Aruba Beach
Aruba Nights Island Guide
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  1. #1
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    Some Newbie Questions

    Hi all,
    We will be traveling to Aruba in August for the first time. I've really enjoyed the insight that has been provided on this forum, you guys rock.

    I had a few general questions to ask.

    1- BEER - I'm a bit of a beer geek, where can one get craft beer on the island? I heard about a belgian cafe, is there anyplace else that would have a variety of beer?

    2- CURRENCY - I understand that US and Aruba dollars are widely accepted. Is it better to spend one vs the other? Will the merchants give a better price one way or the othere? Is everything for sale marked in both currencys?

    3- CUSTOMS - US customs is in the airport in Aruba so the flight back to the US is domestic. I have a tight connection (an hour) in San Juan, should I be worried? I assume I will not have to jump through any customs hoops in Puerto Rico, just change planes.

    Thanks in advance for the help,
    John

  2. #2
    Senior Member ~Amy~'s Avatar
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    1. We've purchased a few different types of Belgian beer (Duvel, etc.) at Kong Hing (large grocery store located between downtown and the low rise hotels.)

    2. Most things will be marked in U.S. Dollars in the touristy areas. The large grocery stores mark their prices in Aruban Florins but will convert the total into USD when you check out. We (and everyone else we know from the U.S.) have never converted money - always use USD.

    3. As long as your flight leaves Aruba on time (or close to on time) you should be okay with the one hour connection. You will do U.S. customs at the Aruba airport so once you arrive at the next airport you just need to go directly to your gate for your connecting flight.
    ~Amy~ - 35th trip to Aruba: New Years Eve 2017/2018 -- Zihuatanejo, MX: March 2018 -- Ireland: June/July 2018 --
    36th trip to Aruba: Sept. 2018





  3. #3
    Member skdiddy's Avatar
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    Balashi is Aruba's "home brew" and is excellent. Also, Amstel has a brew that is marketed only in the Caribbean called Amstel Bright, which we drink with lime (think Carona) and is also very good. Both are available throughout the island including grocery stores.

    We are beer geeks as well, and this is pretty much all we drink, unless we go to Salt n Pepper's (a bar/restaurant) which has Amstel on draught, then I usually drink that.

    Enjoy...

  4. #4
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnnniee View Post
    Will the merchants give a better price one way or the othere? Is everything for sale marked in both currencys?
    The Aruban florin is pegged to the US dollar, so currency does not matter. No advantage to florins.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by skdiddy View Post
    Balashi is Aruba's "home brew" and is excellent. Also, Amstel has a brew that is marketed only in the Caribbean called Amstel Bright, which we drink with lime (think Carona) and is also very good. Both are available throughout the island including grocery stores.

    We are beer geeks as well, and this is pretty much all we drink, unless we go to Salt n Pepper's (a bar/restaurant) which has Amstel on draught, then I usually drink that.

    Enjoy...
    Be careful while grabbing your beer from the shelf. Most cases look like normal ones you find in the US but the bottles may be 7 or 8 oz., not 12 oz. You can get 12 oz. just have to look. Buy your brew at the large grocery stores if possible (Ling & son etc.) You will pay through the nose at convenient stores. I bought Balashi because it was the least expensive and pretty good.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freon View Post
    Be careful while grabbing your beer from the shelf. Most cases look like normal ones you find in the US but the bottles may be 7 or 8 oz., not 12 oz.
    The only advantage to the smaller bottles is that unless you are a REAL quick drinker, you are not drinking warm beer. Bigger bottles have more time to heat up.

  7. #7
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    I'll have to check out the Balashi and the Amstel Bright, just because I've never had them before.
    So I won't worry about the money and I'll run like a madman towards the gate.

    Thanks everyone for your help.
    John

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cheryl's Avatar
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    If your flight is on time to Puerto Rico, you should have no problem - the gates are not far apart - perhaps a ten minute walk from one end to the other, if that.
    There are a variety of beers on the Island but you will have to look for them - the grocery stores is a good suggestion.
    US customs is in Aruba so once you pass through US customs, you are connsidered back in the US of A - no problems when you get to Puerto Rico - just walk to your connecting flight....Have a blast....Cheryl

  9. #9
    Senior Member uncle dave's Avatar
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    Lisa is correct in the fact that the florin is pegged to the $ so there is no need to change your bucks. However, venture out to a more "local" patronized establishment and you may not get the official exchange rate; not that it really matters if you are just stopping in for a beer or two.

    What Beth & I do is not exchange the florins we get as change from ling's and use this money for small purchases (mostly beers) when we are out exploring. Chances are good you will use it all up, if not, save it for your next trip; Beth just found a 10 florin note in one of the too many purses she took; I put it in my passport case for our next trip.

    More than once, we were mistaken for locals (not a bad thing); we stopped in Brisa's one afternoon, 10 florin note in my hand, held up 2 fingers and said balashi. The bartender gave us our beers and started talking to us in dutch. It took a few minutes to explain that we were american, she started laughing, (she thought I was Dutch and Beth Aruban) called the owner out, repeated the story, we all had a good laugh, they bought us a round so I bought them a round and we ended up staying 3 hours. Time flies...

    I also save the square coins to use as ball markers, and they are great conversation pieces.
    Last edited by uncle dave; 04-23-2008 at 03:15 AM.

  10. #10
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    I wasn't really thinking of changing my money in Aruba, but I was trying to decide how much cash to bring. I figured that I could always get florins from the ATM if I needed to. I guess I was wondering if the locals will cheat a bit on the exchange rate.

    Thanks for the responses folks, I'm having trouble waiting the 4 months until my vacation.

    Cheers,
    John

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