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What to expect when traveling to Aruba during public holidays

If you're planning to travel to Aruba during public holidays, it's important to be aware that things operate a little differently than they do on regular days. Shops and businesses may have reduced operating hours or may even be closed entirely. In this section, we will provide you with a useful guide on what to expect during public holidays in Aruba, including information on which businesses and services are likely to be affected and what alternative options are available to you. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us, and we will be happy to assist you.

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Official Aruban Holidays (2023)

Holiday

Date

New Year's Day

January 1st

Betico Croes Day

January 25th

Carnival Monday

February 20th

National Anthem & Flag Day

March 18th

Good Friday

April 7th

Easter Monday

April 10th

King's Day

April 27th

Labor Day

May 1st

Ascension Day

May 18th

Christmas Day

December 25th

Boxing Day

December 26th

General information

Restaurants

Restaurants are also affected by public holidays, with most establishments closing their doors. However, restaurants in the hotel and resort areas usually remain open. It's recommended that you call ahead to ensure a specific restaurant is open on a holiday.

Supermarkets

Supermarkets are typically closed during major holidays such as New Year's Day, Betico Croes Day, National Anthem & Flag Day, Good Friday, Easter, Easter Monday, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. On all other holidays, supermarkets may close earlier than usual, with closing times typically at 1 PM. On December 24th and 31st, supermarkets may close between 2 - 6 PM. Some smaller supermarkets may remain open during holidays. See more information on Aruba's national holidays and other celebrations.

Gas stations

Gas stations are closed on holidays, with some stations closing earlier the day before. They usually reopen the next day around 10:00 AM.

Bank

All banks are closed on official holidays. On December 24th and 31st, banks close at 12 PM. However, ATM machines normally continue to work.

Shopping

Most stores, in general, are closed on public holidays, with some stores closing earlier the day before. They typically reopen the next day at normal hours. Stores in the vicinity of 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

During Carnival, which is a popular event in Aruba, certain roads may be closed to traffic, and bus routes may change. If you arrive during a Carnival parade, it may take longer to get from the airport to your resort. It's recommended to arrange your transportation in advance, and companies offer airport transportation.

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

It's worth noting that visitors can enjoy Aruba's Carnival along the roadside, with each parade having a different start and/or end point. Tips for watching the carnival parades include bringing a cell phone to call a taxi, wearing comfortable footwear, bringing a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, bringing earplugs, bringing enough liquids and snacks, and bringing a camera. The best-attended parades include the Torch Parade (Fakkel), Grand Children's Parade, Grand Lighting Parade Oranjestad, Parada di Luz San Nicolas, Grand Carnival Parade San Nicolas, and the Grand Carnival Parade Oranjestad.

Check out our blog for everything you need to know about Aruba's Grand Carnival experience!

If you have any further questions or concerns regarding traveling to Aruba during public holidays, please feel free to contact us for more information.

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