Aruba is one of the four constituent countries that form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, along with the Netherlands, Curaçao and Sint Maarten. The citizens of these countries all share a single nationality: Dutch. Aruba has no administrative subdivisions, but, for census purposes, is divided into eight regions. Its capital is Oranjestad.
Aruba's first inhabitants are thought to have been Caquetíos from the Arawak tribe, who migrated there from Venezuela to escape attacks by the Caribs. Fragments of the earliest known Indian settlements date back to 1000 AD. As sea currents made canoe travel to other Caribbean islands difficult, Caquetio culture remained more closely associated with that of mainland South America.
Europeans first learned of Aruba following the explorations for Spain by Amerigo Vespucci and Alonso de Ojeda in the summer of 1499.
In 1933, Aruba sent its first petition to the Queen seeking independent status and autonomy.
During World War II, Aruba was one of the main suppliers of refined petroleum products to the Allies. During the war, after the German occupation of the Netherlands, Aruba was made a British protectorate from 1940 to 1942, and a US protectorate from 1942 to 1945.
On 16 February 1942, a German submarine (U-156) under the command of Werner Hartenstein attacked the island's oil processing refinery, but the mission failed.
In March 1944, Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady of the United States, briefly visited American troops stationed in Aruba. In attendance were Curaçao Governor P. Kasteel, and U.S. Rear Admiral
Aruba has a tropical semi-arid climate. Mean monthly temperature in Oranjestad varies little from 26.7 °C (80.1 °F) to 29.2 °C (84.6 °F), moderated by constant trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean, which comes from north-east. Yearly precipitation barely exceeds 470 mm (18.5 in) in Oranjestad.
CurrencyAruban florin (AWG)
Time zoneAST (UTC−4)
Drives on theright