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ORANJESTAD (July 29, 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!




The Casino At Ritz Carlton Has New Membership Card & Phone App

The Casino at Ritz Carlton launched a new membership card & phone application for its players!

According to the casino player development executive, the new membership card is the most powerful casino player card offered in Aruba and the Caribbean.

It’s called the ONYX membership card!

The membership card has different benefits

  • $300.00 free for slot play once you sign up
  • you’re awarded $150.00 every week to play slot machines
  • you also get $100.00 every week to play table games
  • $150.00 weekly to spend at the spa or any restaurants in Ritz Hotel
  • 4 nights free at the Ritz every 3 months (including $300 spending money on food and drinks)

How can you become a member of ONYX?

You have to be a frequent player at the Ritz Casino, if you have enough points accumulated, you will be eligible to sign up for the ONYX player card.

You can’t register without having any points, you have to level up to reach!

Inform at the Casino for more details about ONYX.

The director of casino operation at the Ritz announced the new app.

It’s an app for members of the Ritz Casino that provides you with the latest information, promotions, exclusive offers and deals which are redeemable at the casino.




Excelsior Casino Is Not Going To Close Down

There’s been news going around the local and tourist community that excelsior casino is going to close permanently – is there any truth to what you’re hearing?

Yes, they are going to close, but for renovation – not permanently!

The operators contract to run the casino is scheduled to end in September, but they recently extended the agreement. And the spokesperson for excelsior did mention that the casino will undergo a renovation and may closed partially (and temporarily).

The renovation date is yet to be set.

More information on excelsior’s renovation as they release more official news.

Related Article – How To Really Plan A Cheap Aruba Vacation

News Update On Fast Ferry in Aruba

The process to introduce a new fast ferry service between Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao is moving slowly but surely.

At the moment, the three islands (Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao) need to sign an agreement to continue with the development of the fast ferry project.

After the agreement is signed, the government of the three islands will decide which company will be selected to operate the fast ferry.

In order to maintain a schedule and logistics on the fast ferry route, the government also needs to create a public service obligation, in order to ensure transportation between the islands by the operator.

The aforementioned process can take up to 6 months to complete, according to the minister of transport.

One of the commercial organization in Aruba (San Nicolas Business Association) wants more than a fast ferry to be constructed in San Nicolas.

The organization wants to create more businesses, and create a strong economy for the south side of the island.

They want to introduce:

  • A transshipment center
  • Parks
  • Beautiful waterfronts near the fast ferry terminal
  • New businesses (restaurants, shops, bars)

San Nicolas will be booming with activity in a short matter of time.

Design Students Makes Unofficial Model Concept For Fast Ferry Terminal

Drilling Almost Over, Now Waiting for Results

A few weeks ago the company in charge of exploring for gas and oil under Aruba’s water surface started drilling. According to the Prime Minister, drill works are almost over now and everything went as planned.

The next phase of the project will be to analyze the materials found to determine if there’s really gas or oil near the waters of Aruba. This will be done by complex processes to separate impurities to find gas or oil.

When will we find out the results?

According to the company, this can take up to one year.

If the results are negative, they will drill on a different location.

And if there is gas or oil near Aruba, is it enough and will it make sense economically for the island?


Updating The Spatial Development Plan For Aruba

If you want to construct real estate in Aruba, either for business or residential purposes, you need to take two legal frameworks into consideration:

  • Construction and Housing Ordinance
  • Construction and Housing Decree

However, before you can start to construct you need to find a piece of land on the island – you can either buy a property or long lease it.

It’s important to investigate the intended destination of this piece of land with different government departments. You can do this by consulting the spatial development plan for the island.

The spatial development plan contains a broad overview of the social needs for the island with regards to the use of land for different purposes such as housing, business, industry, agriculture and tourism.

The spatial development plan also includes information about the most desired developments on the island in broad lines and a description of different zones (tourist, economic, urban, nature reserve), including the different policies tied to these zones.

The rules are going to change for developers who wish to construct on the island, because the government is working on updating the current spatial development plan for territorial development in Aruba.

The current spatial develop program was introduced in 2009 and expires at the start of 2019 and will be adapted to protect nature areas in Aruba from being damaged by any construction (particularly in the tourism sector, hotels & other accommodation).

Once the new spatial development plan is updated, it will be fixed for 5 years.


Casibari Becomes The Next Protected Area in Aruba

The minister of infrastructure recently expanded the amount of protected areas in Aruba by adding the area of Casibari. From now on the area around Casibari is protected.

Casibari is one of the landmarks on the islands with huge boulders. Surrounding the area of casibari are traditional houses that were built decades ago, and they need to be protected and conserved.  

The minister gave a local scouting group who gather weekly in the nearby area the authority to maintain and protect the area around Casibari.

Most of the islands protected areas are located within the islands national park (about 20% of the island).

The minister of infrastructure also announced that they will be completing several projects destined to protect Aruba’s nature:

  • Marine park (protection for marine life in 3 zones around Aruba)
  • New list of protected flora & fauna





Awareness Day For Mangroves

The entire world celebrated awareness day for mangroves on July 26, 2018.

This special day for mangroves was started in Ecuador and approved officially by UNESCO in 2015.

Mangroves are called Mangel on the island. These trees are not only green and beautiful, but they provide many benefits to the ecosystem and nature.

Mangroves form a barrier between land and sea for islands surrounded by water.

They also protect the coastal beaches from erosion, regulate the water temperature, creates biodiversity of marine life, while offering a habitat and food for fish, birds and other animals.

Construction near areas with mangroves disrupts the growing and development of these trees.

One of the most controversial news was the destruction of mangroves and corals near isla di oro to construct an over water bungalow resort. However, the project was not approved by the government, because it doesn’t comply with Aruba’s regulations in the spatial development plan.

The conservation of Aruba’s nature is a priority for the Government.

Where can you find mangroves in Aruba?

The most common place to find mangroves are near the southern coast – Mangel Halto, Spaans Lagoon and Santo Largo (all located in the coast of Pos Chiquito & Savaneta).

