Aruba Transportation:

The Ultimate Guide for Getting Around Aruba

Aruba is a tropical desert paradise located in the southern Caribbean, about 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela. With multiple transportation options and good roads, getting around Aruba is a breeze. There are also great opportunities for off-roading in Aruba in a Jeep or all-terrain vehicle.

xPlus, the island’s compact size makes getting around Aruba fast and convenient. Because Aruba is only 20 miles long and 6 miles wide, it only takes about 45 minutes to drive from one end of the island to the other. In addition, you can easily get around on foot in some of the most popular areas, like the Palm Beach area (a.k.a. the high-rise hotel area) and downtown Oranjestad.

Table of Contents

Map of Aruba

Aruba Transportation Options: 6 Ways to Get Around Aruba

Wondering how to get around Aruba? Your transportation options in Aruba include rental vehicles, public buses, taxis, guided tours with transportation included, the downtown Oranjestad trolley, and bicycles. The individual sections below discuss each of these methods of transportation in Aruba.

1. Arubus: Aruba's Public Transportation

If you’re looking to save money on transportation in Aruba, then your cheapest option is to take a public bus (also known as “Arubus“). Aruba’s public buses are operated by Arubus N.V., a company owned by the Aruban government. 

Arubus Schedules and Routes

Arubus buses run throughout the island, and there are bus stops near popular beaches, resorts (like the Marriott in Palm Beach), and the airport. Conveniently, the Routes & Schedules page on the Arubus website lists the Arubus schedules and provides a helpful map for each route. The Arubus website also has a Popular Destinations page that tells you which buses to take to get to and from popular destinations (including Baby Beach, Eagle Beach, Palm Beach, and Arashi Beach).

white tree in the water on Baby Beach in Aruba
The calm, turquoise-colored water at Baby Beach

Arubus Fares and Passes

At the time this blog post was published in 2021, the Arubus fares (in U.S. Dollars) were as follows:

  • Single Trip:  $2.60 
  • Retour Card:  $5.00
  • Day Pass:  $10.00

If you plan to take several rides in one day, then I recommend buying a Day Pass to get unlimited access to all Arubus routes. To confirm the current Arubus fares, visit the Fares & Passes page on the Arubus website.

2. Taxis in Aruba

Another (more expensive) way to get around Aruba is to take a taxi. 

Aruba Taxi Rates

In Aruba, taxi rates are fixed. The Aruban government has established rules regarding the minimum fare for each ride, surcharges imposed on certain days and at certain times of the day, the amount of luggage allowed for each passenger, charges for transporting additional luggage, etc. As a result, taxi drivers in Aruba are not allowed to ask for other fares besides those approved by the Aruban government.

For literally everything you need to know about taxi fares in Aruba, you can refer to the Official Aruba Taxi Price List (2018-2022) approved by the Aruban government. For easy reference, though, here are a few important rules about Aruba taxi rates to remember:

  • Minimum Fare:

The minimum fare is US$7.00 (or 12.60 Aruban florins).

  • Surcharges:

On top of the regular fare, there is a surcharge of US$3.00 (or 5.40 Aruban florins) on Sundays, on official holidays, and from 11:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. on regular days.

  • Hiring Taxis by the Hour:  

Taxis in Aruba can be hired by the hour at a rate of US$50.00 (or 90.00 Aruban florins) per hour.

  • Luggage Allowances for Taxis and Charges for Additional Luggage:

Each passenger being transported to and from the airport is allowed one piece of luggage and one “back/hand pack-bag.” Passengers can bring additional luggage in the taxi but will be charged US$2.00 (or 3.60 Aruban florins) for each additional piece. However, according to the government’s rules, “[a]ttaché cases, laptop cases, carry on’s, and any type of equipment/aid that is necessary for the passenger’s mobilization cannot be charged for.”

Admittedly, the distinction between “back/hand pack-bags” and “carry-ons” is a bit confusing.  As a result, it’s not entirely clear from the Official Aruba Taxi Price List (2018-2022) what constitutes a “carry-on” and whether there is a charge for additional “back/hand pack-bags.” So try to consolidate your bags as best you can, and confirm any additional luggage charges with your taxi driver before accepting a ride.

