That word will typically catch anyone’s attention! But I am here to tell you a little bit about the local money of Aruba called the Aruba florin. It was introduced in 1986 and replaced the Netherlands Antillean Guilder as the local currency. Many locals still refer to florins as guilders.
The exchange rate is officially 1.79 afl to $1.00, but is commonly exchanged on the island at a rate of 1.75 afl to $1.00. The rate does not fluctuate like other currencies. Afl is the sign for the Aruba florin and awg is the code.
Currently the notes come in denominations of 10, 25, 50, 100 & 200. Coins are subdivided into 100 cents with denominations of 5, 10, 25, 50, 1 afl & 5 afl. Once upon a time, the 5 afl was a bill and was changed to a square coin. That proved to be too easy to counterfeit, so they changed it again to the round copper colored coin that is used today. At that same time the 2 1/2 florin coin was removed from circulation. The 50 cent is the only remaining square coin.
On the back of each coin you see the profile of the current head of state of the Netherlands. Currently this is King Willem-Alexander. The bills are very colorful and each of them depict a local animal as well as an element of local culture.
When traveling to Aruba from the US there is no need to exchange your US dollars for Aruba florin. They widely accept the US dollar and if you are in a ‘tourist’ area you will even likely get your change back in US currency. Although, there are a few ‘off the beaten path’ places that will give your change back in florins.
Keep some as a souvenir! I personally like to make a bracelet or necklace with extra coins so I have a piece of Aruba with me no matter where I go.
If you would like one made just send me a message from the contact page and we can discuss it!
The ATM’s on the island will dispense US dollars or Aruba florin. The fees vary from machine to machine. I personally find the ‘RBC’ ATM’s to have the lowest fees.
*Hint – there is an RBC machine just as you pass the car rental huts leaving the airport on your left. The ATM’s will take your debit or credit card. Just keep in mind that your bank or credit card company may have a daily limit. And be sure to put travel notifications on your cards before coming so they do not get locked for suspicious activity.