($25.000) were donated to Casa Cuna.

Casa Cuna is one of the orphanage houses on the island.

Giving back to the community is part of renaissance resort and casino philosophy said the general manager of the resort.

This years long table event was a mash up, are you going to participate next year?

Culinary Secrets na Hadicurari Restaurant

Hadicurari restaurant is organizing their next edition of culinary secrets.

This time the chef is showcasing the delicious flavors of oysters.

Do you like to eat oysters?

The culinary event will be on July 27 – 28, 2018 from (5:00 PM – 11:00 PM).

The menu will consists of a 4 course culinary menu with a combination of steamed oysters, followed by a delicious oyster soup.

As main dish there’s going to be a mussel pot and for dessert there’s melon gazpacho, cinnamon ice cream and fresh fruits.

If you’re interested reserve ahead of time  at Hadicurari restaurant.

Hadicurari is located between Marriott Stellaris & Holiday Inn.

The price is $48,50 per person + 15% service charge. There’s also a  wine arrangement option available for $35.00 per person.




Street concert in Aruba

The downtown area will be transformed into a street concert the end of this month (July).

This will be the first ever street concert in the downtown area of Aruba.

Who will be performing?

Local and international artists.

  • Ir-Sais
  • Dongo
  • Jeon
  • DJ Outkast
  • DJ Bash
  • And more acts

The street concert will be held on July 28, 2018 in the main streets of Aruba.

Are you going to be on the island during the day of the concert?

If you’re looking for something to do and want to catch a glimpse of the local music scene in Aruba, this event is a must visit!

More info about this concert in upcoming newsletter.

Aruba Baseball Champions Latin America

Last night I watched a baseball game in suspense, as the junior league baseball team of Aruba won Panama by a score of 15 – 4. The score might make you think they knocked out panama, however the game was tied 4-4 until the last inning. The game went extra innings, and here’s where Aruba scored all the big runs and won!

These kids were awesome!

After 6 years, Aruba takes the championship of Latin America.

Winning this competition means the team will travel to Michigan for a chance to win an international title.

This will be the teams 3rd time visiting Michigan to take part of an international competition.


Contribute To Vacations By Aruba

I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home – that’s why this newsletter is free and available to everyone!

Do you enjoy the information I share?

If you’d like to contribute to maintain the website 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.

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

You’re awesome!

[sdonations]2[/sdonations]

How To Get More News About Aruba

Do you want more related articles about Aruba like this?

If so, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get your newsletter delivered straight to your inbox every week for free.

By signing up today, I will email you my “Aruba on a Budget”eBook filled with money saving tips for your vacations in Aruba.

Sign up now by typing in your email in the opt in form below.


Read More About Aruba

How To Discover The Southern Coast Of Aruba By Kayak

Top 15 Must Have Items To Bring To The Beach in Aruba

7 Things You Can Do in Aruba in One Day

21 Unusual & Unique Activities in Aruba





Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly newsletter.

This weeks edition features the top news headlines in Aruba.

Subscribing to my newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Aruba – whether you’re living on the island, miles away or your first visit!  

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

News Update in Aruba – Developments Near High Rise Hotel 2018

The minister of tourism announced new developments that will take place soon near the high rise hotel area, one of them is a newly renovated pier.

During a press conference, on palm beach, he officially inaugurated one of the most beloved piers on the island by locals and tourists.

This pier is part of memories to hundreds of thousands of people that have visited Aruba over the years. It’s better known as “toren” among locals.

Here’s how the toren looks like after renovation…

news updates in Aruba

Can you imagine yourself diving off the pier, into the sweet Caribbean waters?

The pier took about 1,5 months to restore into what will become now a popular landmark on the island (read more info and before and after pictures of the pier in last newsletter).

If you’re visiting Aruba soon, add diving off this pier on your to do list. It’s located on the beach between Divi Phoenix & RIU Antillas.  

