This post is the ultimate guide to getting cell phone service in Aruba.

It turns out you can make your phone work in Aruba, without skyrocketing your bill.

You’re about to learn how to get your cell phone to work in Aruba.

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Cellphone service in Aruba

Aruba has two phone providers. Digicel and Setar. I use Digicel.

You have a choice to use your phone (roaming) or buy an Aruba sim card.

If you choose to stick with your number remember to contact your phone provider before you fly to Aruba. Ask them if they have cell phone service in Aruba.

Maybe a roaming plan, international plan or anything at all!

But wait, here’s what they won’t tell you…

They’ll charge you around 2$-3$ per minute for incoming and outgoing calls!

A 20 minute conversation can cost you around 60$.

Also expect hidden charges. Like data use for email updates and push notifications.

If you plan to roam you’ll be able to do so with At&t in Aruba and also with…

  • Verizon
  • Sprint
  • T-Mobile
  • KPN
  • Digitel
  • Vodafone
  • and more.

However, it‘s way cheaper to have what I call an Aruba cell phone to call abroad. And buy Aruba data cards for when you need a data plan.

Click here to download a free guide for traveling with Aruba with your phone.

Cheaper Cell Phone Service in Aruba

Using your international sim card to get Aruba cell phone service is expensive. I would buy an Aruba sim card from Digicel or Setar. A sim card will cost you about $21. Data plans can be bought separately.

Change your APN (Access Point Name) settings.

  1. (for Digicel) APN Name: Digicel – APN: web.digicelaruba.com
  2. (for Setar) APN Name: setarinternet – APN: internet.setar.aw

Having the wrong APN-Settings means your internet connection won’t be good.



How To Call United States from Aruba

Dial 001 and the area code in the united states plus the phone number.

Cell Phone Aruba Tips

If you plan to keep your sim card (and not roam either) you should:

  • Turn off your mobile data
  • Turn on your WiFi
  • Put your device in airplane mode.

Aruba is dotted with WiFi hot-spots. You can make a phone call if you need via Skype, What’s App, Facebook Messenger and all other calling apps over WiFi.

How to Get Cell Phone Service in Aruba

Click here to download a complete PDF sheet for traveling in Aruba with your phone.

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Taking a good photograph of a sunset isn’t easy. That’s why I’ve decided to write some tips on how to take good sunset pictures in Aruba.

How to take good sunset pictures in Aruba

First of all scope your surroundings before you take any pictures.

You do this by reaching at the location you plan to take your pictures at least 30 minutes before the sun makes it way down.

Reaching late means rushing to take pictures and they might not come out good.

Think About The Composition Of Your Sunset Picture

It’s easy to take a sunset picture by placing the sun in the middle of your image.

However, if you use this technique your pictures will not look interesting.

Instead, put the sun in the top or the bottom of your image!

Incorporate other objects in your sunset picture

Another way how to take good sunset pictures in Aruba is to incorporate other objects into your picture.

Think about palm trees and overhanging palapas.

Or a pier, coconut, pineapple, cocktails or any interesting object.

By following these simple steps you can add a lot of depth to your sunset pictures.

Your sunset pictures will look a hundred times better!

Don’t be shy to take a lot of pictures

Once the sun is gone you have to wait until tomorrow to get another shot.

Wouldn’t you feel guilty if you didn’t make enough pictures of a beautiful sunset?

Get creative and create sunset silhouettes

A silhouette is a picture of a subject or object against sunlight so that only the outline of the subject or object is showing.

So, the sun needs to be behind an object or subject to create a silhouette.

There is something mysterious about silhouettes.

It makes your pictures beautiful and gives them a wow effect.

Minimize Camera Shake

You don’t want a blurry picture of one of the most beautiful sunsets in Aruba

Use a tripod to minimizing shake (blurry pictures).

If you don’t own a tripod use your body as one.

You can do this by resting your elbows between your knees as you sit on the beach.

Or you can lean against a rock (or any other thing) to minimize camera shake.

When you’re taking pictures of a sunset don’t forget to look behind you.

You might be surprised how beautiful the view can be behind you.

Don’t walk away when the sun disappears.

Because the most spectacular sunset colors usually appear after the sun’s gone.

Hopefully these tips help you make good sunset pictures in Aruba.

If you have more tips for better sunset pictures share them in the comment section.

Share this post if you liked the tips on how to take good sunset pictures in Aruba.

