What Kind of Shopping Is Aruba Known for (and What Should I Bring Home)?

From jewels, high-end goods, traditional and local staples, Aruba is known to be one of the best shopping scenes in the Caribbean. The island’s low taxes and a plethora of duty-free goods, make it an enticing place to shop, however expensive, it’s worth the expense.
What Kind of Shopping Is Aruba Known for
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The well-to-do, and well-heeled travelers will find themselves dropping their sunglasses on store windows with the island’s good selection of luxury items. And if your the type to spend less while having more, you can head on to other areas on the island for some authentic Aruban purchases.

What Products Is Aruba Known for?

From handicrafts made by the local artists to Dutch-influenced products with an Aruban twist, you can always have your baggage full with the best buys of Aruba. If you look up online or ask locals, and fellow tourists what are the best and well-known products you can buy on the island, they will most likely say the Aloe Products, Gourmet Chocolates, and the Mopa Mopa Art.

Aruba’s Aloe products are perfect for your suncare, hair care, and skincare needs, catering to a wide range of needs. Made from the Aloe plants speckled throughout the island, brought to the island more than a hundred years ago, these products are abundant on the island.

The go-to gift for friends and family will almost always be chocolate, food might be temporary but the sweetness is divine, nonetheless. You can opt to cop some gourmet Dutch chocolates from Aruba, a popular choice for souvenirs. With a rich history of making chocolates, they even extended the tradition to Aruba.

The Mopa Mopa Art is an Aruban craftsmanship made by local artisans that include decorative items such as masks, trays, boxes, and ornaments. These little decorations have an interesting background, apart from their obvious beauty. They are made from the Mopa Mopa tree’s leaf buds that are then boiled to make resins, then used to add intricate patterns on wooden carvings.

Other honorable mentions are the Dutch stroopwafels, Delftwares, and Delft cheese, all influenced by the dutch, jewelry, and the quirky Aruba One Happy Island license plate.

With Aruba’s rich history and culture, not to mention the bountiful beauty of the island that has helped the locals become the fun-loving, happy, and warm people that they are. There are a plethora of products you can buy in Aruba, that are both authentic and unique to the island.

What Jewelry Is Aruba Known for?

There is no particular piece of jewelry that the island is known for, but what they do have are duty-free bargains and low-taxed jewelry. These items are also sold in an abundance with the capital of Oranjestad brimming with jewelry stores. A vast selection of duty-free stores, and pieces of jewelry, together with low taxes make Aruba irresistible for jewelry enthusiasts.

What Stone Is Aruba Known for?

Since Aruba’s gemstones and other pieces of jewelry are mostly imported, there aren’t any pieces that would be properly hailed as Aruba’s well-known piece. However, the closest thing is the Tanzanite. Usually embedded in jewelry is becoming a favorite piece to bring home from Aruba. Tanzanites are rarer than emeralds and are abundant in the Caribbean.

Does Aruba Produce Chocolate?

Their historical and cultural ties to the Netherlands have made Aruba, proud makers of chocolate, most of which are directly influenced by Dutch chocolatiers. You’ll find that chocolates, specifically gourmet chocolates are plentiful in Aruba.

What Are Good Souvenirs From Aruba?

Fabulous vacations and beautiful spots and sights are not the only things you can get in Aruba. Their proud heritage, culture, and history have equipped them to be artisans of money-worthy souvenirs and items that speak Aruba.

For one, apart from the Gourmet Chocolates, Mopa Mopa Art, and various Aloe products that have been mentioned, you’ll find that there several others that made it to the list. If you look up online, ask a local, or a fellow tourist, chances are you’ll get Aruba License Plates, the Dutch-influenced Delftware, and Dutch cheese, and maybe a reusable bag as well.

What makes Aruba License Plates a go-to souvenir is its quirkiness. Aruba is one of the few places in the world where car owners have to trade in their license plates every year. This obligation was turned into a small, quirky culture where tourists buy pre-owned license plates. Plus, the plates even have the “One Happy Island” motto on them.

The Dutch may seem that they have left their mark on the island, but no. The Dutch never really left. Aruba has been a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since its secession in 1986.

The island nation may have seceded but the Dutch culture is here to stay. This is evident in the Dutch cheese and delftwares that are largely sold across the island nation. Dutch cheeses on the island, mainly Gouda, Limburger, and Edam are sold on markets and stores across Oranjestad. You can even buy a whole wheel of cheese.

Delftware, mainly ceramics and pottery are also from the Dutch. A fine creation of blue-and-white porcelain produced in the region of Holland in the Netherlands since the 16th century. They can be different types of crafts, like plates and little statues, but the most famous ones are the Delft blue pottery.

Is Aruba Tax-Free?

Aruba does have a sales tax on the supply of goods and services, part of the reason why Aruba seems expensive for some. But in comparison to other countries, this sales tax is only 1.5% of the sale amount. However, the real good thing for tourists in Aruba is the duty-free pricing, which ensures that shopping-savvy tourists don’t have to pay import taxes.

Aruba also has a Hotel Room tax that is levied with 6% imposed by the government, on all hotel and timeshare rooms. This applies to all hotels across the island nation, on top of the 11% service charge on rooms.

What Is the Sales Tax in Aruba?

Aruba levies a 1.5% tax on sales. These are mainly on the supply of goods and services, charged on hotel bookings, activities, food, and many other things.

What Can You Buy in Duty-Free in Aruba?

