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Aruba



Capital: Oranjestad

Time Zone: -4 hours. No daylight saving time in 2008.
Tel. Country Code: 297
USADirect Tel.: 0
Electrical Standards: Electrical current: 220/50 or 110/50 (volts/hz). North America Style Adaptor Plug. Grounding Adaptor Plugs A, D.

Katadyn Water Filter

Resource Links

NaTHNaC
World Health Organization
CDC
Travel Health Services
Country Insights
Travel Warnings
Consular Information
Foreign Commonweatlh Office

Embassies

• U.S. Consulate General
J.B. Gorsiraweg 1
Willemstad
Curacao
Tel: [599] (9) 461-3066
Fax: [599] (9) 461-6489
E-mail: acscuracao@state.gov

• Canadian Embassy
Maduro and Curiels Bank, N.V.
Scharlooweg 55
Willemstad
Curacao
Tel: [599] (9) 466-1115/1121
Fax: [599] (9) 1122/1130

The nearest British Diplomatic Mission for the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) is the British Embassy in Caracas. There is an Honorary Consulate in Curacao where passport, visa forms, emergency travel documents and general assistance can be obtained. Passport and visa forms are also available at the Parliament Building in Back Street, St Maarten and from the Bureau of Foreign Affairs in Aruba.

• Honorary Consulate
6, Curacao
Netherlands Antilles
Tel: [599] (9) 747 3322
Fax: [599] (9) 747 3330
E-mail: owersa@curinfo.an (Honorary Consul)
britconcur@attglobal.net (British Consulate)

Entry Requirements

HIV Test: Required only for those intending to immigrate to this country.

Required Vaccinations: Yellow fever: Required of all travelers >6 months of age year arriving from any country in the yellow fever endemic zones in Africa or Central/South America.

Passport Information

Passport/Visa: Aruba is one of the Netherlands Antilles, an autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands Antilles is a group of six Caribbean islands: Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Statia, and St. Maarten. 
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: For information, travelers may contact the Royal Netherlands Embassy, 4200 Linnean Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone [202] 244-5300, or the Dutch Consulate in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Houston or Miami. Visit the web site for the Embassy of the Netherlands at http://www.netherlands-embassy.org and the Aruban Department of Immigration at http://www.aruba.com/pages/entryrequirements.htm/ for the most current visa information.

Vaccinations: Recommended and Routine

Hepatitis A: Recommended for all travelers >1 year of age.

Hepatitis B: Recommended for all non-immune travelers who might be exposed to blood or body fluids from unsafe/unprotected sexual contact; from injecting drug use; from medical treatment with non-sterile (re-used) needles and syringes. Recommended for any traveler requesting protection against hepatitis B.

Influenza: Vaccination recommended for all travelers >6 months of age who have not received a flu shot in the previous 12 months.

Routine Immunizations: Immunizations against tetanus-diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella (MMR vaccine) and varicella (chickenpox) should be updated, if necessary, before departure. MMR protection is especially important for any female of childbearing age who may become pregnant.
• The new Tdap vaccine, ADACEL, which also boosts immunity against pertussis (whooping cough) should be considered when a tetanus-diphtheria booster is indicated.

Typhoid: Recommended for all travelers with the exception of short-term visitors who restrict their meals to major restaurants and hotels, such as business travelers and cruise passengers.

Yellow Fever: Yellow fever vaccination is required for all travelers >6 months of age arriving from any country in the yellow fever endemic zones in Africa or the Americas, but is not recommended or required otherwise.

Hospitals / Doctors

Medical care is good in Aruba. All travelers should be up-to-date on their immunizations and are advised to carry a medical kit as well as antibiotics to treat travelers diarrhea or other infections. Travelers who are taking regular medications should carry them properly labeled and in sufficient quantity to last for the duration of their trip; they should not expect to obtain prescription or over-the-counter drugs in local stores or pharmacies in this country - the equivalent drugs may not be available.
• Travelers are advised to obtain comprehensive travel insurance with specific overseas coverage. Policies should cover: ground and air ambulance transport, including evacuation to home country; payment of hospital bills; 24-hour telephone assistance. In the event of a serious illness or injury that can't be treated adequately in this country, you should consider air ambulance transport to Miami or Houston.

