Is It Safe to Vacation in Aruba (Guide to Drinking Water, Animals, and Health Care)?

Touted as one of the Caribbean pride, Aruba is one of the most visited countries in the lesser Antilles just off mainland South America. Surrounded by immaculate blue waters all around it, scenic beach strips, and happy-loving people, Aruba isn’t only beautiful it’s also one of the safest in the region.
Is It Safe to Vacation in Aruba
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With a universal healthcare program, low crime rates, and quality living, Aruba is not only a haven for seasoned holidaymakers but for expats as well. The island nation’s relatively stable economy that relies on tourism has seen its name cemented right at the top of the Caribbean vacation lists.

Is Aruba Safe or Dangerous to Visit for Tourists?

Aruba’s heavenly beauty is perfectly complemented by the safety it provides to tourists. You’ll be glad to discover that Aruba is one of the safest islands in the Caribbean, as it has consistently ranked high in the safety indexes across the tourist destinations on this side of the Atlantic.

Aruba has low rates of violent and petty crime over the years and has created a good reputation for curious travelers and frequent visitors. One of the country’s reasons for having such a low crime is its “One Happy Island” principle, which doesn’t only pertain to the people’s attitude but to its economy as well.

Most of the island’s residents are middle class, something that isn’t common in the Caribbeans. Its inequality gap is small, the cost of living isn’t high, and the quality of life is relatively the same for everybody. Ultimately, abandoning the need to resort to crime just to get by in life.

However, this doesn’t mean that Aruba is perfectly safe, everywhere, at any given time, no matter where you are in the world there are still many things to look out for, especially in tourist destinations. It’s best to err on the side of caution still.

Is Oranjestad Safe?

No place in the world is perfectly safe, and the capital of Aruba, Oranjestad is not an exemption. Just like any big capital city around the world, Oranjestad has its reasons for taking precautions, like petty crime and occasional gang-related violence, a common characteristic in many developing nations. But, this doesn’t mean to stay away from Oranjestad altogether.

According to past and frequent visitors to Aruba, Oranjestad doesn’t feast on visitors. As visitors rarely become victims of violent crime in the city, even petty crime. This makes the city relatively safe for visitors to travel to. You don’t have to take any special precautions, however, common sense regarding traveling to a foreign country is always important.

Is Aruba a Rich or a Poor Country?

One of the Caribbean’s richest countries, Aruba ranks high in economic power and stability. This means, it isn’t as rich as many of the European powers, or even the USA but it does enjoy a relatively richer life than most of its neighbors.

For one, the economy is heavily reliant on tourism, export, and offshore banking, the country also has one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean region. The island’s unemployment rate is low and the per capita income is higher than most islands and countries in the region.

Tourism is a key factor in the island’s economy, making up about ¾ of the gross national product. Mostly coming from the many tourist sites, resorts, and activities around the island.

Most visitors come from North America, like the USA and Canada, Latin America, and Europe, giving a huge deal of revenues to the sector.

Is Aruba a Third World Country?

Aruba isn’t considered a third-world country, as it is technically part of the Netherlands. Although the island does have certain autonomies, their political structure and model is Dutch, their military aid and protection is provided by the Netherlands, and is part of the Overseas Territories and Countries or OTC of the EU or the European Union.

The citizens speak Dutch, apart from English, their passports are dutch, and they have retained many of the European influences as well despite benign deep in the Caribbean. This, in turn, has disqualified Aruba as a third-world country.

Visiting Aruba will feel like a colonial throwback. The island itself still has Dutch-style buildings, warm English-speaking locals that are more than happy to welcome you to their little slice of heaven.

Is There Crime in Aruba?

The usual crimes that occur in Aruba are mostly theft and armed robberies, and a little gang-related violence that only affects locals who are involved in gang activities. In general, there is little crime in Aruba, and has few variations, only about either small crimes or violence.

Visitors to the island will feel safe and relaxed as the island nation prides itself on its low crime rates and rare crime occurrence.

A common denominator to anyone who has visited the island nation is that they felt completely safe, even in the city streets of the capital down to the beaches around the island. Visitors, especially US Americans and Europeans, love the laid-back feel of the island breeze, the pristine Caribbean waters, and the good-natured locals.

Is Aruba a Safe Place to Live?

Expats who have lived on the island for years have said that it is a safe place to live. Whether you work in business and trade, tourism, or just living in a new country, Aruba never falls short when it comes to safety. Plus, the heavenly backdrop of a tropical paradise isn’t too bad either.

Aruba has low crime rates, one of the lowest in the region which has made it more of an ideal option to spend a holiday to or at least live in for a few months or years.

The friendly and helpful locals add to the charms of the island as well, they love welcoming visitors and expats from far and wide and loves sharing their little slice of heaven. English, Dutch, and Spanish are spoken here so if you speak any of these languages, getting around, settling in, and meeting people will be a breeze.