Related Article – How To Discover The Southern Coast Of Aruba By Kayak


Contribute To The Reader Supported Newsletter

I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home – that’s why this newsletter is free and available to everyone!

It’s free, because this online newspaper is a reader supported newsletter!

If you’d like to contribute to the cost of maintaining the website or want to buy me a beer, because you appreciate the Aruba updates – please make a contribution of your choice.

Choose the amount you wish to donate and you will be directed to pay-pal on the next page.

You’re awesome!

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How To Get More News About Aruba

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.


Read More About Aruba

How To Find The Best Hotel For You (Low Rise vs High Rise)

Top 15 Must Have Items To Bring To The Beach in Aruba

7 Things You Can Do in Aruba in One Day

21 Unusual & Unique Activities in Aruba





Once a week, on Sundays I write about the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly Aruba news reports.

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 About Fast Ferry in Aruba

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

Update About Fast Ferry Service in Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao

Do you ever dream about a Caribbean getaway between the ABC islands, but think it’s too expensive?

There’s a new fast ferry service on the way that might just make your dreams a reality!

It’s going to be a fast ferry that services inter island (Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao).

The minister of transport announced important updates about the project this week during a press conference.

He shared some of the following information about the fast ferry.

The project is still in the beginning stages.

An expert at fast ferries (Ton Jansen) will be on the island this week to inform the public and stakeholders about the project.

The goal at this moment is to share the details about the project, address any concerns by the public and stakeholder (including feedback and suggestions).

If you’re interested in this workshop by the minister of transport & Ton Jansen visit Santa Teresita Center (in San Nicolas) on June 26, 2018 starting at 7:00 PM.

According to the minister the fast ferry will:

  • Increase tourism in Aruba (and in San Nicolas)
  • Create a new economic pillar for Aruba
  • Create commerce between Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao
  • Introduce new businesses in San Nicolas

The next step in the project is to sit with the developers, and make a execution plan to create the infrastructure for the fast ferry between ABC islands (including the harbors).

Fast ferry will introduce a simpler and less expensive mode of transportation between ABC islands.

It’s not definite yet how much a ticket for the ferry will cost, but it will be hundreds of dollars cheaper than airline tickets.

Fast ferry passengers will be able to travel with their cars, and medium business owners get the opportunity to ship small cargo without paying the high prices of container cost (and waiting too long to ship).

During the press conference, the minster also mentioned that they will be breaking down one of the walls of the refinery (no longer functioning) in order to create a view of the beach. And they also plan to renovate the beaches in the area of san nicolas (especially rodgers beach).

If you’re an entrepreneur, this is your chance to start a business in San Nicolas.

It’s not definite when construction of the facilities and harbor for the fast ferry will begin, but the news sounds like a great start!




Isla Di Oro Project Not Approved!

The minister of infrastructure received feedback from different non governmental organization (NGOs) that the location at isla di oro is not suitable for an overwater bungalow resort.

NGOs don’t approve of the project, because of the negative impact it can have on the mangroves, marine life and the people living in the area of isa di oro (located in Savaneta).

Considering these points, the government denied the developers to continue.

The project also doesn’t fit the spatial development program (ROP) introduced by the government. They also announced that they won’t be approving any projects that don’t fit the current ROP. 

A new law will be implemented soon that protects the ROP from being adapted to approve projects that don’t fall within the rules of the ROP.

Despite the project being denied, the minister of infrastructure still thinks it is a great idea to introduce this type of resort on the island, but not at isla di oro.

The government might reconsider the project if the developers find another area to build the resort that won’t have a negative impact on the environment.

Things To Do in Savaneta (and places to stay)

Did you know Savaneta, was the island’s very first capital?
Did you ever consider staying in this area while on vacation? 
It’s a very tranquil place to stay. 
There’s no big resorts in Savaneta , only local residences, and a few apartment rentals and bed  breakfast-style accommodations.
Places To Stay in Savaneta
Savaneta is also known for restaurants that have fresh seafood. 
And last but not least, the beaches on this part of the island are beautiful!
Mangel Halto Beach is one of them. This beach is like no other on the island. It is a great snorkeling spot adorned with beautiful mangroves and great for kayaking!



The New Smart Community in Aruba

While the government denied the overwater bungalow project this week, they officially inaugurated another one called “smart community”.

It’s a residential area serving as a small scale environment with sustainable living conditions to gather knowledge about sustainable energy specific to the Aruba’s climate.

The project is fundamental to the development of Aruba, because these houses are a model of how to build greener homes in the future.

All the houses were constructed with different sustainable building materials and have top of the line technology installed for living in Aruba’s climate.

Smart Community is a collaboration between the Government of Aruba, FCCA, Utilities NV, ELMAR, WEB ARUBA NV, SETAR and TNO Caribbean.

The people living in the houses signed up for the experiment that will take a minimum of 5 years. During this period, experts will be investigating technology used in construction, renewable energy sources, (sun, wind, water), reusing water,  innovative agriculture experiments, and waste management,

The smart community is easy to spot.

It’s located on the highway in St.Cruz (close to Brouwerij Nacional Balashi).

Here’s image that shows the idea behind it…

A map of the smart community.

Aruba Hopes To Strike Gas Or Oil

A drill ship close to Aruba is currently exploring beneath the waters surface, hoping to find gas or oil.

The drilling is taking place on the north west coast of the island.

According to the director of Aruba’s Petroleum Company, the exploration process can take a minimum of 40 days.

International experts evaluated the Aruban waters with seismic research, surveys and other processes since 2010. They recently installed a drilling platform and now it’s time to find out if they were right.

If they strike gas or oil, it will be favorable for the island.

The first area drilled on is Bon Bini (here’s a map below).

Drilling in the middle of Bon Bini

Crisis Management Office Ready For Atlantic Hurricane Season

The crisis management office in Aruba announced that they are prepared for the Atlantic hurricane season (started June 1 ends November 30, 2018).

During the past weeks, the crisis management office organized different simulations on Aruba regarding hurricanes.

Different stakeholders participated in these events: government strategic departments, NGOs, and police, ambulance, red cross and military service.

Even though the meteorology experts predict that Aruba will not be in direct path (or danger) for this hurricane season, the crisis management office still has a plan in place, incase any foreseen circumstances take place.


