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Once a week (on Sundays) I do a recap of breaking news Aruba.

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

Breaking News Aruba

Staying up to date with what’s happening on the island means you need to read the local newspaper. But that’s hard to do if you don’t understand the local language – Papiamento!

The reason I started this Aruba news bulletin is to keep you up to date with what’s happening on the island, because I know how much it means to you to stay connected with your home away from home.

Where do I get the information for breaking news Aruba?

Well…

I watch the news nearly every day on tv, read local newspapers (online and some in print) and occasionally listen to a radio station locals call to discuss what’s happening on the island.

I pick the most relevant breaking news that you can relate to and translate it into English.

So let’s get started with this week’s recap of breaking news Aruba….



Zika Outbreak in Aruba

Reporting about zika in Aruba is something very delicate, because many visitors (including you) might get scared to visit Aruba, in fear of getting infected.

But I believe being honest about the situation is the best thing anyone can do, and that’s exactly what the report is about – the truth about the zika situation in Aruba.

Believe it or not, Aruba just came out of a zika outbreak about a month ago. The outbreak went under the radar and unnoticed to many locals and visitors.

In the month of February the department of public health received notifications from doctors, that a number of people walked in their office with zika like symptoms, which are high fever, joint pain and rashes. To be specific, there were a total of 1185 unconfirmed cases, but a total of 298 people were confirmed to have the zika virus, 12 people were diagnosed with chikungunya and 1 with dengue.

The confirmed cases (and unconfirmed ones) are from people who live in the district of San Nicolas, Savaneta, Pos Chiquito and Santa Cruz. About 65% of these cases are from inhabitants who are between 25 and 64 years old.

Out of these reported cases, 7 pregnant women have reported to have symptoms that point in the direction of Zika. However, only 2 of these women are confirmed to actually have the zika virus.

The babies of the pregnant women, have not yet developed any sign of being infected with zika. Until today there are no babies born with microcephaly (a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected) in Aruba.

The Current Zika Situation in April 2017

The zika outbreak was something that we went through in the month of February, because all the confirmed and unconfirmed cases were reported almost two months ago.

So why are we hearing about an outbreak until now?

The reason that a public notification about any kind “zika outbreak” hasn’t been given in the previous months, is because it takes about 4 weeks to get the results, to know if you’re dealing with an outbreak or not.

So the current results that have been obtained last week from a laboratory in the netherlands should be interpreted in retrospective, because they reflect the zika situation in the month of February.

Beneath the Epidemic Line

The department of public health is continually collecting reports of possible zika cases by doctors from patients who walk in and have the symptoms.

So, the good news is that the amount of reported cases in the month of March and April has decreased significantly. The total amount of registered cases to this date is well below the epidemic line.

Despite a decrease of reported zika cases, the department of public health is treating the current situation as if there’s still an outbreak, to prevent one from happening again and to eliminate the amount of mosquitoes in Aruba as soon as possible.

What’s being done to combat zika?

Since last year when it started to rain a lot, the department of public health, began to take action and fumigated around the island. They have been continually doing this throughout last year and in 2017.

Last month they swept Aruba by fumigating every corner of the island.

Aruba’s tourism board and hotels are aware of the situation and are also treating it as if there is still a zika outbreak at the moment. They have various awareness projects to inform visitors about mosquitoes and have an effective plan in place (by doing continuous check ups for mosquitoes and breeding grounds) that practically keeps the hotel area’s mosquito free.

Since the latest reports came out from the month of February, the department of health has been inspecting the houses were most of the zika cases were reported for any signs of mosquito breeding nests.

They are following a plan given to them by the pan-american health organization and world health organization to combat mosquitoes.

The department of health has been doing a good job combating mosquitoes since the month of February, because the amount of reported cases until now is very low.

Despite their successes, they have stepped up their plans and ways of combating mosquitoes in Aruba.

They noticed a progress compared to last year, because in 2016 it took about 8 weeks before the whole island could be swiped and fumigated. Now they are doing the same job in less than a month, because they invested in new equipment, insecticides and have more inspectors to control the island.

Prevention when in Aruba

When you travel to Aruba, you should take precautionary matters into your own hand to avoid being bitten by a mosquito. You can do this by…

  • sleeping under a mosquito net, (if you don’t have air condition in your room).

  • Always put on mosquito repellent

  • Wear clothes that cover your whole body during the day

  • And avoid any areas that can have possible mosquito breeding nests (sites  that have a lot of rainwater puddles).

So should you be worried about zika in Aruba?  

No…

You shouldn’t be worried about getting Zika in Aruba, but you should protect yourself against mosquito bites, just like you were at home (or any other place in the world).

Based on the current statistics, only one or two visitors were infected by zika, and this was about a year ago. Since then there was no reported cases including visitors.

Another reason why you shouldn’t worry about zika, is because the hotels are doing a very good job keeping the resorts mosquito free. To reassure you about this, the department of public health, did several tests around the hotel area for mosquitoes (and possible breeding grounds) and confirmed that the amount of mosquitoes in the hotel area is low and practically non existent compared to the “inside” of the island.

However, there are people who always get bitten by mosquitoes (maybe because their blood taste sweet to mosquitoes), and then there are people who confirm that they didn’t even notice a mosquito during their entire vacation in Aruba.

You also shouldn’t worry about zika in Aruba, because the department of health is required to report the islands zika situation to the world health organization and centers for disease control and prevention (CDC).

If there was any kind of danger, the CDC would publish this information. Until now, the CDC website hasn’t been updated with any kind of travel bans, since last year when there was an international travel warning to the Caribbean region.  

Despite of the “old zika outbreak”, the situation is normal and under control at the moment. The reported cases came from locals, and the department of public health is passing by each of these homes to inspect their yards for possible breeding nests.

So you shouldn’t be worried about zika in Aruba, however it’s the few locals who have breeding grounds in their yards that are a concern to the local authorities.

Aruba Keeps It Professional

Aruba is one of the few places that is still reporting about the zika situation. Other countries have decided not to let out any information about their zika situation. This include other islands in the Caribbean region, south america and central america.

The fact that Aruba is willing to publish their zika situation, knowing that it can potentially hurt tourism, means you can put your trust in the island’s department of public health, because it’s clear they have nothing to hide.

It’s better that I inform you about what the truth is in the local newspapers, instead that you come here and be surprised that no one told you about what has been going on.

Now you know what’s really going on and you can make an informed decision about travelling to Aruba and how you can protect yourself.




Arikok Newly Protected Nature Sites

Last week princess Beatrix was in Aruba, and she officially transferred two of the most beautiful areas of Aruba under protection of the island’s only national park – Arikok.

The two nature areas that are now protected by Arikok are Spaans lagoon and bubali plas.

Spaans lagoon, is an addition of almost 70 hectares for Arikok. This site also has double the amount of bird species that live inside the national park itself.

During a press conference, the president of Arikok, Greg Peterson, divulged that in the future in total of 16 nature areas will fall under the protection of the park. They have been trying to get these areas under their protection since 2010, but it was until 2013 that the members of the parliament unanimously voted for these 16 areas to be protected by Arikok.

Management of Arikok said they are working on a plan to maintain the nature areas under their responsibilities. The funds needed to maintain these areas are going to be subsided by the government.

At the moment Spaans lagoon is free to enter, however it’s not sure if they will start charging for entry like they do at Arikok. If they do start charging for entrance, the money that will be collected will be used to maintain the Spaans lagoon.

If they are going to charge for entry, they will need more park rangers, which means more locals can get a job. It’s a win – win situation for everyone, especially for the island’s flora and fauna.

breaking news Aruba

Princess Beatrix receiving a beautiful painting at bubali plas.

Restoration of Spaans lagoons mangroves

A part of the mangroves of Spaans lagoon has been destroyed due to the construction of a new bridge near pos chiquito.

To compensate for the loss of these mangroves, Arikok is digging a canal (150 meter long and 2.5 meter wide) on the north side of the lagoon close to Frenchman’s pass, connecting to the open sea. The canal is going to be created in such a way that it provides a favorable condition allowing for growth of new mangroves trees.

The management of Arikok also mentioned that they may host an event where locals and visitors can plant a mangrove tree, which will accelerate the growth process.

Wouldn’t you want to plant a mangrove tree, if you got the chance to? 

breaking news Aruba

Restoration of mangroves in Spaans lagoon.

Aruba Smart Community

The government wants the island to transition 100% to renewable energy by 2020.

To reach this goal, in 2014 they started a project to build a smart community of 20 homes. The project has been put on hold for a while since it started, but today, the first sustainable homes, are finally visible from a distance.

The community is located in the district of Santa Cruz on a hillside overlooking the ocean.

This smart community is going to be platform that offers companies a chance to test their sustainable innovations in a real-life environment. It also provides opportunities for local and international companies and research institutes to test specific sustainable innovations.

The current stakeholders linked to this project are: the Government of Aruba, FCCA, Utilities Aruba NV, WEB Aruba NV, NV ELMAR, SETAR NV and Caribbean Branch Office TNO.

breaking news Aruba

A view of the new smart community

More About The Sustainable Houses

The homes will be built in a sustainable way and will be provided with appliances directed towards low energy consumption. This means they will be testing out different types of insulation and use of sustainable, low-maintenance building materials.

Every house is going to be unique and will be monitored to provide information on the use of energy, water and other factors relevant for sustainability.

