Aruba is an island in the Caribbean Sea, located just north of the Venezuelan peninsula of Paraguaná. This is the westernmost island of the Lesser Antilles. The island, which in the past was part of the Netherlands Antilles, is now a dependency of the Netherlands with wide autonomy. The capital is the town of Oranjestad located along the west coast of the island.
A SPECIAL LANGUAGE: PAPIAMENTO
Aruba is an island inhabited mainly by a mixed population with Arawak, European and African descent. A local Creole language, Papiamento is spoken on the island. This language originated from a mixture of European and African languages. In particular, Papiamento is largely based on Portuguese and Spanish but has also undergone considerable influence from the Dutch language. The vast majority of Aruba’s inhabitants are Catholic.
The island is flat and arid, and known for its white sand beaches. The most beautiful beaches of Aruba are located along the western and southern coasts of the island. The interior of the island has only a few low hills that break the monotony of the barren landscape. Aruba’s highest point is Mount Jamanota (188 meters).
The main economic resources of the island are tourism, financial activities and the petrochemical industry. In recent decades, tourism has significantly increased its importance to the detriment of the petrochemical industry.
The island has an important international airport, the Queen Beatrix International Airport. The island is connected with flights to the other Caribbean islands, to some Latin American countries, to the United States, Canada and the Netherlands. To reach it from Europe it is better to take the KLM flights that depart from Amsterdam.
The climate of Aruba.
- Area: 193 sqkm.
- Population: 103,500 (2006 data) (Mestizo (descendants of European and Amerindians 80%, others 20%).
- State Capital: Oranjestad.
- Language: Official languages are Dutch and Papiamento (a creole language with roots in primarily Portuguese and Spanish, and to a lesser extent Dutch, African, and Native Indian languages).
- Religion: Christian 90% (Catholic 82%, Protestant 8%), Jewish 2%.
- Currency: Aruban Florin (Arubaanse Waarde Geld)(AWG)
- Time: UTC -4 hours.
ACCOMMODATIONS, APARTMENTS, B&B AND HOTELS
This post is also available in: German