What to expect when traveling to Aruba during public holidays

During holidays things are slightly different than normal. Shops close early or in some cases are not open at all. What you can expect during these days, will be explained below.

If information is missing or you still have questions, please feel free to contact us.

Official Aruban Holidays

Holiday

Date

New Year's Day

January 1st 2014

Betico Croes Day

January 25th 2014

Carnival Monday

March 03rd 2014

National Anthem & Flag Day

March 18th 2014

Good Friday

April 18th 2014

Easter Monday

April 21st 2014

King's Day

April 26th 2014

Labor Day

May 1st 2014

Ascension Day

May 29th 2014

Christmas Day

December 25th 2014

Boxing Day

December 26th 2014

General information

Restaurants

Most restaurants close on official holidays. However the restaurants in the hotel / resort areas normally stay open. To make sure if a restaurant is open on a holiday, it is best to call ahead.

Supermarkets

Supermarkets often close the whole day or close earlier than normal. Holidays in 2013 when supermarkets are closed: New Year's Day, Betico Croes Day, National Anthem & Flag Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. See more information on the national holidays and other celebrations.

On all other holidays supermarkets will close earlier, normally they close at 1 PM. On December 24th and 31st supermarkets will close at 3 PM.

However some smaller supermarkets will stay open during the holidays.

Gas stations

Gas stations are closed on holidays, the day before they may close earlier around 6:00 pm or so. They will open the next day around 10:00 am.

Bank

All banks are closed on official holidays. On December 24th and 31st banks will close at 12 PM. ATM machines normally keep working!

Shopping

All stores in general are closed on holidays, the day before they may close earlier around noon. They will open the next day at normal hours. Stores in the vicinity of the resorts may remain open for a part of the day or the entire day but this varies from store to store.

Specific holiday information

Carnival

Visitors can enjoy Aruba's Carnival along the roadside. Depending on the parade, the parade will have a different start and/or end point. Please take a look at our page for the Aruba carnival route.

Getting around during Carnival

During Carnival the parade streets and a couple of other roads will be closed. Traveling by taxi or bus is the best way to travel during the carnival, but remember that the parade streets are closed to traffic, so you may need to walk a bit. Because of the closed roads, bus routes will also change.

If you arrive during a carnival parade you have to take into consideration that it might take a bit longer to get from the airport to your resort. You can also arrange your transport in advance. There are companies who offer airport transportation.

Carnival Tips

If you go to watch the carnival parades, the following tips could be useful:

  • Depending on were you are watching the parade from, it can take some time before you see the first trailer with participants, especially if you are watching from a location closer to the end of the parade route
  • Take a cell phone to call a taxi or other services in the event of need
  • Wear comfortable foot wear
  • Bring a cap, sunglasses and sunscreen, the sun can be very hot during the daytime parades
  • Bring ear plugs, the music can be very loud
  • Bring enough liquids and snacks
  • Bring a camera
  • Best attended parades: Aruba Tivoli Lighting Parade, Grand children's parade, Parade di Luz (Lighting Parade San Nicolas), Grand Carnival Parade San Nicolas and the 59th Grand Carnival Parade Oranjestad.

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