The knowledge gained from this project will be used in the building of future homes on the island to make Aruba 100% green.

When the project is complete, the government will start taking petitions from people who wish to own one of these homes.

Do you have a dream to live in Aruba? If so, I would look into this community, because it looks like a great investment.

“Rosario Bibo” At Alto Vista

With the upcoming Easter season, most people get ready to start enjoying the holiday. To start out the Easter season, Alto Vista Chapel is organizing a “Rosario Bibo” at the alto vista chapel (April 10, 2017 at 7:00 PM).

If you’re wondering what a rosario bibo means, it’s a rosary night, where everyone is invited to come and pray for the entire island. This includes prayers for families, our youths, the people who are sick, and for everyone who you know that could use a prayer or just to say thanks for your current blessings in life.

If you happen to be on the island, visit the alto vista chapel for the rosario bibo. This time around the chapel will be totally different, a must experience between the locals.

breaking news Aruba

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

Beach Policy is not Being Followed

On July 1, 2016, there was a new beach policy introduced, that would regulate Aruba’s number one attraction – the beach!

The beach policy includes regulation of water sports, reducing sprawl of parasols and more policies to maintain order on Aruba’s beaches.

A few days ago the minister of justice held a meeting with all stakeholders, because they were complaining that no is really following the rules set by the government.

The minister of justice said during a press conference, that they will be acting strongly against those who are not applying the new beach policy to their business on the beach. This includes chair rentals, water sports and other businesses on the beach.

They are going to examine who hasn’t been applying the new policy, and will revoke their license.

If you want to review the beach policy click here.

Suriname Airways Now Flies To Orlando

Suriname Airways has much reason to celebrate, because they did their first inauguration flight on April 3, 2017 to Sanford Orlando international airport.

According to the CEO of the airlines, they decided to open the gates to fly to Orlando, because many locals travel to Disney world (and many locals live in Orlando, especially students.).

The new flight to Orlando is also good for Aruba’s tourism, because that means people who live in area of Orlando, can also have a chance to visit the island, thus making an impact on the market in Orlando.

It’s also good news for you, if you want to fly through Orlando to Aruba, now you can try out Suriname airways service!

breaking news Aruba

CEO of Suriname airways, Robbi Lachmising (left) and CEO of Aruba’s Airport James Fazio (right)

Aruba’s Best Athletes in 2016

This week Aruba’s best athletes were honored for their achievements during the sporting year of 2016.

The event is held every year (for 14 consecutive years already), by Aruba’s local lottery company (Lotto Aruba). The event is organized to show gratitude, and gives motivation to Aruba’s local athletes to do even better.

Different sport federations on the island nominated their best athletes and only two of them were selected as Aruba’s best.

The first sporter, Renze Postma (a triathlon athlete), won Aruba’s local athlete award. This is the third time she’s winning the local athlete award in a row.

breaking news Aruba

Aruba’s best local sporter, Renze Postma (right)

And the absolute winner of 2016, claiming Aruba’s best international athlete is Aksel Samardzic (beat tennis player), who is representing the island internationally.

breaking news Aruba

Aruba’s best international athlete, Aksel Samardzic (right)

Much luck to these two winners in their careers – I hope they keep breaking records, and make Aruba famous in the sporting world.

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Every Sunday I post a weekly recap of news out of Aruba – for free!

Because I know how much it means to you to be able to stay connected with your favorite place in the world…

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If you want to support me by buying me a few beers to stay creative, (because nothing great was invented by drinking water) or want to help with the website costs, please make a donation of your choice.

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Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

Did you enjoy reading this week’s news out of Aruba recap?

If so sign up for my newsletter to get future news out of Aruba updates straight to your email.

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Once a week on Sundays I do a recap of the most breaking news about Aruba.

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




Breaking News about Aruba

The reason I started this news bulletin about Aruba is to keep you up to date with what’s happening on the island, because I know how much being connected with your home away from home means to you.

Where do I get the information for breaking news about Aruba?

The information for my weekly newsletter comes from watching the news, reading the local newspapers (online and some in print) and from locals that discuss what’s happening in Aruba on the radio during the day.

At the end of the week I pick the most relevant news out of Aruba that you can relate to.

This weeks breaking news about Aruba is full of items that are the “talk of the town” at the moment.

The biggest breaking news about Aruba this week was a shocker, I couldn’t believe it myself when I heard that the….

Minister Of Labor Is Being Accused of Corruption

This week the minister of labor & employment, Paul Croes, (including several of his other colleagues) received a surprise visit from the police at home. The police raided their homes, taking papers, computers and more with them.

At the same time, the public prosecution service was giving a public announcement, declaring the minister of labor as a prime suspect in a corruption case.  The public prosecution service mentioned during the press conference that he is being accused of accepting (and asking money) for (work) permits.

As the news came out, it spread like wildfire, becoming the talk of the town!

Paul Croes had to speak his side of the story and he did, with a concise speech confirming the public that he is indeed a prime suspect in “this investigation”. But he didn’t mention or confirm for what he was being accused of….

It was clear to him that the situation was a serious one, and asked the prime minister, Mike Eman, for a “time out” from his ministry until the end of the investigation. The prime minister granted him a break from his ministry and transferred all of his duties to his colleague, the minister of finance, Angel Bermudez.

What are other members of the parliament saying?

Members of the political party Movimiento Electoral di Pueblo (MEP) demand a public reunion to discuss the matters at hand. They find that the minister of labor shouldn’t be given a temporary leave from his ministry, but that he should to retire from his position as minister immediately.

What can there be done to prevent this from happening again?

Aruba’s parliament needs a “good governance” policy.

Everything a politician does needs to be transparent and accessible to anyone who wants to know. At the end of the day someone needs to be held accountable for what happens.

What do you think they should do to prevent this from every happening?

breaking news about Aruba

Minister Paul Croes (left) & Minister Mike Eman (right)

New Protected Areas in Aruba

It’s official, spaans lagoon and bubali plas are protected by Aruba’s one and only national park – Arikok. The parks protected areas expanded more with the addition of these two beautiful sites. Arikok has protection of a total of 16 area’s on the island.

The inauguration of spaans lagoon took place at the balashi gold mill ruins with the presence of princess Beatrix and the prime minister of Aruba, Mike Eman.

During a press conference, the chairman of Arikok mentioned that they are going to start with the maintenance of the area, beginning with the removal of silt near the lagoon.

If you’ve never been to spaans lagoon, or any other sites in arikok, you should plan a visit. Seeing the “other part of the island” is a thing you can’t miss out on….

The inauguration at balashi gold mill ruins.

How much do you love Aruba?

Aruba Hotel And Tourism Association recently recognized and expressed much gratitude to one of the island’s most loyal return visitor, Larry Darick, for voluntarily helping to keep Aruba’s beaches clean and beautiful during his vacation.

He’s been coming to Aruba for over 20 years and stays for about 3 to 4 weeks at a time.

Larry told AHATA during an interview that he survived a big accident and since then he got the feeling that he should start giving back, and he’s doing it by cleaning up the beach.

In the morning Larry wakes up and takes a walk on the beach while cleaning it up.

On his daily walks he removes plastic bags, bottles and glass from the beach. Sometimes he finds unusual trash that washes up on the shorelines, like a coca cola bottle that was produced in south Africa. According to Larry the majority of trash at the shorelines comes from ships and other neighboring islands. So the coasts need to be maintained on a regular basis.

breaking news about Aruba

All of this is on the beach.

Larry also mentioned during is interview that the island has progressed a lot since the first time he stepped foot in Aruba, which is years ago. He’s noticing less trash on the beach, making them more beautiful.

Everyone who comes to Aruba, falls in love with the island (including you)…

So the question is, how much do you love Aruba?

I hope as much (or more) than Larry, who is a great example for both locals and visitors.

breaking news about Aruba

Larry is a real hero in Aruba.

Sea Turtles in Aruba

A few days ago the first turtle nest was spotted on the beach in front of Amsterdam Manor.

The local organization, committed to helping sea turtles in Aruba, took notice of this and immediately closed the turtle nest with barricades.

There are different types of turtles in the world, but the one that visits Aruba to lay eggs is the leather back sea turtle. And it happens to be the largest turtle in the world.

In Aruba we call them Driekiel. These driekiels are known to lay several nests during one season in Aruba. We’ve seen this happen in the past already, because last year only 2 turtles came to Aruba, but both of them created a total of 20 nests – wow!

The turtles usually can be seen at night on eagle beach, but recently they have been spotted at different beaches on the island including arashi, andicuri and boca grandi.

If you think you have been revisiting the island for a long time, think again, because these leather back turtles have been revisiting the island for many more years and are also distinguished repeat guests!

breaking news about Aruba

The famous driekiel.

Is The Bushiri Hotel Coming Down, or Not?

Since the area around the bushiri has been cleaned, many people want to know when the abandoned building will be brought down….

So the director of Aruba’s infrastructure company, Marlon Croes, elaborated on the status of the abandoned bushiri hotel during a recent interview.

He said that they are practically done with cleaning up the place, but are waiting for the paperwork to be reviewed and signed, so the government can give them a start sign to begin bringing down the abandoned hotel.

According to him, removing the old building is a longer process than many people expect. But that it shouldn’t take any longer that they get the green light.