Local Favorite Pier Restored

The famous blue pier in front of riu antillas got a renovation from top to bottom.

Locals refer to this place as – toren.

Even I have good memories diving off this pier 🙂

If you’re a long time visitor, you probably remember this pier (and have good memories of it also).

The pier is located on palm beach, between RIU Antillas and Divi Phoenix.

This beach is a must visit if you’re looking for an “unique local experience”.

Here’s two images showing before and after the renovation.

before the restoration.

pier in aruba

This is how it looks like now, beautiful!

Summer Beach Festival At Moomba Beach

If you’re going to be on the island (June 30, 2018), and you want to party, head over to Summer Beach Festival at Moomba Beach.

Imagine a beach party, with great music, drinks and lots of foam (expect to get wet and foamy).

There’s going to be several DJ’s, BBQ on the beach, beer bucket deals and great atmosphere.

The event is taking place June 30, 2018 from 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM.

Moomba beach is located between Marriott Aruba Surf Club & Holiday Inn resort.

Entrance is free.

Of course, I’m going to be there – let’s meet 🙂




Contribute To Vacations By Aruba

I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home – that’s why this newsletter is free and available to everyone!

Do you enjoy the information I share?

If you’d like to contribute to maintain the website 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!

[sdonations]2[/sdonations]

How To Get More News About Aruba

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.


Read More About Aruba

How To Discover The Southern Coast Of Aruba By Kayak

Top 15 Must Have Items To Bring To The Beach in Aruba

Where To Eat Local & Go Snorkel – 3 Days in Aruba Itinerary

21 Unusual & Unique Activities in Aruba




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!

Top News Headlines in Aruba

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

The Details About Dredging Project in Palm Beach

Last week I mentioned that the beach between playa linda beach resort and moomba beach will be restored (dredging project).

The intention is to clean up the beach from debris, dead seaweed, and plastic during dredging. In the end, we all will have a cleaner beach, and more reasons to visit Aruba!

Here’s a notice letter from the company in charge of the dredging process.

“Dredging Notice Dear,

Valued Guest,

Here on the One happy island of Aruba, we always strive to enhance our guests’ experiences and do so by continuously improving our environment in order to make sure visitors and locals can enjoy our pristine beaches for years to come.

Therefore, we would like to inform you that a beach replenishment and revitalization project will begin on Monday, June 11, 2018. This project is beneficial to our beaches and our environment, as it will ensure that our beaches remain a preferred choice of many travelers.

In the interest of public safety, the dredge area will be divided in sections, as shown in picture below, during the project. The sections will be temporarily closed to the public during dredging operations. Guests will still be able to enjoy our wonderful beaches since the project will be carried out only one section at a time. The purpose of this project is to give our guests the utmost beach experience by maintaining its clean condition.

We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time of progress.

Should you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us at +(297) 594.5684.

Yours sincerely,

Varadero Aruba”

Here’s a map of the beach area that will be restored.

section near playa linda

section nar holiday inn.

You may be wondering, will the palapas in this area be removed during the dredging?

All palapas will remain in place (unless mentioned by Varadero or other stakeholder).

The mobilization of the equipment started June 11, 2018 and the actual dredging will start on June 19, 2018 with fase A1 and to other sections.

Here’s the dredging schedule.

  • Start date (mobilization): 11 – 18 Jun 2018
  • Playa Linda section A1 – 19 Jun – 9 Jul
  • Playa Linda section A2 – 10 Jul – 30 Jul
  • Moomba section A3 – 31 Jul – 27 Aug
  • Holiday Inn section A4  – 28 Aug – 18 Sep
  • Holiday Inn section A5  – 19 Sep – 9 Oct
  • Holiday Inn section A6  – 10 Oct – 30 Oct
  • Project completion (demobilization): 1 nov – 8 nov 2018




New Pier For Fishermen at Cura Cabai (including a relaxing beach)

The government inaugurated a new beach called Cura Cabai.

It’s a beach located on the coast of Zeewijk (Savaneta) and it’s dedicated to fishermen in this area who use the pier daily. To dock the boats (and safety during bad weather).

The pier was extended, and will become a center to buy fish caught by local fishermen.

Other renovations include: lights for illumination at night, reconstruct beach, new palapas, palm trees, on sitekiosk (including shower & bathroom for beach users), and asphalted parking lot free.

The project took 2 years to construct and cost almost 1,5 million dollars.

Here’s a few pictures of the new beach at Cura Cabai. 

fishermen pier

cura cabai beach view

Overwater Bungalow Project at Isla Di Oro Stopped

The government decided to stop the over water bungalow project at isla di oro.

According to the minister of infrastructure, the project did not receive the permits to continue construction, taking into consideration the environmental impact it would have on this area (including flora & fauna).


Drilling For Gas Or Oil in Aruba

Drill ships are currently exploring beneath the waters surface for gas or oil.

The drilling will take place on the north west coast of the island.

According to the minister who started the project, it’s going to be favorable for Aruba if they do find gas or oil.

International experts evaluated the Aruban waters with seismic research, surveys and other processes since 2010. Now it’s time to find out if there’s gas or oil.

If they strike gas or oil, it will be favorable for the island.

Here’s a view of the locations that will be explored by drill ships.

The first area drilled on is Bon Bini (here’s a map below).

drilling map

Wind Farm Definitely Discontinued in Urirama

The proposed wind farm project at Urirama (close to Alto Vista Chapel) will definitely not be continued at this location.

According to the government, the project is not friendly to the nearby residence area.

The plan is to put additional wind turbines at Vader Piet (located in San Nicolas, where a wind farm is already constructed).

Investigations are taking place to find out how much wind turbines will be added exactly, depending on the amount of electricity needed to be generated.

The government is also looking into other forms of renewable and sustainable energy such as sun and water (generated by waves).

Open Sky Policy Between Aruba & Colombia

The minister of transport recently agreed to an open sky policy with the transport minister from Colombia (Bogota).

With the new open sky policy, their will be no more restrictions to fly to Colombia or vice versa.

