Aruba’s Expands US Departure Hall

Aruba’s airport has seen an increase in passenger traffic during the years, and the airport is responding by expanding the building with a new project called “Gateway 2030”.

Gateway 2030 is an expansion project of the airport, which includes adding new gates, removing various steps inside the check-in halls, new facilities, more restaurants and bars, and several new upgrades.

Construction works for project gateway 2030 have already started. 

According to the CEO of Aruba’s Airport, the current construction is at phase 1-A at the moment, which is expected to finish in 2024.

Related Article – All About Project Gateway 2030

Project Gateway 2030 is expected to cost $140 million dollars.

The expansion of Aruba’s Airport doesn’t only cater to visitors but also creates local job employment for over 300+ Arubans. 

If construction works continue as planned, the airport will have a completely new look as of 2024.

Phase 1-A of construction includes but is not limited to the expansion of the current US departure’s check-in hall to twice its current size.

The current baggage hall area will also be completely renovated with modern technology.

According to the Tourism Minister – “the new baggage hall will feature one of the best luggage conveyor belt” technology has to offer. 

Project gateway 2030 and its new airport innovations will also give travelers one of the best Airport experiences in the Caribbean.

New Closing Hours For Local Establishments

The pandemic introduced chaos into the world but countries are responding with different measures to regain normal life again, one of them is closing hours in the business sector. 

Aruba has kept the rate of infection low and managed to keep increasing the vaccination rate on the island. This was one of the factors why the Government announced the easing of closing hours for local establishments.

As of October 17, 2021, all businesses within the tourism catering industry are allowed to close at 1.00 am (before it was 12.00 am).

Casinos are allowed to offer the best chances of winning to their customers until 2:00 am. 

These new measures are valid until further notice by the Government of Aruba.

Download the latest coupons and save money in Aruba.

The First Post Stamp 2021

Aruba’s postal service company released its first official post stamp for 2021.

The newest stamp of post-Aruba features a painting of one of the most photographed trees on the island also known as the Fofoti – located right on Eagle beach. 

Fofoti trees are native to the island and only grown in certain tropical regions around the world.

Fofoti Tree – The first Aruba post stamp 2021

Fofoti tree is a species from the Combretacaea family tree.

The tree is shaped this way because of the island’s constant wind that blows from the same direction – east to west – also known as the Aruban tradewinds.

Fofoti trees are not only found on Eagle beach, but also along hiking trails in the island national park, and areas like Rooi Prikichi, Rooi Canashito, and Rooi Sero Crystal.

It can grow anywhere inland of an island, as long as the roots are planted near seawater. 

Like many other trees on the island, these trees are natives and protected by law. 

If you’re an adventure seeker – you’ll find more beautiful fototi trees along the beach coastlines of Baby Beach, Malmok, Eagle, and Surfside.

This new post stamp is valued at 8.50 florins – $5 US dollars – and it’s available at the post office in Aruba, located in Oranjestad and San Nicolas.

Private Jeep Tours

If you want to explore Aruba and learn about the island’s native trees, history, and culture up close with locals, join one of the island’s tours by an experienced Aruban tour guide, better known as Madagascar Adventures. 

It’s a private tour by a PRIVATE ARUBAN TOUR GUIDE. 

One of the best deals on the island12 people max $125 per hour.

Madagascar Private Adventure

Book a Tour Now! – Madagascar Adventures Aruba

At least 10 Cruise Ships Expected in November 2021

Cruise tourism recently restarted in June 2021, and Aruba’s cruise calls have been steadily growing up to 31 cruise ships in November 2021. 

According to Tourism Minister, cruise ship calls to Aruba were expected to be around 18, but more than 31 cruise ships have called to dock on the island’s sun-kissed shores. 

October 2021 has 9 calls for cruise ships to stop over on the island on their way to their next island in the Caribbean. 

Aruba is one of the leading islands in the Caribbean leading the revamp of the cruise tourism industry.

Here’s a list of scheduled cruise ships to dock on the island:

  • Celebrity Cruise
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines
  • TUI Cruises
  • AIDA Cruises
  • Princess Cruises
  • Marella Cruises
  • MSC Cruises
  • Holland America Line
  • Windstar Cruises
  • Azamara Cruises

Here’s a schedule for the cruise calls for November 2021

“Third Booster Jab” On The Way

Aruba’s department of public health plans to administer the 3rd dose of coronavirus vaccination to the public. 

The decision falls in line with the world’s health organization to boost the immune system of citizens who are more susceptible to getting covid. 

The 3rd vaccination dose will only be administered to a selected group of locals who fall into this group of citizens who have a low immune system, after advice from the Dutch Institute for Public Health. And those who already received their second jab. 

The rate of vaccination in Aruba – 75% – is among one of the highest in the Caribbean.

Aruba also has one of the lowest infection rates in the region at the moment, due to the strict measures taken by the Government.

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9 Cruise Ships Scheduled in October

The sun kissed shores of Aruba is expected to receive 9 cruise ships for October 2021. 

Yes – 9 cruise ships are scheduled to dock in Oranjestad.