Also, if you are transferring between hotels and need to use the trunk of the taxi, there is a charge of US$2.00 (or 3.60 Aruban florins) per piece of luggage.

man holding luggage and standing outside the Aruba airport
Luggage in hand at Queen Beatrix International Airport
Aruba Taxi Rates for One-Way Rides to or from Popular Areas

The Official Aruba Taxi Price List (2018-2022) contains helpful tables that show the prices (in U.S. Dollars) for one-way taxi rides to or from various parts of the island. For easy reference, I’ve prepared the following table summarizing the rates for one-way taxi rides to or from some of Aruba’s popular areas and attractions. (The rates listed in this table, which are in U.S. Dollars, are valid through 2022.)

High-Rise
Hotel Area
(Azure to Ritz
Carlton)
Eagle Beach
Area (Oceana
to Amsterdam
Manor)
Low-Rise
Hotel Area
(Divi Dutch to
The Pearl)
Downtown
Oranjestad
Arikok National Park30292926
Aruba Aloe1291012
Ayo Rock Formation28282825
Baby Beach51484844
Boca Catalina – Lighthouse 14171823
Casibari Rock Formation23232320
Charlie’s Bar (in San Nicolas)40393835
Downtown Oranjestad1312107
Eagle Beach97812
Flying Fishbone Restaurant – Zeerover37363530
Gostoso Restaurant1513129
Harbor / Cruise Ships1615148
High-Rise Hotel Area791013
Low-Rise Hotel Area108710
Malmok Beach – Gold Coast14171823
Palm Beach891213
Pinchos Grill & Bar – Barefoot Restaurant2017168
Queen Beatrix International Airport31282621
San Nicolas41403835
Savaneta37363530
High-Rise
Hotel Area
(Azure to Ritz
Carlton)
Eagle
Beach
Area
(Oceana
to Amster-
dam
Manor)
Low-Rise
Hotel Area
(Divi Dutch to
The Pearl)
Down-
town
Oran-
jestad
Arikok
National
Park
30292926
Aruba
Aloe
1291012
Ayo Rock
Formation
28282825
Baby
Beach
51484844
Boca Catalina – Lighthouse 14171823
Casibari Rock Formation23232320
Charlie’s
Bar (in San Nicolas)
40393835
Downtown Oranjestad1312107
Eagle Beach97812
Flying Fishbone Restaurant – Zeerover37363530
Gostoso Restaurant1513129
Harbor / Cruise Ships1615148
High-Rise Hotel Area791013
Low-Rise Hotel Area108710
Malmok Beach – Gold Coast14171823
Palm Beach891213
Pinchos Grill & Bar – Barefoot Restaurant2017168
Queen
Beatrix
Inter-
national
Airport
31282621
San
Nicolas
41403835
Savaneta37363530
As you would expect, taking a taxi in Aruba is much more expensive than taking the public bus. Also, depending on how many taxi rides you take in a day, it likely will be cheaper to just rent a vehicle instead.

Maximum Number of Passengers Allowed in Taxis in Aruba

The maximum number of passengers a taxi driver in Aruba is allowed to transport at once is five passengers. Children under two years old are not considered to be “passengers” for purposes of this rule.

Lost Items in Taxis

Any lost item found in a taxi in Aruba will be reported and turned over to the Department of Public Transportation or the nearest police station.

3. Book a Tour and Let Your Guide Do the Driving

Another way to get around Aruba is to book a tour and let your tour guide do the driving for you. There are numerous tour and excursion options in Aruba, and many of them offer hotel pick-up.