Future Plans For The High Rise Hotel Area

The strip between Brickell Bay Hotel and Hostaria Di Vittorio will be renovated. Including a new boardwalk, additional parking spaces, and new kiosks with Aruba souvenirs.

The road between RIU Antillas & Holiday Inn will be completely renovated into a new upscale strip.  

The intersection near Wendy’s Palm Beach will also be reconstructed.

The first phase of the project will commence this year, after official announcement by the government and public works department.




Places To Stay Near Eagle Beach

Eagle Beach is famous for its beautiful Caribbean waters, soft white sand and amazing views.

Staying at eagle beach is a dream come true (being so close to the beach).

Right across from Eagle, is a beachfront boutique style resort called Paradise Beach Villas that’s perfect if you’re looking for a place to stay in the eagle beach neighborhood.

The resort is conveniently located and affordable.

It’s close to the beach, there’s plenty of restaurants in the area, casino, public transportation and supermarkets are closeby.

Did you book your ticket to paradise yet?

Aruba is waiting on you!


New Taxi Rates in Aruba

New taxi fares just went in effect this week.

Why did they increase the fares? Because the taxi drivers have been waiting for a raise for over 9 years.

The taxi union didn’t publish the new list of rates as of yet, however one member confirmed that a trip from the airport to the high rise hotel will be now $31.00 (used to be $25.00 before).

Taxis in Aruba do not have meters since rates are based on destination rather than mileage and are set by the Aruba Department of Public Traffic (and the Government).

Prices are based on distance with a maximum capacity of five passengers per taxi.

There’s about 450 taxis on the island (some are independent / some are represented by taxi union).

Taxis in Aruba are known to be reliable, and less expensive than other islands in the Caribbean region.

The new fares are fixed for the next four years.

Despite set fares, it is best to agree on the price and currency (Aruban Florins or US Dollars) of the fare before getting into the vehicle. If you rather rent a car, ask me for my car rental rates (free pick up included – best rates on the island). 


Fast Ferry Moves Closer To Reality

The minister of transport gave an update on the fast ferry service after a town hall meeting with stakeholders last week in san nicolas.

All the stakeholders agree to this new fast ferry project, because it will diversify the islands tourism and economy.

Fast ferry will not only be for tourism, but also makes business between the two island possible and affect their economy in a positive way.

The next step is to to sign an agreement between Aruba, Curacao and the operator of the fast ferry.

According to the minister, at least 4 operators expressed their interested in in the project. The fast ferry will also not be a conventional or traditional ferry, it’s going to be a modern one (minimum 120 meters in length).

The ferry will have a capacity to board cars, trucks and busses (at least 300 automobiles) and a minimum of 800 passengers.

The fast ferry harbor will be constructed in San Nicolas.

If you’re always wanted to visit Curacao for a day or two during your vacation in Aruba, it’s going to be soon possible (and for a fraction of the price of airfare). Read more info about the fast ferry in my previous newsletters.




Contribute To Vacations By Aruba

I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home – that’s why this newsletter is free and available to everyone!

Do you enjoy the information I share?

If you’d like to contribute to maintain the website 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.

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

You’re awesome!

[sdonations]2[/sdonations]

How To Get More News About Aruba

Do you want more related articles about Aruba like this?

If so, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get your newsletter delivered straight to your inbox every week for free.

By signing up today, I will email you my “Aruba on a Budget”eBook filled with money saving tips for your vacations in Aruba.

Sign up now by typing in your email in the opt in form below.


Read More About Aruba

How To Discover The Southern Coast Of Aruba By Kayak

Top 15 Must Have Items To Bring To The Beach in Aruba

7 Things You Can Do in Aruba in One Day

21 Unusual & Unique Activities in Aruba





Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly newsletter.

This weeks edition features the top news headlines in Aruba.

Subscribing to my newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Aruba – whether you’re living on the island, miles away or your first visit!  

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

Temporary Crisis Levy in Aruba

The government implemented a temporary crisis levy in Aruba and its effective today (July 1, 2018).