This opens up possibilities for new aviation partners that fly to Aruba (from Colombia), families who want to travel to meet loved ones, those in search of medical care in the exterior and more tourism.


Future of Agriculture in Aruba

The minister of agriculture recently met with the local farmers association to discuss the future of growing produce for the island and not depend on import.  

The topics discussed between the two parties were:

  • the agreement between WEB and local farmers to subminster water at a lower price rate
  • Available areas to use for agriculture by local farmers.

According to the minister, there’s a possibility that experts at the university of Wageningen will be invited on the island to exchange knowledge on the latest growing technologies.

And also design and construct greenhouses especially for Aruba’s weather (controlled temperature), which is a key factor to successfully grow certain type of fruits and vegetables on the island.

The minister also expressed his vision to add agriculture to the school curriculum in the future.

App To Rate The Family Doctor Soon Complete

Last month the government announced an app that allow patients to rate the service given by family doctors.

The app is in the final stages of development and should be rolled out within a few short weeks.

Not only will you be able to rate the quality of medical service given by the family doctor, but also their assistants and receptionists.

You Can Now Buy Lotto Online

From now on it’s possible to buy your lotto tickets in Aruba from your smartphone, tablet or computer.

All the games provided by lotto Aruba Will be available on the web.

To start playing online, go to the lotto Aruba website and follow the sign up instructions (create an account).

Take note – to play online you have to recharge your account with credit, which is only available at the reseller kiosk around (it’s not possible to load credit with debit/credit cards).

The Best Activities in Aruba

Looking for things to do on the island? Here’s some of the best Aruba has to offer.

Guided Mangel Halto and Baby Beach Snorkeling Tour from Aruba – $35.00
from: Viator

De Palm Island Passport to Paradise, Aruba – $99.00
from: Viator

Aruba Sunset Catamaran Cruise – $57.00
from: Viator

Aruba Atlantis Submarine Expedition – $105.00
from: Viator

Aruba Sightseeing Tour by ATV – $80.00
from: Viator


New Bank Fees You Should Know About

The government introduced a new tax increase that will be in effect as of July 1, 2018 (from 3,5% to 6%).

Banks in Aruba were exonerated since 2007 from paying taxes on the services that generate income (bank fees).

However, with introduction of the new taxes, the exoneration will be removed and banks are going to start to pay their fair share of taxes.

The bankers association confirmed that they will not be introducing new fees that charge 6% on every transaction.

However, they will be increasing the already existing bank fees to 6% (this includes swipe fee, credit card fee, late fee, transaction fee, service fee, international transfer fee).

Soon Real Time (instant) Payment Between Banks in Aruba

As of January 2019 it will be possible to process payments between banks on Aruba, in real time (Instant).

This was announced by the Central Bank of Aruba, after signing a 5 year partnership contract with equensWorldline to provide the payment system.

equensWorldline is the pan-European leader in payments and transaction services.

Changing Hurricane Season Predictions

Experts are changing their prognostication for the Atlantic hurricane season, from a active one to average.

They expect 6 low category hurricanes (two low category), 13 tropical storms.

The 2018 hurricane season, started June 1, 2018 and will end on November 31, 2018.

Aruba is known for its trade winds and cooling breeze, but the wind has picked up a bit due to the upcoming hurricane season.

The meteorological department warns beachgoers for strong winds, currents and waves.

Island Tips Use these handy beach towel clips to keep your towel from flying away.

Gasoline Price Goes Up

Minister of finances announced an increase of price for gasoline and diesel.

As of June 13, 2018 the price for gasoline augmented with 6,4 Aruban cents, now 208,9 cents per liter. And diesel increased with 7,7 cents, now costs 179,8 Aruban cents per liter. These prices include taxes.

The price for crude oil is increasing worldwide, and it’s also affecting the fuel rate on the island (not a decision or influenced by the government).

Take note of the prices of gasoline and diesel when renting a car.

How To Rent a Car in Aruba.

TUI Now Flies From Belgium To Aruba

TUI now flies from Belgium to Aruba.

This service starts as of June 15, 2018.

The flights will depart from Brussels, with a stop in Santo Domingo, and direction Aruba and return to Belgium.

Aircraft that will be used for the flight is the dream liner B737-800.

Flights will be once a week.




New Airport Charge Regulations

The airport tax will increase as of July 1, 2018.

This was announced by Aruba Airport Authority, after they released plans for their new “gateway 2030” project to renovate the entire airport.

The taxes that will change are…

  • Passenger facility tax
  • Security Surcharge
  • General Usage Charge
  • Special Facility Charge
  • Transfer

The new airport taxes varies for different countries.

The taxes are separated for: US travelers (including transit), flights to Bonaire, Curacao / St. Maarten and passengers to all other destinations.

Here’s a view of the new rates and charges.

new airport charges 2018

Contribute To Vacations By Aruba

I know how much it means for you to stay up to date with what’s happening on your home away from home – that’s why this newsletter is free and available to everyone!

Do you enjoy the information I share?

If you’d like to contribute to maintain the website 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!

[sdonations]2[/sdonations]

How To Get More News About Aruba

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.


Read More About Aruba

How To Discover The Southern Coast Of Aruba By Kayak

Top 15 Must Have Items To Bring To The Beach in Aruba

Where To Eat Local & Go Snorkel – 3 Days in Aruba Itinerary

21 Unusual & Unique Activities in Aruba



Once a week, on Sundays I write about the latest news updates on Aruba in my weekly newsletter.

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 Updates on Aruba

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

New Renovation Project at John F Kennedy School

An official ceremony took place this week to start the renovation and expansion project of John F Kennedy building.

The John F Kennedy building was  Technical school back in the days. Which is now abandoned   for over 2 decades. It is a monumental building in Aruba and will  finally be revamped without changing the original structure.

The building is located next to the roundabout close to surfside beach (not far from the airport).

It will cost almost 9 million dollars to renovate the entire building and create an additional facility. In the end an estimated 6000 square meters of office space will be available.

The renovated building will become “John F Kennedy Education Center” and it will house all the departments of education.

The signing of the agreement to start with the project was done by the minister of education, Aruba Investment Bank and Bohama Aruba,which is the contractor.

