Palm Beach, Aruba
LOCATION AND SIZE
Aruba is located in the heart of the southern Caribbean, 15 miles from the South American coastline. The island is 19.6 miles long, and six miles across at its widest point, with a total area of 70 square miles.
Aruba enjoys a sunny climate, making it a year-round paradise for residents and visitors alike. The average temperature is 82F (28C), with cooling trade winds and the rarity of tropical storms and hurricanes. Aruba lies outside the hurricane belt. Rainfall is very moderate, averaging about 16.1(408.9 mm) per year.
Aruba's population of about 120,000 inhabitants is made up of a broad international mixture of well-educated people with a pleasant nature and a zest for hospitality. The modern Aruban is generally of mixed ancestry, claiming Caquetio Indian, African and European roots. Aruba's strong economy, excellent living conditions and prime weather continues to attract individuals from all over the world. Today, the island claims over 79 different nationalities, who live and work peacefully on the island.
Topography and vegetation are unusual for a Caribbean island. On the south and west coasts are miles of pristine white beaches that rank among the most beautiful in the world. The northeast coast, along the windward shore, is marked by its rugged landscapes and miles of pristine coastline. The interior is colored with numerous brush trees, a variety of cacti and dramatic rock formations. The island's most famous trees are the watapana, or divi-divi trees, all permanently sculpted into graceful, southwest-bending shapes by the constant trade winds.
The official currency of Aruba is the Aruban florin, which is divided into 100 cents. Coins are in denominations of 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents, one florin and 5 florins. The square shaped 50-cent coin is probably Aruba's most recognizable coin. The florin fluctuates with the dollar on the world market. Current exchange rates are Afl. 1.78 to the U.S. Dollar and Afl 1.50 to the Canadian Dollar. U.S. dollars are widely accepted in Aruba, and banks may exchange other foreign currency. Banking hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Caribbean Mercantile Bank (CMB) branch at the airport is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except on official holidays.
Atlantic Standard Time one hour ahead of e.g New York except during Daylight Savings when the time is the same.