Here’s the official notice letter by the tax department in Aruba.

“The Aruba Tax Department hereby reports that recently the Parliament of Aruba passed a legislative bill entitled “introduction of a crisis levy and other tax measures”, which provides for amendments to a number of tax ordinances. The most important amendments are summarized below and are scheduled to enter into force on July 1, 2018.

Turnover tax (BBO, BAZV and BAVP)

Subject to turnover tax (“Belasting op bedrijfsomzetten”), abbreviated as BBO, and health tax (“Bestemmingsheffing AZV”), abbreviated as BAZV, are entrepreneurs that in the course of their enterprise supply goods or render services in Aruba. The taxable base consists of all remunerations (in cash or in kind) received by the entrepreneur for the supply of goods or the rendering of services in Aruba. The tax rate is set on 1.5% for the BBO and 2% for the BAZV. Please be informed that although they are different tax types, their tax base and other characteristics are similar.

As of July 1, 2018 a PPP projects additional funding tax (“Belasting additionele voorzieningen PPS-projecten”) has been introduced at a tax rate of 1.5%. This tax type can be abbreviated as BAVP.

The existing BAZV tax rate has been adjusted as of July 1, 2018 to 3% and would therefore bring the total turnover taxes such as BBO, BAZV and BAVP to 6%.

Turnover tax is payable by the business supplying the good or service. In practice, this can cause complications for foreign businesses, given their limited presence in Aruba. These complications will be partially eliminated with the introduction of the possibility for the Minister in charge of finance to determine that in some cases the BBO/BAZV/BAVP will not be payable by the foreign business, but by the domestic client (“reverse-charge mechanism”).

On a final note. The exemptions for particular services supplied by banks and for forming and performing insurance contracts has been revoked. However, this does not extend to pension or life insurance contracts.

THE ARUBA TAX DEPARTMENT June 27, 2018”

As of July 1, 2028 certain products and services are going to cost more.

Here’s some of the most important changes you take note of.


New Passenger Related Airport Taxes

The airport tax will increase as of July 1, 2018.

This was announced by Aruba Airport Authority, after they released plans for their new “gateway 2030” project to renovate the entire airport. To be able to finance the project, the decision was made to increase the passenger related airport charges.

The taxes that will change are…

  • Passenger facility tax
  • Security Surcharge
  • General Usage Charge
  • Special Facility Charge
  • Transfer

The new airport taxes varies for different countries.

The taxes are separated for: US travelers (including transit), flights to Bonaire, Curacao / St. Maarten and passengers to all other destinations.

Here’s a view of the new rates and charges.

Comparing the airport charges in the Caribbean, Aruba’s airport taxes are one of the lowest in the region. 

New changes in prices will be implemented into your airline ticket and count as of July 1, 2018.

Taxi Drivers Want To Increase Rate

Taxi drivers association in Aruba also want to increase their rates, after the government announced the new temporary tax levy.

According to the taxi drivers, they haven’t received an increase in rate by the government since the first turn over tax was introduced over a decade ago.

The taxi drivers didn’t publicize their new price list yet, because they are waiting approval by the government.

More information will be published after official news has been released.




Paying More For Gas

Renting a car on the island is one of the best things you can do if you plan to discover the island, out and about, or grocery shopping.

If you’re planning on renting a car in Aruba, here are the new gas prices as of July 1, 2018.

  • Gasoline – 219,7 cents per liter (increase of 10,9 cents)
  • Diesel – 189,0 cent per liter (increase of 9,3 cents)

1 US Dollars is equal to 1,75 Aruban guilders.

Take note of the new gas prices and budget accordingly if you renting a car in Aruba.

Don’t have a car rental yet? Let me help you find a rental car, just send me an email.

Bank Fees Also Increase

The banks are also increasing the fees on their services as a result of the tax increase.

It depends on the bank in Aruba how much they will increase the fees (or if they decide not to).

Aruba Bank is one of the islands many banks, and they published the fee schedule for the convenience of their customers (locals and foreigners).