New Project: Renovation & Expansion of Medical Institute in San Nicolas

A kick off event was held this week for the renovation and expansion project at the medical institute for ambulatory care in San Nicolas (ImSam).

The building will be expanded by 688 square meters of new construction and a total of 7571 square meters of existing space will be renovated.

The scope of the work includes, but is not limited to renovations for the…

  • oncology center
  • Ambulatory surgery center
  • Imaging and phlebotomy area
  • Eye center area
  • Lobby area
  • Emergency department and entrance
  • Biomedical and storage room

There’s also going to be new installations for…

  • Elevator and stairwell
  • Central Energy Plant and relocation of the dialysis pump room
  • Two new peritoneal dialysis rooms

The project is scheduled to be completed within 18 months from now.




Almost 50 New Motions Presented By Parliamentary

Representatives in the parliament presented over 50 new motions this week.

Here are a few of the motions presented this week:

  • Create new HAVO & VWO schools
  • Deal with illegal taxi drivers
  • Offer good conduct paper to those who came in contact with law
  • Investigate and reduce the cost of healthcare
  • Implement a moratorium on hotels and condominiums
  • Reducing the cost of water and electricity
  • Introduce free transport for people with low income and physical limitations
  • Remove import tax for sports equipment

One of the motions which got a lot of attention is the legalization of medical marijuana in Aruba.

This motion didn’t get enough votes, with a total 6 votes pro, and 14 votes against.

The use of medical marijuana is taking over the world and a lot of countries are legalizing it.

Although the motion didn’t get enough votes, it sparked a conversation within the community.

The prime minister of Aruba appointed a commission to research the best way to legalize medical marijuana, in case it becomes legal.

Update on Fast Ferry Service in Aruba

The minister of transportation gave an update on the fast ferry project between ABC islands this week.

According to the minister the project needs to be presented and reviewed by the members of the parliament. And the ministers from the ABC islands involved in the project need to sign a MOU in order to continue with the developments.

The fast ferry will connect Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao at a lower price point compared to flights and will contribute to the economic development of the island, especially in San Nicolas.

More information on the fast ferry service will be released by the minister of transportation in upcoming government press conferences.

Frontiers Between Venezuela & ABC Island Still Closed For Boats

The frontiers between ABC islands and Venezuela was reopened for aviation a few weeks ago after being closed for several months, but the frontiers remains closed for boats.

The ABC islands has to comply with an memorandum of understanding (MOU) made by Venezuela in order for the maritime frontiers to open again.

According to the minister of transport, the  MOU states that each boat leaving Venezuela destination ABC island has to ask for permit 48 hours before departing. And the ABC islands (in this case Aruba) has to approve the pre clearance.

Before the boat reaches its destination, it has to anchor at a specific location given by the Aruba Ports Authority in order to be controlled by the border patrol (IASA).

The prime minister of Aruba will announce when the MOU is official.


Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association Appoints A New CEO

Members of AHATA voted Tisa LaSorte as the new CEO and president.

Tisa will officially move in her new leadership role on June 18, 2018.

The previous CEO, Jim Hepple served AHATA and the tourism industry for almost a decade.

According to him, he’ll be teaching tourism  at the university of Aruba, preparing the newcomers in the hospitality  industry.

Sport Minister Wants to Broadcast Every Game From Xander Bogaerts

Aruba’s baseball star Xander Bogaerts missed 15 games since April 8, because of an ankle injury.However, he’s been activated from the disabled list, and should play anytime soon.According to the minister of sport, every baseball game played by Xander Bogaerts should be streamed on television in Aruba. The idea behind it being to encourage and inspire the youths who want to become a professional baseball player one day. And so the island can see its star player in action! Whether every game will be televised, depends on many different factors like the ability to obtain broadcasting licenses for each game.

Celebrating Jazz Appreciation Month in Aruba

There’s going to be two jazz concerts in connection with International Jazz Day.

UNESCO officially made April 30 as International Jazz Day to bring awareness to the art form which unites people from all over the world. This was done on November 2011.

This year is the 13th edition of JAM in Aruba.

This event is celebrated on the island with several workshops, expositions and concerts on April 29 – 30.

Special invite for the concerts is professor Ed Saindon from Berklee College of Music.

The first concert will be at Casibari Music Cafe (April 29) – lineup: new Collection cu Ed Saindon, NCCU Singers and Black Coffee.

On April 30th there’s a concert at Renaissance Marketplace. Line up on this night features Caribbean Combo with Delbert Bernabela & Eduardo Maya. Also the Aruba Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Carlos Bislip & Friends. And Ed Saindon and Lenora Helm.

Both concerts start at 7:00 PM



Make Personal Prayers & Intentions At Alto Vista Chapel

There’s going to be a holy rosary  ( Rosario Bibo) at alto vista chapel.

Rosario bibo is a tradition amongst locals, to gather at the only  (and oldest) chapel on the island’s north shore and pray together.

Participating in a rosario bibo is a truly unique experience with locals.

The rosario bibo is on April 30, 2018 and starts at 7:00 PM.

You’re invited to Alto Vista Chapel to join locals on this sacred event to send out personal prayers and intentions.

Watch Out For Man-o-War, The Jellyfish Lookalike

National Park Arikok sent out a warning for beach goers to watch out for man-o-wars.

The man-o-war looks like a jellyfish, but its not. It’s actually a collection of organisms called polyps. These polyps are attached to each other and resembles a purple parachute on the water’s surface.

Normally these animals are found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean, however due to the strong winds and currents, they are likely to drift towards the north coast shores.

Man-o-wars have tentacles that can give you a painful sting.

They have been signaled by park rangers and visitors near the beaches like Dos Playa and Boca Prins.

These beaches are usually frequented by water sporters (body boarders & kite surfers) and swimmers (even though swimming here is dangerous and at own risk).

No More Plastic Beach – Keep It Clean!

The humanitarian service club “Aruba One Happy Island Lions” recently held a beach clean up event.

They cleaned the bay close to bachelors beach in San Nicolas also known as plastic beach.

