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Oranjestad

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Caribbean : Aruba : Oranjestad
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Oranjestad is a city in Aruba.

Understand

Oranjestad consists of hundreds of local stores where tourists usually buy their keepsakes. The city also is home to some of the island's local residents and also many governmental buildings. Along the main "drag" (Sasakiweg street) you will find most tourist walking around and shopping and can also see the cruise ships that bring more and more external tourism into the island everyday. Close to the cruise ships is the island's largest marina where (if you are a sailor/yachtsmen) you can find great docking space for your vessel.



Climate

BEAUTIFUL..... This word alone expresses the weather one will experience in Aruba and in Oranjestad to be exact. For example with an average temperature of " practically constant temperature of 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius" (Visit Aruba.com) Also furthering the picture perfect weather one needs not to worry about the [possibility of a rainy day. Although there are some cloudy days on average most days have only a small drizzle in the morning or evening and the rest of the day is filled with sunshine. For example the average rain per month is any where from 60-70mm per month. Traveling to Oranjestad on the island of Aruba you are sure to have a holiday filled with beautiful tropical like weather.

Get in

Get around

To get into the downtown one may suggest a simple bike ride on a nice windy day. If the heat is to harsh a cab ride is more than sufficient as the far usually is only 8-15 American dollars. I would personally recommend a cab ride over the busing because it is much easier and a cab is always outside all of the resorts. Having traveled multiple times to the island and having taken everything from a free golf cart ride, bus, cab, bike into town, i would recommend a cab ride for anyone who is unfamiliar with the area as a very easy and inexpensive way to see Oranjestad. Also in the transportation segment road signs become very important for tourist in a country that speaks a different language. Luckily for most English speakers the signs are in English for the most part. For those tourist who speak a language other than English, Spanish, Papiamento, they will find it very hard to read local signs and have a hard time getting around on their own in the first place.


See

Fort Zoutman/Historical Museum [1], Aruba’s oldest building The Natural Bridge site- The bridge was a vital tourist attraction for the island until in fell during th year 2005. Although the bridge is not located in Oranjestad and is no longer standing it is still very interesting to see the "other side" of the island.

Do

  • Oranjestad is a fun place for water activities such as snorkeling, boat rides, parasailing and fishing.

Also of course the average tourist must take part in the shopping in Oranjestad. Most stores do not have quality products however (excluding the famous jewelry stores) and mostly only sell nicknack's and the typical keepsakes.As to the vast amount of jewelry stores around the island most finds prices much lower than when compared to the United States. One can find great deals on diamonds and precious metals and when many return home and appraise their purchases they are valued usually much higher than the purchase price.

The Overall leading attraction that Oranjestad holds is its' natural beauty. The overwhelming reasoning behind why tmost of the tourist traveling in Aruba visit Oranjestad is for the Caribbean sea and white beaches. There are many carnivals, festivals, and parades that take place throughout the year. For a full calendar look at the event schedule. Highlights include:

    • Annual Carnival Celebration
    • Children's Grand Carnival Parade
    • Bon Bini Festival
    • Torch Parade

A new event that has become increasingly popular is the Soul Beach Music Festival that takes place right outside of Oranjestad which icluded a three night long outdoor concert/party with big name reggae artists.

Buy

  • Shop Oranjestad's marketplace to find locally made art and handicrafts.
  • Purchase fresh fish from merchants along the wharf.

For those travelers who have a budget keep to the local crafts but for those who are willing to splurge a little a must buy is a piece of jewelry that you are sure to love. In downtown Oranjestad there is plenty of food, goods, service's to purchase all of which are sure to make your time on the island more enjoyable.

Eat

While in Oranjestad you can look any which direction and a restaurant is surely to be within walking distance. The top cafe in my opinion is a local corner place called "Island Breeze" it is filled with local flare and has many local dishes that are sure to get anyone in the happy spirit of the island. Also bars also fall under infrastructure. Bars in Aruba are much more easily to enter then here in the states. For example the legal drinking age is 18 but for many establishments this rule is not guarded at all. However these bars provided a great place to meet with other travelers and most of the time many locals who can share great insight for where to go to have a great holiday.

The Paddock has a view of the cruise ships, and the lunch special state (skewers) are reasonably priced.

Drink

The drink of Aruba is Balashi Beer. It is the most popular and most widely drank alcoholic product on the island. The beer is brewed on the island and is an Aruban product. When visiting the island one must have at least on of these beers as a way to get the "local flavor of the island.

