Aruba has been a tourist favorite for a long time. Many tourists choose to stay for a few months or for years as an expat. Aruba’s economy depends on the tourist industry for the bulk of its revenue, but a few other industries are present. Even though Aruba is not considered a tax haven, it is a wildly popular destination for expats who love the sand and sea.
Aruba’s weather is extremely pleasant and comfortable. Aruba is a tropical island with a marine climate. There is little change in the temperature, which ranges from the mid 70’s to the low 80’s. Trade winds give the island a gentle, refreshing breeze throughout the year. Aruba experiences far less rain than many other Caribbean islands. Its average rainfall is less than 20 inches, and usually occurs in late fall.
Aruba is perfect for boating, fishing, and water sports. The water is warm, blue, and clear. People who love the water and beach should definitely visit Aruba.
Aruba is considered a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. There is a parliament, an eight member cabinet, and a governor who is appointed by the monarch. Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles form a commonwealth.
Aruba is very stable and secure. The country is well developed and has many facilities for tourists, residents, and expats. Aruba’s currency is called the Aruban Florin. Americans are only allowed to stay two weeks per visit. However, American visitors can easily extend their stay to 90 days by submitting a form to the immigration office on the island. An American citizen only needs a passport to enter Aruba. More information regarding visa and entry requirementscan be found at The Royal Netherlands Embassy in the United States of America.
Taxes in Aruba are usually classified as moderate to high. Aruba is not the tax haven that many other Caribbean islands are said to be. Individual income tax can reach as high as 38.9%. Many other taxes are levied on individuals: property tax, gift tax, etc.
There is an income tax for corporations. However, the amount of tax is different for each industry, so it is best to consult with an Aruban accountant or visit Aruba Offshore Legal and Tax Regimes.
Quite a few tax incentives are available for professionals and companies that have an interest in establishing themselves in Aruba.
Medical care in Aruba is quite good. There is one main hospital on the island and it is comparable to the ones in the US or the UK. The type of insurance that a person has determines the class of care received. Individual accommodations are available for well insured expats or tourists. People with basic insurance have to share hospital accommodations with two or three other occupants. The uninsured will not be refused care, but accommodations will probably be crowded and less comfortable.
Tourists who intend to visit Aruba should ensure that their health insurance covers medical costs there. A private health insurance plan can be purchased on the island for those with a limited budget. Tourists also have the option of purchasing travel insurance that includes a health care component.
Surprisingly, real estate on the island can be affordable. However, the cost of real estate in prime locations are astronomical. A beach front home costs millions of dollars. However, high quality condos or smaller two bedroom houses in the 300K range are cheaper options, and bargain hunters can find homes for even less.
Expats who only want to stay for a short time (less than a year) or have a limited budget have the option of renting a condo or apartment. Apartments with rental fees comparable to those in the states are available.
Most visitors will probably be a little disappointed with the shopping on the island. While necessities are easy to find, household and non-essential goods are harder to find and usually cost much more than in the United States or Europe. However, a short-term visitor will have fun shopping at the many small boutiques and markets.
Aruba has many great restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and activities for entertainment. Aruba is known for its wonderful high-end restaurants and excellent nightlife. Aruba offers many outdoor activities, most of which are water-based. These include scuba diving, fishing, boating, and snorkeling. Aruba’s many beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world. Aruba is known for its wonderful pink beaches and sideways growing trees.
Cost of Living
Aruba’s cost of living is moderate to high. While housing costs tend to be moderate to high, the cost of normal goods can be even higher than what they cost in the states. Unfortunately, Aruba only has a few tax advantages. The large tourist population makes finding relief from high prices in restaurants and nightclubs slim. However, those who are looking for true paradise should definitely visit Aruba.