Have you ever heard of Aruba? This is definitely not one of the better-known countries in the world, which is why you may not be aware that it uses the Aruban florin as its chosen currency. Find out more about the currency – and the country that uses it – below.
This is a decimal currency – as are most of the ones you will see in use today – and it is divided into 100 cents per florin. There are seven coins available that are split between being denominated as florins and as cents. The cent coins are the 5, 10, 25 and 50 cent coins, while the other are denominated as the 1, 2½ and 5 florin coins.
There are also several banknotes available and these are all denominated in the florin. They are the 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 florin notes.
Aruba is an island and before it brought in the florin in 1986 it used the Netherlands Antillean guilder. The island was once associated with the Netherlands Antilles but this is no longer the case. When it became independent in 1986 it was decided that it should have its own currency, and this was when the florin was introduced.
Since many people go to Aruba on holiday it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn how easy it is to get the florin. It is very easy to get cash via cash machines at a variety of banks. It is advisable to check with your bank prior to travelling though, to ensure your particular bank card will be accepted in the cash machines there.
You will probably find it next to impossible to get hold of any florin before you go, but this isn’t too much of a problem as they are easy to get once you arrive. Another point worth noting is that Aruba does tend to happily accept the US dollar rather than taking its own currency. As such you might want to take some US dollars in with you in case you need them. It means you’ve got some cash on you from the moment you arrive in the country, and you can then get hold of some local currency once you’re there.
All you need is the obligatory exchange rate calculator to get an up to date exchange rate between your own currency and the Aruban florin. The one thing worth remembering is that whenever you exchange your own currency in Aruba you are likely to be charged a commission for doing so. Whatever the general exchange rate is, the one you will get is likely to be a little less appealing. It shouldn’t be very different from the general exchange rate in force at the time though.
There doesn’t seem to be an official website for the Embassy of Aruba in London – at least not one that is exceptionally easy to find. However you can find out more about the country from the official UK government website at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/aruba.
The majority of people who decide to book a holiday to Aruba have a great time with no problems at all. It does however pay to be aware of certain things before you go and when you are there.
For example most people would know that carrying bags for anyone else is a bad move. You just never know what might be in them. Aruba is unfortunately known as a route through which drugs are sent in order to reach other parts of the world. This is why you must never agree to take a bag through Customs for anyone, no matter what reason they might give you for doing so.
Aside from this, crime is really not a major problem in Aruba. Petty thievery does go on of course, but it generally doesn’t trouble people in the tourist parts of the island. Just make sure you keep your belongings with you and to keep them on your person at all times. Don’t carry any more cash than is really necessary and if your hotel has a safe, use it for anything you don’t have to keep on your person.
Most crime occurs when there are easy opportunities to steal things. For example if a handbag is kept open it can be tempting to dip into it to see what is in there. The moral of the story is to make sure you never give anyone the chance to pick your pockets or dip into your bags.
We know now that Aruba has some association with the Netherlands, and you probably know roughly where the Netherlands are. But where is Aruba? Well, if you look at a map you might be surprised you can’t find Aruba anywhere near the Netherlands. That’s because you will be looking in the wrong place. It is actually off the coast of Venezuela! Yes, you will find it in the Caribbean Sea not far north of Curacao and directly south of the Dominican Republic.
Now you know where it is you can probably imagine why people want to go there on holiday. Its island status in the Caribbean Sea means there are lots of beaches and plenty of great weather to look forward to. Take Eagle Beach for example, which is famous for meeting the classic impression most people have of a Caribbean beach. It offers beautiful sea views and luxurious white sands. There are shaded areas you can retreat to if the sun gets a little too much, and you can also make the most of the opportunity to see turtles laying their eggs here. If you time it right you can watch the newly-hatched turtles making their way down to the ocean. It’s quite an experience.
Nature is a big part of Aruba and you will undoubtedly notice Hooiberg if you get close enough. This is a volcanic formation that is easy to spot no matter where you happen to be staying. Hooiberg is an odd name for a formation like this, but it literally translates into haystack as that is what it is supposed to look like. There is a car park near the base so you can go for a walk or hike up or around it if you want to find out more. There are great views from the top if you discount the presence of some antennas which have been put up there.
Elsewhere in Aruba you will find De Palm Island. This area offers some great opportunities to do something different, no matter how much time you spend there. You can have a bus tour for a half or full day, or take part in a Helmet Walk. This latter experience might sound a bit odd but in fact it is well worth doing. You take a walk underwater along a walkway built especially for the experience. Since you are underwater the helmet enables you to breathe while being able to see the many fish that will be swimming around you. It’s unsuitable for young children but those over the age of eight should be fine.
The island also features a water park with slides and other rides to try out. And if that all gets too much you can always try a massage with the sound of the sea at your back. Really, what more could you want from a visit to De Palm Island?
To find out more about the island and its history, you should also pay a visit to Fore Zoutman. This is located in Oranjestad, and most appropriately just so happens to be the oldest building there. That’s good since it offers a view on the history of the island. It has served many purposes over the years but its use as a museum today is a rather smart one.
Now you know a little about Aruba you will know what to expect from a trip there. This was once a foreign territory associated with the Netherlands but this is no longer the case. It is an island all its own and it benefits from its position in the Caribbean Sea. With lots of great beaches, destinations, attractions and more to explore, this island may be relatively small compared to others nearby but it knows how to pack a lot into the space it has available.
This means any holiday you decide to have here is bound to be remembered for all the right reasons. If you are considering a Caribbean holiday this year you could do a lot worse than to choose Aruba as your destination. With a trip to De Palm Island on the cards along with all kinds of other activities, you’re sure to have a great time.