Oranjestad, Aruba | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Oranjestad, Aruba

Oranjestad is a city in Aruba.

Aruba is a Caribbean island 15 miles north of the coast of Venezuela. The island is an autonomous dependency of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is 30 kilometers (19.6 miles) long and 9 kilometers (6 miles) across, at its widest point, with an area of approximately 70 square miles (184 square kilometers). This flat, riverless island is renowned for its white sand beaches. Its tropical climate is moderated by constant trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean. The temperature is almost constant at about 27°C (81°F). The yearly rainfall usually does not exceed 20 inches. Aruba lays outside the Caribbean hurricane belt.

Aruba is divided into the northeast and southwest coasts. The southwest has white sand beaches, turquoise seas, and warm waters. The northeast coast, exposed to the Atlantic, has a few white sand beaches, cacti, rough seas with treacherous... Read more

Oranjestad, Aruba

Destination:

Oranjestad is a city in Aruba.

Aruba is a Caribbean island 15 miles north of the coast of Venezuela. The island is an autonomous dependency of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is 30 kilometers (19.6 miles) long and 9 kilometers (6 miles) across, at its widest point, with an area of approximately 70 square miles (184 square kilometers). This flat, riverless island is renowned for its white sand beaches. Its tropical climate is moderated by constant trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean. The temperature is almost constant at about 27°C (81°F). The yearly rainfall usually does not exceed 20 inches. Aruba lays outside the Caribbean hurricane belt.

Aruba is divided into the northeast and southwest coasts. The southwest has white sand beaches, turquoise seas, and warm waters. The northeast coast, exposed to the Atlantic, has a few white sand beaches, cacti, rough seas with treacherous currents, and a rocky coastline. The time in Aruba is Atlantic standard time; it is the same as Eastern Daylight Savings time all year round.

Oranjestad consists of hundreds of local stores where tourists usually buy their keepsakes. The city also is home to some of the island's local residents and also many governmental buildings. Along the main "drag" (Sasakiweg street) you will find most tourist walking around and shopping and can also see the cruise ships that bring more and more external tourism into the island every day. Close to the cruise ships is the island's largest marina where (if you are a sailor/yachtsmen) you can find great docking space for your vessel.

Climate

BEAUTIFUL..... This word alone expresses the weather one will experience in Aruba and in Oranjestad to be exact. For example with an average temperature of " practically constant temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius") Also furthering the picture perfect weather one needs not to worry about the [possibility of a rainy day. Although there are some cloudy days on average most days have only a small drizzle in the morning or evening and the rest of the day is filled with sunshine. For example, the average rain per month is anywhere from 60-70mm per month. Traveling to Oranjestad on the island of Aruba you are sure to have a holiday filled with beautiful tropical-like weather.


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Oranjestad, Aruba: Port Information


You cruise ship will dock at the pier in Oranjestad.
You can easily get to dining and shopping venues on foot.
There is a free hop on/hop off trolley, but walking is a better way to explore the city.
Taxis are available.
You can buy excursions just outside your cruise ship.

Get around Oranjestad, Aruba


To get into the downtown one may suggest a simple bike ride on a nice windy day. If the heat is to harsh a cab ride is more than sufficient. We would recommend a cab ride over the busing because it is much easier.

Also in the transportation segment road signs become very important for tourist in a country that speaks a different language. Luckily for most English speakers, the signs are in English for the most part. For those tourists who speak a language other than English, Spanish, Papiamento, they will find it very hard to read local signs and have a hard time getting around on their own in the first place.

