latest news in Aruba

ORANJESTAD (October 14, 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!

New Masterplan To Develop Baby Beach

Tourism minister announced a new master plan to develop the area of Baby beach.

 According to the minister, the empty lot before you reach Baby beach (Lone Palm Stadium) will be renovated.

 The master plan includes the following upgrades:

  • Additional bathrooms
  • New cafe and restaurant
  • Recreational zone
  • Extended parking lot

Not only will Baby beach be developed, but Rogers beach also.

Rogers beach will also get the same upgrades as Baby beach. And the pier will be reconstructed for locals and visitors to use.

The new master plan also includes a new tourism office in San Nicolas intended to inform visitors about the best things to do in San Nicolas, before going to Baby and Rogers beach.

Constructions are expected to start in the first quarter of 2019.

Here’s a video that displays the conceptual design for the development of Baby beach.

The private sector will also be developing their own projects at Baby beach (specific projects were not mentioned).

If you didn’t know it yet, the minister of transport is trying to create a fast ferry service in San Nicolas, including a harbor in San Nicolas. The fast ferry will transport visitors and locals between Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao.

Eagle Beach Top 5 in The World

According to TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards, Aruba has one of best 25 beaches in the world!

Aruba takes the 4th spot after travelers reviewed and voted for their favorite beach.

Here’s a list of the best 25 beaches in the world:

  1. Grace Bay, Providenciales, Tuks and Caicos
  2. Baia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil
  3. Varadero Beach, Varadero, Cuba
  4. Eagle Beach, Aruba
  5. Seven Mile Beach, Seven Mile, Grand Cayman
  6. La Concha Beach, San Sebastian, Spaña
  7. Clearwater Beach, Clearwater, Florida
  8. Seven Mile Beach, Negril, Jamaica
  9. Bavaro Beach, Bavaro, Republica Dominicana
  10. Playa Norte, Islas Mujeres, Mexico
  11. Elafonissi Beach, Elafonissi, Grecia
  12. Falesia Beach, Olhos de Agua, Portugal
  13. Fig Tree Bay, Protaras, Cyprus
  14. Bournemouth Beach, Bournemouth, Reino Uni
  15. Anse Lazio, Praslin Island, Seychelles
  16. Manly Beach, Sidney, Australia
  17. Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica, Cape Verde
  18. Agonda Beach, Agonda, India
  19. Kleopatra Beach, Alanya, Turkia
  20. Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Island
  21. Spiaggia del Conigli, Lampedusa, Sicilia
  22. Sharm El Luli, Marsa Alam, Egipto
  23. Nungwi Beach, Nungwi, Tanzania
  24. Punta Uva Beach, Punta Uva, Costa Rica
  25. White Beach, Boracay, Filipinas

Eagle beach might be ranked 4th, but there’s plenty of other beautiful beaches also worthy of being on the list.

This view can be yours…

Here’s a list of some of the best beaches in Aruba:

  • Palm Beach – two mile long strip beach in front of glamorous resorts.
  • Arashi – local favorite beach with gentle currents and abundant waterlife
  • Malmok – beautiful beach alongside limestone and rocky terrace
  • Mangel Halto – shallow beach with mangroves (perfect for snorkeling & kayaking)  
  • Baby Beach – half moon shaped beach with shallow waters great for snorkeling
  • Rogers Beach – known for calm waters and secluded beach for relaxation.

Aruba is surrounded by pristine beaches, but you have to be on the island to judge the beauty of the ocean for yourself.

Dragon Fly Adds Vegan Menu

Did you notice that veganism is becoming increasingly more popular?

Aruba has over 200+ restaurants, and they are all starting to follow the vegan trend.

Dragonfly, a sushi and Asian restaurant is one of the many restaurants on the island to include vegan options to their menu.

Not only did they add vegan, they have gluten free cuisines also!

Choose from appetizers, salads, traditional rolls, main courses, soups or straight from the wok.

The most popular dishes are sushi, sashimi and the vegetarian swordfish.

Talented chefs display the art of Asian cuisine in an amazing way and is a must try when in Aruba.

Dragonfly is located at the Arawak Garden in Palm Beach.