The bay was dubbed plastic beach because of the items that are thrown from nearby ships and drifts towards the coast due to the strong currents and winds.

Aruba one happy lions club started the initiative to clean up this side of the beach 2 to 3 times a year.

Now that the beach is clean again, it has to remain this way. The one happy lions advises everyone that uses our precious beaches to help keep it clean.


Hand-A-Thon Event By Magic FM

One of Aruba’s radio station (Magic FM) is celebrating its 20th year anniversary with a popular hand-a-thon event.

Participants can win a car, but they have to keep their hands on it. The one who removes their hand from the car is disqualified, the last person standing, wins it!

participants will be selected for a chance to win a new Chevrolet Aveo 2018.

The last hand-a-thon took almost 65 hours.

The event is scheduled to take place on August 30 – 31, 2018 and September 1 – 2 , 2018.

All Stores Closed on Labour Day

The department of commerce announced that all stores will be closed on labor day (May 1, 2018).

Only the establishments near the hotel area will remain open.

If you’re on the island take note that all inland stores will be closed. This includes all gasoline stations!

Want to rent a car in Aruba? Ask me for a free car rental quotation!

 




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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.

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Read More About Aruba

Top 15 Must Have Items To Bring To The Beach in Aruba

Where To Eat Local & Go Snorkel – 3 Days in Aruba Itinerary

21 Unusual & Unique Activities in Aruba




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. Please check out our disclosure policy and privacy policy for more details. Thank you for your support!

Once a week, on Sundays I publish the most relevant and interesting happenings on the island in my weekly Aruba news updates.

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!

Weekly Aruba News Updates

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

Caribbean Wave Tsunami Training

Aruba’s local department of crisis management and disaster relief participated in a tsunami test drill on March 15, 2018 as part of a Tsunami Warning Program by CaribeWave.

The tsunami alert wasn’t only simulated in Aruba, but  in the entire Caribbean area.

The main purpose of the training is to identify and mitigate the danger of a tsunami in Aruba. And also to improve the effectiveness of the Tsunami warning training system along the Aruban coast.

This provides an opportunity for families, organization, hotels, and schools to test their lines of communications and review their emergency response procedures.

A total of three different scenarios were simulated in the Caribbean region. Each country had to choose the one that fits their objectives the best.

The first scenario was a magnitude 8.6 earthquake in Barbados. The second scenario an 8.1 magnitude earthquake in Colombia. And the third scenario was a magnitude 7.6 earthquake in Puerto Rico.

Aruba exercised a fictitious 8.6 earthquake on the Richter scale on the coast of Barbados, which caused a fictional tsunami east of Barbados that will reach all the Caribbean islands and the coast of South America.

A total of 34 organizations agreed to participate in the test drill. They had to time how long it took them to evacuate the entire building and move as quick as possible to an agreed upon meeting point.

The simulation started on 10:00 AM.

Everyone received a sms on their phone saying “ TEST ALERT / DRILL SIMULACION: Alert for Aruba – Go to higher grounds / Alerta pa calamidad Aruba – Busca un tereno mas eleva of halto”

Aruba doesn’t have a central alarming system, so the department of crisis management and disaster relief used social media, TV, radio, and sms to warn the community.

Radio hosts informed drivers to flash their lights and honk their horns in order to warn people in traffic about the “tsunami”.

The department of crisis management and disaster relief will evaluate the preparedness response to a tsunami for all the companies who participated in the test drill and the rest of the community.

History of Tsunami in Aruba

Aruba never received an official tsunami warning. However, the island does get warnings for tsunamis in the Caribbean region, but the island was never affected by them.

According to the director of the department of crisis management and disaster relief, Aruba is geographically located outside of where tsunamis usually happen. But in the worse case scenario that Aruba gets affected by a tsunami in the Caribbean region, waves will be about 3 to 9 meters high, according to simulations by the local meteorology department.

In this scenario, the department of crisis management and disaster relief advises to go 2 kilometers or more away from the beach coasts and you should be in a safe zone.

They recommends locals and visitors to download the ALERT FM app.

It’s an app  used to send out emergency alerts in Aruba.

You can download the app on your phone, after installing the app enter code 99888 to receive alerts for Aruba.




National Flag & Anthem Day

The entire island celebrates national flag & anthem day on March 18, 2018.

Gilberto Croes, better known as “Betico Croes” was a political activist that obtained status aparte for Aruba as of January 1, 1986.

The Aruban flag and national anthem (named Aruba dushi Tera) was inaugurated on March 18, 1976.

Aruba Dushi Tera means “sweet island of Aruba” in English.

The Aruban Flag

The Aruban flag has 4 colors: yellow, blue, white and red.

Here a picture of the Aruban flag…

current events in Aruba

The Aruban flag!

The colors and symbols have a special meaning…

Blue represents the beautiful ocean that surrounds the island.

The four-pointed star represents a compass, and shows the 4 coasts which forms a natural barrier from the ocean.

The white border on the star symbolizes the white beach sand found in Aruba.

Red is the love that locals have on the island and also represents the Indians who lived on the island and lost their lives trying to protect it from intruders back then.

The yellow stripes represents the status aparte of Aruba.  

Two stripes are separated representing the islands independence in the Dutch Kingdom.

Yellow also represents the islands gold industry back then, flora and fauna like the native aloe plant, kibrahacha tree and wanglo.

Events Around the Island A strong sense of pride is displayed each year as locals wear there Aruba designed t-shirts to celebrate flag and anthem day around the island.  

There’s different events you can join, from cultural demonstrations at Plaza Betico Croes, featuring beautiful cultural shows by local groups that dance to traditional music such as waltz, tumba, mazurka, danza and folklore.

Then there’s different cultural events with local cuisines, snacks, and beverage. And numerous other activities throughout the island like sporting events and games, face painting, dino jump and garage sales.

Of course restaurants will have many special dishes and prices during this day.

Celebrate national flag and anthem day just like an Aruban if you’re on the island by visiting any of these events.



12 Hours in Aruba

Preparations are taking place for the mountain bike event called “12 Hours in Aruba”.

The event challenges riders to complete as many 4 kilometer laps as possible in a period of 12 hours.