This is a boost for the islands economy after the pandemic.

The number of ships that visit Aruba is steadily growing each month since cruise tourism reopened in June 2021.

Three additional ships have requested to dock on the island compared to last month (6 ships in September 2021).

Here’s a list popular cruise lines to visit Aruba:

  • Celebrity Cruises
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines
  • Carnival Cruise Lines

Below you will find the list of cruise ships in October 2021, including arrival dates, estimated arrival hour and departure time:

Cruise Ship Schedule October 2021

Note that the cruise schedule is subject to change without prior notice. According to the Tourism Minister – It’s been a good year for cruise tourism in Aruba, and the future seems bright – as there are 18 more cruise calls scheduled for the remainder of 2021.

KLM Increases Operation With 15 Flights

The Royal Dutch airline KLM is adjusting its flights schedules to Aruba with 15 additional flights.

This new flights are scheduled between December 15, 2021 – January 14, 2022.

It’s great news for European travelers who are looking to escape the winter season.

KLM will operate the additional flights with their Airbus A330.

The airbus has a capacity of 268 seats – this means an additional 4020 visitors – out of Europe during the islands high tourism season.

KLM Flights preparing to land in Aruba

For years, KLM has had close ties with Aruba.

As the island continues to attract new visitors, KLM is certainly onboard by serving the demand of travelers from Europe.

The increase of flight reflects KLM’s firm belief that Aruba is one of the best destinations in the Caribbean.

According to the Tourism Minister, this year’s high season is set to surpass the successful tourism year in 2019.

Related Article – The New Food & Beverage Spots in Aruba

$100.000 Cash Giveaway at The Ritz Carlton Casino

The casino at Ritz Carlton is giving away $100.000 cash!

That’s more than enough money to keep coming to Aruba for a lifetime.

Everyone that visits and plays at the casino has a chance win $100.000

The cash giveaway started on October 1 and it ends December 30, 2021.

Maybe you’re going to be $100.000 richer in 2022, while vacationing in Aruba…

The Casino At The Ritz Carlton

How do you participate in the cash giveaway?

All you have to do is register as a new member of The Casino’s VIP club – it’s completely free –  a valid ID is required.

Only existing members, and newly registered members are eligible for the grand prize.

You’re missing out if you play at the casino without a VIP membership card.

How do you win?

You have to accumulate raffle tickets.

Slot players get 1 raffle ticket for every 80 points.

Table players earn 1 raffle ticket with very $40 theoretical wins.

Playing at the casino is not the only way to win the $100.000 cash prize – you can also eat your way to riches – at Casa Nonna or BLT Steak, two dining spots at the Ritz-Carlton.

A raffle ticket is awarded with every dinner purchase.

In order to redeem your raffle ticket, present the restaurant voucher together with the dinner receipt at the Casino VIP desk on the same night of the dinner.

The Casino will select 20 finalists to win a total of $100.000 in cash prizes on December 30, 2021.

Related Article – The Brownstone “Ribs & Seafood” Restaurant Review

Planting New Trees For Aruba’s Future Generations

Aruba’s National Park – Arikok – started a movement to plant new trees on the parks land. 

The goal is to restore the biodiversity of native plants.

As the newly small plants grow, they become a valuable resource for wildlife in the park.

Restoring the biodiversity of native plant species is one of the many ways to combat and protect the islands environment against the effects of climate change, according to the park rangers.

Group of Park Rangers and locals planting trees

A group of local volunteers and park rangers planted trees on September 25 – 26, 2021. 

Together they managed to plant 9 different native tree species, ranging from the most extinct trees and important ecological functions.

This includes but not limited to local trees species such as: Supi, Asufro and Pereskia Guamacho.

Over 100 mangrove trees (two different species – mangel preto and mangel blanco) were also planted on the beach strip near the military base in Savaneta.

100 Days Inside Old Phosphate Mine in Seroe Colorado

Local Aruban better known as – Heintje Ras – will spend 100 days in a phosphate mine located in San Nicolas.

His goal is to raise $600.000 to expand his current museum – Museum of Antiqueness – in Aruba.

The antiqueness museum is currently located at his home, but he wants to build a mega museum.

A large museum where he can display over 7.000 antique Aruban items dating back to the 1600’s. 

These include tools, radio’s, instruments, paintings, sewing machines, furniture, pots and pans. 

Heintje’s 100 day challenge started on October 2, 2021 until January 9, 2022. 

He’s been preparing for this day for over a year.

The mines are located over 6 meters underground in Seroe Colorado.

Back in the 1880’s they used to mine phosphate here.

Aruban Phosphate Company was the local operator – it had around 300 workers – who mined and exported over 446.445 tons of phosphate during the company’s operation.

If Heintje completes 100 days in the mines, he will automatically be inducted into the Guinness Book of Records. 

A Judge of the Guinness Book of Records will be on the island to monitor his progress until the mission is completed. 

Related Article – 6 News Developments in Aruba

Self Test Kit Soon Available in Aruba

Self test kits are soon going to be available at the pharmacies on the island

The Department of Public Health approved self test kits after the demand for alternative test solutions by the private and commercial sector.