Construction for Thousands of Hotel Rooms Cancelled

Although a moratorium is still not in place, the government is currently canceling the contracts of thousands of hotels rooms that were already approved in the past 8 years.

Over 7000 hotel rooms were promised to several hoteliers and developers under the power of the previous government. However, the current infrastructure minister already disapproved of more than 3000 rooms that were in the pipeline to construct, because the developers did not reach the requirements. One of the requirements being starting construction within 6 months after receiving permit.

According to the minister, there’s over 1000 more rooms that will be disapproved in the upcoming months. But there’s about 3000 rooms that can’t be disapproved because hoteliers and developers already have notary papers in place and complied with government requirements, which makes it almost impossible to cancel the contracts.

If these rooms (which are expanding of current hotels or new resorts) do move forward, the minster will modify them to minimize their impact on the island by changing certain aspects like:

  • From all inclusive to European Plan (pay as you go, not all inclusive)
  • Condominium to apartments
  • Reduce number of rooms
  • Change the location of the hotel (move to San Nicolas)

A list of pending projects was released by the infrastructure minister this week during a press conference. The document shows how many more hotel, condominium and apartments are in the pipeline, but most of them will be disapproved (30 condominiums 1000+ rooms , 11 hotels 4000+ rooms , 10 apartments 80 rooms).

According to the Director of Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association, if there’s any hotels to be constructed on Eagle or Palm beach area, it has to be 5 star or highest possible quality! She also advocates to build boutique style properties in the district of San Nicolas to attract millennial travelers and visitors interested in experience and culture.

The popular AirBnB concept is also continuing to gain popularity on the island which caters to visitors looking for other accommodations on the island.

The next hotel to start construction in Aruba is the St.Regis Resort, if not stopped by a moratorium.

One More Monument For Aruba – Uncle Louis Store

The minister of infrastructure announced this week that one of the old buildings in San Nicolas known as “Uncle Louis Store” will be renovated into a monument.

Uncle Louis used to be a general store in the 1950’s.

The general store was owned by a local. It is a two story building. Downstairs used to be the store and upstares the apartment of the owner, something unique in San Nicolas and Oranjestad for most stores.

Back in the days locals used to shop at Uncle Louis store for daily necessities.

Last time this building was in use was over 12 years ago by local customs department.

The historical value, memories  and architectural design (unique in San Nicolas) of Uncle Louis Store makes it a perfect monument.

Not only will the building be restored, but it will be used by the department of nature & environment. They are in charge with the task to protect, preserve and improve the environment and nature in Aruba (including our pristine beaches).

Restoration will be financed by “Monument Funds Aruba” and is expected to start in 2019.

Uncle Louis Store will be the 3rd monument in San Nicolas next to “The Water Tower” and “Nicolas Store” (both are museums, respectively: museum of industry and community museum).

Here’s a view of the Uncle Louis Store currently and the plans in the future.

old uncle Louis store and concept design

old uncle Louis store and concept design

According to the architects in charge of the restoration, the outside of the building Uncle Louis Store will remain the same, but the inside will be modern and feature sustainable technologies like:

  • Solar panels
  • Green wall (inside vertical garden)
  • Water catchment system (rainwater and air conditioning)
  • LED lights
  • Laboratorium

The restoration of Uncle Louis Store is part of the government’s vision to transform the district of San Nicolas into the cultural and heritage city of the island.

New Gasoline Price

Gasoline prices are rising steadily around the world, and this is the case also in Aruba.

Here are the current gas prices as of this week on the island for gasoline:

  • Gasoline – $4.65 per gallon – $1.23 per liter
  • Diesel – $4.12 per gallon – $ 1.09 per liter

Take note of the new gasoline prices if you’re renting a car on the island.

Find a budget rental car in Aruba

Havenstraat Will Be Closed for 11 Days

The department of public works announced that Havenstraat will be partially closed for automobiles.

Havenstraat is one of the main roads in the downtown area of Aruba (from Zara Shopping Mall to Royal Plaza).

The street will be closed from 19:00 AM to 7:00 AM as of October 15 until October 26, 2018 for maintenance.

Road signs will be added to note deviations and detours.

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