Medical facilities in this country:

• Dr. Horacio Oduber Hospital
Tel: [297] 587-4300
Website: http://www.arubahospital.com/english/index.html
This is a well-equipped 280-bed facility with modern equipment, including hemodialysis. The hospital, opened in 1976 and is located across from Punta Brabu Beach, within walking distance of some of the hotel district. The hospital has established ties to the U.S., Puerto Rican, and Dutch hospitals for specialized treatment and care. The Oduber Hospital is regarded as one of the better medical facilities in the Caribbean.
A hyperbaric chamber is located adjacent to the hospital. Admission is through the hospital ER.
Decompression facility website: http://www.hope-aruba.com/

• Centro Medico San Nicolas
Bernardstraat 75
San Nicolas
Tel: [297] 584-8833
Wesite: http://www.thearubahouse.com/hospitals.html
General medical/surgical care; minor trauma; 24-hour emergency assistance.

Destination Health Info for Travelers

AIDS/HIV: The Caribbean has a well-established HIV epidemic and the incidence of HIV/AIDS in the region is now second only to sub-Saharan Africa, making the region the second most affected in the world. The predominant route of HIV transmission in the Caribbean is heterosexual contact. Much of this transmission is associated with commercial sex, but the virus is also spreading in the general population. The contribution by men having sex with men is significant but not well documented, due to a general atmosphere of homophobia making data gathering difficult. At one extreme, Haiti has the highest HIV prevalence in the entire western hemisphere (3.8%); at the other, Cuba has one of the lowest (0.1%). The Bahamas (3.3%), Trinidad and Tobago (2.6%) and Guyana (2.4%) are all heavily affected, while Puerto Rico is the only Caribbean country apart from Cuba where it is thought that less than 1% of the population is living with HIV. The overall prevalence of HIV in the Caribbean is estimated to be between 1.1% and 2.2%. (Source: Avert.org)
• The United Nations does not currently publish HIV/AIDS epidemiological fact sheets for The Netherlands Antilles and thus specific HIV/AIDS data are not available for Aruba.
• Transmission of HIV can be prevented by avoiding: sexual contact with a high-risk partner; injecting drug use with shared needles; non-sterile medical injections; unscreened blood transfusions.
• The threat of HIV/AIDS should not be a primary concern for the traveler. However, there may be a concern for a subset of travelers who may be exposed to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through contact with another person’s body fluids or blood. Although travel has contributed in a general way to the global spread of AIDS, fear of traveling because of this disease is not warranted.

Accidents & Medical Insurance: Accidents and injuries are the leading cause of death among travelers under the age of 55 and are most often caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle crashes; drownings, aircraft crashes, homicides, and burns are lesser causes.
• Heart attacks cause most fatalities in older travelers.
• Infections cause only 1% of fatalities in overseas travelers, but, overall, infections are the most common cause of travel-related illness.
• MEDICAL INSURANCE: Travelers are advised to obtain, prior to departure, supplemental travel health insurance with specific overseas coverage. The policy should provide for direct payment to the overseas hospital and/or physician at the time of service and include a medical evacuation benefit. The policy should also provide 24-hour hotline access to a multilingual assistance center that can help arrange and monitor delivery of medical care and determine if medevac or air ambulance services are required.

Dengue Fever: Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted, flu-like viral illness widespread in the Caribbean and is the most common cause of fever in travelers returned from this region. In 2007, over 50 cases in the Netherlands Antilles were confirmed to be dengue fever and one case in Curacao was confirmed to be dengue hemorrhagic fever. Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted, flu-like viral illness occurring throughout South America. Symptoms consist of sudden onset of fever, headache, muscle aches, and a rash. A syndrome of hemorrhagic shock can occur in severe cases.
• Dengue is transmitted via the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. Aedes mosquitoes feed predominantly during daylight hours. All travelers are at risk and should take measures to prevent daytime mosquito bites. Insect-bite prevention measures include applying a DEET-containing repellent to exposed skin and applying permethrin spray or solution to clothing and gear.
• There is no vaccination or medication to prevent or treat dengue.

