Aruba is a small country in the Caribbean Sea. It is 180 sq km (69 sq mi) in area, and is part of the Lesser Antilles, about 27 km north of the coast of Venezuela. Aruba is one of the islands in the southern chain of the Lesser Antilles. Together with neighboring Bonaire and Curaçao, Aruba is commonly referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles.
Aruba has a population of slightly over 100,000 (2011 estimate). Its capital and largest city is Oranjestad. The official languages here are Dutch and Papiamento. Aruba is a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which includes the Netherlands, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. It is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands as the head of state.
Aruba is four hours behind Coordinated Universal Time. Its official currency is the Aruban florin (AWG). The electricity here is 120V/60Hz. Traffic is driven on the right. The phone IDD code is +297.
Aruba experiences a tropical marine climate with relatively uniform temperature all year round. As it is outside the hurricane belt, and having an arid climate that offers sunny weather, Aruba is an attractive tourist destination for sun seekers.
The success from tourism has translated into one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean. Three quarters of Aruba’s gross national product is derived from tourism. In 2007, Aruba had a GDP at purchasing power parity of $2.4 billion, equivalent to a per capita GDP of $23,831.
The Reina Beatrix International Airport (AUA) is the gateway to Aruba. While it does not have a national carrier, various airlines provide services connecting it to
Atlanta, Amsterdam, Boston, Chicago, London, Miami, New York City, San Juan and Washington, DC.
Major Cities in Aruba
- Oranjestad – capital
- Saint Nicolaas