The island nation also sits outside of the Hurrican Belt making it a perfect destination, whether to get away or to live. The Hurricanes that hit the region usually can’t reach the island, however, you can get occasional rain showers and above average winds but nothing damaging and dangerous.

Is Aruba Safe for Families?

With its reputation for safety and fun, Aruba never falls short, even for families. It’s considered one of the best destinations to have a vacation with your family.

It has low crime rates, and other safety features like hurricane-free days, potable tap water, easy access to hospitals, and friendly, helpful locals you will discover that Aruba will almost always never want you to leave.

The island nation has a plethora of family-friendly resorts and hotels that line across its coasts, friendly towns, and cities, especially the capital of Oranjestad, which are particularly family-friendly and relaxed.

However, the beaches can have undercurrents that can be dangerous for inexperienced swimmers like little children so precautions are encouraged.

What Should You Avoid in Aruba?

With such a plethora of feature to dive into literally and figuratively, there are still many things to avoid in Aruba:

  • Don’t forget to wear sunscreen! (And SPF 30 isn’t strong enough): Aruba’s proximity to the equator pretty much equates to it being the sun’s favorite. It is extremely hot and bright especially on clearer days, where there aren’t many clouds and winds are a bit strong. You don’t only get a sunburn but sun poisoning as well, so make sure to get something higher than the usual SPF 30 you can easily see on markets.
  • Try to avoid the High Season: If you come to Aruba during the high season, chances are you’ll break the bank. Prices tend to get higher, and a ton of places around the island can be packed with visitors from all over, losing the appeal of the supposed laid-back nature of an Aruban vacation. The high season extends from mid-December through mid-April.
  • Avoid San Nicolas District at night: While the “don’t stay out too late at night in a foreign city” rule applies to many countries in the world, it is certainly applicable in San Nicolas, the island’s second-largest city. Many people tend to explore different cities other than the capital, whenever they’re in another country. San Nicolas has an increased risk of crime at night, including petty theft, and other types of small crimes. However, San Nicolas has an idyllic beach that rivals many other beaches on the island.
  • Avoid the Jeep Tours: Nothing is more appealing than touring the island than an open-air jeep that takes you to places that you wouldn’t have otherwise visited. Wrong. Don’t buy into jeep tours that could cost 80 USD per person and without a gratuity, that doesn’t even last half a day. Instead, rent an open-air jeep for a day and visit places that you looked up in advance that can easily be accessed by road on the island. This way, you can tour at your own pace and in the spots, you’re actually curious about.
  • Never underestimate the current: The island does have its share of some of the best beaches in the world, but many are not to be easily taken. The undercurrent is tricky and strong, even for experienced swimmers. It can easily sweep you away and pull you under. Never swim in deeper waters alone, and never underestimate the current.

Does Aruba Have Clean Drinking Water?

Many tourist destinations in developing countries have a questionable quality of water when it comes to consumption, like many of Mexico’s towns, however, not in Aruba.

The island nation has some of the cleanest water in the world for consumption. Aruba applies the desalination process since 1932 to treat their tap water for drinking.

Travelers don’t need to worry about drinking straight from the tap or buy a lot of bottled water that could hurt their budget, plus, fewer plastic bottles, means a cleaner and eco-friendly island.

Where Does Aruba Get Its Drinking Water?

Aruba doesn’t have a natural freshwater resource so they take water mostly from the sea and put it through a desalination process in a saltwater desalination plant that treats the water making it safe and clean to consume for people.

The island nation’s water meets the highest standards of quality of the World Health Organization.

Can You Drink the Water in Aruba?

You can drink straight from the tap in Aruba as the island nation has some of the cleanest water in the world, meeting the highest standards of quality.

This spells good for people who are always extra precautious of drinking water in foreign countries, it makes more room for your budget as you don’t need to buy bottled water to have clean drinking water.

Is Aruba Tap Water Safe?

The tap water in Aruba is safe to drink. The island nation’s tap water comes from the sea, then treated in a saltwater desalination plant making it safe and clean to consume.

The World Health Organization even recognized how Aruba has met the highest standards of quality. Aruba has been treating its water since 1932.

What Animals Does Aruba Have?

With a tropical climate, surrounded by water, it isn’t a surprise that Aruba has a plethora of wildlife that thrives just like how the locals do. Many of the island’s animal inhabitants are reptiles and birds.

One of the most notable bird species is probably the Caribbean parakeet or the Prikichi, with green plumage and a yellow-orange head. The smallest bird on the island is the bench, hummingbirds that tend to hover around flowering bushes, and cacti, sucking up their nectars.

Birds of prey also inhabit the island, like the Warawara, an eagle-like bird, the Aruba-native Shoco, a small burrowing owl.

