latest news in Aruba

ORANJESTAD (May 12, 2019) – Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my 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!  

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Aruba Ranks Top Destination For Families

One of the most influential blogs on the internet for hands on air-miles travel advice, The Points Guy, ranked Aruba as a top destination for families in the Caribbean region.

Why Aruba? Let’s take a look…

First of all, Aruba has a bunch of family friendly activities.

You can easily get to Aruba by airplane or cruise.

Various airlines have route to the island from major US cities.

Depending on your location, you can catch a flight from several cities including Atlanta, New York, Dallas-Fort Worth, Chicago, Boston and Miami just to name a few cities.

Places to stay with family?

Aruba has it covered.

There’s plenty of resorts that caters to families, with programs to keep the kids entertained. From face painting, game rooms, and activities on the beach available without leaving resort property.

Record Breaking Stay Overs in Aruba 2018

Aruba increased its stay over arrivals with 1.1% in 2018 compared to 2017.

According to the tourism minister, a total of 1.082.003 visitors stepped foot on Aruba in 2018 with air travel. And cruise arrivals numbers were close to a million visitors – 815.161 visitors in 2018.

It’s an increase of 2.9% compared to 792.403 cruise visitors in 2017.

Stay over arrivals are visitors who stay in Aruba for at least one day.

Aruba’s popularity continues to grow, and the future is bright for the island. 

There’s plenty of renovation, developments and infrastructure upgrade at the moment that will attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors as they are completed.

recent news out of Aruba

View of Aruba’s airport

Up & Coming Tourism Projects in San Nicolas

The pier at Rodger’s beach will be restored this year.

Visitors and locals go to Rodgers beach for the stunning scenery and blue beach. But what attracted people here was the fun was on the famous pier.

Climbing the pier, running and jumping into the water was part of the fun here at Rodgers.

But the pier was destroyed by hurricanes and years of use and was never fixed, until now.

You can expect a new pier at the end of this year at Rodgers beach.

Other Tourism Project Updates

Here’s a list of tourism related projects that are going on now and will start in the future, according to tourism Minister.

  • Malmok Boardwalk – walkway for runners, leisure walks and cyclists.
  • Hooiberg – new activities at the haystack
  • Tres Trapi – upgrading the beach for entry and snorkeling
  • Beautify Palm beach area – hotel area upgraded with new infrastructure
  • Restore & renovations Baby beach – upgrading the beach, new facilities, parking place and restaurants
  • Gateway 2030 – Airport expansion
  • Port City in Oranjestad – new downtown city for living

Fish For Sale, Fast Ferry & Cruise Terminal in San Nicolas

The minister of primary sector in Aruba announced a new project last week named “San Nicolas Ports Authority”.

It’s a separate harbor for the area of San Nicolas.

According to the minister, plans are to operate the fast ferry from this harbor, and create a space for cargo ships.

An additional harbor could be created as a cruise terminal for mega cruise ships.

Besides the harbor, the minister also wants to start a fish farm for exportation.

More Details About The Fast Ferry

Aruba and Curacao signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2018 to start the fast ferry project.

The project is currently on hold until the funds to finance the operator of the ferry and construction of the harbor are available.

Besides financing, the location where the harbor will be located, which is in the refinery, is not yet available, because it’s still currently in use.

A negotiation with CITGO and the Government whether renovations at the refinery will still continue or not at the refinery is pending, before the location can be officially transferred to build the harbor.

New Visitors Center in San Nicolas

The visitor information center in San Nicolas reopened this week after being completely renovated.

Here’s where you can go if you’re in San Nicolas to find information about Aruba, and specifically the area of San Nicolas. There’s always an Aruba expert at the visitors center to guide you on the path to experience the culture and nature of this side of the island. 

Where is the visitor center located?

Right across the street from the central bus station in San Nicolas.

If you happen to make your way to San Nicolas, and want to know more about the area, step in the visitors center and get to know San Nicolas on another level.

Aruba Closes Border With Venezuela

Prime Minister of Aruba closed the border between the island and Venezuela on May 10, 2019.

