COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Aruba is a semi- autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The economy is well-developed and tourist facilities are widely available. Read the Department of State Fact Sheet on Aruba for additional information.
SMART TRAVELER ENROLLMENT PROGRAM(STEP)/EMBASSY LOCATION: If you are going to live on or visit Aruba, please take the time to tell our Consulate General about your trip. If you enroll, we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements while you are visiting the island of Aruba. It will also help your friends and family get in touch with you in an emergency. Here’s the link to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.
United States Consulate General Curacao
J.B. Gorsiraweg 1, Willemstad, Curaçao
Telephone: (599-9) 461-3066
Emergency after-hours telephone: (599-9) 510-6870
Facsimile: (599-9) 461-6489
ENTRY / EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR U.S. CITIZENS: All U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport for all air travel, including to and from Aruba. All sea travelers must also now have a passport or passport card. We strongly encourage all U.S. citizen travelers to apply for a U.S. passport or passport card well in advance of anticipated travel. U.S. citizens can call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on how to apply for their passports. You are required to have an onward/return ticket, proof of sufficient funds and proof of lodging accommodations for your stay. The typical length of stay granted by immigration to U.S. citizens is 30 days, and may be extended to 180 days by the office of immigration. For further information, travelers may contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300, or the Dutch Consulate in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston or Miami. Visit the web site for the Embassy of the Netherlands and the Aruban Department of Immigration for the most current visa information.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Aruba.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
THREATS TO SAFETY AND SECURITY: There are no known terrorist or extremist groups, or areas of instability on Aruba, although drug trafficking organizations do operate on the island.
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CRIME: The crime threat in Aruba is generally considered low, although travelers should always take precautions when in unfamiliar surroundings. There have been incidents of theft from hotel rooms and vehicles. Armed robberies have been known to occur. Valuables left unattended on beaches, in cars and in hotel lobbies are easy targets for theft. Jewelry, phones, cameras and other electronics are the most commonly stolen items. Be especially observant when visiting isolated areas.
Car theft, especially of rental vehicles for joy riding and stripping, can occur. Vehicle leases or rentals may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen or damaged. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles, jet skis, and other items.
We recommend that visitors take additional precautions when visiting the entertainment district of San Nicolas. Due to the popularity of this area with tourists, many petty crimes are reported in this area.
Parents of young travelers should be aware that the legal drinking age of 18 is not always enforced in Aruba, so extra parental supervision may be appropriate. Young travelers in particular are urged to take the same precautions they would when going out in the United States, e.g. to travel in pairs or in groups if they choose to frequent Aruba’s nightclubs and bars, and if they opt to consume alcohol, to do so responsibly. Anyone who is a victim of a crime should make a report to Aruban police, as well as report it immediately to the U.S. Consulate General on Curacao. Do not rely on hotel/restaurant/tour company management to make the report for you.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the bootlegs illegal in the United States, if you purchase them you may also be breaking local law.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
Dial “911” on Aruba for emergency police assistance.
Please see our information on victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Aruba, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. In some places, you may be taken in for questioning if you don’t have your passport with you. In some places, driving under the influence could land you immediately in jail. These criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States, and you can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Aruba, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It’s very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.
Persons violating Aruba’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Aruba law is based on Dutch law, which allows for suspects to be held during an investigation by order of a judge without a hearing. Persons imprisoned on Arubado not have the option of posting bond for their release.
If you are arrested in Aruba, local authorities are required to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest. If you are concerned the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police or prison officials to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Dutch law, in principle, does not permit dual nationality. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For detailed information, contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, DC, or one of the Dutch consulates in the United States.
If you are a women traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT Rights: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in Aruba. For more detailed information about LGBT rights around the world, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports for Human Rights Practices. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our Information for LGBT Travelers page.
Accessibility: While in Aruba, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. Many public areas and buildings are not wheelchair accessible.
MEDICAL FACILITIES AND HEALTH INFORMATION: Medical care is generally considered to be good on Aruba. There is one hospital, Dr. H.E. Oduber Hospital, whose medical standards can be favorably compared to a small hospital in the U.S. The hospital has tiered health care, and accommodations will vary depending on insurance and the ability to pay. There is a small medical center in San Nicolas. Please be aware that there is no decompression chamber available on the island. We urge caution for scuba divers, since persons suffering from decompression sickness have to be medically evacuated for proper treatment. The many drug stores, or “boticas”, provide prescription and over the counter medicine. Visitors will need a local prescription, and may not be able to find medications available in the United States. Emergency services are usually quick to respond. Aruba is only about 14 degrees from the equator, so the solar radiation is very strong. Sunscreen is recommended anytime you are outside during the day.
You can find good information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website. The WHO website also contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: You can’t assume your insurance will go with you when you travel. It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. You need to ask your insurance company two questions:
In many places, doctors and hospitals still expect payment in cash at the time of service. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctors’ and hospital visits in other countries. If your policy doesn’t go with you when you travel, it’s a very good idea to take out another one for your trip. For more information, please see our medical insurance overseas page.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Aruba is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate for a particular location or circumstance.
Driving in Aruba is on the right-hand side of the road (as in the U.S.). Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children under 5 years of age should be in a child safety seat; older children should ride in the back seat. Right turns at red lights are prohibited on Aruba.
Aruba's main thoroughfare, L.G. Smith Boulevard, is well lit, and most hotels and tourist attractions can be easily located. There are speed limits on Aruba, and driving while intoxicated may result in the loss of a driver’s license, fine and/or imprisonment. However, these are not consistently enforced. Drivers should be alert at all times for speeding cars and drunk drivers, which have caused fatal accidents. In the interior areas of the island, drivers should be alert for goats or other animals that may cross the roads unexpectedly. Buses provide convenient and inexpensive service to and from many hotels and downtown shopping areas. Taxis, while relatively expensive, are safe and well regulated. As there are no meters, passengers should negotiate a price before entering the taxi.
The emergency service telephone number is 911. Police and ambulances tend to respond quickly to emergency situations.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Aruba’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Aruba’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
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This replaces the Country Specific Information for Aruba dated February 22, 2013 with no substantive changes.