Technically part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba is just off the northern coast of Venezuela so it’s in the extreme southern Caribbean. Aruba is also almost completely flat, unlike some of the more striking volcanic islands in the region, but it’s also very dry pretty much the whole year round, with barely a rainy season to speak of.
As part of the Netherlands it’s no surprise that the official language is Dutch, but the local tongue called Papiamento is even more common among islanders. However, Aruba is also a very touristy island so English is very widely spoken and understood in any tourist zone, so it’s popular with Brits, Germans, Scandinavians, as well as Americans.
Where to stay
There are nearly 50 resorts and hotels on Aruba, almost all of which are on the western coast and bunched in the north. There are some reasonably cheap (for the Caribbean) hotels and resorts so it can be very good value compared to other islands, but most of the larger places are in the upper price ranges. The all-inclusive resorts on Aruba aren’t among the cheapest in the Caribbean, but they can be great value if you book a package.
The entry point will be Queen Beatrix International Airport, which is one of the larger facilities in the Caribbean, easily big enough for wide-body planes and long-haul flights. The airport is connected to many hubs in North America as well as Europe, so nearly everyone is no more than one plane change from arriving in Aruba. For this reason it’s one of the cheaper Caribbean islands to fly into, especially from New York City.
Nonstop flights from:
Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Charlotte, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Houston, Chicago, Toronto, London, Manchester, Amsterdam