According to the Department of Public Health, the test will be available before the end of October 2021.

It’s not sure which brand of self help test kits will be available to the public as of yet.

Self help test kits are not a substitute for the current policy of the Department of Public Health, but another method to help aid the primary strategy to test suspicious corona cases on the island. 

An important factor to consider when using self test kits – the result of the test kits are not the official diagnosis, unless verified at an accredited lab – if you are using it to test before flying.

Self-help test kits only benefit locals and visitors as far as screening, detecting infections with light or no symptoms and stopping the spread of coronavirus.

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Aruba’s New Ministers Officially Sworn in

All the new ministers from the recent Government elections have been officially sworn in. 

The traditional sworn-in ceremony was streamed live from the “Cas Ceremonial” from Aruba’s Governor on September 20,2021.

This ceremony obliges all ministers to take an oath or promise before accepting office as written in Aruba’s Constitution.

It took almost 2 months to form the new Government after the elections took place on June 25, 2021.

Cabinet Wever Croes II is the official name of the new Government. 

It consists of a coalition between 2 political parties (MEP & RAIZ), and includes 8 ministers that will govern the island for the next 4 years.

Here’s a look at the Ministers and their functions:

  • Evelyna C. Wever Croes

Prime Minister, Minister of General Affairs, Innovation, Government Organization, Infrastructure and Spatial Planning. 

  • Geoffrey B. Wever

Minister of Economic Affairs, Communications, Sustainable Development.

  • Ursell M. Arends

Minister for Integrity, Nature, Transport and Elderly Care

  • Xiomara J. Maduro

Minister of Finance & Culture

  • Rocco G. Tjon

Minister of Justice & Social Affairs

  • Glenbert F. Croes

Minister of Labor, Integration & Energy

  • Danguillaume P. Oduber

Minister of Health & Tourism

  • Endy J. H. Croes

Minister of Education & Sports

The Ministers of this island for the next 4 years.

New Game Room at Renaissance Marketplace

Aruba has a new arcade room located at the Renaissance Marketplace in Oranjestad.

It’s 180 square meter room with all modern arcade games managed by Wind Creek Casino.

There’s over 20 game machines, and 16 interactive games like air hockey, basketball free throws, and claw machines.

Game cards are available for 1 dollar and you can preload your game card to play at the machines with as much as you like.

The arcade games vary between $0.50 – $2.00

Kids and the young at heart can now play games, win points and save up for small and large prizes.

Arcade Aruba is open daily from 12:00 pm until 12:00 am midnight.

Food & Wine Pairing Event By Red Cross

Red Cross in Aruba is organizing a “food & wine pairing” fundraiser event and is asking for your help.

All the funds collected during the fundraiser will be used to create more programs to help the local community. 

The food & wine pairing event will take place November 6, 2021 at Quinta del Carmen. 

It’s a 4 course fine dine menu, including wines paired with every meal. 

The price for food & wine pairing event is $110

Tickets are available for sale at the Red Cross and H&H Fine Wines & Spirits.

Related Article – New Things in Aruba Newsletter

Food & Wine Pairing is Delicious

New Executive Chef at Hilton Resort

Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino introduced their new Executive Chef this week, after former Executive Chef Matt Boland retired.

Oliver Falchi is the new Executive Chef that oversees all culinary operations at Hilton.

He is from France and has plenty of experience working in the best restaurants and hotels around the world.

His past work experience include: Relais Et Chateaux (a collection of gourmet restaurants at boutique hotels around the world) located in France, Argentina, Switzerland and French Polynesia.

Oliver is specialized in classic French dishes with a blend of Argentinean art of cooking in the kitchen with open fire.

The food at Hilton will be made under the supervision of Oliver, and it will no doubt taste excellent.

New Spot For Ribs & Seafood in Aruba

When is the last time you had the best ribs near Eagle Beach?

Or the best seafood dish?

If your answer is: a long time ago – let me show you this new place.

It’s a newfound gem near Eagle Beach.

It’s called – The Brownstone.

The Brownstone started as a simple bar concept.

A place where you can eat good food at the bar, share stories with the bartender, and watch a live game on a big screen.

It’s now a perfect spot for ribs and seafood on Eagle Beach.

No doubt one of the newest spot on Eagle for ribs and seafood, but there’s more options on the menu.

Read the newest restaurant review about the brownstone below.

Read more about “The Brownstone” – Ribs, Seafood & Daily Specials

JetBlue Celebrates 15 Years Operating Aruba Flights

JetBlue recently celebrated 15 years anniversary of operating flights to Aruba.

It all started in 2006 when JetBlue announced it will start offering daily flights to Aruba, out of John F Kennedy International Airport in New York. 

In 2007, one year after the initial flight to Aruba, Jetblue was offering flights to one happy island out of Boston. 

The demand for flights to Aruba out of Boston was so high that the initial weekly flights plan turned into daily flights. 

JetBlue hit a major milestone on the road to 15 years anniversary flying to Aruba, when the airline flew in it’s one millionth traveler to the island in 2014. 

