Travel.State.Gov > International Travel > Country Information > Aruba International Travel Information
Aruba is a semi-autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The economy is well-developed and tourist facilities are widely available. Read the Department of State Fact Sheet on Aruba for additional information on U.S. – Aruba relations.
Upon arrival in Aruba, you must have: (1) a U.S. passport valid for the duration of your stay; (2) a completed Embarkation and Disembarkation Card (ED-Card); (3) a return or onward ticket; and (4) proof of sufficient funds to cover your accommodations and food expenses during your stay. For stays longer than 30 days, see Aruba’s extension of stay upon entry requirements. You can complete the ED-Card in advance of your trip online or fill it out on the airplane. If you complete the ED-Card online, you can wait less time at the airport and avoid filling out forms on the airplane. Apply for your U.S. passport well in advance of anticipated travel. For more information about applying for a passport, visit travel.state.gov or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778).
U.S. citizens do not need a visa to travel to Aruba. You can stay in Aruba without a visa or permit for the number of days granted by the immigration officer on the ED-Card. The maximum period that you can be authorized to stay as a tourist is 180 consecutive days within a time frame of one year. This is called the visa-free period. It is calculated from time of arrival, not on a calendar year basis. To stay longer than 180 days, you must apply for a residence permit from the Directorate of Alien Integration, Policy and Admission (DIMAS). Tourists are not allowed to work. For information on work and residence permits, contact DIMAS.
For further information, travelers may contact: the Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008, telephone (202) 244-5300; the Dutch Consulates in Chicago, Miami, New York, and San Francisco; the Government of Aruba; Directorate of Alien Integration, Policy and Admission (DIMAS); and the Aruba Tourism Authority.
For Health Information for Travelers to Aruba, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Website.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Aruba.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our customs information page.
The crime threat on Aruba is rated medium by the Department of State, and travelers should take normal precautions in unfamiliar surroundings. Crime against tourists consists primarily of theft. The main targets are valuables left unattended in public areas (beaches, cars, hotel lobbies, etc.). Purses, cameras, passports, phones, and other handheld electronics are the most frequently stolen items. Accordingly, take normal precautions to secure personal property. Do not leave valuables in cars in plain view or unattended in unsecured hotel rooms and rental homes. Keep a copy (paper or digital) of your U.S. passport in a secure location in case the original is lost or stolen.
Incidents of violent crime, including rape and armed robbery – although not common – do occur. Exercise caution when visiting more isolated areas of the island.
There is an increased risk of crime in the San Nicolas district, especially at night. Crimes against tourists are more common here.
Car theft, especially of rental vehicles, can occur. Vehicle leases and rentals may not be fully covered by local insurance when a vehicle is stolen or damaged. Be sure you are sufficiently insured when renting any item.
Parents of young travelers should be aware that the legal drinking age of 18 is not always enforced, so extra parental supervision may be appropriate. Travelers should take standard safety precautions when frequenting nightclubs and bars. Travel in pairs or groups, and, if you consume alcohol, do so responsibly. Take precautions to avoid consuming spiked beverages, e.g., do not leave your drink unattended or accept open containers from strangers. If you are a victim of a crime, report it immediately to Aruba police (dial 100 for police assistance; 911 for an ambulance) and the U.S. Consulate General Curaçao.
Victims of Crime:
Dial 911 if you need emergency medical assistance. Dial 100 for police assistance.
If you are a victim of crime, report it immediately to Aruba police. Do not rely on hotel, restaurant, or tour company management to make the report for you.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes that occur on Aruba.
Call the U.S. Consulate General Curaçao at +5999-461-3066. We can:
For more information, see our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Consulate for assistance.
For further information:
Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws when you travel to Aruba. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Aruba’s enforcement policy concerning drug possession differs significantly from Holland’s. In Aruba, laws against possession of controlled substances are enforced rigorously, including against tourists in possession of marijuana for personal use.
Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.
Local law is based on Dutch law, which allows for the detention of subjects during an investigation with the approval of a judge. Persons detained in Aruba do not have the option of posting bond for their release.
Dual Nationality: Dutch law, in principle, does not permit dual nationality. However, there are exceptions to this rule. For detailed information, contact the The Netherlands Embassy in Washington, DC, or one of the Dutch Consulates in the United States.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Aruba. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights Report for further details.
Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance. While on Aruba, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different than in the United States. Sidewalks and crossings in many areas are not wheelchair accessible, and many buildings lack ramps.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.