Sleep

When one thinks of hospitality they think of high rise large scale resorts. however in Oranjestad you can have a great carefree experience at either a small family owned hotel or a resort such as Marriott or Hyatt. Personally every resort in the island has its own flare. Bellow you can see the local hotels that are located in Oranjestad so you can pick one that fits best with your needs and comfort. For me, renting a room a little outside the city center is ideal to get more of the island "low key" feel instead of the hustle and bustle of the town center. Also the people that work in these resorts are very hospitality minded and very friendly. These workers know that the key to the resort and destinations success is the hospitality minded individuals that work and deal with the tourist on a daily basis. Speaking now from experience, when a hotel worker remembers your name and where you are from year after year it leads the consumer to have a sort of "home like" feeling towards the certain resort. This leads to an increase in return customers and brings more money into the resort and in return into the town of Oranjestad.

  • Paradera Park Apartments, +297-5823289/5823278 (, fax: +297-5823261). Paradera Park is a large apartment resort with studios and 1-bedroom apartments, all have private terrace/balcony and aircondition. Tropical gardens, large swimming pool, cabanas and hammocks $70-100/$95-130 (studio/1-bedroom).
  • Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, 011 297 5 836000 (fax: 011 297 5 834389). Two distinctive lodging options for young couples and families respectively. Both have pools and 40-acres of private beach
  • Talk of the Town Hotel and Beach Club, +297-5823380 (fax: +297-582-0327). checkin: 03:00; checkout: 12:00. Across the street from Surfside Beach, the this recently-renovated hotel is located 1 mile from the airport and a pleasant 10-minute walk from downtown.
  • Boardwalk Aruba, Bakval #20, Noord, +297-5866654 (, fax: +297-5861836), [2]. A charming property with several beautifully designed 1-bedroom & 2-bedroom cottages scattered around in a paradise-like garden with a swimming pool. Every cottage is foreseen of a fully equipped kitchen, A/C, private patio with hammock & BBQ, TV & DVD player, telephone and WIFI access. True homes away from home offering lots of privacy, peace and tranquility, paired with personalized service. 150 yards from the beach, located right across the Mariott and Ritz Carlton $140-240/$200-320 (1-bedroom/2-bedroom).


  • Paradera Park Apartments, +297-5823289/5823278 (, fax: +297-5823261). Paradera Park is a large apartment resort with studios and 1-bedroom apartments, all have private terrace/balcony and aircondition. Tropical gardens, large swimming pool, cabanas and hammocks $70-100/$95-130 (studio/1-bedroom).
  • Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, 011 297 5 836000 (fax: 011 297 5 834389). Two distinctive lodging options for young couples and families respectively. Both have pools and 40-acres of private beach
  • The Tamarjin, 1 (800) 544 2008. A great all-inclusive resort that provides unlimited dining, rentals for transportation, and many fun activities on the water as well as the island. Weekend in Oranjestad, Aruba at The Tamarjin offers a detailed itinerary when staying at this resort.


Above are a few example of the local hotels and resorts in which a tourist could stay. In all accounts the leading and best resorts are located outside of downtown Oranjestad about 10-15 minutes north. However staying at one of the above hotels gives you the ideal location if you love to shop and interact with a lot of people. The only downfall comes in with your location to a beach. The hotels in Oranjestad usually have a more "city like" feel to them because the town is always busy with tourist from all over the world. Furthermore these hotels have top notch amenities inside the rooms that make the sometimes pricey rooms worth the money. Also these facilities have amazing views of the incoming cruise-liners and yachts that enter into the local marina daily.

Stay safe

Most likely the only crime one may come across is that from other tourists during their travels. In Oranjestad the locals do not bother or even pressure tourist into their stores or to buy their products. Also as many people experience in destinations such as Jamaica, Mexico Dominican Republic. etc panhandlers are not an issue at all and it is very seldom to be approached by children or homeless people for money. Overall the crime in Aruba is nothing to worry over and it is the safest place in the Caribbean to visit.

Cope

Supporting facilities are also very prevalent around Oranjestad. For example there is a huge amount of local laundry mates that provide dry cleaning and wash services for people, mostly locals. For more tourist the use of supporting services doesn't come into play to much. Most utilize the services offered within their own resort instead of out sourcing.

Get out

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