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Destination Guide: Aruba

Allianz - Aruba

If there’s such a thing as the perfect island, Aruba just might be it. Situated in the southern Caribbean, Aruba has nonstop sunshine, white-sand beaches, welcoming locals and stunning scenery. 

While Aruba is fully open to visitors, it has several requirements (as of July 2021). All visitors must apply for an online Embarkation and Disembarkation (ED) card. All visitors 15 years and older must take a molecular COVID-19 test within 72 to 4 hours prior to travel to Aruba.1

Aruba also requires all tourists to purchase Aruba Visitors Insurance, which helps to pay for certain expenses — like medical costs, quarantine costs and medical transportation — if you test positive for COVID-19 while in Aruba. Policies cost $30 for each traveler 15 and older and $10 for younger travelers, and can only be purchased here.

3 Reasons to Buy Travel Insurance for Aruba

If you have to buy the special Aruba insurance plan, do you also need standard travel insurance? Yes! Here’s why. 

  1. The mandatory Aruba travel insurance is limited in scope. An Aruba Visitors Insurance policy only covers specific losses related to COVID-19. If you experience a medical emergency that’s unrelated to COVID-19, the specialized Aruba insurance can’t help you. An Allianz Travel Insurance plan can.
  2. You don’t want to lose all your money if you have to cancel the trip. An Aruba vacation isn’t cheap. The island caters to luxury travelers, and an average week-long stay for two costs just over $3,600, according to Budget My Trip.1 Trip cancellation and trip interruption benefits can reimburse your unused, prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you have to call off your trip (or cut it short) for a covered reason.
  3. Rental car insurance is a really good idea. Renting a car can be a great way to see all the sights on the island. However, be aware of the risks: even if you purchase a collision-damage waiver, you may be responsible for the first $300 to $500 worth of damage in case of an accident, Frommer’s warns.2 If you plan to rent a car in Aruba, buy the affordable OneTrip Rental Car Protector ahead of time. You’ll get up to $50,000 in protection for covered loss, damage, and theft, with no deductible.

What’s the best travel insurance plan for Aruba? One popular option is OneTrip Prime. OneTrip Prime includes key benefits and is a good choice for families, because it covers kids 17 and under for free when traveling with a parent or grandparent (not available on policies issued to Pennsylvania residents). Some of our plans include the Epidemic Coverage Endorsement, which adds covered reasons to select benefits for certain losses related to COVID-19 and any future epidemic. (Benefits vary by plan and are not available in all jurisdictions)

Once you’ve booked your trip to Aruba, download the free TravelSmart app from Allianz Global Assistance. TravelSmart is a powerful travel app that lets you track flights, get travel alerts, access your policy and reach Assistance from your phone, anytime.

3 of the Best Things to Do in Aruba

  1. Mingle with flamingoes. Renaissance Island, a private isle accessible only to guests of Renaissance Aruba Resort and Casino, features a beach where pink flamingoes roam freely. Book a private beach cabana, sip a tropical drink and enjoy birdwatching.
  2. Take a dip in a natural pool. In Arikok National Park, in a remote part of eastern Aruba, you’ll discover Conchi, a pool hemmed by rocks. You can trek there, taking in sweeping views and the desert landscape, but the pool’s also accessible by ATV, horseback and Jeep safari.3
  3. Sail at sunset. Enjoy a perfect evening on a catamaran cruise along the coast while drinks flow and music plays. Just make sure you choose the right one: some Aruba sunset cruises are for partiers, while others are family-friendly.

3 of the Best Aruba Resorts

Find sublime serenity at Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, an adults-only property on Eagle Beach. Bucuti & Tara isn’t for everyone, as the resort plainly states: If you want to party hard, host a wedding, or travel with a big group, you should go somewhere else. If you want a romance concierge, free daily wellness activities, and a personalized, curated experience, then this is the best Aruba resort for you.

If you’d prefer an all-inclusive experience, you don’t have to book a mega-resort. Look at Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa. A small, low-rise hotel on Eagle Beach, Manchebo is known for its Balinese spa, attentive staff, and lovingly prepared food. Stay four nights or more, and your all-inclusive plan will cover one dinner off-property.

Looking for an affordable Aruba resort? They do exist! Consider MVC Eagle Beach Aruba, a laid-back property that’s right on the island’s most popular beach. There are just 19 colorful guest rooms. While MVC Eagle Beach isn’t fancy, it has the amenities you really need: complimentary beach chairs and towels, free high-speed internet, and low rates.

3 of the Best Restaurants in Aruba

Aruban cuisine is an unexpected melding of Dutch, Caribbean and South American flavors. Fish creole, or pisca hasa crioyo, is a simple assembly of fresh fish, pan-fried and served with onion, tomato, bell pepper, and garlic. Another traditional way to prepare fish is keri-keri: barracuda or shark that is boiled, shredded, then sauteed with seasonings.4

One place to sample these local dishes is The Old Cunucu House, a long-running restaurant that’s famous for cabrito stoba (stewed goat) and keeshi yena, chicken baked with gouda cheese, onions, peppers, celery, green olives, raisins and cashews.

Don’t want to leave the beach? You don’t have to! Hit up the Bugaloe Beach Bar and Grill for an Aruba Ariba (the island’s signature cocktail), live music, and some grouper ceviche or Dutch bitterballen meatballs.

Fred, named for its chef, is one of the best restaurants in Aruba for fine dining. Reservations are a must, as Fred only serves 10 diners per night. Expect a multi-course adventure with pitch-perfect wine pairings and friendly conversation as you watch Fred work his magic. 

Is Aruba calling you to bask in the sun? Pack your hat, your shades and your travel insurance. See affordable plan options for your next vacation.

What Do I Need to Travel to Aruba?

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Jul 06, 2021