Aruba features some of the world’s most gorgeous sandy beaches, lush tropical scenery, intriguing little towns and the best weather to escape those frigid northern winters. But all these luxuries come at a price. Yes, compared to other sun destinations (Dubai and Miami to name a few) and neighboring Caribbean countries, Aruba is will take a larger bite out of your pocketbook. This being said, one can still enjoy Aruba perhaps not on a shoestring but on a lower budget if they know where to stay and the cheaper restaurants to eat. This article explores the costs of amenities such as lodging, food, and entertainment.
While Cuba and the Dominican Republic have more resorts aimed at the budget-conscious traveller, many hotels and resorts in Aruba tend to cater to wealthier clientele and are therefore very expensive, and tourists who arrive in the small island nation during peak season (Dec. – April) best be prepared to pony up some serious cash for the indulgence of staying in them. To give you an example of just how pricey Aruba hotels can be, a couple spending seven nights at the Marriott Stellaris Resort can expect to pay $1,800 (U.S.) per person. Even for many of the four-star hotels, a couple can expect to pay (a minimum) $332 per night. Luckily, there are cheaper options such as boutique hotels. Furthermore, there are hostels in Oranjestad and some of the larger towns. Also, tourists have the option to rent apartments if they are staying in the country for longer than a week.
Just to be on the safe side, it’s advised to allot anywhere from $150 – $250 for food each day you are in Aruba. For a family spending a week in the country, it isn’t uncommon to spend $30.00 per person per meal – in one of the more upscale restaurants. On average, you can get away with much less. There are numerous local and fast food restaurants scattered around the country, some of which serve meals that cost as low as $10 per person. While beer is reasonably priced, wine and spirits can be expensive. Cocktails in a drinking establishment generally begin at $7.00 and go up from there. A bottle of good vintage wine will set you back $40. Even carbonated drinks such as soda pop can cost more in Aruba compared to the United States and Canada. One thing to take note of: in Aruba, most restaurants automatically add a 15 percent service charge to your bill. This isn’t considered a tax, as there is no restaurant tax in Aruba.
As we stated earlier, although Aruba might not be quite as expensive as nearby island paradises such as Antigua and St. Bart’s, it’s pricey all the same. For a couple spending one week in the Caribbean nation, they can expect to spend roughly $7,634. During that week, many folks want to do more than merely sit on the beach and relax. They want to explore and have further adventures, which also cost money.
Travel around the island costs a minimum of $50 per day while each person should have $144 for entertainment, which generally covers ticket costs and entry fees for shows, etc. One popular tourist attraction is taking an ATV tour across Aruba’s rugged terrain and arriving in Natural Pool, a fun activity that will cost you $80. Snorkeling is another hit. If you want to take the banana boat to De Palm Island for a day of snorkeling the clear blue tropical waters, you’ll spend $116.
If you look at Aruba on a map, it’s the most southerly tourist destination in the Caribbean. When the temperature is a frigid minus twenty in Toronto, Chicago or Minneapolis, it’s a balmy 95 degrees down here, being that the Southern Hemisphere summer is in full swing. And North Americans will do anything to escape the cold, including paying hefty prices for food, hotels, and accommodations. It’s supply and demand, plain and simple.