The airline later added Fort Lauderdale (January 2017) and Newark (November 2020) on their flight schedule to Aruba. 

From offering its first Aruba flight in 2016, fast forward to 2021, JetBlue is now the largest market share holder (27%) for departing flights out of Aruba.

JetBlue in flight to Aruba.

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New Spot To Eat, Drink & Watch The Sunset

There’s a new restaurant / bar in Aruba that offers local food, cold beers and beautiful sunsets. 

Two new establishments in one spot – it’s like the best of both worlds.

The new restaurant is called “Cadushi Sunset Terrace” and the new bar is known as “Straddle it Saloon”.

Cadushi Sunset Terrace has a “Flaming Saturday & Sunday” BBQ special:

  • Chicken and Ribs for $10.00
  • Chicken, Ribs and Chorizo $13.00

Or try their regular menu which features coconut shrimp, fish, steak and hamburgers.

For the cold beers and drinks go to Straddle it Saloon. It’s a new biker bar offering cold beers, even the locally made brews like Balashi, Chill and the New Magic Mango. 

They are located at the previous bar known as “Mi Dudu Bar” in Moko.

The restaurant / bar is set on top of large boulders, which gives you  beautiful view when the sun sets in background.

Both are open daily:

  • Monday – Friday 4.00 pm – 11.00 pm
  • Weekends – 4.00 pm – 1:00 pm

Ike’s Bistro New Vegan Menu

Ike’s Bistro is a popular resort restaurant in Aruba and they have a new vegan menu that is worth trying if you like to eat healthy food. 

The new menu was created by Executive Chef Sandro Herald and his team of cooks.

It’s a interesting menu that features mouthwatering green food.

You can select anything to eat from the menu, or you can pick a three course meal that is paired with a wine tasting experience.

Here’s a view of the menu:

    • Appetizers – Vegan Fish Taco, Chickpeas Tartare & Avocado, Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Wings, Vegetable Tempura, Tomato Basil Soup, Lemongrass Carrot Ginger Soup, Arugula Jackfruit Salad and Mesclun Salad.
    • Main Course – Sesame Ginger Duck (has gluten in it), Stuffed Corn Chips & Avocado, Grilled Fish Filet, Roasted Cauliflower, Truffle Porcini Risotto, and Grilled Tofu.
    • Dessert – Caribbean Snickers

The jackfruit salad is a perfect appetizer to start of your vegan three course meal at Ike’s!

Ike’s Bistro also continues to offer their regular menu with seafood and meat for non-vegans.

It’s an open air restaurant, under a large cabana located at Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa.

Aruba Awarded 3 Times by Travel + Leisure

Aruba ranks 3 times by Travel + Leisure online magazine the “world’s best awards 2021.” 

Travel + Leisure readers vote for the best islands, cities, hotels, cruise lines, airports and other vacation experiences. 

Aruba wins in 3 different categories including:

  1. Top 25 islands in the Caribbean
  2. Top 25 islands in the world
  3. Top 25 resorts in the Caribbean

Here’s how Aruba ranks in the “best of the world awards” by Travel + Leisure, according to readers who voted:

  • Top 25 Island in the Caribbean – Aruba #3
  • Top 25 Island in the world – Aruba #18
  • Top 25 Caribbean Resort – Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort #12

What makes Aruba attractive to visitors around the globe?

The happy and friendly locals on this island is a major attraction – the crystal clear beaches and tropical paradise nature is extra!

Related Article – New Developments in Aruba Includes a Botanical Garden

New Games at Wind Creek Casino

There’s a new exciting gaming machine at Wind Creek casino called Battle Challenge.

Battle Challenge is fun and gives players the thrill of racing to win prizes. The game let’s you challenge other players, and play “against the house” in a racing competition resembling “Mario Kart”.

The race cars speeds up around a track and you can wager more to accelerate the car. Players can slow down opponents cars, or use power ups to protect their car from being slowed down in the race.

Only the first, second and third places are rewarded with free play, credits to purchase food, cash, and other prizes.

The battle challenge racing game is available at Wind Creek Crystal Casino.

Here’s a video (2 minutes) of the game in action, and how it works.

Carnival 2022 Still Uncertain

Carnival celebrations are uncertain due to the current pandemic around the world, this is also the case in Aruba.

Aruba is known to have one of the most beautiful parades on the globe.

The celebration of Carnival is one of the oldest traditions on the island.

Aruba’s Cultural Minister and the official organization that manages Carnival in Aruba did not make a final decision as of yet, whether to let Carnival resume in 2022.

There are plenty of factors to consider before a decision can be made, according to the President of the Carnival Organization.

Carnival season in Aruba is a guaranteed good time!

According to tradition on the island, the Carnival season starts on November 11 with the release of the official jingle.

Followed by a Torch Parade, known as Fakkel Optocht, on the first Saturday in January – and queen elections, and several other parades.

Aruba Expands Fleets of Public Buses

Aruba’s public transportation company, known as Arubus, is set to expand its fleet of buses.

The current fleet at Arubus consists of 20 buses.