Incase you plan to use your credit card or debit card on the island, here’s some of the fees you should take note of (if you’re using ArubaBank).

Non residents in Aruba are charged when withdrawing money from credit or debit card at Aruba Bank ATM $5.30 (per withdrawal). Locals are charged 4,50 Aruban florins to withdrawal at other ATM.

Fast Ferry Project Moves Forward

Last week the minister of transport announced plans start with a fast ferry service between ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao)..

During a town hall meeting in San Nicolas this week,  the minister gave a presentation about the fast ferry project. He also invited a special guest, Ton Jansen, who is an expert at fast ferry to give a scope of the project, receive feedback from stakeholders (and address any concerns).

According to the minister of transport, the next step will be signing an agreement between ABC islands to start construction (including the fast ferry operators).

More details about fast ferry projects in my recent newsletters.


Old Lens Used By California Lighthouse Displayed at the Cruise Port

The old lens used in the California Lighthouse is displayed in the halls of the cruise port in Aruba. The lens is over 100 years old and was manufactured by a French company that doesn’t exist anymore.

Cruise passengers are going to be the first to admire this important part of Aruba’s history.

The idea is to keep relocating the lens around the island, so everyone gets a chance to see it and learn about the history of the california lighthouse.

California lighthouse is one of the most popular landmarks on the island. It was closed for several years, but was recently restored and is open for the public.

Jetblue Adds 2 New Flights To Aruba

JetBlue announced that they are adding extra flights to Aruba from Boston.

Take advantage of the cheap flight deals and book your trip to Aruba (and find a nice place to stay near Eagle or Palm Beach).

All inclusive in Aruba or not?

All inclusive in Aruba or not, this view is amazing! Wish you were here…

JetBlue is one of the islands most important airlines that services from Boston, New York and Fort Lauderdale.

The airline will have 2 additional flights from Boston that will start in the last quarter of 2018 (and into 2019).




Contribute To Vacations By Aruba

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Do you enjoy the information I share?

If you’d like to contribute to maintain the website 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.

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Read More About Aruba

How To Discover The Southern Coast Of Aruba By Kayak

Top 15 Must Have Items To Bring To The Beach in Aruba

Where To Eat Local & Go Snorkel – 3 Days in Aruba Itinerary

21 Unusual & Unique Activities in Aruba




Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly newsletter.

This weeks edition features the top news headlines in Aruba.

Subscribing to my newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Aruba – whether you’re living on the island, miles away or your first visit!

Top News Headlines in Aruba

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

The Details About Dredging Project in Palm Beach

Last week I mentioned that the beach between playa linda beach resort and moomba beach will be restored (dredging project).

The intention is to clean up the beach from debris, dead seaweed, and plastic during dredging. In the end, we all will have a cleaner beach, and more reasons to visit Aruba!

Here’s a notice letter from the company in charge of the dredging process.

“Dredging Notice Dear,

Valued Guest,

Here on the One happy island of Aruba, we always strive to enhance our guests’ experiences and do so by continuously improving our environment in order to make sure visitors and locals can enjoy our pristine beaches for years to come.

Therefore, we would like to inform you that a beach replenishment and revitalization project will begin on Monday, June 11, 2018. This project is beneficial to our beaches and our environment, as it will ensure that our beaches remain a preferred choice of many travelers.

In the interest of public safety, the dredge area will be divided in sections, as shown in picture below, during the project. The sections will be temporarily closed to the public during dredging operations. Guests will still be able to enjoy our wonderful beaches since the project will be carried out only one section at a time. The purpose of this project is to give our guests the utmost beach experience by maintaining its clean condition.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of progress.

Should you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us at +(297) 594.5684.

Yours sincerely,

Varadero Aruba”

Here’s a map of the beach area that will be restored.

section near playa linda

section nar holiday inn.

You may be wondering, will the palapas in this area be removed during the dredging?

