Travel Guide Caribbean Aruba Oranjestad





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Oranjestad is the capital and largest settlement on Aruba. It is located at the southwestern coast of the island and has just under 30,000 inhabitants. It was built just over 200 years ago and has been the capital of Aruba since then. In local language the city is often called Playa. The city has a harbour, catering to private yachts and cruise ships as well as cargo ships. The Caribbean atmosphere combined with the typical Dutch colonial architecture make this place a charming one and many tourists visit the city on day trips from their hotels elsewhere on the island.



Sights and Activities

  • Fort Zoutman



Events and Festivals

King's Day

King's Day on the 27th of April means cultural events, sports activities, picnics and music. Don't forget to wear something Orange to blend in.

Carnival Parade

The biggest event of the year features several weeks of celebrations in high season starting in February. Oranjestad is the place to be to experience the best of it, with street fests, local music, competitions and games. The Grand Parade on the last day is particularly impressive, when an effigy of King Momo is set alight.

National Anthem and Flag Day

Expect lots of flag-waving, nationalistic pride, and traditional shows on March 18. This date harks back to 1948 when the former leader presented a petition for independence to the Dutch masters and it took almost 40 years to achieve the autonomy. A variety of events on this day will appeal to tourists, adults, and children alike.

Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival

Big name music acts from around the world grace the Soul Beach Music Festival over two days and nights in late May. Artists at the Oranjestad-based event have included the likes of Wyclef Jean, the Gap Band, Alicia Keys, Anthony Hamilton, Jamie Fox, Toni Braxton, and MJ Blidge.

Hi-Winds Amateur World Challenge

This world-class windsurfing competition is one of the most hotly anticipated of its type. Top windsurfers from around the world descend on Aruba in June/July to catch the renowned trade winds that skirt the islands. There are heats for women and juniors, as well as the main male events, along with kite boarding and kite surfing. The event is held at Hadicurari Beach, next to Palm Beach.

Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival

Also known as the Aruba Music Festival, the Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival is the biggest music festival of the year on this funky island in the sun. The event takes its cue from the North Sea Jazz Festival of the Netherlands and runs for two days over Columbus Day weekend in early October. Acts from around the world partake.




The weather is warm and pleasant year round with temperatures hovering around 30 °C on most days. Unlike islands more north in the Caribbean, there is no real rainy season, although the best time to visit is the busier December to May period when showers are almost absent.



Getting There

By Plane

Flights arrive and depart at Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA), 2,5 kilometres out of town. Aruban based Tiara Air has flights from Aruba to Curacao, Bonaire and Punto Fijo in Venezuela. Many other airlines serve Aruba from several countries in both North America and Europe. Martinair and KLM have direct flights from the Netherlands, while Condor flies there directly from Frankfurt. Air Canada has flights to and from Toronto, while a number of United States based airlines have flights to cities like Miami and New York. Aruba is well connected with neighbouring islands and countries like Suriname, Dominican Republic and Colombia.





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Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 12.52458
  • Longitude: -70.026459

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This is version 15. Last edited at 12:30 on Aug 30, 18 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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