Welcome to Aruba, where the roads are bumpy, taxi’s expensive and the transportation is generally sub par. Don’t despair though, travelling without a car CAN be done if you want to and will most likely leave you with a good story to tell.
First off let me let you in on a secret, taxis are highway robbery here. A taxi from the airport will cost upwards of $25 USD. Thats almost $5/km whereas in most cities it would cost $0.50/km. How rude. Personally I hitchhiked from the airport (by accident) I had every intention of huffily walking the 4km to my Airbnb thank you very much but a local airport worker took pity on me walking in the desert sun and offered me a ride. How nice. I hate being taken advantage of as a traveller.
Once you get into town the taxi prices come down a bit. 4km will cost around $10-$15. Be aware that if you make the taxi wait it will run about $1 a minute. I learned that the hard way. Curious about fare? check out their fare guide here.
Buses are another story. First off let me make you aware that there are two kinds of buses on the island, the regular looking ones and then the more local looking option which is a van with the word BUS on the front (no joke, see below).
The bus you’ll generally be using goes from the seaport station up to the high hotels and back. They happen once and hour or so, so some planning and checking the schedule is necessary if you’re trying to stick to any kind of time frame. They are big purple/blue busses and they cost $2.50 per ride. You don’t need exact change and they accept Florin and USD.
The little busses are actually just 12+ seater vans (you’ll be amazed at how many you can cram into them). They will randomly pull up at a bus stop and those who know what’s up will jump in as they are cheaper ($2) and generally faster / more frequent than the big ones. If you want to catch them from the seaport, possibly because the regular ones aren’t coming soon enough, just look across the pavement towards the parking lot. They’ll be behind the bus station and you’ll see them to the left. They pick up and drop off at every bus stop a regular bus would don’t worry. They also accept Florin and USD just hand the cash to the driver as soon as convenient and play it cool like a local.
There are bike stands around which you can rent for and hour or for the day whatever you want. Just put in your credit card and away you go. Note no helmets and roads can be rough especially away from the hotel areas.