If you just want to stay at your hotel with only a few forays into Oranjestad and perhaps a hotel-arranged tour, then you won’t need a car. Taxis and local buses will get the job done; however, buses don’t travel to the more extreme parts of the island to the north, east or south, or into Arikok National Wildlife Park. For freedom to explore Aruba, a car – at least for a couple of days – is essential.
You’ll know the tourists not only by the V-registrations of their rental cars but also by their actual use of turn signals. All the major car-rental companies have offices at the airport. It’s worth comparing prices with local outfits, including the following:
Economy Car Rental (297-583-0200; www.economyaruba.com)
Optima Rent-A-Car (297-582-4828; www.optimarentacar.com).
The main bus depot (Lloyd G Smith Blvd) is right in the center of Oranjestad. Arubus (297-588-0616) buses 10, 10A and 10B serve the hotel areas from Oranjestad. Buses run every 15 to 30 minutes from 6am to 11:30pm and cost US$1.30 one way. Buses 1 and 8 link Oranjestad to the airport every 30 to 60 minutes.
Buses do not go to the rugged parts of the island to the north, east or south, or into Arikok National Wildlife Park.
Taxis are easy to come by at hotels and resorts. Fares are set for fixed distances. From the airport to the High-Rise Resorts costs US$25, for example. Extra passengers cost US$2 and you can charter a taxi for touring for US$45 per hour.