Now there are 15 new buses that are being shipped from Brazil, which will make the fleet 35 buses. 

There’s no date yet when the buses will arrive in Aruba.

Arubus also revamped their bus schedule due to coronavirus as of September 5, 2021.

To find out more about the new bus schedule’s visit Arubus route scheduler.  

Public bus fare in Aruba are as follow:

  • $2.60 per trip
  • $5.00 roundtrip
  • $10.00 day pass

You can visit nearly all the beaches in Aruba with public transportation.

Related Article – 7 Future Developments in Aruba

Air Travel Ban Between Venezuela Extended

The local Department of Civil Aviation extends the ban on air travel between Venezuela and Aruba for another 3 months. 

This announcement was made public by the department in the local news on September 10, 2021 with a notice to airmen number A0543/21.

All general, commercial flights and shipping packages from or to Venezuela will be suspended until December 10, 2021. 

Air Travel between the two countries is suspended due to the instability within Venezuela at the moment.

Aruba Eases Corona Measures

The Prime Minister of Aruba announced the easing of measures, after taking strict measures to stop the spread of delta virus on the island.

It wasn’t long ago that the Prime Minister applied curfew and other measures as the number of active cases started to rise. 

The measures were timely, as today the cases are considerably low and a high rate of vaccination throughout the local population.

Here are the new measures that are effective as of September 2, 2021

  • Curfew is eliminated (also known as – toque de queda)
  • All establishment are required to close at 12:00 AM
  • Restaurants are allowed to seat 6 people per table (was 4 before)
  • Face masks are still required
  • It’s prohibited to consume alcohol on public roads
  • Social distance remains

Related Article – New Age Limit For Testing Before Flying to Aruba

“Rosario Bibo” at Alto Vista Chanel

The Alto Vista Chapel is holding a Rosario Bibo on September 20, 2021.

Rosario Bibo is the local name for a live rosary mass service on the island. 

The Alto Vista Chapel is one of the iconic spots in Aruba to visit. 

It has been pictured in many ways throughout the years on instagram – the most visited time is in the morning hours by tours. However, this “Rosario Bibo” is going to be special, as the ceremony of the Rosario Bibo will be held at night.

If you are on the island and are looking for a special way to pray with rosary, pass by the Alto Vista Chapel starting at 7:30 pm (September 20, 2021).

breaking news Aruba

If you’re in Aruba, go to the alto vista chapel for rosario bibo.

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Mandatory Testing For Travelers 12 Years & Older To Enter Aruba

As of August 25, 2021 all travelers 12 years and older traveling from high risk countries are required to take corona test to enter Aruba.

The change was announced by the Crisis Team in Aruba that helps manage the pandemic.

Here’s a list of high risk countries, according to Aruba:

  1. Andorra
  2. Argentina
  3. Bahamas
  4. Belgium
  5. Botswana
  6. Bonaire
  7. Brazil
  8. Colombia
  9. Costa Rica
  10. Cuba
  11. Curacao
  12. Cyprus
  13. Denmark
  14. Fiji
  15. France
  16. Georgia
  17. Greece
  18. Guatemala
  19. Honduras
  20. Ireland
  21. Iceland
  22. Indonesia
  23. Iraq
  24. Iran
  25. Israel
  26. Kazakhstan
  27. Kyrgyzstan
  28. Kuwait
  29. Libia
  30. Luxembourg
  31. Maldives
  32. Malasia
  33. Malta
  34. Monaco
  35. Mongolia
  36. Namibia
  37. Netherlands
  38. Oman
  39. Panama
  40. Portugal
  41. Russia
  42. Seychelles
  43. Spain
  44. Suriname
  45. Eswatini
  46. Thailand
  47. Trinidad & Tobago
  48. Tunisia
  49. Turkey
  50. United Kingdom
  51. America
  52. Zimbabwe
  53. South Africa
  54. United Arab Emirates

If you are departing from one of the above mentioned countries to visit Aruba, you are required to perform a corona test 72 hours before arriving on the island – or pay $75 to test at the airport.

Fully vaccinated travelers can enter Aruba, if visiting the island from none high risk country (which is not mentioned in the list of countries above).


Aruba Continues With 3rd Vaccination Event

The government of Aruba and the public health department organized a third vaccination marathon event, in an effort to vaccinate locals of Aruba that are not vaccinated as of yet.

The event took place on August 22, 2021 inside of the Ritz Carlton ballroom in Palm Beach.

It was one of the most successful vaccination events as 2195 locals were vaccinated.

Locals who received their first jab on this day, need to return on September 12, 2021 to get the second dose.

Vaccination events in Aruba are part of the Government’s vision to vaccinate 85% of the island population in order to reach herd immunity and help Aruba recover from the coronavirus crisis.

According to the public health department, Aruba’s percentage of vaccinated locals is at 71,5%.

The vaccination programs in Aruba is not intended for tourist and visitors, only for locals.

New Measures in Aruba To Protect Against Delta Virus

The Prime Minister of Aruba announced new measures to protect against the new delta virus.

