Impressions of my Aruba trip

Oranjestad Travel Blog

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On the way to Beatrix International airport

Although the visit was short, I left Aruba with good thoughts of this 'one happy island.'  It is home to beautiful white-sand beaches, crystal clear waters and warm weather the whole year round. The island is only 20 miles (32 kilometers) long and 6 miles (9.5 km.) wide, with a total area of 70 square miles or 180 square km, so you can traverse it easily by car in one day.

The people we inter-acted with were all quite friendly.  Dutch and Papiamento are the official languages, but English seems to be the commercial language and is spoken everywhere.  As a matter of fact, the Arubans are very talented people; being multi-lingual with fluency in English, Dutch, Spanish and of course Papiamento which is their mother tongue.  A word of advice here though; please do not ask or mention about Natalee Holloway, the young American girl who was murdered on the island in 2005.

Arriving at the airport
The people in Aruba are very sensitive about this unfortunate incident, and understandbly so.  They all seem to want to forget about this matter as they want fame, not notoriety for their island nation.  On the other hand, I was told that 70% of the tourists who visit Aruba are Americans and a lot of them are repeat visitors.  Perhaps, also due to the close proximity with the continental United States.

Although there are dozens of exclusive designer brand stores on Aruba, especially in Oranjestad, don't expect bargain prices if you want to go shopping there.  Aruba is not a cheap destination like some of the other Latin American/Caribbean countries.  

I mentioned in the introduction about the checking of luggage upon arrival at the airport.

There's a separate building for USA departures
 Well, when we left, we had to go through several security checkpoints again and our bags were checked twice! One unique aspect of the airport which I've never encountered anywhere else is, after we were cleared through Aruban immgration and customs we entered another part of the airport building which said "Welcome to the USA."  There was a US Customs and Border Protection officer on duty at his desk and we went through all the entry formalities as though we were already on American soil! Consequently, when our plane landed at Orlando International airport in Florida, we didn't have to go through Immigration or Customs again.  

If the above system were to be implemented at every departure area of major international airports, it might be easier for US officials to proccess arriving passengers and also for the passengers themselves.  However, I don't think it's going to happen in the near future! Having said that, isn't our main reason we travel to other places, is to let go of our negative stuff, laugh and enjoy with the locals, in the hope such pleasures will stay with us all the way home and beyond?

Cho says:
@Amudha: Thank you, I'm glad that you agree with me on my philosophy of why we travel.
Posted on: Aug 31, 2017
amudha_colaco says:
Love the ending to your travel tale - ain't that the truth!
Posted on: Aug 30, 2017
Cho says:
You're welcome, May.
Posted on: Aug 28, 2017
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On the way to Beatrix Internationa…
On the way to Beatrix Internation…
Arriving at the airport
Arriving at the airport
Theres a separate building for US…
There's a separate building for U…
Airlines check in counter
Airlines check in counter
Passengers lining up for security
Passengers lining up for security
Me behind the iguana statue at air…
Me behind the iguana statue at ai…
Souvenir shop at airport
Souvenir shop at airport
Departure area of airport
Departure area of airport
First time I actually saw my bag (…
First time I actually saw my bag …
Control Tower of Queen Beatrix Int…
Control Tower of Queen Beatrix In…
Last shot of Aruba from the plane …
Last shot of Aruba from the plane…
We are above Aruba
We are above Aruba
Strong winds as we are about to ta…
Strong winds as we are about to t…
The coastline of Aruba
The coastline of Aruba
City of Oranjestad below us
City of Oranjestad below us
Leaving Aruba airspace
Leaving Aruba airspace
Goodbye Aruba
Goodbye Aruba
Caribbean Islands from the air
Caribbean Islands from the air
Caribbean Islands from the air
Caribbean Islands from the air
Caribbean Islands from the air
Caribbean Islands from the air
I think this is the Dominican Repu…
I think this is the Dominican Rep…
Dominican Republic below
Dominican Republic below
The coastline of the Dominican Rep…
The coastline of the Dominican Re…
Crystal clear water below
Crystal clear water below
Heavy clouds over this Caribbean i…
Heavy clouds over this Caribbean …
Another island in the Caribbean
Another island in the Caribbean
This is probably Cuba below
This is probably Cuba below
Coastline of Cuba
Coastline of Cuba
Approaching the Florida coast
Approaching the Florida coast
Above the Florida coast
Above the Florida coast
The runway at Sanford (Florida) ai…
The runway at Sanford (Florida) a…
Approaching Orlando
Approaching Orlando
Orlando below
Orlando below
Orlando suburbs
Orlando suburbs
Downtown Orlando
Downtown Orlando
Lakes in the vicinity of Orlando
Lakes in the vicinity of Orlando
Lakes in the vicinity of Orlando
Lakes in the vicinity of Orlando
Approaching Orlando International …
Approaching Orlando International…
The Inter-state highway besides Or…
The Inter-state highway besides O…
Landing at Orlando International a…
Landing at Orlando International …
Welcome back home in Orlando!
Welcome back home in Orlando!
Oranjestad
photo by: jenn79