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ARUBA | General information

Country          Aruba
Capital  Oranjestad
Official language Dutch and Papiamento
Population    107,000
Area   180 km²/ 70 miles²
Time zone     UTC-4
Calling code   +297
Currency   Aruban Florin (AWG)


Geography and climate

Aruba is an island that is located in the southern part of the Caribbean sea 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of the coast of Venezuela and 68 kilometers (42 miles) northwest of Curacao. Aruba belongs to the Leeward Antilles, together with Bonaire and Curacao the three islands form the ABC-Islands.

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Aruba is a generally flat, riverless island with an area of approximately 70 miles²/180 kilometers² (20 miles long, 5 miles wide). Aruba is widely known for its white sandy beaches on the western and southern coasts of the island, relatively sheltered from fierce ocean currents. The highest point of Aruba is Mount Jamanota at 188 meters (617 feet) above sea level.

Aruba, as part of the Leeward Antilles, is characterized by its tropical climate. The dry season runs from February through June, whereas the rainy season starts in October and ends in January. The average annual precipitation is 400 millimeters (16 inches). The average and almost constant temperature is 28° C (82.4 °F). Aruba lies outside the hurricane belt, but is still occasionally affected by hurricanes.

Population

The population of Aruba is about 107,000 inhabitants. The Aruban population is made up of a variety of nationalities. Immigrant hail from Europe (primarily The Netherlands), South America (primarily Colombia, Venezuela and Peru), the Dominican Republic, USA, other Caribbean islands, and as far away as China, the Philippines, Suriname and Jamaica.       

Languages
The official languages of Aruba are Dutch and since 2003 Papiamento. The Aruban native language Papiamento is a Creole language based on Spanish and Portuguese, with Dutch, English and African influences. Besides the official languages many people also speak English and Spanish.
 
Religion
The majority of the people in Aruba are Roman Catholic 81% and 3% of the population are Protestant. Because of the different nationalities on the island there are also other religious denominations like the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Jewish Community and Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Currency

The official currency of Aruba is the Aruban Florin (or AWG). The exchange rate is pegged to the US Dollar. The US Dollar is also widely excepted on the island. The monetary system of the island is regulated by the Central Bank of Aruba.