Here are the new measures as of August 22 – 1 September, 2021:

  • Curfew – 10.00 pm until 5:00 am
  • Closing time for all businesses in Aruba – 9:00 pm until 5:00 am
  • There’s a ban on public gathering
  • Only 4 people are allowed to seat per table at restaurants
  • Parties and social encounters on public spaces and houses are not permitted
  • Face masks are obligatory
  • The consumption of alcohol on public roads is not allowed
  • Social distance is advised

Delicious Dishes at Aruba’s Restaurant Week

The popular “Restaurant Week” is back again in Aruba.

Locals and visitors are able to take part of this foodie festival that offers special prices at selected dining establishments on the island.

The restaurant week will take place between September 1 – 8, 2021.

Each restaurant offers a 3 course dining menu valued at 23$ or 28$ per person.

Here are the participating restaurants and their menu’s:

Not only are the deals on food, but there’s also special prices on drinks and cocktails.

Premium selections of wines will be available, including but not limited to: Stemmari Moscato, Pinot Noir, Mezzacorona Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Trivento Reserve Malbec.

Here’s a price list for drinks during the restaurant week in Aruba:

  • Glass of wine – $5
  • Bottle of wine – $20
  • Beer (Heineken / Amstel Bright) $4.5

This is the 11th edition of the restaurant week in Aruba – all proceeds of this dining event will be donated to a local charity in Aruba: Maris Stella Nursing Home.

Hyatt Hotel Brand Will Operate Secrets Resorts in San Nicolas

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that it is buying all properrties by luxury resorts operator Apple Leisure Group AMResorts, which also includes the new Secrets resort in Aruba.

Apple Leisure Group signed a deal to manage Secrets resort in Aruba back in 2019.

The agreement deal will bring the first Secrets Resorts & Spa branded property to Aruba, which is currently under construction in San Nicolas, close to Baby Beach.

Now that Hyatt announced the new purchase, the ultra luxury all inclusive Secrets resort will be displayed under the Hyatt banner.

Not only will secrets fall under Hyatt, but the acquisition also includes 33.000 hotel rooms in 10 other countries, making Hyatt the world’s largest operator of luxury all-inclusive resorts based on rooms count. Hyatt will also be the largest operator of luxury hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean.

Secrets resort is an adult only resort expected to finish in the fourth quarter of 2021.

However, the completion of the resort is pushed back due to the pandemic, until further notice.


Layout of the future Baby beach resort in Seroe Colorado

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Aruba Surpasses 100.000 Stay Over Visitors in July

Aruba’s Airport recorded the strongest recovery during July 2021 for stay over visitors since the pandemic hit in March 2020. 

100.000 stay over visitors stepped foot on Aruba during this month. 

To be exact – 109.318 visitors.

This is a 29% increase for stay over visitors compared to the month before (June). 

Here’s a breakdown of destinations travelers departed to from Aruba in July: 

  • 91.715 travelers returned to the United States.
  • 7.568 travelers returned to Europe.
  • 6.311 travelers departed to Latin America.
  • 3.724 travelers departed to the Netherlands Antilles.

With over 100.000 visitors in July 2021, the airport was averaging 30 flights every day (compared to 37 flights everyday in the same month in 2019).

It’s been a gradual growing process for Aruba’s tourism industry, as 426.565 visitors were on the island since January 2021.

I Love Aruba, Do You?

Aruba Partners With Europe’s Digital Corona Certificate

Aruba announced that the island is adapting the new Europe Digital Corona Certificate into its traveler vaccination system.

What is the new Digital Corona Certificate (DCC)?

It’s a new digital system that contains your official corona certificates according to European regulations. 

Aruba started with the new European Digital Corona Certificate as of August 9, 2021. 

The new DCC certificate allows travelers to:

  • verify vaccination certificate
  • Show negative covid test results
  • Also contains positive covid test results that indicate someone has recovered from corona, or is currently recovering.

Digital corona certificate does not grant you automatic admission to any country, as every country has its own terms and regulations for entry. 

Long term residents in Aruba and locals can get the DCC in the “Aruba Health App”.

Visit the for more details.

About Baby Beach Renovation Project 

Tourism minister completed the first phase of renovation at Baby Beach, which is a new road towards one of the most beautiful beaches in San Nicolas. 

The new road starts from the ex-Aruba Esso Club towards Baby Beach.

It’s a road used by locals and visitors who want to enjoy the moon shaped bay on the Southern part of the island.

The project to beautify and upgrade Baby beach is well underway as construction works move to the next phase.

At the moment the beach is being expanded with additional beach sands, and in the near future additional palapas will be placed. 

In the next upcoming construction phases, more restaurants, bars and courts for popular beach sports will be created. 

Here’s a view of the section of the new beach section.

The Future of Cruise Tourism in Aruba

Aruba is on the list of islands to be visited by two of the world’s major cruise lines in 2022 and 2023.

The news came in this week after a delegation of Aruba tourism officials met with the executives of Carnival Cruise Lines & Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, and Florida Caribbean Cruise Association. 

These are the two largest cruise lines that are known to bring the most cruise tourists to Aruba. 