Images by rina.ricci 

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Paid Parking in Downtown Aruba

A few years ago, on September 7, 2015 to be exact, the government introduced paid parking in downtown area Aruba.

The system was completely new, and a first on the island. They implemented the law, because locals and visitors parked their cars however and wherever they felt like it. This created dangerous situations, like cars parked on the sidewalk and blocking the driveway making it hard to watch for oncoming traffic.

The Situation at The Moment (Article Updated on October 27, 2017)

Since the new system was introduced, more parking spaces opened up and you don’t see any cars parked on the sidewalks.

The government implemented sanctions for drivers who break the law (a fine, wheel clamp or towing your car). However, a few months ago they eliminated the wheel clamp as a sanction.

The wheel clamp is no longer being used at the moment, but the parking authorities will still tow your car if you violate any of the parking laws.

In this article you will read everything you need to know about paid parking in Aruba and how to avoid a fine or getting your car towed.



Do You Need To Pay For Parking Everywhere in Aruba?

No, you only have to pay for parking in the downtown area. Paid parking is from 7:00 AM until 3:00 PM. After 3:00 PM you can park for free, inside the white parking spaces of course.

This includes the parking lot at Renaissance Marketplace, Royal Plaza Mall, Port of Call Marketplace, West straat, Werfstraat and the entire L.G. Smith Boulevard.

Parking is only free on Sundays and Holidays (or if mentioned otherwise).

What if you’re staying at the Renaissance Resort, should you pay for parking?

No, you can park your car for free as a guest at the parking lot from the Renaissance Marina Resort.

What about the beaches and the hotel area?

Parking at the beach is free! You don’t have to worry about paying for parking when you’re having fun at the beach in Aruba.

There’s also no cost to park around the low rise and hotel area (with exceptions of some parking lots near the malls in the high rise area).

How Much Is The Parking Rate in The Downtown Area?

The parking rate in the downtown area is 2 Aruban guilders for 90 minutes.

Every hour that you add extra after that will be 2 Aruban guilders (one guilder for 30 minutes).

If you’re wondering how to convert Aruban guilders to dollars – $1.00 dollar equals 1.75 Aruban guilders.

How To Feed The Parking Meter?

The parking meters in Aruba only accepts coins!

You can pay with local Aruban coins, US coins or an Aruparking smart card (I will explain what it is and how you can use it in a bit, keep on reading).

The parking meter doesn’t give back change (a very smart parking meter), so the best thing to do is pay the exact amount shown on the display.

Do people with disabilities have to feed the meters?

Yes, regular rates apply.

Instructions For Using The Parking Meter

So how do you go about paying for parking?

Here’s a picture of the parking meters in Aruba.

paid parking in downtown Aruba

A parking meter in Aruba.

Now that you know how the parking meter looks like, follow these 6 steps to pay….

  1. Park your car (in a white marked parking space) and note the number of the parking space.
  2. Press the green button to start.
  3. Choose your language and press the green button.
  4. Type the number of your parking space and press the green button.
  5. Insert your coins or smart card to pay your parking fee.
  6. Pull your parking ticket out of the machine and keep it, because the receipt number can be used to add more time at any parking meter in the downtown area.
paid parking in downtown Aruba

Pay for parking is simple.

What Is The Aruparking Smart Card?

The Aruparking Smart-card is a prepaid card encoded with a computer chip that allows you to purchase a predetermined amount of parking time for use at any parking meter in the downtown area.

Hold the smart-card above the parking meter scanner until your hear a beep to feed the meter.

The smart-card can be loaded with credit at various stores in the downtown area with an Aruparking logo.

What Should You Do If A Parking Meter Doesn’t Work?

Move to another meter to pay for parking time.

Note the number of the parking meter and inform one of the Aruparking staff.

The number of the parking meter can be found on either side of the machine.

When Will Your Car Get Towed & What To Do After?

There are plenty of rules and regulations for parking in the downtown area, your car will get towed when…

  1. Your parking time expires.
  2. If you’re parked in a no parking area.
  3. If you’re parked in a handicap space (and you’re not).
  4. When you park in a permit only space, indicated by yellow lines.
  5. If you car is blocking the driveway or other vehicles.
  6. If you’re parked in two spaces.
  7. If you park in incorrect parking zones & areas (Permit Holders)
  8. If you don’t pay your permit for the month (Permit Holders)
  9. If you’re permit sticker isn’t visible (Permit Holders)



Which Parking Spots Are For Permit Holders Only?