This is the 4th edition of mountain bike event. It will take place on April 14, 2018 from 6:00 PM and will end on April 15, 2018 at 6:00 AM.

In 2015 a total of 100 mountain bikers participated in the event. This increased the following year to a total of 134 participants. In 2017 a total of 140 mountain bikers joined the event.

This year’s event is going to be big. There’s going to be lots of adventures and challenges for mountain bikers and  a great ambience for supporters.

There’s going to be live performances, radio, activities and lots of fun.

Local riders as well as international mountain bikers from

Curaçao, Venezuela, Colombia, Netherlands and USA will also participate in the event.

Do you want to join “12 hours in Aruba?

Register at FX Sport in Aruba for only $35.00 – price includes: sleeping accommodation when you’re tired, massage when you need it, food, drinks, coffee, fruit and one raffle ticket for a chance to win a brand new Cannondale bicycle.

Visit their facebook page for more information and prices.

They also offer rental mountain bikes.

Registration at FX sport started on March 1, 2018 until April 27, 2018.


What’s The Hold Up, CITGO

The rehabilitation of the refinery is still on hold, since the US government imposed sanctions on Maduro and Venezuela.

Representatives of CITGO (Venezuela) already discussed the current situation with the Aruban government. However a meeting with the vice president of the company is still necessary to confirm the holdup or find a way to continue the rehabilitation of the refinery.

Ss long as the US sanctions are still current, CITGO can’t supply any money for the rehabilitation of the refinery.

If they don’t complete the rehabilitation of the refinery as stated in the contract, the contract will go into default. And they would have to dismantle the refinery on own costs, which reportably can cost up to $35.000.000.

More info on the rehabilitation of the refinery will be released at a later date.

New Gasoline Price

Based on the “Platts US Marketscan”(Gulf Coast) the gas prices changed on the island again.

Gasoline costs 193.2 cent per liter (1,1 cent cheaper) and diesel now costs 165.0 cent per liter (3,3 cents cheaper).

All prices include taxes.

Are you renting a car in Aruba?

Note these prices for gasoline when budgeting for gas.

Don’t have a rental car yet?

Contact me for a car rental quotation.

Updates About Isla Oro & Bushiri

An over water bungalow style resort was scheduled  to open in 2018, however the project is currently on hold.

Different aspects like NGO’s and permits caused the project to stagnate for over a year.

The minister of tourism recently gave an update about the project.

According to the minister, the project is on hold due to a current space development plan by the government that prohibits construction where the resort wants to be located.

The intention is to construct over 50 over water bungalows on a site located along Aruba’s southwestern coast that includes an expansive mangrove forest and a large crystalline lagoon protected from the sea by a small barrier island and reef.

Unless the minister of infrastructure adapts the spatial development plan, which is easier said than done, the project cannot move forward.

Despite assurance by the owner that the environment will remain untouched by the contractors during construction, many NGOs and local groups are against the project.

Ex-Bushiri Hotel

The old bushiri hotel finally got dismantled.

Years ago the resort was the first hotel school on the island, however, it was closed and left to deteriorate.

Here’s how the bushiri area looks now…

bushiri beach Aruba

This is just beautiful, don’t you agree?

During a poll, people were asked what they would like to see happen with the new area.

Most people voted this area to remain like it is, and be further developed into a public beach, including facilities such as bathrooms for the public.

The necessity for a new hotel is not there, according to the community.

It’s not sure that the boutique hotel will be constructed where the bushiri used to be, however it seems that the boutique hotel is a integral part of the harbor area.


Soul Beach Music Festival 2018

This year is the 18th edition of Soul Beach Music Festival in Aruba (May 23 – 29, 2018)

SBMF is one of the islands biggest festivals and is held on consecutive days, featuring beach and pool parties in the morning, music performances or comedy at night. And of course after parties follow after midnight.

Artist that performed during previous SBMF  are Miguel, Jazmine Sullivan, Lauryn Hill, Common, R.Kelly, Toni Braxton and so many other superstars.

The promoters of SBMF announced a selection of the lineup for this year (Alicia Keys, Maxwell and Comedian Marlon Wayans). Other performing artist will be released at a later date.

Visit the facebook page of SBMF for more information, tickets and travel packages.




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!

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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. Thank you for your support!

Once a week, on Sundays I publish the most relevant and interesting happenings in my “Aruba weekly newspaper recap”.

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!

Aruba Weekly Newspaper Recap

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

Fast Ferry Service Between ABC Islands

The government announced a “fast ferry service” between the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao).

The fast ferry that will be implemented in Aruba is a transportation system that’s already being used successfully for over 20 years in the Canary island.

According to infrastructure minister, the harbor for the fast ferry will be constructed in San Nicolas.

The minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding with RDA (refinery di Aruba) to transpass an area within the refinery back to the government to build the harbor for the fast ferry.

The ferry can transport between 300 – 400 passengers including 80 cargo trucks and cars.

It will be a mayor boost for the economy of the island, but especially for the district of San Nicolas, since the rehabilitation of the refinery has been put on hold for a undefined period of time.

The ferry will depart from Aruba, and reach Curacao within 2 hours. It will then continue to Bonaire, return to Curacao and Aruba on the same day.

The project is a collaboration and understanding between ABC islands, and the Dutch Kingdom.

The ferry will benefit the islands in many ways, for example having a faster way of transportation for cargo between the Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao.

The project will take between 2-3 years to complete.




Lifting The Ban on Spearfishing

During a meeting with local fisherman, the minister of communication, Transport & Primary Sector for the island, announced that he is in the process of clarifying the recently introduced list of prohibited fish species and lift a ban on spearfishing

Last year the department of nature and environment introduced an updated version of the list of prohibited fish species, however according to local fisherman the list is not detailed and confusing.

The minister will revise and clarify the list of species that is prohibited to catch, and it will be reintroduced.

The reason spearfishing is banned on the island, is because those banned it were under the assumption that it’s harmful to corals. For example, if a fisherman misses a fish, the spear could puncture corals.

However, local fisherman say they spearfishing is practised in the deepest part of the ocean, where corals aren’t found.

