latest news in Aruba

Once a week, on Sundays I publish the happenings on the island in my weekly news recap 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!

News Recap in Aruba

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

New Security Measures To Enter Aruba

New security measures to enter Aruba were announced by the minister of justice during a press conference.

According to him these new measures will facilitate the protection of the islands frontiers from visitors who overstay and violate the laws.

He plans to implement an advanced info passenger system, which allows the local authorities to get more information about passengers on a plane, if necessary.

As of March 1, 2018 a new Interpol department will be opened in Aruba.

Interpol is the world’s largest international police organization, with over 192 member countries. Aruba will collaborate with Interpol by linking to their database, to collect information about travelers who are wanted  internationally by the police or government.

A new “ESTA Aruba” system will also be implemented in the following months.

The new system allows local authorities to review a travelers background information in real time. It facilitates the process of screening, approving and denying travellers entry to the island.

The new system will be rolled out in short period of time, for certain countries.

Further details about ESTA Aruba, in regards to who, how and when the form needs to be filled will be announced by the minister during a next press conference.

Carnaval 64 Comes To An End

The past 6 weeks on the island was all about Carnival!

The festive season started with a traditional torch parade through Oranjestad to kickoff the season on January 6, 2018.

Followed by Carnival queen elections, caiso & soca monarch music festival, children’s parades during the day, jouvert morning and lightning parades at night.

The parades made their way through the main streets of San Nicolas and Oranjestad.

February 11, 2018 is the final grand parade of Aruba’s 64th Carnival!

Sideliners witnessed thousands of colorfully dressed participants dance their way through the streets of Oranjestad and San Nicolas, following trucks with huge speakers.

A lot of songs became popular this year, even the hit by Big Shaq “Mans Not Hot” had a local spin on it. However, local artist composed songs that became a hit of their own during this parade such as…

  • N’Fuzion – Alive
  • Tsunami – Do What You Want
  • Le Groove – Sideliners
  • Buleria – For Once & For All

These songs have catchy melodies and easy lyrics you could sing along too.

If you’re eager to hear the tunes, search for them on YouTube and enjoy the island’s most popular Carnival music for 2018.

Enjoying Lighting Parade

This year I participated in the Jouvert Morning, which is a mass of people jamming through the main street of San Nicolas in their pajamas from midnight till the sun comes up.

I also was a part of Champagnes Group in lighting Parade with costume themed “Angel Wings”.

I had a blast.

If you’re looking for a one of a kind island experience, join the parades next year for Aruba’s 65th Carnival it’s going to be massive!

Here’s a video of the Grand Parade in San Nicolas…

February 12, 2018 is an official holiday – Carnival Monday!

Nearly all inland stores and downtown area will be closed, with the exceptions of shops near the hotel area.

Aruba Top 10 Destinations In The Caribbean

TripAdvisor named Aruba, one of the top 10 destinations in the Caribbean region for 2017.

Aruba ranks #6 in the list.

The island ranks every year in the top, because of its precious beaches and happy people, that keep visitors returning every year.

Here’s the list according to

  1. Jamaica
  2. St.Maarten
  3. Cayman Island
  4. Puerto Rico
  5. Barbados
  6. Aruba
  7. U.S Virgin Islands
  8. St.Lucia
  9. Turks & Caicos
  10. U.S Virgin Islands

Alert Strong Winds & Beach Currents

The meteorological department issued an alert for strong winds and rough beach conditions as of February 9, 2018.

Aruba is known for its trade wind breeze, especially by kite surfers! However, the wind is stronger than usual for over a week already.

The alert counts for beaches near the north coast of the island, arashi, high rise & low rise hotels area.

Beaches near the hotel area are usually calm and small waves, but on windier days the currents can be stronger.

Be cautious when going snorkeling or swimming in the aforementioned beaches.

I’m sure you have a list of must have items to bring to the beach in Aruba, but here’s a island tip – bring clips to secure your beach towel, cup holders and a beach bag to store your personal belongings.

Spearfishing Electronic Permit

The minister of justice wants to lift the ban on prohibition for spearfishing in Aruba.

Spearfishing is a traditional sport practiced by the older generations.

However a ban was implemented in 2001, and spearfishing stopped, but still continues to be done illegally.

The ban was implemented because there was concerns that fishermen were spearfishing near collars, and could potentially damage them.

But he has proof that the sport is practiced in the deep blue sea, far away from the corrals, so the ban is necessary in 2018.

According to the minister the ban should be lifted and an electronic permits should be introduced in order to stop illegal spearfishing in Aruba. Electronic permits allows the local authorities to patrol, monitor the activity of fisherman and track their location.

The minister will hand out temporary permits to certain fishermen, but with strict rules on the locations where spearfishing is allowed.

New changes in the law will also be made.

San Nicolas Development Plan

The government introduced a committee last week that’s in charge of developing and revamping the main streets of San Nicolas.

Now they followed up by sharing some of the ideas they have planned during a press conference. For example, an university including a campus, a hotel in seroe colorado and new stores through the main streets.

They also plan on restoring existing community museum, industry museum, and the model train museum in San Nicolas.

Solar trees were installed throughout the main street of San Nicolas, allowing you to charge your electronic devices for free.

Free WiFi will also be installed in the main streets.

The idea behind these two projects is to create a lounge area between all the art galleries, stores and cafes.

Colorful parasols will also be added to provide shade from the sun.

There’s also plans of creating an art gallery called “Changa”, for one of the cultural games played in Aruba, which is dominoes.  

Changa, is a word locals use when a player wins at both ends of a domino game.

There’s lots of reasons to visit San Nicolas.

It’s a hidden gem, only discovered by visitors who dare to leave the resort and explore the rest of the island.

Here’s a list of places to visit in San Nicolas…

  • Baby Beach
  • Rodgers Beach
  • Mundi’s Health Cafe
  • Oneils Caribbean Kitchen
  • Museums
  • Charlies Bar
  • Kaminis Kitchen
  • Graffiti Murals

These are few suggestions, of course you will find other hidden gems while driving through main streets and off roads in San Nicolas.

Rent a Car in Aruba Now!

Donate To Vacations By Aruba

I invest my personal time to make this newsletter available to you for free, because I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home.

If you want to support me with maintaining the website costs 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!


Join Our Newsletter

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.

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, which means our partners will pay us small commission if you click an advertisement or a link and purchase something that I recommended on Vacations By Aruba. Clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running! Please check out our disclosure policy and privacy policy for more details.