Since cruise operations initiated again, cruise companies are adjusting their cruise itinerary to fit the current pandemic around the world. 

Why did two of the major cruise lines select Aruba to next year’s cruise schedule?

According to Aruba’s tourism officials – “Besides the relationship with Aruba and reliance on our destination, the executives of both cruise lines appreciate the way Aruba is managing the pandemic diligently, including the introduction of timely protocols to restart cruise tourism”.

Another reason for these two cruise companies to put Aruba as one of their visiting ports is the impressive coverage of vaccination in Aruba and the amount of progress and recovery of tourism. 

Cruise tourism restarted over a month ago, but the growth is still slow, due to the current situation. However, cruise officials are foreseeing a boosted recovery of the cruise industry as of 2022 – both in the aspects of cruise capacity and quantity of cruise ships operating to Aruba.

According to a cruise passengers survey – Aruba ranks in the top 2 for Caribbean destinations and has a cruise passengers satisfaction rating of 9.3.

Arikok National Park Working on New Management

The National Park of Aruba is revamping its management plans during the upcoming months with several stakeholder engagement processes.

All the suggestions from different stakeholders will contribute to the national parks final management plan to conserve nature and also integrate social and economic changes. 

New zoning regulations will also be discussed for the areas under the management of the National park.

Besides the stakeholders meetings, the management of National Park, is also conducting biophysical research on the presence of healthy corals, seagrasses and various marine life on the island. 

The new management plan will go into effect as of 2022 until 2026. 

The document will be published online on Arikok website in 2022.

breaking news Aruba

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Smart Health Card Accepted as Proof of Vaccination

The Aruban Government now accepts proof of vaccination for entry to Aruba, but only for fully vaccinated US travelers in possession of a “Smart Health Card”.

Yes, we’ve all heard the news, but the smart health card is new, and no one really knows about it.

It’s only available in a few US states, including but not limited to California & Louisiana.

Okay, so what is this smart health card?

It appears to be this new way to verify your vaccination status that can be easily verified by different organizations around the world, including Aruba’s airport.

This new card was developed between the Smart Health IT and Boston’s Children’s Hospital.

Smart Health IT is a project based at the Boston Children’s Hospital Computational Health Informatics Program, that develops open standards and technologies to connect people with their health data.

Aruba tourism authority partnered with this new program in order to slowly start the exemption process of testing for US travelers.

The health card has a 2D barcode that contains your vaccination information in a format that’s secure, portable, and easy for Aruba airport to verify your vaccination results.

Here’s how the smart health card looks like…

Who from the USA is actually eligible to be exempt from testing?

  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated with an FDA or EMA authorized COVID-19 vaccine in the USA including (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson).
  • 14 days must pass since receiving the vaccine.
  • Must have a “Smart Health Card” vaccine record
  • Use the Common Pass Digital Health App to qualify for Aruba’s online Embarkation/Disembarkation Card.

Unfortunately, the smart health card is not available yet in all US states, but there’s a chance that you might still get the card, even though it is not available in your region.

Some travelers on our private Facebook group have managed to get lucky and still got their hands on a Smart Health Card.

The smart health card is promoted to be found at:

  • At the Pharmacy – Walmart & Sam’s Club (Not all states as of yet)
  • Any healthcare provider in California & Louisiana

Here’s some tips to get your hands on one of those smart health cards:

Vaccine providers in the US are required to upload your vaccination information into the department of health/state files. Some US states are making use of this digital system to upload the CDC paper vaccination card, and can provide you with the Smart Health Card.

  1. You can try to get this health card by contacting clinical organizations, pharmacies and ask if it is possible to email your a paper copy of the smart health card.
  2. Ask your state registry what the possibilities are to getting your vaccination records uploaded into a smart health card, if you are fully vaccinated.
  3. Search for apps that support smart health cards, and link your CDC paper vaccine results to it.

If your state offers the smart health card, ask your vaccine provider to either:

  • Hand you a paper copy at the time of your visit
  • Email you a paper copy after your visit
  • Download your digital version from a website or app hosted by the organization, and also copy and/or save it as a file.

How to Apply For The Smart Health Card – Click here to read the Smart Health Card’s official website to learn more about the Smart Health Card and frequently asked questions.

If you want to travel to Aruba without testing, you need to present your Smart Health Card before your flight departs as a part of the island’s online travel qualification process.

To do this you need to use the CommonPass health app to store the information of your smart health card.

Here’s the steps to follow:

  1. Use “2ARUBA” for CommonPass invitation code.
  2. Create a “Travel to Aruba” pass in the CommonPass app by scanning or uploading your Smart Health Card.
  3. CommonPass app will show you a QR ID Code which you can use to complete your Aruba online ED Card process to verify your proof of vaccination. 


Travelers who are not exempt from testing need to provide a negative corona test result taken 72 hours before arrival in Aruba. 

All other rules and measures are still in effect.

This new travel requirement is subject to change at any moment at the discretion of the Aruban Government. 

Read more detailed instructions on how to integrate Smart Health Card and CommonPass app on Aruba’s tourism authority page.

