Aruba is tropical and averages 28 degrees year round. Cooling winds make for a very pleasant stay. The rainy season lasts from October through January, but the rains are generally short-lived.
When to fly to Aruba
Wintertime here is peak season for visiting Aruba, roughly from December to March. Book ahead for accommodation.
The temperature on the island is good throughout the year, an average of high 20s, so any time you visit will be hot. Prices fall drastically outside the peak season. Most of the rainfall is between September and December; if you arrive in this season, bring a waterproof jacket.
Getting around Aruba
The Arubus departs from Oranjestad to destinations through the island. Pay the bus driver as you enter, and hold on tight. Roads are poor in most of the country and the drivers can seem foolhardy to tourists… The service, however, is cheap and the buses connect with many of the beach resorts.
Taxis can also be taken from the town and main resorts.
To see much of the island, you’ll need to hire a car. Four-by-fours are recommended due to the bad roads.
Aruba insider information
- Most of the tourism in Aruba is concentrated round Oranjestad. To explore the island further, you’ll certainly need to hire a car. Four-by-fours are necessary as the roads are poor. It’s well worth the effort though. On the North coast you can visit a natural pool – a swimming pool created by an enclave of rocks from the sea – and enjoy the landscape of a much more craggy coastline of rocks and crashing waves.
- Aruba has one national park, which covers approximately 20 per cent of the island. Arikok National Park includes a lava formation, a quartz formation and a limestone formation as well as wildlife. There are also the oldest Arawak cave paintings on the island. Again, you will need a four-by-four to visit. Once you arrive you can continue offroading, or follow one of the well-marked hiking trails.
- Aruba’s carnival is a popular event, which lasts for months, rather than just weeks. The event starts with the New Year celebrations on January 1 and carries on all the way through to Ash Wednesday. It’s a lively, colourful, buoyant couple of months, filled with dancing, music, floats and celebrations. Inevitably, it is also when many tourists visit the island, so if you are planning on arriving in this time make sure to book accommodation and flights well in advance.
- Oranjestad is the capital and the main arrival point for holidaymakers. Many choose to stay here. It’s also the point where the cruise ships arrive so the town can become very busy when a ship is docked. The town is where many of the excursions or water sports can be booked – snorkelling, windsurfing, even a trip in a submarine. Away from the beach, however, there are lots of museums, shops and restaurants to explore.
- To save money on lots of tourist activities, get a VisitAruba card, available from the tourist centre. It offers money off car rental, accommodation, entrance to water sports parks, restaurants, shopping and more…