All palapas will remain in place (unless mentioned by Varadero or other stakeholder).

The mobilization of the equipment started June 11, 2018 and the actual dredging will start on June 19, 2018 with fase A1 and to other sections.

Here’s the dredging schedule.

  • Start date (mobilization): 11 – 18 Jun 2018
  • Playa Linda section A1 – 19 Jun – 9 Jul
  • Playa Linda section A2 – 10 Jul – 30 Jul
  • Moomba section A3 – 31 Jul – 27 Aug
  • Holiday Inn section A4  – 28 Aug – 18 Sep
  • Holiday Inn section A5  – 19 Sep – 9 Oct
  • Holiday Inn section A6  – 10 Oct – 30 Oct
  • Project completion (demobilization): 1 nov – 8 nov 2018




New Pier For Fishermen at Cura Cabai (including a relaxing beach)

The government inaugurated a new beach called Cura Cabai.

It’s a beach located on the coast of Zeewijk (Savaneta) and it’s dedicated to fishermen in this area who use the pier daily. To dock the boats (and safety during bad weather).

The pier was extended, and will become a center to buy fish caught by local fishermen.

Other renovations include: lights for illumination at night, reconstruct beach, new palapas, palm trees, on sitekiosk (including shower & bathroom for beach users), and asphalted parking lot free.

The project took 2 years to construct and cost almost 1,5 million dollars.

Here’s a few pictures of the new beach at Cura Cabai. 

fishermen pier

cura cabai beach view

Overwater Bungalow Project at Isla Di Oro Stopped

The government decided to stop the over water bungalow project at isla di oro.

According to the minister of infrastructure, the project did not receive the permits to continue construction, taking into consideration the environmental impact it would have on this area (including flora & fauna).


Drilling For Gas Or Oil in Aruba

Drill ships are currently exploring beneath the waters surface for gas or oil.

The drilling will take place on the north west coast of the island.

According to the minister who started the project, it’s going to be favorable for Aruba if they do find gas or oil.

International experts evaluated the Aruban waters with seismic research, surveys and other processes since 2010. Now it’s time to find out if there’s gas or oil.

If they strike gas or oil, it will be favorable for the island.

Here’s a view of the locations that will be explored by drill ships.

The first area drilled on is Bon Bini (here’s a map below).

drilling map

Wind Farm Definitely Discontinued in Urirama

The proposed wind farm project at Urirama (close to Alto Vista Chapel) will definitely not be continued at this location.

According to the government, the project is not friendly to the nearby residence area.

The plan is to put additional wind turbines at Vader Piet (located in San Nicolas, where a wind farm is already constructed).

Investigations are taking place to find out how much wind turbines will be added exactly, depending on the amount of electricity needed to be generated.

The government is also looking into other forms of renewable and sustainable energy such as sun and water (generated by waves).

Open Sky Policy Between Aruba & Colombia

The minister of transport recently agreed to an open sky policy with the transport minister from Colombia (Bogota).

With the new open sky policy, their will be no more restrictions to fly to Colombia or vice versa.

This opens up possibilities for new aviation partners that fly to Aruba (from Colombia), families who want to travel to meet loved ones, those in search of medical care in the exterior and more tourism.


Future of Agriculture in Aruba

The minister of agriculture recently met with the local farmers association to discuss the future of growing produce for the island and not depend on import.  

The topics discussed between the two parties were:

  • the agreement between WEB and local farmers to subminster water at a lower price rate
  • Available areas to use for agriculture by local farmers.

According to the minister, there’s a possibility that experts at the university of Wageningen will be invited on the island to exchange knowledge on the latest growing technologies.

And also design and construct greenhouses especially for Aruba’s weather (controlled temperature), which is a key factor to successfully grow certain type of fruits and vegetables on the island.

The minister also expressed his vision to add agriculture to the school curriculum in the future.

App To Rate The Family Doctor Soon Complete

Last month the government announced an app that allow patients to rate the service given by family doctors.

