Formally known as Queen (Reina) Beatrix International Airport (AUA), Aruba's international airport is located on the southern outskirts of the island’s capital city, Oranjestad, and provides relatively easy access to the island’s main tourist and hotel districts. It is served by multiple major international airlines with daily service to and from destinations all over the world. A typical taxi ride from the airport to the island's major hotel district is under 20 minutes without traffic.
Terminal and Amenities
The airport terminal is modern, air-conditioned, and handicapped-accessible. Amenities include ample dining choices, duty-free and souvenir shopping, and facilities like family bathrooms, a medical center and bank, and a meditation room and chapel. A VIP lounge is available to KLM and Avianca business-class passengers, Priority Pass and Airport Angel passholders, and others for a daily-use fee.
All airport gates are located in a single terminal building.
Wifi is available in the airport terminal; the network is “wifiaruba.” You can get up to an hour of Web access free of charge.
New to the airport is a relaxing sculpture garden, located between the check-in area for U.S. bound passengers and the Aruba immigration area.
Dining options include local Binah eateries as well as fast-food outlets familiar to U.S. and Canadian travelers, like Sbarro, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, Cinnabon, and Carvel ice cream. There are also two bars with a hint of local flavor. In addition to the usual Dufry duty-free shops selling alcohol, perfume, watches, etc., you’ll find Aruba souvenirs at Island Breeze and Piranha Joes as well as outlets of Aruba Aloe and Colombian Emeralds.
Aruba is one of the few Caribbean airports where you pre-clear U.S. Customs before you depart. Lines can often be epic, so please heed the advice from your hotel about departure time and how early you should be at the airport in order to get through security and customs. Three hours early sounds crazy, but at busy times you'll need every minute if you want to make your flight!
Airlines Flying to Aruba
Aruba has some of the best airlift in the Caribbean, with 25 airlines currently providing service. Major carriers include:
- Air Canada
- American Airlines
- Aruba Airlines
- Copa Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- Insel Air
- Southwest Airlines
- US Airways
Aruba Ground Transportation
Taxis, shuttle buses, and local buses provide a variety of ground transportation options for Aruba visitors. Sample taxi rates from the airport include:
- High-Rise Hotel area of Palm Beach $25
- Low Rise Hotel area of Palm Beach $22
- Eagle Beach Area Hotels $22
- Downtown Hotels $18
- Harbor/Cruise Ship Terminal $21
DePalm, which run many of the island tours on Aruba, also offers airport transfers to Aruba hotels, along with more than a dozen other transport companies.
Arubus is the island's excellent public bus service: for US$4 for two trips, it’s a viable low-cost option if you are staying in downtown Oranjestad or in one of the major hotel districts. The Arubus stop is just outside the airport; the main bus terminal is in the center of Oranjestad and very easy to find for visitors.
Rental cars are available at the airport. Budget, Alamo, Avis, Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty, National, Econo, Amigo, and Eurocar are all located on-airport. Payless and local agencies like Jay’s, Smart Car, More 4 Less, Top Car and Ruba are off-airport but offer shuttle service.
Aruba’s roads are generally safe and excellent, although there can be some traffic in Oranjestad that can slow your trip from the airport to hotels located in the north end of the island. If you want to visit the rugged Atlantic side of Aruba, and don’t want to do a tour, a rental car is recommended — a Jeep if you plan on going off-road.