One of the most stressful things about vacation is not knowing the transportation system, or how to get around in an unfamiliar place. This guide will let you know everything you need to know about taxis and transportation in Aruba.
As a note, ride share services like Uber and Lyft do not work in Aruba. If you want to get around the island, you will have to rent a car or rely on taxis and public transportation.
Aruba has a bus transit system that in run by the Arubus Foundation. The bus fares are relatively expensive at around $2.60 USD for a single trip or $10 USD for a day pass. There are several bus routes that cover most of the island including popular beaches and destinations. You can view the daily bus schedule and bus routes on their site.
Aruba Taxi Fares
The main mode of transportation in Aruba outside of public transportation and car rentals is taxis. Taxis are widely available and a very convenient way to travel around the island. In peak tourist areas, it will be relatively easy to flag down taxis, but if you are having difficulties, most hotels and restaurants are able to help call a taxi for you.
Taxis in Aruba do not have meters so it’s a good idea to have an estimate of how much a taxi ride will cost you and ensure you are not being overcharged for rides.
In Aruba, you will commonly here the terms “high rise” and “low rise” by taxi drivers to describe the two main tourist areas on the island. The “high rise” area refers to the hotels and resorts located on Palm Beach, characterized by the tall buildings, luxury accommodations, and lively nightlife. The “low rise” area is located very close by on Eagle Beach, and is characterized by smaller hotels, guesthouses, and vacation rentals. This area is more laid-back and peaceful than the high rise area and tends to have fewer crowds. Here are the typical taxi fares you when traveling between these areas. Keep in mind, these are base fares and don’t account for additional charges during peak times:
- High Rise to High Rise: $7 – $10
- Low Rise to Low Rise: $7 – $10
- High Rise to Low Rise: $11 – $17
- Low Rise to High Rise: $11 – $17
If you are traveling outside this area, here are some estimates of what costs could be:
- Airport: A one-way ride to or from the airport will likely cost around $18-$22 to and from the low rise area and $25-$30 to and from the high rise area.
- Oranjestad: A one-way ride to or from the capital will likely cost around $10-$15 to and from the low rise area and $15-$20 to and from the high rise area.
Outside of this, the typical fares for taxi rides based by distance are shown below:
- Zone 1 (up to 3 km or 1.9 miles): $7 – $10
- Zone 2 (3 km – 6km or 1.9 – 3.7 miles): $11 – $17
- Zone 3 (6 km – 9km or 3.7 – 5.6 miles): $18 – $23
- Zone 4 (9 km – 12km or 5.6 – 7.5 miles): $24 – $29
- Zone 5 (12 km – 15km or 7.5 – 9.3 miles): $30 – $35
- Zone 6 (15 km – 18km or 9.3 – 11.2 miles): $36 – $41
- Zone 7 (18 km – 21km or 11.2 – 13 miles): $42 – $47
- Zone 8 (21 km – 24km or 13 – 14.9 miles): $47 – $53
Peak Hours & Surged Fares
In Aruba, taxi fares may be higher during certain times such as late nights, weekends, or holidays.
- Nighttime – After 11:00pm: Taxi fares tend to be higher after 11pm, especially on weekends since many locals and tourists alike frequent bars and nightclubs and drive up demand
- Weekends – Saturdays/Sundays: Generally, fares are higher on weekends since locals are off work.
- Holiday: Fares will be higher on public holidays due to increased demand. Some of the major holidays you can expect this are New Year’s Day, Carnival, Easter, Labor Day, Christmas, and Boxing Day.
The additional amount surcharged varies based on taxi drivers/companies, and can be anywhere from a few dollars, to higher amounts like an additional $20. As a general rule, it is a good idea to confirm dares with the driver before starting your journey, especially when travel during peak hours or holidays.
Renting Cars in Aruba
If you do not want to ride public transportation or rely on taxis, you also have the option to rent a car on the island.
When renting a car, it’s important to choose the right car based on your vacation plans on the island. While many of Aruba’s main roads are well-maintained and easily accessible (such as the high rise and low rise hotel strips and the captial, Oranjestad), some areas of the island are more remote and rugged and may require a four-wheel drive to navigate. For example, areas such as the Arikok National Park have unpaved roads and rough terrain, and may become muddy or flooded quickly, especially during the rainy season. It will be very difficult to drive in these areas without a four-wheel drive.
If you plan to explore these more remote areas of the island, it is recommended to rent a four-wheel drive to ensure your safety. If you mainly plan to stick to the main tourist areas and beachs, a regular car will suffice. If you do not want to drive through the rough terrain, or rent a four wheel drive (or perhaps inventory is limited and you can’t find one available) and still want to check out the remote parts of the island, I would recommend checking out tours. There are many tours available through ABC Tours Aruba as well as Viator/Trip Advisor. See below for some of the most popular tours on the island available on Viator.