The app is in the final stages of development and should be rolled out within a few short weeks.

Not only will you be able to rate the quality of medical service given by the family doctor, but also their assistants and receptionists.

You Can Now Buy Lotto Online

From now on it’s possible to buy your lotto tickets in Aruba from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

All the games provided by lotto Aruba Will be available on the web.

To start playing online, go to the lotto Aruba website and follow the sign up instructions (create an account).

Take note – to play online you have to recharge your account with credit, which is only available at the reseller kiosk around (it’s not possible to load credit with debit/credit cards).

The Best Activities in Aruba

Looking for things to do on the island? Here’s some of the best Aruba has to offer.

Guided Mangel Halto and Baby Beach Snorkeling Tour from Aruba – $35.00
from: Viator

De Palm Island Passport to Paradise, Aruba – $99.00
from: Viator

Aruba Sunset Catamaran Cruise – $57.00
from: Viator

Aruba Atlantis Submarine Expedition – $105.00
from: Viator

Aruba Sightseeing Tour by ATV – $80.00
from: Viator


New Bank Fees You Should Know About

The government introduced a new tax increase that will be in effect as of July 1, 2018 (from 3,5% to 6%).

Banks in Aruba were exonerated since 2007 from paying taxes on the services that generate income (bank fees).

However, with introduction of the new taxes, the exoneration will be removed and banks are going to start to pay their fair share of taxes.

The bankers association confirmed that they will not be introducing new fees that charge 6% on every transaction.

However, they will be increasing the already existing bank fees to 6% (this includes swipe fee, credit card fee, late fee, transaction fee, service fee, international transfer fee).

Soon Real Time (instant) Payment Between Banks in Aruba

As of January 2019 it will be possible to process payments between banks on Aruba, in real time (Instant).

This was announced by the Central Bank of Aruba, after signing a 5 year partnership contract with equensWorldline to provide the payment system.

equensWorldline is the pan-European leader in payments and transaction services.

Changing Hurricane Season Predictions

Experts are changing their prognostication for the Atlantic hurricane season, from a active one to average.

They expect 6 low category hurricanes (two low category), 13 tropical storms.

The 2018 hurricane season, started June 1, 2018 and will end on November 31, 2018.

Aruba is known for its trade winds and cooling breeze, but the wind has picked up a bit due to the upcoming hurricane season.

The meteorological department warns beachgoers for strong winds, currents and waves.

Island Tips Use these handy beach towel clips to keep your towel from flying away.

Gasoline Price Goes Up

Minister of finances announced an increase of price for gasoline and diesel.

As of June 13, 2018 the price for gasoline augmented with 6,4 Aruban cents, now 208,9 cents per liter. And diesel increased with 7,7 cents, now costs 179,8 Aruban cents per liter. These prices include taxes.

The price for crude oil is increasing worldwide, and it’s also affecting the fuel rate on the island (not a decision or influenced by the government).

Take note of the prices of gasoline and diesel when renting a car.

How To Rent a Car in Aruba.

TUI Now Flies From Belgium To Aruba

TUI now flies from Belgium to Aruba.

This service starts as of June 15, 2018.

The flights will depart from Brussels, with a stop in Santo Domingo, and direction Aruba and return to Belgium.

Aircraft that will be used for the flight is the dream liner B737-800.

Flights will be once a week.




New Airport Charge Regulations

The airport tax will increase as of July 1, 2018.

This was announced by Aruba Airport Authority, after they released plans for their new “gateway 2030” project to renovate the entire airport.

The taxes that will change are…

  • Passenger facility tax
  • Security Surcharge
  • General Usage Charge
  • Special Facility Charge
  • Transfer

The new airport taxes varies for different countries.

The taxes are separated for: US travelers (including transit), flights to Bonaire, Curacao / St. Maarten and passengers to all other destinations.

Here’s a view of the new rates and charges.

new airport charges 2018

Contribute To Vacations By Aruba

I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home – that’s why this newsletter is free and available to everyone!