A dengue fever map is at: http://www.nathnac.org/ds/c_pages/documents/dengue_map.pdf

Food & Water Safety: Tap water is considered safe to drink. Aruba has no natural source of fresh drinking water and very little rainfall. The Water and Energy Company produces drinking water by desalinating marine water. Tap water is distilled water, filtered through coral stone beds. It is safe for consumption without further treatment. Aruba has an adequate sewerage system: sewage is put through a water purification system and then drained into one of the largest inland waterways.
Food safety: Almost all food is imported. Every year, the Public Health Laboratory tests all workers in the food preparation or sale for shigellosis, salmonellosis , and tuberculosis. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.

Hepatitis: All travelers not previously immunized against hepatitis A should be vaccinated against this disease. Travelers who are non-immune to hepatitis A (i.e. have never had the disease and have not been vaccinated) should take particular care to avoid potentially contaminated food and water. Travelers who will have access to safe food and water are at lower risk. Those at higher risk include travelers visiting friends and relatives, long-term travelers, and those visiting areas of poor sanitation.
• Hepatitis E may be endemic but levels are unclear. Transmission of the hepatitis E virus (HEV) occurs primarily through contaminated drinking water. In developing countries, prevention of hepatitis E relies primarily on the provision of clean water supplies and overall improved sanitation and hygiene. There is no vaccine.
• The overall hepatitis B (HBsAg) carrier rate in the general population is estimated at 2% to 7%. Hepatitis B is transmitted via infected blood or bodily fluids. Travelers may be exposed by needle sharing and unprotected sex; from non-sterile medical or dental injections, and acupuncture; from unscreened blood transfusions; by direct contact with open skin lesions of an infected person. The average traveler is at low risk for acquiring this infection. Vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended for: persons having casual/unprotected sex with new partners; sexual tourists; injecting drug users; long-term visitors; expatriates, and anybody wanting increased protection against the hepatitis B virus.
• Hepatitis C is endemic but levels are unclear. Most hepatitis C virus (HCV) is spread either through intravenous drug use or, in lesser-developed countries, through blood contamination during medical procedures. Over 200 million people around the world are infected with hepatitis C - an overall incidence of around 3.3% of the population of the world. Statistically, as many people are infected with HCV as are with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Influenza: Influenza is transmitted year-round in the tropics. The flu vaccine is recommended for all travelers over age 6 months.

Marine Hazards: Swimming related hazards include jellyfish, spiny sea urchins, and corals.
• Ciguatera poisoning is prevalent and can result from eating reef fish such as grouper, snapper, sea bass, jack, and barracuda. The ciguatoxin is not destroyed by cooking.
• SCUBA DIVING-Hyperbaric Chamber Referral: Divers Alert Network (DAN) maintains an up-to-date list of all functioning hyperbaric chambers in North America and the Caribbean. DAN does not publish this list, since at any one time a given chamber may be non-functioning, or its operator(s) may be away or otherwise unavailable. Through Duke University, DAN operates a 24-hour emergency phone line for anyone (members and non-members) to call and ask for diving accident assistance. Dive medicine physicians at Duke University Medical Center carry beepers, so someone is always on call to answer questions and, if necessary, make referral to the closest functioning hyperbaric chamber. In a diving emergency, or for the location of the nearest decompression chamber, call the DAN Emergency Hotline: [1] 919-684-8111 or [1] 919-684-4DAN (Collect).

Rabies: Aruba is considered rabies-free, but stray and sometimes viscous dogs may be encountered. All unprovoked animal bites should be medically evaluated for possible post-exposure treatment.

Travelers' Diarrhea: Low to moderate risk. Food and water are generally safe on this island. A quinolone antibiotic, azithromycin, or rifaximin (Xifaxin), combined with loperamide (Imodium), are recommended for the treatment of acute diarrhea.
• Diarrhea not responding to antibiotic treatment may be due to a parasitic disease such as giardiasis or cryptosporidiosis.

Typhoid Fever: Typhoid fever is the most serious of the Salmonella infections. Typhoid vaccine is recommended by the CDC for all people (except short-stay visitors and cruise ship passengers) traveling to or working in the Caribbean, especially if visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas and staying with friends or relatives where exposure might occur through food or water. Current vaccines against Salmonella typhi are only 50-80% protective and do not protect against Salmonella paratyphi, the cause of paratyphoid fever. (Paratyphoid fever bears similarities with typhoid fever, but the course is generally more benign.) Travelers should continue to practice strict food, water and personal hygiene precautions, even if vaccinated.