Aruba is known for beautiful beaches, gourmet dining, exciting nightlife, shopping, and water sports. This destination lives up to its motto of "One Happy Island" as a great place to be active.
Travelers to Aruba can choose from more than 100 restaurants, most located in the capital of Oranjestad or the resort areas such as Palm Beach. The food served in Aruba is mainly imported from the Netherlands and South America. However, you will find dining choices from around the globe including French, Belgian, Italian, Dutch, German, Japanese, Thai, Chinese, Indonesian, Polynesian, Aruban, Argentinean, Caribbean, Mexican, and American.
Aruba also offers a lively nightlife, but unlike many islands, the entertainment is not confined to the resorts on Palm and Eagle Beaches. Many bars, casinos, dance clubs, and night clubs are in downtown Oranjestad. For those who enjoy dancing and music, the options range from all-night clubs to party cruises, and bar tours on a bus. Most dance clubs do not begin hopping until 11 pm and mostly on weekends. Las Vegas-type shows can be found at several locations including: Royal Cabana Casino, with its Jewel Box Review; Crystal Casino at Sonesta with an elegant state-of-the-art showroom; and Aladdin Theatre at Alhambra Casino.
U.S. citizens are entitled to a US $600 duty-free exemption after being away for 48 hours. Technically Aruba is not a free port, but the duty on most items is low. The main shopping is in Seaport Village Mall (more than 85 shops) and the Seaport Marketplace, both in downtown Oranjestad. Aruba merchants stock merchandise from all corners of the world. Business hours are Mon-Sat 8 am-6 pm. A siesta is common in Aruba between noon-2 pm, but some stores will stay open for lunch. Many stores are closed on Sundays. When cruise ships are anchored in the harbor, stores often extend hours. Don't try to bargain because as a rule it is considered rude to haggle. There is a sales tax, so the price on the item might not be the price you will pay (usually add 1.5%).