The parking spots painted in yellow are only for permit holders.

If you park your car in a yellow marked space (and you’re not a permit holder), your car will be towed on the spot – even if you paid for parking time.

What To Do If Your Car Gets Towed?

You have to pay a fee of $45.00 at the Aruparking office, which is in the downtown area, adjacent to the green town hall building. The address is Wilhelminastraat 13.  

They are open from 7:00 AM until 7:30 PM.

What If You Can’t Make The Payment On The Same Day?

If you can’t pay the towing fee on the same day, you will be charged an additional storage fee of $15.00 AWG, which has to be paid before your vehicle is released.

It’s certainly not fun to deal with paying for parking or getting a fine during your vacation, but if you follow the rules outlined in this article, you shouldn’t encounter any issues while parking in the downtown area of Aruba.




Last Words….

If you plan to explore the main street of Aruba, but still want to avoid the hassle of paying for parking, take the bus or taxi to the downtown area.

However, if you’re plan to visit the downtown area a lot for shopping and dinners, you should rent a car, because it’s less expensive than taking a taxi and more convenient than the bus.

Don’t have a car yet in Aruba?

Contact me to rent one of my cars or jeeps on the island.

Click here to ask me for a free car rental quotation.

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Are you looking for more information seeing a sunset in Aruba? We’ll here are a few things you should know about a sunset in Aruba. And the places you should consider going to watch the beautiful sun in Aruba disappear into the horizon.

However, before I show you the most beautiful places to catch a sunset in Aruba. Sign up to the Vacations By Aruba newsletter. I share the best Aruba travel tips and news with my subscribers. It’s all free.

Enjoy a Sunset in Aruba

Late in the evening just as soon as day turn to night. The Caribbean sun starts to descend. Depending on the color of the sky and how much clouds you get a different type of sunset.

One thing I know for sure is every sunset in Aruba is different.

Beautiful Sunset in Aruba At Bushiri Beach

Located right next to an abandoned building which used to be the Bushiri Hotel lies a whole strip of beach sand. Here you can clearly see the sun in an unique angle.

The beach here is very nice and quiet.

Not a lot of people go here. So it’s a perfect place to see the day come to an end.


Standing at Malmok Beach

Head over to the north side of the island. There you will find Malmok Beach. It’s where everyone goes to snorkel.

The palapas there make for a stunning scenery. If you have a camera you can make some awesome compositions.

Take a look of this picture I took standing in front of a couple of days ago.

If you want to learn how to take good sunsets pictures in Aruba click here.

Crowded At Moomba Beach

If you’re into beach bars you should go to Moomba Beach area. This is located at the beach right next to Marriott Hotel.

It’s a beautiful place to watch a sunset in Aruba and drink a few cold ones.

Walk down along the soft sand to the waters edge, listen to the waves, take off your flip-flops and sink your toes deeper into the sand.


Aruba sunsets are truly one of a kind and a must see if you’re on the island.

Your vacation on Aruba wouldn’t be complete without seeing one for yourself.

Where are you planning to see a sunset in Aruba?

Are you looking for a peaceful time, because it’s too crowded at the beach? You should visit the Alto Vista Chapel. It’s the perfect place to have your own moment and relax!

When you find you need your alone time just go to the other side of the tropical side of the island into the dessert in Noord. You’ll find the bright yellow chapel between cactus and dirt roads.

But before you read more about the Alto Vista Chapel sign up to Vactions By Aruba Newsletter. It’s free. In my newsletter I share the best Aruba travel tips and news only to my subscribers.

 

Alto Vista Chapel

The name alto vista means high view. And when you stand in front of the chapel the back drop of the waves crashing against huge rocks is amazing!

Locals use the chapel as a place to pray. When inside you feel the peace and serene. No talking, barely a sound. Just peace and quiet in your own thoughts.

When you want peace and quiet come here.

The Alto Vista Chapel is more than 250 years old. And considered to be the birthplace of Aruba’s Catholic religion.

Alto Vista Chapel Has A Peace Labyrinth

Besides a gorgeous chapel there is also an amazing peace labyrinth to be explored.

It has an unique and interesting design. Maybe the the shape of the labyrinth contains the secret to peace. I know one thing for sure, this place is beautiful. Another reason why I’m proud to live here.

We’re all looking for peace in Aruba.

Plan a day to visit the alto vista chapel during your vacation – you won’t regret it.

Consider taking a ride on the new Aruba streetcar system while you’re on the island.

