What makes Aruba a unique country to travel to?
Aruba is a semi- autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The economy is well-developed and tourist facilities are widely available.
The crime threat in Aruba is generally considered low, although travelers should always take precautions when in unfamiliar surroundings. There have been incidents of theft from hotel rooms and vehicles. Armed robberies have been known to occur. Valuables left unattended on beaches, in cars and in hotel lobbies are easy targets for theft. Jewelry, phones, cameras and other electronics are the most commonly stolen items. Be especially observant when visiting isolated areas.
Car theft, especially of rental vehicles for joy riding and stripping, can occur. Vehicle leases or rentals may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen or damaged. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles, jet skis, and other items.
We recommend that visitors take additional precautions when visiting the entertainment district of San Nicolas. Due to the popularity of this area with tourists, many petty crimes are reported in this area.
Parents of young travelers should be aware that the legal drinking age of 18 is not always enforced in Aruba, so extra parental supervision may be appropriate. Young travelers in particular are urged to take the same precautions they would when going out in the United States, e.g. to travel in pairs or in groups if they choose to frequent Aruba’s nightclubs and bars, and if they opt to consume alcohol, to do so responsibly. Anyone who is a victim of a crime should make a report to Aruban police, as well as report it immediately to the U.S. Consulate General on Curacao. Do not rely on hotel/restaurant/tour company management to make the report for you.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
Medical Facilities and Health Information
Medical care is generally considered to be good on Aruba. There is one hospital, Dr. H.E. Oduber Hospital, whose medical standards can be favorably compared to a small hospital in the U.S. The hospital has tiered health care, and accommodations will vary depending on insurance and the ability to pay. There is a small medical center in San Nicolas. Please be aware that there is no decompression chamber available on the island. We urge caution for scuba divers, since persons suffering from decompression sickness have to be medically evacuated for proper treatment. The many drug stores, or “boticas”, provide prescription and over the counter medicine. Visitors will need a local prescription, and may not be able to find medications available in the United States. Emergency services are usually quick to respond. Aruba is only about 14 degrees from the equator, so the solar radiation is very strong. Sunscreen is recommended anytime you are outside during the day.
Safety and Security
There are no known terrorist or extremist groups, or areas of instability on Aruba, although drug trafficking organizations do operate on the island.
Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Aruba is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate for a particular location or circumstance.
Driving in Aruba is on the right-hand side of the road (as in the U.S.). Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children under 5 years of age should be in a child safety seat; older children should ride in the back seat. Right turns at red lights are prohibited on Aruba.
Aruba's main thoroughfare, L.G. Smith Boulevard, is well lit, and most hotels and tourist attractions can be easily located. There are speed limits on Aruba, and driving while intoxicated may result in the loss of a driver’s license, fine and/or imprisonment. However, these are not consistently enforced. Drivers should be alert at all times for speeding cars and drunk drivers, which have caused fatal accidents. In the interior areas of the island, drivers should be alert for goats or other animals that may cross the roads unexpectedly. Buses provide convenient and inexpensive service to and from many hotels and downtown shopping areas. Taxis, while relatively expensive, are safe and well regulated. As there are no meters, passengers should negotiate a price before entering the taxi.
The emergency service telephone number is 911. Police and ambulances tend to respond quickly to emergency situations.