When I visited Aruba, I went on an off-roading UTV tour with RockaBeach Tours around the island’s eastern coast and through Arikok National Park. I had a fantastic time and a great tour guide (who picked me up at my hotel). I would absolutely recommend this tour!

all-terrain vehicle off-roading beside the ocean in Aruba
Off-roading along the rugged eastern coast of the island
Whether you’re interested in an ATV/UTV adventure, a horseback riding jaunt, or a scuba diving or snorkeling excursion, Aruba has many great options for guided tours that offer hotel pick-up. To start planning your adventure, check out the fantastic options for Aruba Tours on Viator (my go-to site for finding awesome tours).

4. Ride the Free Trolley Around Downtown Oranjestad

The downtown trolley is a fun and free way to get around Oranjestad, Aruba’s capital city. This charming hop-on hop-off trolley runs on a loop between the cruise ship terminal and the Main Street area of downtown Oranjestad. Conveniently, the trolley passes by several points of interest, including Fort Zoutman, the Archaeological Museum, restaurants, and stores.

palm tree lined trolley track running through downtown Oranjestad
Ride the trolley through Oranjestad’s Main Street (officially named Caya G. F. Betico Croes)

5. Bike Rentals in Aruba

Bicycling is also popular in Aruba. If you’re interested in doing some leisurely cycling with an ocean view, then head over to Linear Park. Linear Park has a paved path that runs along the coast, stretching from downtown Oranjestad to Queen Beatrix International Airport.

Where to Rent Bikes in Aruba

Some hotels offer complimentary bikes for guests. You can also rent a bike from a rental company like ScootAruba or TechShack Bike Rental.

Another rental option is a bike-sharing program called Green Bike. Just go to one of the Green Bike stations, swipe your credit card at the kiosk to pay, and then remove a bike from the docking port. At the end of your ride, simply stop by a Green Bike station and return the bike to the docking port.

Safety Tips for Riding Bikes in Aruba

Here are a few safety tips for riding bicycles in Aruba:

  • Don’t ride bicycles at night in Aruba. Because Aruba does not have many street lights, it is difficult to see pedestrians and cyclists on the road at night.
  • There are not many bicycle lanes in Aruba. Therefore, you will need to be very careful and aware of drivers if you are cycling around traffic.
  • In Aruba, motorized vehicles have priority over non-motorized vehicles (like bicycles).

6. Renting a Car or Jeep in Aruba

Driving in Aruba is Easy, Convenient, and Cost-Effective

In my opinion, the best way to get around Aruba is to rent a vehicle. There are two main reasons I think renting a vehicle in Aruba is the best option:

  • First, renting a vehicle in Aruba gives you the freedom to explore the entire island on your own timeline. When I visited Aruba, I loved having the freedom to hit the open road and explore on my own! 
  • Second, if you plan to explore the island and don’t want to ride a public bus, renting a vehicle is cheaper than taking numerous expensive taxi rides.

Further, driving in Aruba is particularly easy for Americans because, in Aruba, you drive on the right side of the road, just like in the United States. Once you familiarize yourself with Aruba’s traffic signs and get used to the roundabouts, driving in Aruba is a breeze! For tips on driving, parking, and navigating in Aruba, check out my post on “Driving in Aruba: Everything You Need to Know.”

Where to Rent a Car in Aruba

There are several rental car company offices conveniently located at the Queen Beatrix International Airport, right in front of the Arrivals terminal. In addition, several other rental car companies have offices located offsite. Some rental car companies also have branches at resorts around the island.

How Much Does Renting a Vehicle in Aruba Cost?

The cost of renting a vehicle in Aruba varies depending on the rental company you use and the type of vehicle you rent (for example, whether you rent a standard car or opt for an SUV with four-wheel drive).

When I visited Aruba, I rented an economy-class sedan from Enterprise. My rental car cost $22 per day plus fees and taxes. I had this economy rental car for all but two days of my trip. For those other two days, I rented a Jeep from Top Drive to go off-roading. The Jeep I rented from Top Drive cost $107 per day plus fees and taxes.

red and white Jeep near Andicuri Beach in Aruba
The Jeep I rented from Top Drive to go off-roading in Aruba

To get the best price on car and SUV rentals in Aruba, I recommend visiting a price comparison website like KayakOrbitz, or Booking.com.

