Aruba - Consular Information Sheet
November 3, 2000
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Aruba, an autonomous island in the
Caribbean, is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Tourist
facilities are widely available. The U.S. Consulate General in
Curacao, Netherlands Antilles has responsibility for U.S. citizens
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Either a U.S. passport or a U.S. birth
certificate accompanied by a valid photo ID must be presented.
While a U.S. passport is not mandatory, it is recommended since
it is more readily recognized as a form of positive identification.
Tourists may be asked to show onward/return tickets or proof of
sufficient funds for their stay. Length of stay is granted for
two weeks and may be extended for 90 days by the Head Office of
Immigration. For further information, travelers can contact the
Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue, N.W., Washington,
D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300, or the Dutch consulates
in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Houston. Internet: http://www.netherlands/embassy.org
DUAL NATIONALITY: Dutch law in principle does not permit
dual nationality. However, there are exceptions in some cases.
The Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington or one of the Dutch
Consulates in the U.S. will be able to provide more detailed and
specific information on this subject. In addition to being subject
to all Dutch laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may
also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations
on Dutch citizens. For additional information, see the
Consular Affairs home page on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov
for our Dual Nationality flyer.
SAFETY/SECURITY: Despite the proximity of Aruba to Colombia,
kidnappings have occurred only rarely and have not involved tourists.
CRIME INFORMATION: Street crime is low, and American tourists
generally feel safe, including when strolling downtown or in other
tourist areas after dark. There have been incidents of theft from
hotel rooms and even armed robbery. Valuables left unattended
on beaches, in cars and in hotel lobbies are easy targets for
Car theft, including that 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. Be sure you
are sufficiently insured when renting vehicles and jet skis.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or
Consulate. U.S. citizens may refer to the Department of State's
pamphlet, A Safe Trip Abroad,
for ways to promote a more trouble-free journey. The pamphlet
is available by mail from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington, D.C. 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical care is good in Aruba. Aruba
has one hospital, Dr. H.E. Oduber Hospital, with medical standards
that can be compared with an average small hospital in the U.S.
The hospital has three classes of services and patients are accommodated
according to the level of their insurance (i.e. first class: one
patient to a room, TV, better food; second class: two to three
patients to a room, shared bathroom, etc; third class: 15 to 20
people in one hall).
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the U.S. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do
not provide payment for medical services outside the U.S. Doctors
and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services.
Uninsured travelers who require medical care overseas may face
Check with your own insurance company to confirm whether your
policy applies overseas, including provision for medical evacuation,
and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems requiring
hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the U.S. can cost
tens of thousands of dollars. Ascertain whether payment will be
made to the overseas hospital or doctor or whether you will be
reimbursed later for expenses you incur. Some insurance policies
also include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for disposition
of remains on event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available
via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202)
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the U.S. The information below concerning
Aruba is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally
accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: excellent
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: good
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: fair
Availability of Roadside Assistance: good
Driving in Aruba is the same as in the U.S., on the right-hand
side. Right turns on red are prohibited in Aruba. 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; if older they should ride in the back seat.
Aruba's main thoroughfare (L.G. Smith Boulevard) is well lit,
and most hotels and tourist attractions can be easily located.
Although there is a speed limit in Aruba, many times it is not
properly enforced. Drivers should be alert at all times for speeding
cars, which have caused fatal car accidents. Buses provide convenient
and inexpensive service to and from many hotels and downtown shopping.
Taxis, while expensive, are safe and well regulated. As there
are no meters, passengers should verify the price before entering
For additional general information
about road safety, including links to foreign government sites,
see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs home page
at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html. For specific information
concerning Aruba driver's permits, vehicle inspection, road tax
and mandatory insurance, contact the
Netherlands National Tourist Organization offices in New York
at 1-888-464-6552, Internet: http://www.goholland.com. See also
road safety information
from other sources at http://www.aruba.com/.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) has assessed the government of Aruba's Civil Aviation Authority
as Category 1 - in compliance with international aviation safety
standards for oversight of Aruba's air carrier operations.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit
Internet web site at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa/. The U.S.
Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign air
carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact the DOD at (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Aruba customs authorities may enforce
strict regulations concerning importation into and exportation
out of Aruba. Travelers are allowed to purchase a maximum of $600
worth of duty free merchandise based on the retail value. It is
advisable to contact the Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington
or one of the Dutch Consulates in the U.S. for specific information.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the U.S. and may
not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S.
law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in
the U.S. for similar offenses. Persons violating Aruba laws, even
unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Aruba has
strict gun control laws; even a stray bullet in a suitcase can
trigger a fine or time in jail.
TIME-SHARES AND REAL ESTATE: The time-share industry and
other real estate investments are two of the fastest growing tourist
industries in Aruba. Time-share buyers are cautioned about contracts
that do not have a "non-disturbance or perpetuity protective
clause" incorporated in the purchase agreement. Such a clause
gives the time-share owner perpetuity of ownership should the
facility be sold. Americans sometimes complain that the time-share
units are not adequately maintained, despite generally high annual
Potential investors should be aware that failed land development
schemes involving time-share investments can result in financial
losses. Interested investors may wish to seek professional advice
regarding investments involving land development projects. Real
estate investment problems that reach local courts are rarely
settled in favor of foreign investors.
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY/CONSULATE LOCATION: Americans living
in or visiting Aruba are encouraged to register at the Consular
Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Curacao located at J.B.
Gorsiraweg #1, Willemstad, Curacao, telephone 011 (599-9) 461-3066;
fax 011 (599-9) 461-6489; e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Consular Section hours of operation are 9:00a.m to 11:00a.m
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday except U.S. and Dutch holidays.
After-hours, emergency telephone 011 (599-9) 560-6870.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated September
14, 1999 to update all sections; to add Sections on Dual Nationality,
Safety and Security, Customs Regulations, and Time-Shares and
Real Estate, to delete the Netherlands Antilles portion, and to
delete the section on Y2K Information.