Access to quality medical care is more limited than in the U.S., and facilities may not offer the health and service standards you expect in the U.S. There is one hospital, Dr. H.E. Oduber Hospital, which provides services comparable to a small hospital in the U.S. The hospital has tiered health care with accomodations varying according to insurance and ability to pay.
There is no decompression chamber in Aruba. Persons suffering from decompression sickness must be medically evacuated for proper treatment.
Not all medical specialties are represented in Aruba. Critically ill patients requiring services not offered at Dr. H.E. Oduber Hospital are transferred to neighboring countries, such as Colombia. If medical evacuation is authorized by the patient’s insurance carrier or funded privately (approximately $15,000 – 25,000), patients can be transferred to the United States. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
In addition to Dr. H.E. Oduber Hospital, there is a 24/7 walk-in clinic, Urgent Care Aruba, for non-life threatening illnesses and injuries. Urgent Care Aruba, located at Noord 63 (3-5 minutes from Aruba’s high-rise hotels), offers pick-up and drop-service for a fee.
There is a small medical center, Centro Medico, in San Nicolas. The clinic is located at Bernhardstraat 75 and can be reached by car, taxi, or bus (line 1).
Phone numbers for health and service providers in Aruba:
Aruba is only 12 degrees from the equator, so the solar radiation is very strong. Sunscreen is recommended anytime you are outside during the day.
Bring necessary medications with you. Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. The variety of drugs available locally is smaller than in the U.S., and you may not be able to find all of your medications in Aruba. For most medicines, you will need a local prescription. Pharmacies (called “boticas”) are located around the island and provide prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Boticas normally operate Monday to Saturday from 7 am to 7 pm. One botica stays open at night and on weekends according to a rotating duty schedule. To find out which pharmacy is available after hours, you can visit pharmacy on duty in Aruba, ask your hotel, or go to any pharmacy and look for an announcement posted on the window.
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. Zika outbreaks have been reported in Aruba. Because of the risk of birth defects in babies born to women who were infected with Zika while pregnant, women who are pregnant should not travel to Aruba. For more information, see Zika Virus in Aruba. Text PLAN to 855-255-5606 to receive Zika updates for your destination. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.
Chikunguya and Dengue are mosquito-borne illnesses that are becoming more frequent in tropical and equatorial climates around the world. Preventing mosquito bites is the most important way to prevent these illnesses. Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of March 1, 2018, Aruba requires that passengers from select countries have proof of vaccination against yellow fever.
Further health information:
Road Conditions and Safety: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. Aruba's main thoroughfare, L.G. Smith Boulevard, is well lit, and most hotels and tourist attractions can be easily located. Road signs in Aruba are different than in the US, so familiarize yourself with them before driving. Roads are very slick after rainfall, so drive cautiously. Watch out for scooters, motorcycles, and ATVs, as drivers of these vehicles may not strictly follow traffic rules. Be alert for speeding cars and drunk drivers. In less developed areas, watch out for goats and other animals that may cross the road unexpectedly. Night driving is reasonably safe, as long as drivers are familiar with the route and road conditions. Most roads are not as well-lit as U.S. roads. Driving while intoxicated is punishable by fine and imprisonment.
Traffic Laws: You can drive with a valid driver’s license from your home state. An international driver's license is not required. Drive on the right-hand side of the road (as in the U.S.). Roundabouts are common in Aruba, and it’s important to know the traffic rules for navigating them. Drivers approaching roundabouts must yield to traffic already in the roundabout and wait for an opening to enter. Right turns at red lights are prohibited. U-turns are often restricted. Traffic signs prohibiting actions have a red circle around them, but not the red slash you expect to see in the United States. Local law requires drivers and passengers to wear seat belts, and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children must ride in the back seat, and children under 5 years of age must be in a child safety seat. In the event of an accident, do not move your car or pull over to alleviate a traffic jam caused by the accident. If an accident occurs, dial 100 to inform the police and call the rental car company and the insurance company immediately.
Public Transportation: Taxis, while relatively expensive, are safe and well regulated. Taxis do not have meters. Determine the price in advance, as rates are based on destination rather than mileage. Buses provide convenient and inexpensive service to and from many hotels and downtown shopping areas. Buses run every 15 minutes between 5:45 am and 6 pm, and every 40 minutes between 6 pm and 11:30 pm. The central bus station in downtown Oranjestad is located across the road from the cruise terminal next to Royal Plaza.
Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Aruba’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Aruba’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.
The U.S. Consulate has temporarily prohibited U.S. Consulate personnel from flying on Insel Air. The Consulate adopted this policy following an internal review of safety-related considerations.