What to see in Oranjestad, Aruba


  • Natural Pool

    (Conchi) - On the northern side of the island and only accessible via ATV or Trail Rated 4x4. This is a small pool of water hidden in the natural rock formation that juts into the ocean, just off the shore of Aruba. This location makes for a great day trip - make sure your vehicle has a spare tire.
  • California Lighthouse - On the northernmost tip of the island. Many scenic views and is also the location where you can access the dirt trails to travel down the northern shores of Aruba.
  • Our Lady of Alto Visto Chapel - On the northern side of the island. The chapel is very picturesque and historic.
  • Aruba Aloe Factory – You can take a short tour and learn some interesting facts about aloe farming, production, and uses.
  • Casibari Rock & Ayo Rock Formations – You can climb and explore these formations, the tops of which provide a great view of the countryside.
  • Natural Bridge @ Boca Andicuri – There are 7 "Natural Bridges" in Aruba. The original (the biggest and most famous bridge that people are referring to when they say Natural Bridge) collapsed in 2005 leaving a pile of rubble in the bay. There is a smaller bridge right next to the fallen bridge that still stands.
  • Bushiribban Gold Mill / Smelting Station – The ruins of the smelting station are the way to the Natural Bridge. Climbing the ruins you can get great photos of the coastline.
  • Aruba Ostrich Farm – The tour walks you around the ostrich pens and incubator. The Aruba farm is more for educating people, while the meat that is used for food in Aruba actually comes from the sister island of Curacao. (Ostrich is red meat, which is high in protein and low in fat.)
  • Boca Catalina and the Antilla Shipwreck – These are 2 of the many sites snorkel tours will take you. The Antilla Shipwreck is the remains of a scuttled 400-foot German cargo ship that was anchored off of Aruba during WW2. It was thought that this ship was supplying German U-Boats in the Caribbean and after The Netherlands was invaded in 1940, the captain was given the notice to surrender the ship. Instead of surrendering the ship to the Dutch Marines the captain sunk the ship by blowing up the boilers. (The crew swam to shore and were taken POW and shipped to Bonaire.) The joke you will hear is "They did not want to surrender the cargo and they also wanted to provide future tourists with a site to see." The remains are off of Malmok beach. After the war, the captain and his crew purchased their former POW camp and converted it into a hotel. Today the site is the Divi Flamingo resort.
  • Arikok National Park - The park consists of lava formations, a quartz diorite formation and a limestone formation extending inward from the coastline. These formations have played a pivotal role in the history of Aruba.
  • Guadirkiri Caves
  • The Palm Island
  • Hooiberg (Haystack Mountain) a.k.a simply "the Haystack" – Standing over 500 feet, the haystack is in the center of the country and provides a breathtaking view of Aruba. People suggest going on a cool & clear day because it will be easier to climb the 561 steps required to reach the top and you can see the coast of Venezuela to the south!
  • Butterfly Farm - set in a tropical atmosphere, tour guides at the Butterfly Farm will elucidate butterfly habits and metamorphosis.
  • Bubali Bird Sanctuary - over 80 species of migratory birds reside in the sanctuary. Get the best view of the birds, by using the observation tower.
  • De Oude Molen/ Windmill First built in 1804 in Holland then shipped to Aruba in 1906.
  • Donkey Sanctuary. 9 am-12 pm. A home for many rescued donkeys, who roam wild on Aruba and are often killed by cars or dogs. Staffed by volunteers who offer information about the donkeys and the sanctuary program. For a small fee, you can feed the donkeys pellets or apples--petting them is free! All proceeds from the feeding program and the small but well-stocked gift shop are used to care for and rescue the donkeys. free.

Museums

  • Historical Museum- It contains a large collection of artifacts and paintings from Aruba's earliest through those reminiscent of colonial times up to the present day.
  • Archaeological Museum - The archeological museum exhibits ceramic, shell and stone artifacts which a.o. portray the customs, beliefs, and traditions of these first cultures
  • Numismatic Museum- The museum contains over 35,000 different pieces covering over 400 countries.

What to do in Oranjestad, Aruba


Beaches

  • Baby Beach - Southern Tip of the island. It's called Baby Beach because it is no more than five feet deep at any point - like a giant wading pool. This beach also has some of the best snorkeling on the island.
  • San Nicolas Beach
  • Eagle Beach - Often called "1 of the 10 best beaches in the world"
  • Hadikurari Beach a.k.a Fisherman's Huts. This is where the High Winds Pro AM windsurfing world championship is held every June.
  • Palm Beach - White sand and excellent swimming conditions in calm water. Nearby hotels allow you to use public areas for changing. Accessible by bus, car or taxi.
  • Malmok Beach
  • Arashi Beach - Calm water, white sandy beaches with palapas and huts for shade.
  • Boca Catalina - Shallow waters with plenty of fish, good place to snorkel. White sandy beaches with some pebbles and stone.
  • Manchebo Beach - Gentle surf, long white beach.
  • Andicuri - Not advised for swimming, tough currents, and big waves. This is a good beach for someone looking to go surfing.
  • Druif Beach - Excellent for swimming with calm waters. Hotels near.
  • Surfside Beach - White sandy beach with some pebbles and stones. Calm water good for swimming.
  • Dos Playa - can get there by 4 wheeler, not good for swimming strong currents and big waves. A nice place to have a picnic to check out the view.
  • De Palm Island - Waterpark for kids, great place to snorkel, with shallow waters.
  • Mangel Halto - Shallow waters. Can be reached by car or taxi.
  • Santo Largo - Shallow waters, good place for a picnic. Can be reached by car or taxi.
  • Boca Grandi - Good for people who enjoy extreme sports, not good for swimming - tough current.
  • Bachelor's Beach - A good beach for windsurfing or snorkeling. Not really good for swimming.
  • Rodgers Beach - Very calm water with white sandy beaches.

Activities

  • Horseback Riding
  • Jeep Safari
  • Hiking
  • Cycle Tours
  • 4 Wheeling Tours
  • Rock Climbing
  • Sailing
  • Scuba
  • Sea Trek
  • Snorkeling
  • Fishing
  • Kayaking
  • Kite Surfing
  • Windsurfing
  • Submarine

What to eat and drink in Oranjestad, Aruba


Eat

The most famous dish in Aruba is Keshi Yena. It is a spicy mixture of chicken and peppers, capers, olives and tomatoes traditionally baked in a Gouda cheese "shell". This is often considered to be the national dish of Aruba.

