Oranjestad Travel Information
Electric current in Aruba is 127 volts, 60Hz. Flat two- and three-pin plugs are standard. The Schuko plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts is also used.
The official language in Aruba is Dutch but English and Spanish are taught in school and are also widely spoken. Some French is also understood. Most islanders also speak the native language Papiamento.
There are no special health requirements for visitors to Aruba, but travellers coming from yellow fever infected countries in Africa or the Americas, aged over six months, need an immunisation certificate. Aruba has experienced occasional outbreaks of dengue fever, a flu-like illness transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes that favour densely populated areas, therefore the use of insect repellent is advised. Visitors are warned that some types of fish, including some tropical reef fish, are poisonous when eaten, even cooked. Medical care is good in Aruba, which has one hospital, the Dr. H.E. Oduber Hospital, with three classes of service for patients depending on the level of their insurance. Health insurance is recommended. Food and water are considered safe.
A 10 or 15% tip is usually added to restaurant, bar and room service bills in Aruba, otherwise a tip should be extended, usually 10-20% depending on the service. There is an 11% room tax on hotel bills. Taxis should be tipped around 15% and porters expect a tip of US$1 per bag.
Crime is not a major problem in Aruba and most visits are trouble-free, however visitors are still advised to take common-sense precautions, locking valuables in the hotel safe and taking care when walking home at night.
Oranjestad is the main business centre in Aruba and the focus for the island's growing international financial services. English is considered to be the language of business. Meetings are generally held in formal settings such as offices or conference centres; smoking and chewing gum are not acceptable. Handshaking is customary for introductions between both men and women; female business associates should be treated with as much respect as men and often hold high positions in companies. Punctuality for meetings is required. Business hours are 9am to 5pm.
The international access code for Aruba is +297. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 001 for the United States). City codes are not required. International, direct and operator-assisted calls are possible worldwide. A GSM network covers the island. Cellular phones are available for rental and Internet cafes are widely available in tourist areas.
Travellers to Aruba over the age of 18 do not need to pay customs duty on 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars; 1 litre alcohol and gift articles to the value of f100. If goods per person exceed f500 in value this should be declared on customs forms for clearance at the freight department.
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