What Type of Vehicle to Rent in Aruba

If renting a vehicle in Aruba sounds like the right option for you, then the next thing to consider is what type of vehicle you should rent. Your choices include a standard car, an all-terrain vehicle, or an SUV with four-wheel drive.

The main roads in Aruba are paved and are in very good condition. This means you can easily get around most parts of Aruba in a car without four-wheel drive. 

However, in more secluded, rugged areas of Aruba, a car will not suffice. If you want to visit Arikok National Park or go off-roading around the northern tip of the island and along the eastern coast, you will need an all-terrain vehicle or an SUV with four-wheel drive.  

I recommend renting an all-terrain vehicle or 4×4 SUV for one or two consecutive days and doing all your off-roading activities during that time period. For the rest of your visit, just rent a normal car. Using this approach will save you money because renting an all-terrain vehicle or 4×4 SUV is more expensive than getting a basic rental car. 

Twilley's Take on the Best Way to Get Around Aruba

  • Rent a Basic Car

If you intend to venture out and really explore the island, I recommend renting a car instead of relying on taxis or public buses. Once you get the hang of the roundabouts, driving in Aruba is very simple. Having your own vehicle will give you the flexibility and freedom to explore the island on your own. Also, taxi fares add up and can quickly exceed the daily cost of renting a car. 

blue waves crashing against cliffs of volcanic rock in the Seroe Colorado area of Aruba
Volcanic rock cliffs and a sea arch in Seroe Colorado

Just a reminder, though—if you’ve been day-drinking or drink too much with dinner, get your restaurant or hotel to call a taxi for you. Laws against drinking and driving are enforced in Aruba. 

  • Take a Guided Tour of Arikok National Park in an All-Terrain Vehicle

I also recommend taking a guided day tour of Arikok National Park in a Jeep or all-terrain vehicle, especially if you want to visit Conchi (which is one of my favorite places in Aruba). Conchi is a secret natural pool accessed by an incredibly rocky “road.” Because the road to Conchi is so rugged, going with a guide is recommended.

Conchi natural pool in Arikok National Park in Aruba
“Conchi”—a secret natural pool in Arikok National Park
  • Rent an All-Terrain or 4×4 Vehicle for 1 or 2 Days to Go Off-Roading on Your Own

If you have enough time during your trip, I also recommend renting a Jeep, or a similar 4×4 all-terrain vehicle, for a day or two to go off-roading on your own. 

With a Jeep, you can venture up to the rugged northwestern tip of the island to see the sand dunes at California Point. (Note: Driving on the actual sand dunes is prohibited. So, instead, just park your vehicle near the dunes and walk over to them.)

California Sand Dunes beside the ocean in Aruba
The California Dunes on the northwestern tip of the island

Then, continue off-roading down the eastern coast of the island. As you make your way down the coast, you’ll pass by the Bushiribana Gold Mine ruins, a natural pool, beaches, and natural bridges. Eventually,  you’ll reach Arikok National Park. 

If you’ve already ventured into the more rugged, remote areas of Arikok National Park on your guided tour, you can easily explore the more accessible areas on your own and even go on a hike. (In Arikok National Park, I recommend visiting Guadirikiri Cave, Fontein Cave, and two secluded beaches called Dos Playa and Boca Prins. You can easily get to those areas on your own in a Jeep.)

woman standing inside Guadirikiri Cave in Arikok National Park in Aruba
Sunlight streaming into Guadirikiri Cave in Arikok National Park

Getting Around Aruba Without a Car

Getting around Aruba without a car is definitely possible if you utilize some of the other transportation methods discussed above. 

For example, you can easily and quickly get around the developed areas of Aruba by taking a taxi or a public bus. Taking a taxi will give you more flexibility than taking the public bus because you will not be limited to specific bus routes and stops. However, the trade off is that taking a taxi in Aruba will be much more expensive than taking a bus.