The plan is to create a recreational park for locals and visitors including a public beach.

breaking news about Aruba

The area near bushiri hotel.

Paarden Baai Plaza Almost Done

Aruba is going to get a new place soon in the downtown area. A small shopping center called paarden baai plaza, near the cruise port. It’s not going to be filled with high end fashion stores, instead it’s going to be a new zone for kiosk that sell souvenirs, local art and I love Aruba shirts.

What’s the idea behind paarden baai plaza?

At the moment there are three flea markets in the downtown area. The first one, in front of the royal plaza mall. The second one is further down the road, right next to the gas station on LG Smith boulevard. And the third flea market is right next to the central bus station.

But the last flea market next to the bus station is kind of an eyesore to the downtown area, because the kiosk are made out of wood, and are starting to deteriorate.

breaking news about Aruba

The current situation near the bus station.

The kiosk owners next to the bus station are going to move into these new cute little colorful shops. And the old wooden kiosk will be finally removed making the site beautiful again.

Paarden baai plaza will be finished in about less than a two months.

If you’re coming to Aruba in the following months, remember to visit the downtown area, to see the new paarden baai plaza.

breaking news about Aruba

New kiosk on paarden baai plaza.

Hilton Resort with New Juice Bar

If you love the idea of a healthy lifestyle, even when you’re on vacation, you should look up Laguna restaurant, and think about going there for breakfast. Because they have a new juice bar. It’s not just any type of juice bar, but a vegetarian and gluten free juice bar.

The resort has been getting good reviews since the introduction.

Some of their most popular smoothies are superfood (made with oranges, pineapple, spinach, celery, cucumber and aloe) and morning boost (made with spinach, blueberry, pineapple, banana and oranges).

They serve smoothies during their breakfast hours, which is from 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM.

breaking news about Aruba

The ladies that will make your healthy smoothies.

Is ESTA really good for Aruba?

Before you know it, you’re going to have to fill in an electronic system for travel authorisation (ESTA) form before you decide to come to Aruba (visitors from the Netherlands don’t have to fill in the form).

However, many people are starting to doubt if the ESTA is going to affect the amount of visitors who decide to travel to Aruba.

But Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA) thinks different about the situation….

They says that they don’t expect it to have a negative impact on tourism, but that it will be a step forward in the right direction to controlling the island’s borders and keeping out undesired visitors.

At the moment they are working together with the department of immigration to digitalize all the required information that you need to submit online before you can visit Aruba.

The situation around ESTA is developing really quick, expect it to be introduced at the end of 2018 (or first quarter of 2019).

As soon as ATA releases more information about the new system, I will let you know in my newsletter.

Do we need a new hotel in Aruba?

There are many bungalow eco-resorts in the Caribbean (for example jamaica and mexico).

The developers of these eco friendly resorts want to build one in Aruba, near the mangroves at isla di oro in pos chiquito.

The project is still in a deadlock, because they haven’t received any permits yet from the government to start construction.

One thing is for sure, the majority of locals and organizations, such as Aruba Bird Life Conservation is against the new eco-resort. But then again you have other non governmental organizations that support this new resort.

The company didn’t receive any permits to build yet, because the government needs an environmental impact assessment of the mangrove area, before they can give out a permit.

But they recently completed the assessment and they have reported back to the government.

The study has been done by an international organization and results of the assessment, a nearly 300 page long document, shows that the mangroves are dying and the corals are in danger.

According to the owner of the company something needs to be done urgently to protect the mangrove area in pos chiquito!

They made it clear that they have the money, support of local non-governmental organizations and experience to start building and maintaining the endangered area.

However, the government hasn’t made any public announcements yet whether they will approve or deny their request to construct the eco-resort.

What are your thoughts?

Do you, as a frequent visitor to the island, think that another hotel is necessary?




Dogs in Aruba

Many locals in Aruba love animals and the majority of them have dogs as pets.

Unfortunately a lot of these animals are being abused and neglected. All of these pups end up homeless and sick.

To help solve the current situation, there’s a new initiative by united dog foundation Aruba to sterilize a total of 400 street dogs. This isn’t the first time they are doing this, because about two years ago the united dog foundation Aruba sterilized about 4000 cats and dogs on the island.

They are repeating their efforts again, but this time with a focus on street dogs in the area of San Nicolas.

They will start (in the beginning of May) with this project by picking stray dogs from the streets of San Nicolas, sterilize them, take care of them until they are good to go.

If you’re an animal lover and have a place at home for a pet, pass by one of the local animal shelters, and adopt one of these pups.

Starbucks Fun Walk

Starbucks Aruba is celebrating their Global month of services, dedicating a fun walk supporting and giving back to the community. They have been doing this event for years and this time they are raising funds for a foundation called “Cu Amor Pa Aruba” (Love For Aruba).

The fun walk is going to take place on April 8, 2017 (8.00 AM, registration starts at 7.30 AM) . The starting point will be at the Renaissance marketplace, right next to cafe de plaza. It’s going to be a 6 km route.

If you’re on the island and want to join the walk for a good cause you can register at starbucks (at renaissance market place, paseo herencia) for only 6 dollars. Your inscription gives you a cup of coffee, a recyclable shopping bag and water during your run.

Police Catch 5 Thieves

The public aid office in savaneta was unfortunately robbed a couple of days ago. The anti socials entered the building, attacked the security guard and took about $20.000 from the money transport workers.

It must have been a planned attack. But the police were smarter and reacted fst on these robbers and caught 5 of them in a matter of no time!

Most of them have already been in contact with the law and are no strangers to the police. Two of them are island natives.

After the couple of robberies in the last couple of weeks, the police are surely more proactive with this bust. They surely did a great job, two thumb up!

breaking news about Aruba

One of the robbers.

Support Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

Every Sunday I post a weekly recap of breaking news in Aruba, because I know how much it means to you to be able to stay connected with your favorite place in the world, and I do it for free!

I invest a lot of my time into creating this newsletters and having a blog means that I have to pay monthly website maintenance fees to keep the newsletter working.

If you want to support me by buying me a beer to stay creative (nothing great was created by drinking water) or want to help with the website maintenance costs, please make a donation of your choice.

It’s not necessary, but if you feel like it, please do so.

You can use the PayPal donation button below to make a donation of your choice.

The more you slide it to the right, the more money you add and the more happy I get!

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Vacations By Aruba Newlsetter

Did you enjoy reading this week’s news out of Aruba recap?

If so sign up for my newsletter to get future news out of Aruba updates straight to your email.

Join my newsletter today and receive my “Aruba on a Budget” e-book as a personal gift from me right in your inbox.

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!




Crime in Aruba

Many people say Aruba belongs to the most safest islands in the Caribbean.

However, with the recent uptick in crime one might think different about safety in Aruba…

What happened that you should doubt if Aruba is safe or not?

Last week a few unfortunate robberies targeted at visitors took place!

On March 18, 2017 two visitors were held up in the bushes close to super food (a local supermarket close to La Cabana & Tropicana Resort). They were held up at gunpoint and got all of their belongings taken away from them. According to the victims the suspect was a Spanish speaking man.

A couple of days later two robberies took place on the same day. The first attack was on a dutch couple near RIU hotel and few moments later another couple was attacked by supposedly the same thief near the Tamarijn resort.

breaking news in Aruba

Visitors who were robbed near super food.

The management of Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association (AHATA) is disheartened by the recent robberies that have been happening and wants the government (including the police) to take action immediately!

According to the board of tourism, the government needs to execute a plan as soon as possible before the situation really gets out of control.

It’s a fact that the majority of these crimes are committed by visitors from Venezuela and Colombia.

Because of the devastating situation in their countries right now, they enter the island and commit small crimes to send money for their families back home.

What is being done to stop these crimes?

AHATA wants the police to patrol the hotel area’s more often. Safeguard and strengthen our frontiers so that illegals are stopped from entering the island. And also to deport everyone who is undocumented back to their native country.

Right now many hotels are investing into more security, cameras, but catching the bad people and keeping them off the street is still an issue at the moment.

In my opinion, the police needs to be more proactive and the government needs to start patrolling Aruba’s coasts for illegals trying to get into Aruba by boat bringing in guns and drugs.

Should you be worried about being robbed in Aruba?

No, you shouldn’t, because to be forewarned is to be forearmed!

Don’t let a few anti socials ruin your vacation.

However, I would be very careful, use your common sense and be aware of your surroundings. If you’re going to super food, avoid walking through the bushes alone or at night from now on. As a matter of fact you should avoid any situation or place where you can easily be a target to any type of crime.

Aruba is still safe compared to other islands in the Caribbean, but the recent crimes are very unusual to the island and has many visitors freaking out that paradise isn’t the same any more.

Tourism is Aruba’s number one pillar in the economy, so I expect the government to fight back hard against these anti socials to bring back peace in paradise!



Aruba Headlines The Panama Papers

Aruba’s name is usually in the papers for the top beaches in the world, but this time it has been headlining international news in the panama papers for a big scandal committed by an ex employee of the island’s native phone provider.

A couple of days ago the panama papers released a breaking news in Aruba that became the talk of the town.

An ex-employee of Setar has committed a fraud worth nearly 10 million dollars for nearly a decade long that has gone unnoticed by anyone – until now.

