Aruba — Shopping and Leisure
Shopping in Aruba is quite impressive, though it is no bargain destination. It’s not duty-free despite what you may have heard, although the duty is indeed low. Aruban souvenirs and crafts are very popular, along with traditional Dutch items like cheese, porcelain, and figurines.
Main Street (Caya G.F. Betico Croes) in Oranjestad is where some of the most intriguing shopping can be had. Think pastel-colored boutiques and a half mile of shops. The harbor front area is also good, where there are numerous stalls selling souvenirs, along with many malls with higher-end items.
This shopping goes for several blocks along the bustling L.G. Smith Boulevard at the waterfront, running past the cruise terminal. Two of the best-known malls in Aruba are the Renaissance Mall and nearby Renaissance Marketplace. They have well over 100 stores between them, along with many restaurants and a couple of casinos.
Along with local items and Dutch goodies in Aruba is higher-end merchandise, including Swiss watches, the latest SLR cameras, and legitimate Cuban cigars. The lower duty brings prices down, with good buys to be had on jewelry and perfumes, but for real duty-free, wait until you get to the airport.
Use American dollars and credit cards to shop in most places, but avoid haggling as the Arubans consider it rude. Shopping hours are typically 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Monday to Saturday), while malls may also open on Sunday.
Most of the big resorts and hotels in Aruba—in addition to good shopping—have spas that come with a variety of treatment options. They range from basic Swedish massage and aromatherapy to shiatsu, hydrotherapy, skin care, hair care, and beauty regimes. Popular spas can be found in the Manchebo Beach Resort and Aruba Marriott Resort in Oranjestad. The Larimar Spa at the Radisson Aruba (Palm Beach) is also highly rated.