If you’re only going a short distance, you can either walk or ride a bicycle. Further, you can easily get around on foot in the popular tourist areas of Palm Beach and downtown Oranjestad.

the Paseo Herencia mall in Palm Beach
Paseo Herencia — a lively area in Palm Beach with stores, restaurants, live events, and a nightly water show

The Linear Park is a great area to ride bikes, but, as mentioned above, you will need to be careful when riding bicycles in other areas of Aruba because there are not many bicycle lanes. Also, riding a bicycle is not a good option for getting around Aruba at night because there are not many street lights.

In addition, you can even go off-roading in Aruba without renting your own vehicle. If you want to visit Arikok National Park, the northern tip of the island, or the rugged eastern coast, simply book a guided ATV/UTV tour.  

No Lyft or Uber in Aruba

At the time this blog post was published in 2021, Uber and Lyft were not available in Aruba.

Aruba Airport Transportation

International flights arrive at and depart from Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA), which is located on the outskirts of Oranjestad. The airport is only a 10-minute drive from downtown Oranjestad. 

Entrance sign for Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport
The entrance to Queen Beatrix International Airport

To get from the airport to your accommodations, you can rent a car, book a ride with a transfer operator, take a taxi, or catch a public bus at a bus stop located just outside the airport property.

As mentioned in the Aruba taxi rates section above, the prices (in U.S. Dollars) for one-way taxi rides between the airport and popular accommodation areas are as follows:

Queen Beatrix International Airport
Downtown Oranjestad21
Eagle Beach Area
(Oceania to Amsterdam Manor)
28
High-Rise Hotel Area
(Azure to Ritz Carlton)
31
Low-Rise Hotel Area
(Divi Dutch to The Pearl)
26
Malmok — Gold Coast36
Noord30

If you plan to take a taxi to or from the airport in Aruba, make sure to read the section of this post that discusses Luggage Allowances for Taxis and Charges for Additional Luggage.

Several rental car companies have offices conveniently located right in front of the Arrivals terminal at the Queen Beatrix International Airport. These onsite rental companies include Alamo, National, Enterprise, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty. In addition, several other rental companies, like Top Drive and Sixt Rent A Car, have offices offsite.

Transportation Options at the Aruba Cruise Terminal

Each year, hundreds of thousands of cruise ship passengers visit Aruba. The cruise terminal is conveniently located in downtown Oranjestad. 

To get from the cruise terminal to other parts of the island, you can rent a vehicle, take a taxi, or take a bus. You can rent a vehicle right outside of the cruise terminal. Also, Aruba’s main bus terminal is conveniently located right across the street from the cruise terminal. If you plan to stay close by and just explore downtown Oranjestad, then you can hop on the downtown trolley, which runs on a loop between the cruise terminal and the Main Street area of downtown Oranjestad.

A cruise ship anchored at the cruise terminal in Oranjestad, Aruba
A cruise ship anchored at the cruise terminal in downtown Oranjestad

Departing Aruba by Air

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Preclearance for U.S.-bound Travelers

If you are departing Aruba on a U.S.-bound flight, then you will have to go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection Preclearance at Queen Beatrix International Airport before departure. Therefore, you should arrive at the airport about three hours before your flight to allow adequate time to go through security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Preclearance. If you have Global Entry, you’ll be able to get through the Preclearance process more quickly.

There is a bright side, though, of having to go through the Preclearance process in Aruba. When you arrive in the U.S., you get to skip U.S. Customs and TSA inspections and proceed directly to your connecting flight or final destination!

But what if you’re bypassing the United States altogether and flying directly from Aruba to another international destination besides the United States? In that case, you don’t have to go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection Preclearance. However, you should still arrive at the airport at least two hours before your flight.

Returning Your Rental Vehicle

Also, when figuring out when you need to arrive at the airport, remember to factor in time to return your rental car. If you rent from a company that has an office right in front of the Arrivals terminal, like I did, this process should be pretty quick. 

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive updates on new blog posts, giveaways, and more!


Affiliate Disclaimer:  This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For full information, please see the disclaimer.

More Aruba Posts

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive updates on new blog posts, giveaways, and more!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.