The story in short, an ex-employee named, Egbert Koolman, was in charge of buying phones from different providers abroad and selling them to setar, which in turn sold them to their customers. But where everything gets messy is that Egbert was buying refurbished phones from abroad (that contained malware and issues) for a bargain and selling them to setar as new phones.

How Could This Happen?

The director of setar had no idea of this fraud until now, and said that the most experienced controller couldn’t spot this fraud.

Setar customers are confused and stunned. Most of all they feel cheated out of their money.

What are they going to do now?

The problem is that, Egbert doesn’t live any more in Aruba. Since he was fired last year for another incident, he left the island and resides in Miami. So…Setar can’t pursue him in Aruba due to jurisdictional issues.

They have to take a different route, so at the moment they’re investigating who all is involved in this fraudulent case and sue them in a federal court in Miami.

The government is backing up setar and is supporting them as their lawyer is doing everything they can to clean their name and lock up those who are responsible.




Mio Might Lose There License

There are three network providers in Aruba, and one of them which is Mio, might lose their license according to the government.

Mio is popular among visitors (and locals), because they offer wireless WiFi devices.

Why they could lose their license?

It’s not a secret that the company has an ongoing dispute against the government for telecom fees that they still need to pay.

Mio hasn’t been paying its fair share for their telecom license fee to the government like the other two companies.

The minister of telecommunication said during a press conference that the mio is running about 2 years behind of their payments, which adds up to about 8 millions dollars.

Deadline For Payments

Mio has been given different ultimatums to pay their debts, but the government didn’t announce a specific deadline for this new ultimatum during the press conference. However, they did say that they will be start the process to revoke mio’s license, so before you know it they may be soon gone.

If you always use MiO for WiFi when you’re in Aruba, you probably have to look for another alternative to rent a wireless WiFi device.

Related Article – How To Spend One Day in Aruba With 7 Different Adventure Activities. 

All About Insel Air

Many visitors decide to come to Aruba and then travel to Bonaire or Curacao for a few days to check out our neighboring islands.  They mainly use insel air for these flights. But recently a lot of employees were fired from insel air and those who are still with the company, are still waiting for a paycheck for about 2 months now. 

But what’s going exactly with insel air?

The airline is basically almost bankrupt, because they haven’t been generating income for a long time. They have been having a lot of internal problems, their air crafts are grounded at the moment, because they’re old and not safe for any flights.

The company is divided into two parts, one in Aruba and the other located Curacao. Both of them are in a huge impasse, but the company in Aruba has more issues than the one in Curacao.

As if things aren’t going bad enough, the airline got another setback to deal with when the international air transport association (IATA) publicly announced to all travel agencies that no airlines tickets from insel air Aruba or Curacao should be sold. And if they are still sold it would be on the travel agents own risk!

Insel Air in Aruba is practically paralyzed, there are no flights going out or coming in. The employees haven’t received a single payment yet. And the government doesn’t want to help them, because they don’t support privately owned airlines anymore after the bad experience they had with Air Aruba.

It’s not clear how, when (or even if) the employees from insel air Aruba will get paid. The company is protected against bankruptcy until the mid this year, so we just have to wait and see how this plays out for them.




Unrest About Frenchman’s Pass

Aruba’s infrastructure is under construction, but locals are mad that the government and other organizations in charge of the developments are damaging the island’s nature.  

What drove the locals mad?

The current highway from the airport to San Nicolas is being renovated, so a couple of routes on this highway are blocked, leaving drivers to find another way to reach the other side of the island.

Due to the blocked roads many trucks and buses are now forced to pass through the popular Frenchman’s pass (located near the balashi gold mines in St.Cruz). The Frenchman’s pass is popular for it’s high towering native kwihi trees that hug each other from side to side.

However, some truck (and bus) drivers have been complaining that the trees are damaging the bus and asked if they could be trimmed a little bit. But workers from the local infrastructure company made a huge mistake by removing almost all of the kwihi trees.

The local community is in disgust with the way the government and local development companies are treating nature in Aruba.

In reaction to the community, the director of the local development company held a press conference and said that they acted wrong in this situation and are very sorry and disappointed about what happened.

They promised that this wasn’t their intention, and will be more careful when working around protected areas as such as Frenchman’s pass from now on.

breaking news in Aruba

Before and after of Frenchman’s pass.

No More Traffic Light at Balashi

If you ever rented a car in Aruba, you must have driven at the stop lights from balashi, right where the beer refinery is. However, those days are long gone, because they have removed these traffic lights.  

The traffic lights were removed because of the highway developments in this area.

Instead of traffic lights there is going to be a big roundabout, and it’s currently being created right now.

breaking news in Aruba

Old traffic lights near balashi highway

So if you’re planning to drive in Aruba in the coming weeks and plan to go to the other side of the island, remember that this road doesn’t have a stop light.

Pay attention on this big highway, because everyone is used to a stop light and since it’s gone, everyone has to rely on giving each other preference.

If you’re looking to rent a car for your upcoming vacation click here.

The Current Zika Situation In Aruba

Since the first case of zika was reported a year ago and made breaking news in Aruba, the island has been added to the list of countries with a zika travel ban.

Despite the travel bans, people are still visiting Aruba!

How is the situation now?

In the last couple of months a lot of people have been going to the doctor because of a strange rash. The department of public health reported over a hundred of these similar cases, but after laboratory results they are not sure if the rash is related to zika.

The department of public health ensures residents that in spite of the recent rash cases there is no reason to worry, because there isn’t any type of zika epidemic in Aruba.  

What’s being done to prevent mosquitoes in Aruba?

The government together with local organizations in charge of mosquito prevention are doing all they can to remove all existing breeding grounds they can find. They started by fumigating the area of San Nicolas, where most of the rash cases were reported. And then step by step they will make their way down the entire island.

breaking news in Aruba

Fumigating around Aruba.

But according to them, the local residents also have to give a helping hand by eliminating objects in their yard that can cause mosquito breeding grounds.

The administrative manager from AHATA, Vanessa Rasmussen, mentioned during a recent zika press conference, that Aruba’s hotel are well protected against mosquitoes. They are regularly monitoring the area around the hotel and are removing any possible breeding grounds.

According to her, there is no need for visitors to worry about mosquitoes in the hotel.

Mosquitoes are everywhere around the world, and being bitten by one that carries the zika virus can happen to anyone. The only thing you can do is protect yourself by spraying repellents and wear clothes that cover your entire body if possible.

If you’re pregnant (or trying to), consider if you should travel to Aruba or not. The situation is not alarming, so if you really want that beach getaway, take the risk!

Related Article – Why You Should Travel To Aruba Despite Zika Warnings

Sea Turtle Season in Aruba

It’s that time of the year again, turtles come to Aruba especially on eagle beach and palm beach to lay their eggs in the soft white sand.

Did you know that sea turtles complete an important cycle in their life by always returning to the beach they were born to lay their own eggs?

If you love Aruba, you probably love everything about it, that includes the sea turtles

The organizations committed to protecting sea turtles in Aruba, like Tortuga Aruba and Tortuga Hotline will be closing the turtle nests with barricades.

They also spread awareness to locals and visitors to respect these turtles, by not shining any light (flashlights, camera flash) as the turtles come out of the beach at night. Because some turtles can be timid and they can return to sea without laying their eggs, which would be very sad to see happen. They also ask not to step over the barricades and walk on the turtle nest, because the pressure can easily crack the eggs.


Aruba Marine Life Lecture Series

It’s no secret that Aruba is a wonderful place to snorkel and dive, because the island has some of the most amazing wreck sites, corals and marine life in the Caribbean region.

However, very few people understand Aruba’s marine life, what needs to be done to preserve it and how to protect it.

That’s why Aruba Reef Care Foundation is organizing an informational course on Aruba’s marine life.

The course is going to be scheduled on 3 different days.

The first lecture is about lion fish invasion and management held on March 29, 2017.

If you don’t know it yet, the population of lion fish in Aruba has been increasing at a rapid rate. You might think that’s a good thing, but the lion fish is unwanted by local fishermen and organizations such as Aruba marine life.

The problem is that lion fish are invasive and they kill other fishes that are important to the balance of our reefs, corals and ecosystem.

The second lecture will be on April 12, 2017 and will be about the sea turtles of Aruba. Tortuga Aruba will be giving a general overview of the different type of turtles that visit our island, their life cycles, migration patterns, why they are in danger and how we can protect them together.

The last lecture will be held on April 26, 2017 and experts will be talking about sharks and rays on Aruba. They will explain what types of sharks and rays frequent our coasts, their habitat and their roles in Aruba’s marine life.

These lectures will be held in Aruba’s local library, biblioteca nacional, located in the downtown area. All three lectures will take place on 7.00 PM – 8.00 PM each night.

If you’re going to be in Aruba during these lectures and you are fascinated with Aruba’s underwater life, add this event to your to do list. If you have kids, this is a great event for them.

Ask your hotel concierge for tickets and directions.

Wine and Tapas Event

The young professionals of Aruba’s Kiwanis club are organizing a wine tasting and tapas event for a good cause. All proceeds of this event will be used to help Aruba’s children at the local orthopedic center.

It’s going to be on April 6, 2017 at the Azia Restaurant & Lounge (7.00 PM -10.00 PM). They will be serving 3 types of wine and have 6 different types of tapas. If you’re in Aruba in April and like to wine, dine and mingle with locals, you should add this event on your to do list!

It’s going to be a different experience, a local one, and for a great cause!