The department of nature and the government reached an agreement on the following two points.

  • A change in the law for spearfishing will be introduced soon. However, only under strict conditions and with restricted locations.
  • The current list of protected fish species has to be clarified.

More information will be shared by the minister soon.

Alert For Big Waves in Aruba

The meteorological department sent out an official alert for high winds and strong currents, which is still in effect for the rest of this week.

Affected areas are the east coast, north coast, west coast, arashi, and beaches near the high rise and low rise hotel.

According to the department of meteorology, waves can be as big as 3 meters high on the north coast of the island (where it’s not allowed to swim).

The beach can also be rougher than usual at the other aforementioned bays.

Pay attention to strong currents and waves when swimming or snorkeling near Arashi,and beaches near the low rise and high rise area.


Too Much Sargassum!

The recent pick up in the wind towards the ABC islands led to a huge amount of seaweed called “Sargassum” floating to our shores in the north coast of the island.

Sargassum is a brown algae that makes up the floating seaweed mats known as the Sargasso Sea in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. These floating seaweed mats float in the open ocean, and provide a habitat for over 250 species of fish and invertebrates. And Seaweed acts as a first defense to capture incoming oil.

Near the shores at Alto Vista, the amount of seaweed reached 1,5 meters high.

The beaches near the low rise and high rise area are sargassum free!

Here’s a view of the wariruri bay on the north coast of the island…

aruba-weekly-newspaper-recap

Washed up seaweed near Wariruri.

Volunteers Needed!

Locals and visitors are gathering at the north coast of the island to gather the seaweed that washed up on shore. More volunteers are always welcome, no registration needed, just show up and help collect seaweed.

Roundabout Construction Near Superfood

A new roundabout is being constructed at the intersection from Superfood supermarket.

L.G Smith Boulevard, roadside to Tropicana Hotel will be closed. And L.G Smith Boulevard roadside to Superfood will remain open as a two way road.

The reconstruction of this highway and roundabout will take between 3 to 4 months.

Here’s the new and updated map…

aruba-weekly-newsletter-recap

A map with new roadblocks adjustments.

L.G Smith Boulevard direction Noord will be dedicated at the roundabout on Sasaki, near Eagle Bowling towards J.E Irausquin Boulevard. And towards Pos Abou, Caya Ritmo, and Caya Musica.

Traffic from Noord, intersection at McDonald at South Beach will be deviated at the first right turn near ex House of Cheng, towards J.E Irausquin Boulevard and Oranjestad.

Rent a car in Aruba now!

Art & Farmer’s Market

Cosecha together with Taste My Aruba will be organizing the first ever “Art and Farmers market” at night – under the stars.

This will be the first edition, and the event will be dedicated to Himno y Bandera, which is the national anthem and flag day.

During the farmers market, arts and crafts made by local artisans will be displayed and for sale.

Traditional dishes and drinks will also be available during the event like, oyster soup, balchi pisca, bacalao, fresh made fish, and cake for dessert.

Cosecha, which is an at gallery store will also be open, if you’re interested in buying more unique arts and crafts made by local artisans.

Find out more about Cosecha Art Gallery store here.

The event will take place on March 16, 2018 between 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM, at the  Cosecha building (address: zoutmanstraat 1).

Visit the Art & Farmers market if you want an authentic Aruban experience.



USA Today Ranks Aruba Top 3 Island in The World

USA Today named Aruba as the 3rd most liked island in the entire world, according to their readers.

Aruba ranks among the top three most liked islands, because it’s positioned outside of the hurricane belt. And also the beaches, various beachfront hotel options, activities on the island, including the National Park Arikok with all of its wonders like the natural pool.

Aruba makes the list after Bora Bora and Dominican Republic.

Nowadays travelers are looking for a destination they can reach to easily with flights, fast, easy and as cheap as possible.

And the “one happy island” offers all the above and more!

Total Block Between Venezuela and ABC Islands

The National Institution of Aeronautical Civil Venezuela implemented a total ban between the ABC islands and Venezuela again this week.

The president of venezuela already banned the commercial communication between  the ABC islands in January. However the initial ban had exceptions for travelers who were in transit between the islands, and those traveling with a Dutch Nationality.

Now the exceptions are also outlawed with the recent ban. Making a total block between the ABC islands and Venezuela.

Local authorities in Venezuela and news sources have confirmed the ban until further notice by the President.

Southwest  Airlines Now Departs From Fort Lauderdale

Aruba Airport Authority N.V. (AAA) welcomed the first passengers on the inauguration flight from Southwest  Airlines from Fort.Lauderdale.

It was just last year that Southwest announced that they will be changing their departure from Orlando to a new gateway in Fort Lauderdale.

According to the airline, the change will benefit travelers on a connection flight from New York, Boston and the north east.

As of March 8, 2018 Southwest will be operating daily out of Fort Lauderdale.


New Food & Beverage Outlets in Aruba’s Airport

Aruba’s airport now offers 3 new additional food and beverage outlets.

Travelers can visir Panda Express, Freshii, and Wineport while waiting for their flight to departure.

Panda Express is a fast casual restaurant chain which serves American Chinese cuisine like Kung Pao Chicken,  Orange Chicken, Chow Mein, Fried Rice and steamed vegetables.

Freshii is a Canadian fast casual restaurant franchise that serves burritos, wraps, soups, salads, and frozen yogurt.

Wineport is a unique wine and champagne bar designed specifically for those passengers that want to sit back, relax and enjoy the view of arriving and departing planes on the airport. They also offer premium cocktails,  and a wide selection of craft beers.

This project was a collaboration between the  Aruba Airport Authority N.V. (AAA) and the Airport Hospitality Industry N.V. (AHI).

aruba-weekly-newspaper-recap

New F&B selection, Panda Express, Freshii & Wineport.

The new 323.50 square meters food & beverage area was created to accommodate the growing demand for quality F&B options and extra seating areas for passengers visiting Aruba Airport.

The airport also has new and modern bathrooms, right next to the shops.

A total investment of about $1.100.000 dollars, According to the AAA.




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!

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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. Thank you for your support!

 

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 TripAdvisor.com

  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!




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