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Banks and Exchange Services
The local currency is the Aruban florin (AFl 1.79 to US$1). The florin is pegged to the U.S. dollar, and Arubans accept U.S. dollars readily, so you need acquire local currency only for pocket change. Note that the Netherlands Antilles florin used on Curaçao is not accepted on Aruba. ATMs are easy to find.
110 volts, 50 cycles.
Ambulance, Fire, and Police P911.
Dr. Horacio Oduber Hospital (L.G. Smith Blvd. 47, Manchebo Beach. 297/587-4300.)
Café Internet (8 Royal Plaza Mall, Oranjestad. 297/582-4609.)
Everyone on the island speaks English, but the official languages are Dutch and Papiamento. Most locals speak Papiamento—a rapid-fire mix of Spanish, Dutch, English, French, and Portuguese—in normal conversation. Here are a few helpful phrases: bon dia (good day), bon nochi (good night), masha danki (thank you very much).
If you need to send a package in a hurry, there is a Federal Express office across from the airport that offers overnight service to the United States if you get your package in before 3 pm.
Main Post Office. The Main Post Office is in Oranjestad. There is also a branch office at Royal Plaza Mall, and others are scattered throughout the island. 9 J.E. Irausquinplein, Oranjestad. 297/582-1900.
The airport departure tax is a hefty $37 for departures to the United States and $33.50 to other international destinations (including Bonaire and Curaçao), but the fee is usually included in your ticket price. Hotels collect 9.5% in taxes (2% of which goes to marketing to tourists) on top of a typical 11% service charge, for a total of 20.5%. A 3% B.B.O. tax (turnover tax) is included in the price charged in most shops.
Restaurants generally include a 10% to 15% service charge. If service isn't included, a 10% tip is standard; if it is included, it's customary to add something extra at your discretion. Taxi drivers, 10% to 15%; porters and bellhops, about $2 per bag; housekeeping, about $2 a day.
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