Click here to read previous breaking news in Aruba newsletters.




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If you’re looking for news out of Aruba – you’ve found it!

Once a week (on Sundays) I do a recap of the most recent news out of Aruba.

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

News Out of Aruba Information

Staying up to date with happenings on the island means you need to read the local news. But that’s hard to do if you don’t understand the local language – Papiamento.

Having a way of getting news out of Aruba in English is essential if you want to stay connected with what’s happening with your home away from home.

So where do I come up with the information for news out of Aruba and how true are my observations about paradise?

Well…

I watch the news nearly every day on tv, read local newspapers (online and some in print) and occasionally listen to a radio station locals call to discuss what’s happening in Aruba.

During the end of the week, I do some writing for my newsletters…

I pick the most relevant news out of Aruba that you can relate to and translate it into English, so you can stay up to date about what’s happening on the island.

Today’s (March 19, 2017) recap for news out of Aruba is dedicated to Aruba’s flag day!

Because yesterday the entire island celebrated flag day…

Dia Di Himno Y Bandera

Yesterday (March 18, 2017) Aruba celebrated its flag and national anthem.

Locals dress in their favorite Aruba t-shirt displaying their sense of pride for this day!

The official national holiday is celebrated with different events around the island (including cultural song festival, local games, museums, sport events or just spending the day with the family at the beach).

And of course, what can’t be missed is – local food and drinks. From sopi oester (oyster soup) and pastechi to keshi yena and carni stoba (goat stew) – just delicious!

More About The Flag & Anthem

In 1972 a well known politician (Betico Croes) proposed that Aruba should have status aparte (special status – to be a separate autonomous island within the dutch kingdom).

Then came a referendum by political parties, that left the locals to choose whether they wanted to join a federation or be a independent autonomous within the dutch kingdom.

The majority of local people who were allowed to vote at that time decided for independence. A total of 2.147 people signed the status aparte document that was sent to the dutch government.

But in 1976 the dutch government refused to negotiate (and to give) Aruba a separate position within the dutch kingdom.

On March 18, 1976 that Betico Croes declared Aruba’s independence with the inauguration of the Aruban flag and our national anthem – “Aruba Dushi Tera”.

Ultimately on January 1, 1986 Aruba was granted status aparte!

Aruba’s national anthem (Aruba Dushi Tera) was composed by three well known men in Aruba (Padu del Caribe, Hubert Booi and Rufo Wever). Only Padu is still here with us, the other two already passed away – unfortunately.

What’s interesting to know is that Padu del Caribe was one of the 2.147 people that signed for Aruba’s independence!

Honoring Our Arubans

On March 17, 2017 the government organized a special candle ceremony for all the 2.147 people that signed for Aruba’s independence at the “status aparte” monument in the downtown area.

Friends and families of those who signed were invited to light a candle of each of these men and women (in total of 2.147 candles).

news out of Aruba

Family members lighting a candle.

Inauguration of Plaza Padu

The government made a special monument for the three men that responsible for composing Aruba’s national anthem.

The new monument is called – Plaza Padu. Which is right behind the current parliament building not far from the Renaissance Hotel.

Plaza Padu is a must see on your next trip to Aruba.

news out of Aruba

New monument statue on plaza padu.

Besides patriotic flag day celebration, some other things happened in Aruba, like…

Aruba Tourism Authority Supports ESTA

The CEO of Aruba Tourism Authority, Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes, agrees with the introduction of ESTA in Aruba.

During a meeting with the department of immigration, she stated that ATA supports ESTA, because it safeguards the islands frontiers.

As a native islander, I also agree with the new system, because it allows for better management of who exactly is coming to Aruba and why…

I think the new ESTA system is going to become an important factor to stop the flow of people with bad intention to enter the island.

But there’s also a online ED Card…

Isn’t that confusing…? Should you fill in both?

According to the CEO of ATA, the ESTA form is comparable with the online ED card that was introduced a couple of years ago.

However, there is a small difference, the ESTA is focuses more on pre-screening.

The new system is still not finalized, so it still needs to be integrated with the current online ED card.

As soon as the ministry of justice gives more information about the new ESTA system I will notify you about it in my newsletter.

news out of Aruba

The CEO of ATA, Ronella Tjin Asjoe-Croes

Plans To Expand Aruba’s Airport

Aruba’s airport is big and beautiful, but there’s still plans for expanding which is known as the “entrance to paradise” among travelers looking for a relaxing beach getaway.

According to the chief operation officer, Jurgen Benschop, the amount of travelers that use the airport has grown in the past 2 years. The current building has been designed to accommodate about 2 million passengers and now about 3 million visitors have visited in the past two years.

Expanding the airport is the only way to maintain the award winning quality of service that Aruba’s airport is known for.

The Current Plan….

Jurgen Benschop mentioned during an interview that they are still in the brainstorm part of the project.

At the moment they are focused on creating a plan to expand the airport that can accommodate the growth of passengers for the next 20 years ahead.

Right now the check in terminal is divided into two sections – the US and all other destinations.

But the current plan is to combine these two terminals into one big check in area.

All luggage’s will pass through one screening and will be divided afterwards according to the traveler’s destination.

The whole idea is to eliminate, the part where you have to recollect your luggage to check in at the immigration.

Is Isla Di Oro Really in Danger?

There is a big impasse between a local environmental non-governmental organization “Aruba Bird Life Conservation” and Grupo Isla, which is the leader of the isla di oro project.

The isla di oro project is an upcoming plan for a new wellness eco-resort in the mangrove area near Pos Chiquito. The resort is going to have bungalows style rooms all over the lagoon.

news out of Aruba

bungalow style hotel in Aruba

However, I have a mixed feeling about this project…

On one hand this development is going to destroy a piece of nature in Aruba. But on the other hand it “could be a positive” development for tourism and luxury.

The project is currently in a deadlock…

So in an effort to “get the right to build”, Grupo Isla did a study (that costed about 500 thousand dollars), that proves that the mangroves are in danger and need to be protected.

However, I don’t think destroying a piece of nature and building another hotel is going to do the mangroves any good.

It looks like they’re trying to throw the local community a “fastball” to get us to agree to build.

The mangrove area near pos chiquito is not the cleanest compared to other locations on the island. There is no circulation of water and there’s a lot of bugs also. But the area can be cleaned up and maintained without having to build a bungalow eco-resort.

These investors are looking for a possible cooperation with the government, which in my personal opinion – I disagree with.

So is isla di oro really in danger?

I don’t believe so, every time I pass around there, the trees seem greener than ever.

However, I do agree that it needs to be cleaned up and the circulation issue needs to be fixed.

Listen to Franz Sydow (one of the investors) as he explains the results of the investigation they made…

News Out Of Aruba About CITGO

During the past couple of weeks there has been a lot of progress in regards to the new refinery in Aruba.

Since the refurbishment of the refinery started a few months ago, the government already managed to hire and place 350 local employees in key positions to complete the rehabilitation.

The 350 employees are working for contractors and others have a contract directly with CITGO. In the coming months more people will be contracted to work in the refinery.

The new plant is going to be an upgrade style refinery that will run on natural gas, so they are also creating a pipeline at the moment to transport gas from Venezuela to Aruba.

The gas pipeline is projected to be finished in the first half of 2018!

Natural Bridge Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary

Five decades ago a local family started a refreshment shop in the area of natural bridge.

There was no electricity or access to water.

Slowly but surely the family expanded the little shop into what is now known as one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Aruba.

However, the local family recently sold the facility to Palm Tours, which is a locally owned excursion company in Aruba (I used to work there in my teen years as a tour guide).

Palm Tours invested money to renovate the building completely.

They refurbished the entire building making it look just like a traditional old cunucu house.

Natural Bridge is celebrating its one year anniversary since palm tours took over and renewed the building.

The area of natural bridge has no electricity (or water), they use generators that runs 24/7 all the time. A truck delivers water every day at the site so that the toilets can work.

If you want to use the bathroom they will charge you 1$ to help pay for the generator and transportation of water to use the bathroom.

If you get a chance, visit the natural bridge to see it’s new beauty!

news out of Aruba

New entrance sign from Natural Bridge

Aruba Weather Forecast

If you’re looking for perfect weather condition to get away from the cold weather, it’s Aruba!

The island has the most sunniest days out of every Caribbean island in the region.

This weeks weather forecast doesn’t have any strange occurrences other than the normal breezy winds with sunshine (and maybe with some clouds).

Only on Thursday a brief shower is expected.

Today is perfect weather to head out to the beach with the family on a Sunday!

news out of Aruba

5 day weather forecast

 

How To Support Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

Every Sunday I post a weekly recap of news out of Aruba – for free!

Because I know how much it means to you to be able to stay connected with your favorite place in the world…

On my part I invest hours into being creative so I can making this newsletter and have a few monthly costs to run this website.

If you want to support me by buying me a few beers to stay creative (nothing great was invented by drinking water) or want to help with the website costs, please make a donation of your choice.

It’s not necessary to do so, but if you feel like it, please do so.

Use the PayPal donation button below to donate.

The more you slide it to the left, the more money you add and “the more I smile”!

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Did you enjoy reading this week’s news out of Aruba recap?

If so sign up for my newsletter to get future news out of Aruba updates straight to your email.

Join my newsletter today and receive my “Aruba on a Budget” e-book as a personal gift from me right in your inbox.