With Aruba’s super inclusive duty-free shopping bargains, you can buy from a wide selection of products and goods in the many duty-free shops on the island. Mainly in Oranjestad, you can buy luxury goods such as clothes, perfume, cosmetics, and jewelry duty-free. Apart from the luxuries, are the liquors and alcohols, most of which you can buy from stores around the city and especially at the airport.

Is There a Chanel Store in Aruba?

Aruba might be big on jewelry, clothes, and other luxury buys but Chanel hasn’t yet opened a store in Aruba. If you stumble upon Oranjestad’s shopping centers like the Renaissance Mall, while there are numerous luxury brands, Chanel just isn’t on the roster.

There are, however, other luxury stores and brands that might cater to your luxury purchases, like clothes and accessories. The Renaissance Mall has Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Carolina Herrera, Tag Heuer, Michel Kors, Chopard, Kate Spade, Rolex, and Cartier.

Is Louis Vuitton Cheaper in Aruba?

Retail prices are practically the same, if you compare it with the US, however, with Aruba’s lower taxes, many of the products might come off as cheaper if you’re from the USA. there have been many testimonies that if you buy LV in Aruba, they can cost pretty much lesser or more than in the US.

You might need to gauge you’re spending if you plan to go big on luxury items. The key is to check prices before coming. You can always check the store’s services from the Louis Vuitton website.

Is Gucci Cheaper in Aruba?

Fashionistas and luxury shoppers who have been to Aruba have said that Gucci is noticeably cheaper in Aruba than in the US. With lower taxes, Gucci items can be 15 to 20% cheaper in Aruba.

Apart from good prices, Gucci also has a decent selection for up-to-date fashion-savvy travelers. Gucci is only found in Oranjestad, at the Renaissance Mall.

What Grocery Stores Are There in Aruba?

Grocery shopping is as good as its luxury shopping, with a wide selection from large supermarkets that both locals and tourists seem to love. The island’s big three supermarkets are the Lings & Sons, Price Smart, and Super Food.

Ling & Sons has the largest selection of American products on the island. The market is basically an American-style grocery store. Packed with quality meats, ethnic and authentic products from all over the world, not to mention the extensive liquor and alcohol selection available.

If you’re looking for European products, Super Food is a Dutch-owned supermarket that has a wide and varied selection of European products, even cheeses, pastries, desserts, wine, beer, and liquor. The store is frequented by European visitors and is often the go-to store for people who have a more European taste.

Price Smart is a warehouse-style shopping club like Costco and mostly has American products, often sold in bulk. This supermarket isn’t only selling supplies of goods and products but it also sells some electronics, appliances, household items, and kitchenware.

Other honorable mention for top-rated places to go for groceries, like Kong Hing, and Certified Supermarket which can be found just outside of downtown Oranjestad near the hotel area.

Does Aruba Have a Walmart?

Aruba doesn’t have a Walmart, but it does have supermarkets that can be considered an equivalent to Walmart. For example, Price Mart is a warehouse-style shopping center that resembles Costco more than Walmart. Ling & Sons is also an American-style supermarket that can be compared to Walmart.

Is There a Global Entry in Aruba?

In 2019, the Aruban customs became a participant in the Global Entry on Arrival Program. This gives pre-approved clearance to low-risk travelers entering the United States. Aruba now has access to a database where member information is stored to ease entrance for Global Entry applicants.

There are Global Entry kiosks before departure at the airport to help save time for travel, kiosks upon departure from Aruba, and arrival in the US cut back 20 to 45 minutes of the time.

Is There a Costco in Aruba?

There no Costco stores in Aruba, but the island does have many supermarkets that are considered to be Aruba’s equivalent to Costco or even Walmart.

What Can You Bring Back From Aruba?

Apart from the usually crafted souvenirs like the Mopa Mopa art, and the delftwares, you can also bring back goods like the Dutch cheese and the Balashii beer. However, make sure that you’ve read the TSA guidelines before buying anything, as policies might change.

You can also bring the Aruba License Plates back with you, they can be considered souvenirs as well. Other crafts that you can bring back as a souvenir is a reusable bag made from handwoven fabrics by the locals.

Can You Bring Shells Home From Aruba?

As tempting as it sounds, you can’t take shells from the shores of Aruba back with you. In Aruba, it is considered against the law and perpetrators will be fined and the shells confiscated.

Now, you might be wondering why that is? Seashells, especially those found along beaches play a certain, albeit small role in the maintenance of the ecosystem. They help stabilize beaches, anchor seagrass, provide homes for little crustaceans like hermit crabs. And when shells break down, they provide nutrients for the organisms living in the sand.

Can You Take Sand From Aruba?

Just like taking seashells, it is also illegal to take sand from Aruba’s beaches. The international treaty CITES (or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), together with the local laws, prohibits anyone from taking sand, shells, and especially corals from the beaches and waters of the island.

What Is the Best Thing to Buy in Aruba?

While there can be many things to consider when buying the best souvenir, or remembrance of Aruba to celebrate your experience with this beautiful slice of Caribbean paradise, however, it depends on one thing. It all comes down to what represents your experience in Aruba.

It could be the dutch cheese, and the delftware, two things that remind you of the Dutch imprint on the island. Or it could be the Mopa Mopa art, reminiscent of the island’s ethnic genes. It could even be an empty bottle of Balashi beer, and a quirky license plate that represents the uniqueness of the island, and your love for authenticity.

It depends on what you would want to hold on to, hang on your wall, or show off on your Instagram posts. The island may have a plethora of things for you to buy and a whole lot of reasons to love it. Still, after having experienced the island, nothing beats the desire to go back as your best souvenir.

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