Snakes and lizards also make up the native animal population of the island. The Aruba cascabel rattlesnake, a critically endangered species, the Baker’s cat-eyed snake, the Aruba Leaf-toed gecko, and the Aruba Whiptail Lizard are the island’s endemic animals.

There is also a large population of iguanas and turtles including the leatherback, hawksbill, loggerhead, and the green turtle.

Other animals are brought over by the different settlers that came to Aruba years ago. These include the sheep, goats, and donkeys brought by the Spanish. And, the cottontail rabbit, most likely brought by the Venezuelans.

Are There Any Dangerous Animals in Aruba?

A notable animal that is known to be deadly in Aruba is the endemic Aruban cascabel rattlesnake.

This snake’s venom is lethal to humans and could cause death, however, they are not aggressive and often shy away from human contact, they only bite when provoked. The Aruba cascabel rattlesnake might not hold a certain danger to most people.

Other notable animals that you have to look out for, are the jellyfish on the waters of Aruba, while its sting isn’t deadly to a lesser degree it could still cause you pain and would ruin a perfectly good vacation.

Also, watch out for hitchhiking boa constrictors if you’re out riding into the wilderness of Aruba.

Are There Poisonous Animals in Aruba?

The most poisonous animal in Aruba is the native Aruban cascabel rattlesnake because its venom is proven to be lethal to humans and could cause death. However, they’re not usually encountered by visitors.

Many have gone to Aruba countless times and have never encountered the animal so far.

However, though not poisonous or deadly, a sting of a jellyfish could be bad for your vacation, so try to watch out for these tricky little animals when you’re in the water.

Are There Scorpions in Aruba?

There have been reports and experiences with scorpions in Aruba but not anything life-threatening or annoying. If you prefer staying in high-rise hotels, luxury resorts, or any accommodation in the city there are slim to no chances of ever encountering these little critters.

If you’re out into the wilderness, however, like a jeep tour, make sure to check your vehicle, and stuff first for any scorpions or the popular hitchhiking boa constrictors.

What Snakes Live in Aruba?

There are a few species of snakes that live in Aruba, some of them are poisonous and could be lethal to humans, some are not, although they do come with certain distinctions that aren’t quite comforting for humans.

  • Aruban rattlesnake, or the “Cascabel”: This venomous pitviper is only found in Aruba and is critically endangered. The Cascabel is a moderately-sized rattlesnake that grows in a maximum of 90 cm and only weighs about one kilogram. Its body is characterized by a light brown, tan, or almost pink color. It reflects the solid of its natural habitat, which is the sandy desert terrains of Aruba. It eats mostly rodents, birds, and lizards.
  • South American Rattlesnake: Another species of venomous pitviper, the South American Rattlesnake can grow up to 1.5 m or 4.9 ft. Its body color pattern is characterized by a dark brown bar at the top of its head with a dark post-orbital band, and the color of its belly varies from white or yellowish, with light gray spots that get darker towards the tail.
  • Boa constrictor: There weren’t boa constrictors in Aruba since its formation years ago, but in the 90s, suddenly these species were occasionally spotted roaming in the countryside. The boa constrictor is one of the largest species of snakes in the world, it can grow up to 2.4 m or 7.8 feet.

Are There a Lot of Snakes in Aruba?

The pitvipers like the Cascabel and the South American Rattlesnake are only a few in number and are rarely encountered, even by locals on the island. The Cascabel is specially taken care of by the conservation efforts of local authorities and organizations as their numbers are so close to extinction.

Are There Poisonous Snakes in Aruba?

The two most notable species of venomous pitvipers on the island are the endangered species of the Cascabel, and the Southern American Rattlesnake. While both have lethal venoms that could kill a human, they, however, don’t usually pose a threat if otherwise provoked.

Are There Boa Constrictors in Aruba?

Boa constrictors that have been growing in number on the island are non-native species. They have been spotted since the 90s and have been causing problems with the population of birds on the island ever since. They are also known to occasionally “hitchhike” in vehicles out in the wilderness.

If you’re going out on a DIY jeep tour around the island, especially in off-beaten paths, be cautious. Make sure to check out your stuff, and your vehicle in case of any reptilian stow-aways.

Does Aruba Have Mosquitoes?

There are mosquitoes in Aruba, especially if you’re staying near moist or damp places like the beach, or near swamps, lakes, and rivers. However, mosquitoes are not much of a nuisance in Aruba.

You’ll find that the country, especially if you’re a tourist that has issues with mosquitoes, a quite pleasant place to visit. Just in case, you can always bring mosquito repellants to Aruba, or buy some in the local markets.

Are Mosquitoes Bad in Aruba?

According to frequent visitors, mosquitoes have never been an issue in their stay in Aruba. Despite it being an island surrounded by moisture, mosquitoes aren’t usually much of a bother for international travelers, except during low winds and rainy days.