Before I tell you the inside scoop about the Aruba streetcar system sign up for the Vacations By Aruba Newsletter. It’s free.

Besides having the best information about Aruba on the web. I also share the insider tips and news about Aruba only with my subscribers via email. 

Aruba Streetcar System is The Only One in The Caribbean

The Aruba streetcar system is unlike no other. You can’t even compare it to anything else, because it’s the only one in the Caribbean region.

The electric tram in the downtown area was introduced to make Aruba’s shopping scene more attractive to tourist and locals. 

The Aruba streetcar system is a success and it is causing a hype. Every one wants to ride the colorful trams once they see it. 

There are a couple of trams in operation right now. A mix of a double deck trams and single deck. 

If you want the best view during your ride hop on the double deck tram.

The Ease of Exploring The Downtown Area of Aruba

Before the trams you had to walk through the streets. Now you can reach you favorite store quick and easy.

The tram ride starts at the cruise port. Looping at the end of the main street back to the cruise port. And of course stopping at various places during the trip.

The best thing about it is – it’s free!

Explore The Renovated Main Street of Aruba

The main street of Aruba was in need of a renovation. Now it looks beautiful. And there is no better time or way to explore the Aruba’s Capital city Oranjestad.

There is a lot to do in the downtown area. Whether your looking for a boutique or a place to eat and drink. You will find it.

If you’re planning to visit the main street, read about paid parking in the downtown area.

Are you going to ride the electrical train?

What are you travel plans for this year? Not sure? Well consider writing visit Aruba (or revisit) on your bucket list. If you never decided to visit Aruba yet –  you’re missing out!

People who choose to revisit Aruba (and they are a lot) for over 30+ years will tell you the same.

So why must you visit Aruba as soon as possible? 

Visit Aruba Because You’re Going To Be Happy You Did

Aruba is not just another island. It is the number 1 tropical destination in the Caribbean! This a big statement to live up to, but Aruba really is that good.

Why do so many people decide to revisit Aruba year after year despite having so many other places to travel to in the world.

I think it’s us. The locals. Tourist fall in love for our friendly Aruba ways and lifestyle.

The beautiful beaches and all year sunny weather is just an extra for being in Aruba.

For example look at the image below. It’s a picture of Eagle Beach. One of the popular beaches in Aruba (and in the world).

visit-aruba

Which color beach palapa is your?

The reason why?

Because of the crystal clear waters. Long strip of white sand. And most importantly the dushi bida (sweet life in Papiamento) island vibe you get when on this beach.

You Can Eat Anything You Want

I don’t eat out a lot (because I like to cook). However, whenever I do I have a problem picking a place to eat.

Because there is so much to choose from.

With over 200+ restaurants to choose from where do you begin? Depending on your budget, you might choose the cheapest to the most expensive restaurant.

However, it doesn’t matter where you pick to eat out, because your taste buds will never feel the same after you eat a local cuisine or a international dish.

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You Should Visit Aruba, Because It’s Beautiful

The pictures I’ve shown you don’t compare to the real life views on the island.

I feel lucky to be living on such a beautiful island.

And I know if it was possible you would trade places with me in a heartbeat.

Wouldn’t you want to wake up every day to a view like this picture below?

visit-aruba

Isn’t the view beautiful?

There’s Always Something to Do in Aruba

The quality of life on Aruba is always improving. The island is constantly in progress. Continuously renovating and buildings new places.

Which in the end makes us locals and tourist happier people.

For example the main street of Aruba has been given a makeover. There’s also a new electric tram which loops around the downtown area.

Aruba is the only Caribbean island with this type of transportation.

Read more about the electric tram in the downtown area here.

Too Many Reasons Why You Should Visit Aruba

Aruba has a lot more to offer besides the beaches, restaurants and scenic views. The island is small but there is still a lot to explore. You wouldn’t believe all the secrets spots that are available that normal tour companies and even some locals don’t know about.

There’s so much reasons you should visit Aruba…

  1. It’s perfect for families
  2. The island is kid friendly
  3. Aruba is the safest island in the Caribbean
  4. Perfect for getting married or honeymoons
  5. The most beautiful resorts and hotels
  6. The best snorkeling in the Caribbean
  7. A lot of casinos
  8. Plenty restaurants to choose from 

There so much reasons why you should visit Aruba. It’s really so much to mention. However, if you’re interested click here to read 50 more reasons why you should visit Aruba.

Are you going to put visit Aruba on your bucket list?