 

Are you searching for recent news out of Aruba in English?

From now on you don’t have to search for local Aruba news anymore, because you can find it right here on Vacations By Aruba!

Once a week (on Sundays) I do a recap of the most recent news out of Aruba – for your reading pleasure.

Recent News Out of Aruba Information

Reading the local news about your favorite place in the world keeps you up to date about what’s happening on the island.

But how true are my observations about paradise?

Well I get my info from watching the news on TV.

I also read local newspapers (online and some in print). And on my way to work I listen to the radio station locals call to discuss what’s happening in Aruba.

At the end of a happy week in paradise I pick the most relevant island happenings that you can relate to and translate it into English.

So let’s start this week’s recap of recent news out of Aruba for March 12, 2017.

Royal Visit From The Netherlands

This week’s recap starts out with good news, because Princess Beatrix is visiting Aruba at the of end March.

What’s the cause for the royal visit?

The princess will be officially transferring the area known as Spaans Lagoon to Arikok (Aruba’s National Park) in an effort to safeguard nature in Aruba.

Arikok is part of a regional network of protected area, so if Spaans Lagoon falls under Arikok it will be automatically protected from that day forward…

Protecting the lagoon is important, because it’s known for beautiful mangrove trees and unique variety of birds.

She’s also going to visit bubali plas in noord (very important habitat for animals).

And princess Beatrix is also going to visit the University of Aruba to witness debates organized by students, with themes like economy vs nature and tourism vs identity.

This years royal visit is highly anticipated by the locals and especially children who hear about the princess at school, but never saw her in real life…

recent news out of aruba

Princess Beatrix

Aruba’s Flag Day

If you’re on the island this week, you’re lucky – because we’re going to be celebrating Aruba’s flag day (and you can join the celebration).

Aruba’s official flag day is on March 18, 2017 – however, there are going to be some pre parties happening during this week to celebrate this important day.

On the March 15 there’s going to be a poetry night at Fort Zoutman (near Seaport Cinemas, in the downtown area).

The government is also going to officially open plaza padu (near the Aruba’s parliament) to reveal a new statue for “Padu Lampe” (known as the father of culture in Aruba, because he created Aruba’s national anthem).

The event is going to be held on March 17, 2017 on plaza padu , which is close to the Renaissance Marina Hotel. There’s going to be a great ambiance with folkloric music, dancing, local food and drinks.

Other Activities on Flag Day

It’s a tradition in Aruba that different activities will be organized all over the island.

For example, there is going to be an event in San Nicolas called “experience Aruba” at the Museum of Industry (starting from 12.00 AM until 18.00 PM).

Entrance will be 1 Aruban guilders (less than one dollar) to enter the museum and a dollar extra if you want to participate to win door prizes during the event.

There’s also going to be a super soup event at Cas Di Cultura (near Talk of the Town Hotel).

They’re going to be selling soup from different restaurants on the island (for example Barefoot, Casa Tua, Daniel’s Steakhouse, Driftwood, Aquarius and Taste of Belgium). And all proceeds are going to be used to fix the building of Cas Di Cultura.

If you’re going to be in Aruba on flag day, buy a shirt with Aruba’s flag on it (sold everywhere on the island) and join the different events, just like the locals…

recent news out of aruba

Flag Day Event Schedule in San Nicolas.

Aruba’s Airport Wins Service of Excellence Award

During a press conference held last week, Barbara Brown, the chief commercial officer of Aruba Airport Authority (known as triple A), proudly announced that Aruba’s airport won a service of excellence Award.

The prize was given by the Airport Council International that represents airports all over the world.

Every airport represented by the ACI had to give travelers a questionnaire.

Travelers were asked questions like, how they found the check in process, immigration, security, facilities to buy food and drinks. And most importantly how they found the overall service at the airport…

recent news out of Aruba

View of Aruba’s airport

More recent news out of Aruba about the Airport…

Triple A wants to invest in new buses to transport travelers.

Why?

Because the problem is that the airport can accommodate 20 planes during this moment, but there’s not enough gates for all aircraft…

Investing in more buses to transport travelers, while the airport is being further expanded, is going to be the key into maintaining the quality of service.

Aruba’s airport is beautiful, but far from done, because different departments are currently being renovated…but it’s till worthy of an award of this magnitude.

Plastic Ban Awareness Project

The Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association together with a local owned company named Welcome Media Marketing shared reusable bags at the airport last week to make travelers aware about the plastic ban in Aruba.

Welcome media has been sharing out goody bags to travelers in the arrival hall for years.

Maybe you’ve received one of these little Switzerland bags with information on where to eat, tips on things to do for fun and coupons in them once already.

AHATA is doing a good job spreading the word about “no more one time use plastic bags campaign”. Hopefully more tourist (and locals) will know not to use plastic bags!

recent news out of Aruba

Sharing out reusable bags at the Airport.

Flip Flop Festival Breaks Records

The 7th edition of Aruba’s Flip Flop festival has broken records already!

Because more than 2.000 early birds tickets have been sold…

Early bird tickets started out at $15.00 dollars and sold out in a couple of days. The next batch sold out at $20.00 and now you can get your tickets for this years flip flop fest at $30.00 or you’re going to have to pay more at the door.

If you love urban music you should definitely visit Aruba for flip flop!

The fest starts out with an introduction party on March 31 at club emotions with DJ duo Shermanology. And on the 1st of April the main event with Konshens, Morgan Heritage and Rick Ross. To cool off there’s going to be a pool party at Renaissance Marina on April 2, 2017. 

recent news out of Aruba

Flip Flop Stage

New Chef At Sunset Grille

There’s a new chef in town at sunset grille located in the Hilton Hotel.

His name is Lij Heron…

He’s a new chef in Aruba, but has a lot of experience, because he previously worked at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Dubai. If you ever went to Dubai, and ate at Peacock Alley, Camelia Lounge or Lexington Grill, you might of heard of him.

Born in Jamaica, with a degree in electrical engineering, Lij Heron decided to follow a career in culinary field after discovering a passion for cooking.

During an introductory press conference he said that he accumulated a lot of experience as a chef and promised to bring the most delicious dishes at sunset grill.

Chef Lij Heron is known for his steaks and seafood.

Have you ever tried sunset grill?

If not you’ve got something to look forward to this trip!

recent news out of Aruba

This is Chef Lij Heron

Elite Membership At Alhambra Casino

There’s new a reason to visit Alhambra Casino on your Aruba trip, because they just announced their Elite membership program.

If you’re used to playing at the Alhambra Casino you know you already get discounts as a member, but if you reach 12.000 player points within less than a year, you have the privilege of joining the elite club and enjoy more benefits!

Alhambra casino is now offering the following to their elite members…

  • Premium drinks
  • Double points on selected days
  • Special invitations to exclusive parties
  • 20% discounts at selected divi restaurants
  • You also get a gift on your birthday
  • Specials on hotel stays (including complimentary rooms)
  • 20% off at the divi links golf shop
  • And much more…

If you like to gamble in Aruba, you should visit Alhambra Casino and take advantage of the elite membership.

recent news out of Aruba

View of Alhambra Casino

Renovations At The Mill Resort & Suites

Management of The Mill Resort & Suites recently announced via a press conference that the hotel is going to close soon due to renovations (and change of owner)

The new owner of The Mill is going to be courtyard by Marriott.

Courtyard by Marriott caters mostly to business travelers, but they are planning to remodel the Mill to accommodate families also.

The hotel will be partly closed from April 30, 2017 until the end of 2017.

But the official renovations are planned to start April 1, 2018.

If there’s any update by the Mill, I will mention it on future recaps of recent news out of Aruba….

recent news out of aruba

View of The Mill Resort

Gas Price Reduced

Finally after a couple of months of paying about 180 cents per liter for gasoline – it drops to 178 cents per liter (not a big drop, but better than nothing).

This is the official price on all gas stations on the island since March 8, 2017.

It’s always smart to plan your gas budget ahead, before you rent your car. So keep the new gas prices in mind when planning to rent a car in Aruba.

If you’re looking for a car rental check out our cars here.

Traffic Light At Balashi Out Of Service

The traffic light on the highway from Balashi beer factory (and ex drive inn) will be out of service beginning of March, 13 2017 until further notice.

The disruption in service is caused by repairs being done on new highway – the green corridor.

The highway is also going to be partly closed next week for all vehicles…

Alternative routes will be notified after the government publicly mentions it.

Official Election Day Set in Aruba

The prime minister of Aruba has officially signed a document stating the upcoming election day.

The people of Aruba will know its new political leaders on September, 22 2017.

The current government AVP (Aruban People’s Party) also signed an agreement that every political party needs to deliver their new official lists of members on August, 4 2017.

AVP has been governing the island for 8 years already (sitting 2 terms).

Are they going to lead Aruba for four more years?

I guess we just have to wait and see what happens…

recent news out of Aruba

Prime Minister Signing Agreement.

Ministry of Justice Signs ESTA Agreements

The ministry of justice (Arthur Dowers) recently held a press conference where he signed a contract and announced the introduction of ESTA in Aruba.

Arthur Dowers signed an agreement with a company named Gamma research that develops the system for ESTA.

ESTA will increase safety in Aruba by screening anyone who wants to enter Aruba – if you’re visit is undesired you will be denied entry in Aruba.