The decision was made after Venezuela reopened the border between Aruba in May, since closing it in February 2019. Venezuela also closed the border with Bonaire, Curacao and Brazil, and they all remain closed until today, except Aruba.

However, due to the crisis situation in Venezuela, Aruba’s president found the reopening of the border by Venezuela not opportune and closed the border with the country to avoid the increase of immigration that could negatively impact the general interest of the island.

The president closed the border for one month until further notice.

What effects does this have on the island?

Fruits and vegetables were generally imported from Venezuela. But now, the produce is coming from US, Colombia and Santo Domingo.

Visitors who want to enjoy a vacation in Aruba will have to fly through other countries like Panama or Colombia before entering the island.

Events in Aruba For The Month of May 2019

Aruba is known for hosting festivals on the beach. Thousands of visitors fly to Aruba to experience the vibe only found on this side of paradise.

Here’s a list of activities going on during May & June 2019. 

Soul Beach Music Festival

The biggest soul music festival is right around the corner as Memorial day weekend approaches.

Soul Beach Music Festival takes place on May 22 – 28, 2019.

Here’s the performance lineup for soul beach:

  • John Legend
  • Charlie Wilson
  • Ella Mai
  • H.E.R.
  • Deon Cole
  • Aida Rodriguez
  • Quinn and the Jukebox
  • Doug E. Fresh (Music Concert Host)
  • Rudy Rush (Comedy Night Host)
  • DJ Jazzy Jeff
  • DJ Frank Ski
  • DJ E-Clazz

The artist line up is as followed (artist line up subject to change):

  • May 24 – Comedy Night by Deon Cole & Aida Rodriguez
  • May 25 – Music Concert – Charlie Wilson, H.E.R.
  • May 26 – John Legend & Ella Mai

Besides the music concerts, there’s also going to be two beach parties (Moomba & Baby beach). And 5 nightclub parties.

Pack your swimsuit and dress to impress outfits.

Aruba Island Fest

Excitement is going through the roof as San Nicolas prepares for the new street festival that is promised to take the city over.

The new event is named “Aruba Island Fest” and it is the predecessor of Carubbian nights.

Aruba Island Fest promises a bigger and better ambience than Carubian.

The first island fest will be on May 29, 2019.

A date selected because of the Soul Beach Music Festival.

Aruba’s first island fest is dedicated to Soul Beach Music Festival, so expect the festival to have soulfulness ambience to it, including surprise performances.

There’s going to be local food vendors with traditional Aruban and multicultural cuisines and drinks.

You’ll also get the chance to buy souvenirs made by local artists.

Island fest will be scheduled once every a month.

Aruba will meet once again in San Nicolas during island fest, will you join us?

It’s going to be the perfect event to experience the Aruban vibe and mingle with locals.

Michelin Star Culinary Week at Divi

Divi & Tamarijn Aruba Resort will host their first and biggest Michelin star pop up dinner and culinary week. Four international acclaimed Michelin starred chefs from the Netherlands will explode your taste buds.

If you’re foodie like me you’re thinking, when, where and how much?

What can you expect at this world class dining experience?

A series of fancy appetizers, delicious second starters, the best cuisines and soothing desserts that will tantalize your taste buds.

All dinners will be presented with 4 or 5 courses and wine pairings.

The participating chefs at culinary week are:

  • Francois Geurds (3 michelin stars)
  • Erik van Loo (2 michelin stars)
  • Edwin Vinke (3 michelin stars)
  • Jermaine de Rozario (1 michelin star)

Combine the talented chefs together and you have 8 Michelin star rating dinner of your lifetime!

Here’s a list of restaurants participating in the Divi culinary week:

  • Red Parrot Aruba
  • Fusion Wine & Piano Bar
  • Windows on Aruba

Culinary week will take place on June 1 – 9, 2019.

For reservations not staying at the Divi & Tamarijn resorts, price is USD $185 per person.

More information about the Michelin Culinary Week can be found at the Divi & Tamarijn Aruba Resort front desk or website.

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