Do You Need Bug Spray in Aruba?

Although Aruba is famous when it comes to mosquito problems, it is still advisable to pack a spray or any repellants on every trip to the tropics.

Is There Zika in Aruba?

The ABC Islands, comprising of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao have a history of previous Zika Virus transmission, but currently, there have been no reports and evidence about an ongoing Zika Virus outbreak. It’s safe to assume that Zika isn’t or won’t be a problem in Aruba for some time.

Make sure to research or check the current events on local health issues in Aruba before your visit. While an outbreak is non-existent as of the moment, it’s best to be well-informed nonetheless.

Are There Geckos in Aruba?

There is one quite unique gecko that is endemic in Aruba: the Aruba leaf-toed gecko.

How Is Healthcare in Aruba?

The country’s health insurance system provides universal coverage through a network of service providers organized into primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of care; services tend to be more curative than preventive.

Often regarded as having the best healthcare system in the Caribbean, Aruba also has another thing up its sleeves. If you’re a tourist or an expat in Aruba, you can rest easy knowing that in case of medical emergencies, sudden illness, or an accident, the Aruban system has got you covered.

First off, it has four medical centers spread out across the island, in the cities of Oranjestad, San Nicolas, and Noord. If a certain case cannot be treated in Aruba, or if there is a medical emergency, they are usually airlifted by an air ambulance.

Most foreigners who come to Aruba prefer personal health insurance plans to cover all the expenses.

As for the public, the healthcare system covers both mental and physical health services, covered by multiple healthcare departments in the country. Private healthcare offers immediate medical assistance and helps treat eyes, ears, nose, pulmonary, renal, cardiovascular, and gastrointestinal issues.

Is Healthcare Free in Aruba?

Healthcare is mostly covered by the government in Aruba, this doesn’t mean it’s totally free. Citizens still have to pay certain fees for a small percentage, however that depends on the kind of medical care they need.

Tourists still need to pay for healthcare in Aruba in case of health issues. Their respective domestic or local healthcare won’t cover their needs in Aruba. Certain travel insurance plans aren’t accepted in Aruba.

It’s best to contact your international travel insurance provider before your trip if they are accepted in Aruba.

Does Aruba Have Universal Healthcare?

Aruba’s health insurance system covers universal needs by providing services in multiple areas such as family health, infectious diseases, dental care, pharmaceuticals, emergency health service, and outpatient care.

Patients are usually referred to the Dr. Horacio Oduber General Hospital, with a 79% occupancy rate and 288-bed capacity. The country also boasts the latest measures and technologies for healthcare services.

Does Aruba Take US Health Insurance?

If you’re from the US, unfortunately, you have to purchase another international/travel insurance apart from your already existing health insurance. Aruba doesn’t take any domestic health insurance coverage, even if you’re from the US or any country for that matter.

It’s best to purchase travel insurance ahead of your trip to ensure a sound mind when traveling, so any form of help is accessible. Look up companies like AXA, IMG, HTH, and Worldwide for coverage up to 200,000 USD.

Does Aruba Have Good Hospitals?

Aruba’s best hospitals are mostly found on Oranjestad, the island nation’s capital.

The Dr. Oracio Oduber Hospital is equipped with modern equipment and professional well-qualified staff. This provides the best health care services the country can offer, especially if you have travel insurance that can cover you.

The Dr. Oracio Oduber Hospital is also tied to US, Colombian, Puerto Rican, and Dutch hospitals for specialized treatment care.

Centro Medico: Dr. Rudy Engelbrecht in San Nicolas is also another notable hospital in Aruba that has premier facilities and medical personnel that are certified in Holland, and the local in-service training is also Dutch-certified.

Centro Medico specializes in Anesthesiology, Cardiology, Dermatology, Gynecology, Hemodialysis, Internal Medicine, Nephrology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Radiology, Surgery, and many more.

The Noord Medical Center at Noord 63 also provides emergency care for non-life-threatening cases and injuries at a reasonable cost with their Urgent Care Aruba program. They provided quick and efficient solutions for any clinical cases. In UCA, most travel insurance plans are accepted and have been met with great reviews.

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How Many Hospital Beds Are in Aruba?

There aren’t any reported total estimates for Aruba’s hospital bed. However, the country’s biggest hospital, Dr. Oracio Oduber Hospital has a total of 320-bed capacity that caters to the public, be it locals, expats, or tourists.

How Dangerous Is Aruba?

While there will always be sketchy streets, and dodgy areas in every city and country and no city is ever completely safe, Aruba tops as one of the safest places to visit, at least in the entire Caribbean.

Aruba boasts in its consistently low crime rates over the years. Thanks to its people’s happiness-oriented principles and relatively stable economy that is driven by commerce and tourism, the island nation has been on tourists’ “safest countries to visit” lists.

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