New Entry Restrictions To Limit Importation of Delta Virus

Aruba issued a new travel restriction targeted at a list of 47 countries that are considered high risk in order to limit the importation of the more contagious delta corona variant. 

The Aruban Government implemented a new change in the ministerial regulation that requires travelers visiting Aruba from high risk countries to perform a PCR Test 72 hours before arrival in Aruba – and wait for the negative test results in quarantine even though the traveler is fully vaccinated.

This new change goes into effect as of July 17, 2021.

Here’s a list of the countries that are considered high risk for the new delta virus variant:

  1. Seychelles
  2. Cyprus
  3. Fiji
  4. Mongolia
  5. Tunisia
  6. Namibia
  7. United Kingdom
  8. Colombia
  9. Cuba
  10. Kuwait
  11. Argentina
  12. Spain
  13. Botswana
  14. South America
  15. The Netherlands
  16. Oman
  17. Georgia
  18. Costa Rica
  19. Portugal
  20. Malaysia
  21. Panama
  22. Suriname
  23. Andorra
  24. Brazil
  25. Maldives
  26. Kyrgyzstan
  27. Iran
  28. Irak
  29. Luxembourg
  30. Libia
  31. Paraguay
  32. Greece
  33. Uruguay
  34. Russia
  35. Kazakhstan
  36. Malta
  37. United Arab Emirates
  38. Chile
  39. Saint Kitts & Nevis
  40. Monaco
  41. Indonesia
  42. Zimbabwe
  43. Guatemala
  44. Bahamas
  45. Trinidad & Tobago
  46. Ireland
  47. Denmark

The Aruban government and health officials are implementing this new travel measure because of the alarming rate of infections of delta virus around the world at the moment.

These new travel measures are subject to change at the discretion of the Government in Aruba.

Aruba Continues To See Rise in Tourism

Air seats in Aruba continue to rise as the island received 84.592 stay over visitors during the month of June 2021, which is  a 20% increase compared to May 2021.

The amount of visitors entering Aruba during the month of July is expected to increase compared to June 2021, as the airport handles an average of 26 flights per day. 

According to the CEO of Aruba’s Tourism Authority, the island’s recuperated 85% of its tourism industry compared to June 2019, before the pandemic hit.

Over 326.387 stay over visitors were welcomed in the first 6 months of 2021. This amount is 57% of tourism compared to the first half of 2019. 

The booming tourism industry also skyrocketed the island’s hotel occupancy, which was at 70% for the month of June 2021 (16% less compared to the hotel occupancy in June 2019). 

Tourism experts in Aruba are seeing a fast growth in the industry, and expect for Aruba to fully recuperate its tourism in the first quarter of 2022. 

Do you already have your ticket book for Aruba?

50/50 Chance Carnival Will Continue in Aruba

The organization of Aruba’s Carnival , SMAC (Stichting Musica Aruba Carnival), announced this week on their Facebook page that Carnival will continue in Aruba.

According to the President of SMAC, carnival season will officially start as of November 11, 2021. 

The first event for Carnival, Color Parade, will be held on November 12, 2021.

Members of SMAC have collectively agreed to:

  • Start carnival as of November 11, 2021 
  • Carnival will be celebrated in January & February.
  • First carnival event will be “Color Parade” – November 12, 2021.

The color parade that will be held in November is a fundraising parade to enlarge and beautify Aruba’s carnival in 2022. 

It will be the 68th carnival celebration in Aruba next year.

Although SMAC announced that carnival will restart this year, this announcement is subject to change at the discretion of the organizers – due to the uncertainty of the current pandemic.

3 Course Lunch & Dinner Special at Café The Plaza

Café the Plaza offers a 3 course lunch and dinner special during the month of July 2021. 

The special 3 course menu includes classic dishes and new inspirations.

Café the Plaza’s special costs $27.50 and let’s you…

Pick your appetizer:

  • Octopus – Herb marinated, grilled octopus on honey lemon & cherry tomato salsa.
  • Stuffed Mushrooms – Goat cheese & pesto stuffed mushrooms
  • Shrimp & Chorizo Cocktail
  • Mini Dutch Platter – With a honey mustard remoulade

Follow your dining experience with a main course:

  • Chicken & Steak – Rosemary cajun, marinated chicken & filet mignon; grilled to perfection, served with spinach mashed potatoes and drizzled with  marsala reduction.
  • Caribbean Pork – Jerk marinated pork braised, served with vegetables, fried plantains and pineapple salsa.
  • Seafood Casserole – Mixed local seafood infused in garlic creole sauce, served with polenta and plantain chips.
  • Atlantic Spiced Wahoo – Baked wahoo with creamy coconut “Madame Jeanette” sauce; served with rice, vegetables and mango kuchela.

After the main course, try a delicious dessert.

  • Chocolate Brulee
  • Churros with dulce de leche
  • Blueberry Cheesecake

The price for this 3 course menu is $27.50 per person.

Café The Plaza is located at Renaissance Marketplace in Oranjestad.. 

This lunch and dinner Special is only available between 12.00 PM – 10.00 PM.

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