Many chain restaurants, both fast food and upscale, from the United States are present in Aruba (i.e. Texas de Brazil, Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Hooters, Subway, Tony Romas). You'll find some downtown and many near the large resort hotels.

The upscale restaurants near resorts vary in quality as there are a limited number of them and they have a steady stream of tourist customers, as they advertise in pamphlets available in the hotels. The fast food places are essentially no different than their American counterparts.

Also good are some of the local fare restaurants. While obviously relying on tourist income, good food can be had. Nos Cunucu is a good example of such. With meals like the traditional baked cheese and some more interesting items such as Iguana soup. Don't be afraid to eat at random bars and such along the road, (with normal caution of course). Good food can be had for a relatively low cost. These pander to locals.

Drink

By the glass, six-pack or case, imported Dutch beers are relatively good buys. Balashi Beer - Aruba's National Beer...a must-drink beverage, perfect after spending all day at the beach. Don't, however, confuse it with a "Balashi Cocktail", which is a local term for the equally enjoyable Aruban water. Founded in 1996, the name Balashi is derived from the words Bala Bala and Balana and means "near the sea." It is the only beer brewed on the island of Aruba. Daily tours of the brewery are available with an open-aired bar and restaurant on the premises. Balashi Brewery / Tel. 592-2544 / 523-6544. Balashi Gardens open from 6:30 AM – 4:00 PM. Tours Monday - Friday. There is also a Balashi logo store, with mostly t-shirts, and a few other things located on L.G. Smith Boulevard, right before the Harley shop and after the Caribbean Mercantile Bank. Very easy to miss but worth a trip if you enjoyed the Balashi! There is also a drive-thru beverage store next door that is nifty.

Shopping in Oranjestad, Aruba


Most stores open from 9 AM to noon or 1 PM and from 2 PM to 6:30 PM, although some remain open between noon and 2 PM. Shops are open from Monday to Saturday. Hotel stores have varying open hours so check at your hotel for these.

Above all, it appears that Arubans are very aware that their economy is completely dependent on tourism - so Arubans are polite to tourists, and even street vendors don't generally seek to rip off their customers (though as in all traveling, don't let advice like this lull you into a sense of complacency). This may be helped by the fact that Aruba is a relatively expensive place to visit, so it tends to attract reasonably well-off.

American dollars are accepted virtually everywhere at a decent exchange rate. If you have U.S. dollars, there is no need to change money into the local currency, the Aruban florin. Because the island is a Dutch dependency, Dutch currency is easy to spend, and small change for purchases in dollars may be in florins. The island is actually not duty-free, but merchants respond well to competition on other islands, and duty-free goods are offered by a few shops at the airport as visitors depart.

Oranjestad's waterfront has many vendors/stalls selling souvenirs. Ironically, many of these souvenirs are imported from the United States with island scenes/slogans, only to be purchased by Americans and brought back to America.

In Oranjestad, the Renaissance Mall contains various American and European major apparel brands (i.e. Tommy Hilfiger, Polo Ralph Lauren, Gucci) at essentially the same prices as in the United States. The mall and the rest of the downtown area also hold numerous other types of stores catering to visitors, to include jewelers, souvenir shops, clothers, and two modest grocers.

You'll find strip malls and grocers at modest (not easily walked) distances west of downtown and elsewhere. They offer most everything a visitor or resident might need for short stays or living there. Groceries and other supplies are all imported, so prices tend to be high. You can catch the bus from the hotel areas to the Grocery shops which are about 10 mins from Eagle beach but before you get to Oranjestad.

With numerous cruise ships visiting, downtown stores offer buys in jewelry, etc., typical of that in other Caribbean cruise ports, some at "duty-free" prices. For cheese lovers, mild Dutch Gouda, in boxes or wheels, is a popular buy in supermarkets, though not the great bargain it used to be. Do ensure the integrity of the package deal from the maker to avoid spoilage and difficulty at customs inspection.

Safety in Oranjestad, Aruba


Aruba is generally a very safe place at any time of day or night. However, it would probably be wise to stay away from the area surrounding the Valero refinery on the southeast part of the island at night (in the words of a Valero employee, "you will get some undesirables down there at night"). There is generally no reason for a tourist to go there at all anyway, so this likely will not be an issue.

While rarely enforced, all drug abuse - including cannabis - is illegal.

Language spoken in Oranjestad, Aruba


Languages spoken are Dutch (official), Papiamento, (also official) (a creole of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch origin), Spanish, and English (widely spoken).

LOCAL TIME

10:45 am
September 17, 2019
America/Aruba

CURRENT WEATHER

28.63 °C / 83.534 °F
light rain
Wed

28.85 °C/84 °F
light rain
Thu

28.75 °C/84 °F
light rain
Fri

27.65 °C/82 °F
light rain
Sat

28.53 °C/83 °F
moderate rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

AWG

1 USD = 0 AWG
1 EUR = 0 AWG
1 GBP = 0 AWG
1 AUD = 0 AWG
1 CAD = 0 AWG

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