Do you enjoy the information I share?

If you’d like to contribute to maintain the website 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!

[sdonations]2[/sdonations]

How To Get More News About Aruba

Do you want more related articles about Aruba like this?

If so, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get your newsletter delivered straight to your inbox every week for free.

By signing up today, I will email you my “Aruba on a Budget”eBook filled with money saving tips for your vacations in Aruba.

Sign up now by typing in your email in the opt in form below.


Read More About Aruba

How To Discover The Southern Coast Of Aruba By Kayak

Top 15 Must Have Items To Bring To The Beach in Aruba

Where To Eat Local & Go Snorkel – 3 Days in Aruba Itinerary

21 Unusual & Unique Activities in Aruba





Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly Aruba news reports.

Subscribing to my newsletter is an ideal way to stay up to date with what’s going on in Aruba – whether you’re living on the island, miles away or your first visit!

Aruba News Reports

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

The Beach Between Playa Linda & Moomba Will Be Restored

Aruba will  start a big project soon to revitalize and restore the beaches between Playa Linda Beach Resort and Moomba Beach.

The contractor in charge of this is Varadero Aruba.

Varadero is a local market leader in dredging. Their activities include the construction and maintenance of ports and waterways, coastal defense and land reclamation. They also provide related engineering and other specialist services, such as, soil improvement and land remediation.

The project is one that has been in the planification stage for nearly 2 years.

The beach has been damaged a little bit by hurricane Matthew back in 2016 and will be restored.

Revitalize and restoring of the beach means taking away the built up mud like sand in certain locations and pumping new fresh sand.

This will be done with the help of a dredging machine.

The entire beach area to be restored will be divided by 6 areas. During the dredging of each section, it will be closed off by gates and signs to warn beach goers of works going on.

Construction works will be done efficiently.and safely not to disturb the beach experience for visitors and locals in this area (and safe for the marine life).

Varadero Aruba has experience in dredging.

About a year ago they completed dredging the surfside beach and did a great job.

The dredging between playa linda beach resort amd moomba beach should be completed within 6 months.




Maritime Border Between Venezuela and Aruba Reopens June 7, 2018

Prime minister of Aruba confirmed that the border between Venezuela and Aruba will be reopened for boats on June 7 (only for importation of certain products).

It’s been almost 6 months since the President of Venezuela closed the border between the ABC islands for commercial transport for air and sea.

The prime minister sent a group of representatives to discuss the possibilities to open the maritime border. And they managed to come to an agreement with the authorities from Venezuela to reopen the border only for the importation of fruits, vegetables and fish.

Both countries will implement stricter controls for importation of goods from Venezuela from now on.

Only boats made for import that has the proper documentation for goods and passengers will be allowed in Aruba.

Aruba Birdlife Conservation Saves Wetland Near Divi Phoenix in Court Case

This week the court ruled in favor of Aruba Birdlife Conservation against Island Estate Reality which wanted to build a mall including parking lot near eagle beach.

The real estate company intended to create a mall including parking lot in front of the Divi Phoenix, however the location is a protected wetland.

Even though the previous minister of infrastructure approved of the project, the court denied the petition for island estate reality to continue with developments in this area.


It’s Still Not Allowed To Use Harpoons

Minister of justice wants to introduce an electronic permit to allow fishing with harpoon.

However, the law can’t yet be implemented, because its not approved yet by different government departments.

Investigations are still going on to decide under which conditions fishermen can use harpoons. All of these requirements still need to be decided upon before approving electronic permit for harpoons.

According to the director of department of nature and environment , it’s still not allowed to use harpoons or spearfish in Aruba.

There’s no specific date to implement the new electronic permits.

You Can Now Rate Service Given By Family Doctors

Minister of public health announced that a app will be launched that rates the quality of service that family doctors give their patients.

This app gives the community the ability to rate on their service and in turn forcing a better quality rendered by their family doctor.

It will be launched on June 14.