A couple of weeks ago the ministry of justice announced that they are looking into the ESTA system, but now after signing an agreement it will soon become a reality.

The new system will be officially introduced in less than 8 months according to the ministry of justice.

I will keep you posted on more news about this ESTA system in future editions of recent news out of Aruba..

recent news out of Aruba

Ministry of Justice signing ESTA contracts

Did You Feel the Ground Move?

On March, 9 2017 something unusual happened on Aruba – an earthquake (including aftershock on the following day).

A lot of people claimed to have felt the ground move, walls shake and heard their roofs sounding strange.

I also felt the earthquake…

It was the first time I really experienced an earthquake.

To be sincere, it was quite a scary feeling I must say…

Luckily no one (or buildings) suffered damage by this earthquake.

The earthquake measured on 5.6 on the Richter scale.

Our neighboring island Curacao also felt the earthquake and suffered some damage (mostly to buildings.)

recent news out of Aruba

Location of the Earthquake

Rey Di Djampou

On March, 18 2017 there’s going to be a djampou (a native Aruba fish) fishing tournament held by Spaans Lagoon.

The person who catches the biggest one is going to be crowned rey di djampou “King of Djampou”.

The tournament has more than $1400.00 in prize money.

If you’re into fishing and are on the island next week you should join this fishing tournament.

The event starts on 4:00 AM in the morning and ends the following day in the afternoon.

If you’re interested, ask the front desk of your hotel how you can also join the tournament…

recent news out of aruba

Fisherman holding a big djampou

Aruba 5 Day Weather Forecast

The most recent daybreak scan shows no significant features around Aruba. This week is going to be generally dry on the island with a lot of sunshine…

recent news out of aruba

Aruba Weather Forecast for today March, 12 2017

More Recent News Out of Aruba

Click here to read previous newsletter articles.

Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

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If so, sign up to my newsletter to get future posts about the recent news out of Aruba via email.

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Looking for recent Aruba news?

Then you’re in the right place…

Every week (on Sundays) I post the most recent Aruba news that pertains to you.

I write this newsletter, because I know how hard it is to find recent Aruba news in English.

Recent Aruba News Source of Information

You might be wondering where I get my information from…

I watch the news on TV, read all the different local newspapers online (and some in print) and occasionally listen to the radio station locals call to discuss what’s happening in Aruba.

I hand pick and translate what you can relate to, so you can get the most recent Aruba news in English.

So let’s start this week’s recap of recent Aruba news for 5 of March 2017…

Big Festival Announcements

This week Aruba Tourism Authority announced 3 big festivals that are going to be held during the coming months.

Here’s what’s one schedule regarding festivals in Aruba…

Flip Flop Festival

After announcing dancehall artist Konshens and reggae sensation Morgan Heritage as the two main acts last week during a press conference, the organizers of flip flop came out with another surprise announcement.

They added a hip hop superstar to the line up – Rick Ross!

This years flip flop is a must attend event if you enjoy dance hall, reggae or hip hop. It will be held on 31 March until 2 April. With the main event being held on 1 April (Morgan Heritage, Konshens and Rick Ross).

The party will kick off with dutch DJ siblings – shermanology in club emotions (31 March).

The last day of flip flop is a pool party with DJ Outkast at Renaissance Hotel (2 April).

You can still buy your early birds tickets at any gas station in Aruba for $20 (there’s not much early bird tickets left, 95% already sold).

I still have to buy mine, for the main event of course!

recent Aruba news

Flip Flop conference.

Soul Beach Music Festival

One of the biggest festivals in Aruba is back again for 2017!

Soul beach music festival is just what the name says it is – soulful!

This event is popular because of the caliber of R&B artists that are known to perform on stage. And this year promises to be bigger than ever with artists like Mary J Blige, Faith Evans and Usher!

Soul beach is also known for it hilarious stand up comedy nights.

This year on of the “Kings of Comedy” – Cedric the Entertainer is going to be on stage!

The organizers of soul beach also said during a press conference that there will be an app that you can download to see everything about soul beach (I will update you on any news from the app).

This year promises to be a big year for R&B in Aruba – are you going to be here for it?

Aruba Summer Music Festival

It’s official – Aruba summer music festival has been officially announced (including artist who are performing).

If you’re going to be in Aruba in the end of June you should put this fest on your to do list.

This years Latin flavor music festival features the reggaeton duo from Puerto Rico – Zion & Lennox.

Artists like Maluma and Juan Luis Guerra are scheduled as main performers.

The festival dates are 30 June and 1 July 2017.

If you like Latin music, you should visit for the weekend fest

recent Aruba news

Organizers from Aruba music festival at a press conference.

The End of Aruba’s Carnival 63

The 63rd edition of carnival is finally behind of us.

It was a nearly 2 months of ongoing festivals, queen elections and parades. This years carnival started with a traditional torch parade right in the first week of January and ended with the annual grand parade in the downtown area of Aruba last week.

I have to say I enjoyed myself during this carnival season, because it was the first time I participated in it.

I went in for Lighting Parade in San Nicolas! It was amazing (I can’t wait for next year).

Now I know why thousands of people fly from all over to participate in Aruba’s carnival.  

If you’ve always wanted to go in Aruba’s parade, please do so, you won’t regret it!

Check out this movie from Aruba’s grand parade 2017.

Safety Training for Employees at Playa Linda

12 employees from different departments of Playa Linda including the entire loss & prevention team recently completed a safety training successfully.

Where did the idea come from?

The main goal was to have a first response group from different departments of the resort (including the loss & prevention department) – “in case something happens”

The moment a calamity presents itself there is supposed to be more colleagues to help the guests than just the security guards. – this is what the HR director of Playa Linda, Linda Kelly, said during an interview.

What must they know about safety?

Security and safety means much more than catching thieves.

The new employees that have been trained by this safety course must know…

  • All the emergency exits
  • The resort floor plan
  • Must know how to remain calm
  • And give first aid help

The director of the loss & prevention department, Fernando Fecunda, was one of the employees who suggested this safety training to management.

He also mentioned during his interview that he’s glad management decided to take him up on his offer, because now the Playa Linda is better prepared in case of anything!

Two thumbs up for Playa Linda for providing more safety to their guests.

recent Aruba news

Selected employees for the safety team.

Neighborhood Watch Solves Crimes

A neighborhood watch created in the city of Wayaca (near the airport) was essential in catching thieves in the act of robbing a house.

A couple of months ago there was a slight increase in crimes committed inside homes from locals. After the government examined these cases it was clear that most of them were committed by Venezuelans (with no good intentions).

The reason why?

Because the situation in Venezuela is getting worse by the day with the current crisis they are dealing with.

Aruba is close to Venezuela and gets undesired visits by undocumented travelers who come here with bad intentions. They are happy to find 50 dollars in a break in, because american dollars are worth much back home.

However, the local community is starting to fight back…

They’re taking safety and security in their own hands by starting neighborhood watches via whats-app. If anything strange is happening outside, someone send a whats-app and every one is alerted. The police are also continually notified by these groups and use the information they receive as tips to solve any committed crimes.

Neighborhood watch is something normal in the US, but entirely new here in Aruba. It’s starting to pick up more between locals on the island and getting a life of it’s own.

recent Aruba news

Flyer for the neighborhood watch Aruba.

The Fight Against Mosquitoes

The company in charge of combating mosquitoes in Aruba “Gele Koorts Mosquito Bestrijding” recently did a control around Aruba to get an index of the amount of mosquito breeding places on the island (and to destroy them of course).

The mosquito’s they are particularly after are aedes aegypti, which are known to cause dengue, chikungunya and zika.

The control was one with intention to remove all the existing breeding grounds they encountered. And also make house owners aware who had mosquito breeding nest in their yards on how they can prevent mosquito breeding nest. They also shared pest control products to locals to help kill the mosquitoes.

Like I mentioned in an article before the government is taking an active role into combating mosquitoes and zika.

Click here to read why you should travel to Aruba despite zika warnings.

recent Aruba news

Busy with breeding ground examinations at a locals house

Man Dies During Diving

Unfortunately an American tourist passed away near nikki beach while he was diving.

It was during the midday that beach goers saw a body floating near nikki beach and they called the police (and ambulance). The authorities took the man out of the water and tried to give him CPR, however not even a hour after he was pronounced dead…

I’m not sure how he died, but there are stories that he had a heart attack while diving.

They most likely do an investigation into what exactly happened to him.

Condolences to the family members and friends this person left behind…

Take note that the currents are a little strong during this season in Aruba, so be careful when you’re snorkeling (or diving). Don’t go too far out if you can’t swim (and avoid going alone)!

recent Aruba news

Man unfortunately dies while diving.

Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

Did you enjoy reading this weeks recent Aruba news recap?

If so, sign up to my newsletter to get future posts about the recent Aruba news via email. Join the newsletter by typing your email in the sign up form below.

If you sign up today I’ll send you my “Aruba on a Budget” eBook via email as a free gift!

Looking for the latest news from Aruba?

Then you’re on the right page…

Every week I post news about Aruba that pertains to you.

Why do I do that…?

Because I know how hard it is to find the latest news from Aruba in English.

Source of Information for the Latest News From Aruba

You might be wondering where I get my information from to write this newsletter?