The health minister also announced that as of July 1, 2018. The emergency family doctor office located on Eagle will be relocated in the new hospital building close to the ER (with extended opening hours).

Moving the departments together allows for better communication between the doctors, reduces the waiting time and better service for patients.


The Start of Atlantic Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season started June 1.

The hurricane season didn’t start out yet properly and there’s already a few hurricanes that are predicted.

The peak season for hurricane is between August – October.

Aruba rarely is hit directly by hurricane, because the island is located outside of the hurricane paths.

2018 Atlantic hurricane names on the way – Alberto, beryl, Chris, Debby. Ernesto. Florence, gordon, Helence, Issac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sara, Tony, valerie and William.

Winds Starting To Pick Up

If you’ve been to Aruba before, you know about the islands tradewinds. But expect the winds to be a little stronger during hurricane season.

Beach goers are advised to stay alert for strong winds and currents. Strap any loose object and personal belongings that can easily blow away.

Island Tips – Use these handy beach towel clips to keep your towel from flying away.

Now You Can Fly Winair in Aruba to St.Maarten

Aruba Airport Authority N.V. (AAA) confirmed the news that Windward Islands Airways Intl. N.V. (Winair) will start to fly Aruba – St.Maarten as of  July 2018.

Winair is the official airline from St.Maarten.

They will fly from St.Maarten to Aruba via Curacao on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

From Aruba to St.Maarten  via Curaçao on ,Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

All flights will be in a small plane with a capacity of 48 passengers.

Surinam Airways Introduces New Aircraft

Surinam Airways now has a new airplane (737-700).

The new plane has a capacity of 128 passengers, including 8 business class seats and 120 economy seats.

Suriname Airways operates in 6 destinations -Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad & Tobago, Belem (Brazil), Guyana (Georgetown) and Miami.

Flights in the new airplane are scheduled for October 2018.


Aruba’s Youth Honored With Excellence

This week the two brothers (Lacle) and Mishally wever who journeyed the from Netherlands to Singapore by bike were awarded and recognized as “Hobennan Di Excelencia” by the prime minister of Aruba.

They promoted Aruba by having the flag with them the entire way from europe to asia.
The prime minister also awarded a teenager “Haischel Dabian” who managed to win a international blockchain competition 2 times in a row.

New Place To Try Patisserie in The Morning

A new place you should visit when in Aruba just opened on May 25, 2018.

It’s called Aruba Experience Cafe – Patisserie.

A cultural cafe situated in a beautiful cucunu where you can enjoy an excellent coffee with a delicious homemade panini, pan dushi, cakes and more.

The shop is located in one of the oldest houses back then in Aruba (over 150 years old).

Aruba Experience Cafe is located in the downtown area (address – John G Emanstraat 37)

New Slot Machines at Stellaris

Stellaris Casino has 6 new slot machines.

According to the marketing supervisor they are the only Casino in the Caribbean region with this type of new machines.

The new slots are named star rise (3) and wild fury (3). Both machines have a progressive jackpot that pays big!

Are you going to be the one to win it all?

Not only does stellaris have new slot machines, but they also have a “feel good bingo” on Thursday,  Saturday and Sunday




Contribute To Vacations By Aruba

I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home – that’s why this newsletter is free and available to everyone!

Do you enjoy the information I share?

If you’d like to contribute to maintain the website 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!

[sdonations]2[/sdonations]

How To Get More News About Aruba

Do you want more related articles about Aruba like this?

If so, sign up for our weekly newsletter to get your newsletter delivered straight to your inbox every week for free.

By signing up today, I will email you my “Aruba on a Budget”eBook filled with money saving tips for your vacations in Aruba.

Sign up now by typing in your email in the opt in form below.


Read More About Aruba

How To Discover The Southern Coast Of Aruba By Kayak

Top 15 Must Have Items To Bring To The Beach in Aruba

Where To Eat Local & Go Snorkel – 3 Days in Aruba Itinerary

21 Unusual & Unique Activities in Aruba