I get the information from all my newsletters and this weeks latest news from Aruba by watching the daily news on tv, reading all the different local newspapers online (and some in print) and occasionally hear the radio that locals call and vent about what’s happening in Aruba.

At the end of the week I pick out the news that you can relate to and I translate it into English so you can read every Sunday!

So, how accurate are my words?

I would say very much on point.

Because if I read the newspapers, see the same thing on tv and hear it on the news, it must be accurate!

So let’s start this week recap for the latest news from Aruba…

Line Up For Flip Flop Festival 2017

This years flip flop festival promises to be bigger than ever, because of the artists that are performing.

The first two artists who are going to be in the line up at flip flop are Konshens and Morgan Heritage (both artist are from Jamaica).

Konshens is known in the dancehall music scene for his hits like, bruk of ya back, gal yu a bubble and Mr.Policeman.

And the Grammy award winning band, Morgan Heritage, formed by the reggae artist Denroy Peter Morgan will delight us with their musical tunes.

Flip flop will take place on 31 march until 2 april 2017.

If you’re in Aruba and want to go you can buy your early bird tickets for $15 at all gas stations in Aruba.

During the next couple of weeks the organizers of flip flop will announce the other remaining artists that will be performing.

Are you going to flip flop this year?

Try Some Italian Ice Cream by Marriott

A new shop just opened in Marriott Stellaris & Casino that sells gelato.  

It’s an Italian company named Gelato & Co.

Have you ever heard of it?

I didn’t…

But the company is known to make their gelatos (Italian ice cream), sorbets, cakes and other fresh desert with natural ingredients. They use no artificial flavors, preservatives and coloring.

We all have to live healthy to live long to keep on enjoying Aruba…

So this new place sounds like a healthy option if you’re looking for a refreshing ice cream.

You can find Gelato & Co in the lobby from Marriott Stellaris & Casino. It’s open from 10 AM to 12 AM.

I might have to visit them soon because I enjoy eating ice cream…

latest news from Aruba

New Gelato shop in Marriott.

Eagle Beach Again in Top Ranks

According to the Travelers Choice Awards by TripAdvisor, eagle beach is in the top 3 for “beaches in the Caribbean”.

The top beaches were chosen by reviews from travelers on TripAdvisor during the last 12 months.

A lot of travelers commented that eagle beach is beautiful because of the long stretch of white sand and turquoise water (a perfect destination for a beach getaway).

Arashi beach also was nominated in the top 25 beaches in the Caribbean.

The beach at Arashi is popular because you can snorkel, bathrooms are available, there’s a snack bar, great shade from palapas and is easily reached by car and public transportation.

How do you feel that one of your favorite beaches in Aruba ranks best in the Caribbean?

Way to go Aruba!

Aruba’s National Bird

The government decided to make the prikichi the national bird from Aruba.

The decision came a few weeks after the group from Aruba Bird Life Conservation went with the prime minister of Aruba to a bird life conservation festival in Colombia. 

Out of more than 200 species of birds in Aruba, the prikichi and the shoco (owl – Aruba’s national symbol) are the only two birds that are native to the island.

What’s interesting is that the scientific names for these two birds contains the word “Arubensis” which means that they are from Aruba, of course! 

I remember admiring the bright yellow and green birds when I used to play in the cunucu (yard in Papiamento) as a kid. I could recognize them without seeing them, because they made a distinct chirping sound…  

However, I noticed a decline in the amount of prikichi and shoco that are on the island.

This is because of boa constrictor snakes that are eating these birds. It’s the way of mother nature, and if we would like to preserve the prikichi and shoco we have to protect them.

So after this announcement, the prikichi (and shoco) is now a protected bird!

latest news from Aruba

A prikichi sitting on a tree branch.

Sterilizing Stray Dogs on Aruba

Animals are fun and amazing to have.

A lot of locals have dogs and cats here in Aruba, but some of them don’t know how to take care for their pets.

This negligence of animals is resulting in a high amount of stray dogs in Aruba.

The situation is getting out of control, because there are too many dogs wandering around looking sick, emaciated and full of disease.

Last year veterinaries together with bucuti and tara beach resort started a program to sterilize dogs and cats. The resort was paying half of all costs for sterilization for the locals.

Since the program first started a total of 6000 dogs and cats were registered and almost 4000 of them got sterilized.

The total amount subsidized by bucuti and tara resort until now is about 380.000 Aruban guilders (which is about 217.000 us dollars).

The sterilization program is currently ongoing and proving to be successful, but it’s only a small part of the solution.

The other part of the solution is to teach pet owners how to take care of their dogs (or stop people that can’t take care of pets from getting one).

If you’re ever interested in adopting a four legged friend, you’re welcome to do so at one of our veterinaries.

Bushiribana Gold Ruins Graffiti

This week someone wrote “Aruba Pro Pedofiel” on the walls of the gold mine ruins (what was this person thinking?)

However, this not the first time that they wrote this slogan on the gold mill walls (it’s the 4th time).

It all started with one father whose daughter was molested and began writing “Aruba pro pedofiel” all over the island. Now a few more angry parents are also starting to paint this slogan around the island, because of a recent child molestation case. They are mad because the child molester didn’t get a long enough jail sentence. 

I understand that they want to voice their opinion, but damaging local property and a tourist attraction is not the solution…

I hope this trend stops and that the government starts giving longer sentence for child molesters.

latest news from aruba

This is not the way to resolve this.

Archaeological Museum Closed

If you have a visit to the archaeological museum planned when in Aruba (in the first two weeks of March) you’re going to be disappointing, because they’re going to be closed on 28 of February 2017.

The reason they are closing is because they are installing a new air conditioning system.

So if you had planned to visit the archaeological museum you have to reschedule…

They said it will be known publicly when the museum will open again.

latest news from Aruba

The museum is going to be closed for renovation

Too Much Tourist Getting into Accidents

This week a lot of accidents took place with tourists in the mix.

Many of them which are unfortunate and some could of been completely prevented.

The first accident happened between a local and two tourists in the downtown area.

The rental car involved in this accident failed to give the other party preference and caused the accident. They were not hurt severely, but needed to be taken to the hospital for observation.

Another accident happened this week with a lady that was speeding in a residential area and lost control of her rental car. She managed to turn over the car, knock down a traffic sign and hit full on into a house that was under construction.

It was a miracle that she came out of the accident without any major injuries.

latest news from Aruba

She completely turned over the car.

A couple parked their car near Malmok beach to go snorkeling.

But when they returned to their car, they were shocked to see that someone broke into their car and took their belongings.

I don’t know if they left their belongings visible, but if that was the case, this could of easily been avoided.

This is enough to give anyone with a bad intention the impulse to break in…

latest news from Aruba

Police taking notes of what happened

If you’re going to drive in Aruba always be careful (while driving and parking).

They will break in your car, anywhere in the world, even in broad daylight, if you leave your belonging visible.

My advice to you is…

  • Never speed (stay in the driving limit)
  • Don’t drink and drive
  • Never drive and text on your phone
  • When leaving your car hide all personal belongings out of sight.

If you’re looking to rent a car for your upcoming trip click here to see our rental rates.

Security Cameras

The government is going to use technology to bring down the crime rate on the island.

Minister, Arthur Dowers wants to put cameras on certain areas of the island to increase security for locals and tourists. They are currently running a few tests with these cameras positioned near the hotel and downtown area. Because some area’s for example by the pelican pier are reported to have locals selling drugs to tourist. They are a molestation for people who are not interested (and it’s against the law)…

With the help of these cameras the government is planning to catch these drug dealers red handed.

If the cameras prove to be successful more will be added (there are talks that about 600 cameras will be placed all over the island).

latest news in Aruba

security camera near the beach in Aruba

Latest News From Aruba about CITGO

The rehabilitation of the refinery is finally starting to take place after the government signed a contract with CITGO in 2016,

About one week ago more than a 100 people were contracted and officially given a badge to enter the refinery.

Today there are more than 200 people who are working to recover the refinery.

This week the government announced that about 200 specialists from Trinidad & Tobago will be contracted to help rehabilitation process. 

It seems that a lot of foreign workers are being contracted, but that was part of the deal. More foreigners than locals would be contracted to rehabilitate the refinery. But, after the refinery is in full swing, 80% of the employees have to be locals. 

When the rehabilitation of the refinery is completed those who were contracted from away have to go back and locals are going to run and maintain the refinery.

The director of Aruba investment bank, Frendsel Giel said that the refinery will yield more than 340 million dollars annually for Aruba. The majority of this money will go to workers, local contractors and the government. And the city of San Nicolas will be booming again!

The reopening of the refinery will definitely give a boost to Aruba’s economy.

Green Corridor Bridge

Last week the director of ODINSA (an infrastructure company from Colombia), Carlos Zubieta Uribe, shared a positive update about the developments of the bridge that they are in charge of constructing during a press conference.

He said that the construction of the bridge is on schedule and everything is going according to plans.

After they complete the structure they will move to the next phase of the project that includes adding lights to the bridge, putting road signs and putting asphalt on the road.

The deadline of this bridge is set to be in August of 2017.

The bridge is part of the green corridor project, which is a renovation of the existing highway and creation of a new one from the airport to the area of pos chiquito (and savaneta) including several new roundabouts.

Soon you will be able to drive on the new highway and bridge of the “green corridor”.

 

latest news from Aruba

Green Corridor Bridge

 

Vacations By Aruba Newsletter

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