Spoiler alert: Aruba is better to visit than the Bahamas, according to several people on travel forums online like Fodor’s and Tripadvisor.
However, according to the World’s Best Awards survey by Travel + Leisure, the scales tip to the Bahamas more. Respondents gave the Bahamas a total score of 88.74/100 while Aruba scored just 0.02 points short – 88.72/100.
Based on all the chatter and info from friends who have been to the Bahamas and Aruba, here’s the truth:
Aruba’s beaches and top sightseeing attractions are all close to each other, so it’s easy to get around. Even better, it’s safe and boasts sunny weather year-round.
The Bahamas is pricier but offers a lot more to do. You’ll hardly run out of things to do in the Bahamas, especially if you love to go island-hopping or scuba diving.
Need a more detailed explanation? Here’s what this guide covers:
- Pros and cons of spending your vacation in Aruba or the Bahamas
- What makes Aruba or Bahamas unique
- How to choose between each Caribbean destination that fits your needs
- Which Caribbean destination is better in terms of weather, beaches, family-friendliness, safety, etc…
Many refer to Aruba as ‘One Happy Island,’ mostly because of its friendly locals, sunny weather, and barefoot-friendly beaches. Even during the hottest hours of the day, taking a long barefoot stroll at Aruba’s beaches isn’t uncomfortable. And that’s thanks to the crushed corals and shells, which help keep the sand’s temperature comfortably cool.
Climate-wise, Aruba is dry, arid, and sunny – cheerful if you insist. At the same time, this also makes Aruba’s beaches more enjoyable. If you thought Aruba was mostly just a tropical beach destination, that’s all the more reason to visit and see that beaches are only half the adventure.
Hiking, scuba diving, surfing, and sailing are some of the many popular activities at Aruba. In fact, Aruba is super windy (a lot of trade winds), so it’s never really a bad time to go sailing. Or kitesurfing and windsurfing.
ATV and UTV tours are also popular tourist activities, especially if you want to explore Aruba’s northern coast. The rugged desert that makes Aruba such a vacation hotspot is the same reason it also gets thousands of return visitors.
The desert at Aruba gives tourists a taste of outdoor-junkie life. From hiking trails and ATV tours to historical walking excursions like the Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins.
If that’s not enough, the Arikok National Park is a league of its own in Aruba. The park makes up nearly 20% of the entire island. And take note, Aruba isn’t that big, it’s a tiny little island with only 100,000+ people as its total population. Think of it as the island version of Arizona: a desert surrounded by Caribbean water.
What is there to see at Arikok? Hiking trails, a natural pool, historical sites, and several varieties of flora, fauna, and animals.
With more than 70% of tourists from the US visiting Aruba, it’s not hard to see why it’s one of the best vacation destinations in the Caribbean. Take note, though, that it does get slightly more crowded when cruise ships dock in the port.
However, don’t be pressured to make a decision just yet. Below, you’ll discover Aruba’s most unique qualities, along with what sets it apart from other Caribbean destinations.
What Makes Aruba Unique?
You’d think Aruba is just like any other Caribbean beach you’ve been to, but it’s the opposite. This beach destination is unique all on its own, starting with how…
It’s the Sunniest Caribbean Destination
Aruba stands out for having the most sunshine days and least rainfall in a year. On average, it only has an annual rainfall of 16 inches (406.4 mm). Even during the rainy and hurricane season, Aruba doesn’t have a lot of rain either.
Speaking of hurricanes, Aruba lies on the edges of the hurricane belt. This means there’s a slim chance of hurricanes hitting the island. In other words, you’re safe in Aruba during the hurricane season.
Sunny weather, cool winds, and a tropical climate. What else could a snowbird ask for, right?
Wreck-Diving Capital in the Entire Caribbean
Scuba diving is quite common in any beach destination around the world. And that includes other water activities like paddleboarding, snorkeling, and kayaking.
However, what’s most unique about Aruba’s underwater terrain is that it’s the Caribbean’s wreck-diving capital. Sunken ships, planes, and even World War II ships like the SS Pedernales and SS Antilla are the highlights of scuba diving in Aruba.
Want a better diving adventure that doesn’t just offer coral reefs and marine life? Go wreck diving in Aruba.
Home to the 3rd-Best Beach in the World
Eagle Beach at Aruba was voted the 3rd-best beach in the world by Tripadvisor in 2017. And even today, Eagle Beach stands as one of the best beaches globally, alongside Palm beach, also located in Aruba.
For one of the most mesmerizing sunset views, it’s hard to beat Palm beach. The beautiful sand and calm turquoise waters are just a bonus.
After Palm beach is yet another great beach in Aruba, famously known for its unique three steps: Tres Trapi beach. The steps are said to be carved out of a rock, which leads to a tiny area of white sand shaped like a half-moon. How small is it? It’s about the same size as four queen beds.
Despite its size, Tres Trapi has its own appeal and charm, perfect if you’re looking for some quiet time in Aruba.
Arikok National Park
How does a national park make it to the list of unique attractions in Aruba? For starters, the park makes up almost 20% of the entire island. Located on the northeast side of Aruba, the entire park features rugged terrain, tons of cacti, and even more tourist attractions.
One of which is the Conchi, also known as Aruba’s famous Natural Pool. It’s a secluded swimming hole surrounded by walls made of volcanic rock. The Conchi is definitely worth a swim, especially if you enjoy warmer waters. Just be sure to bring your aqua shoes as the rocks surrounding it are quite slippery.
Also part of Arikok National Park is easy hiking trails that lead to Aruba’s highest point: Jamonata Hilltop. For outdoor enthusiasts, you can explore the limestone sea caves in the area: Fontein Cave and Quadirikiri Cave. Last but not least, don’t forget to visit Boca Prins, which is a popular spot for taking postcard-worthy photos.
One of the Eco-Friendliest Destinations in the World
Yes – the world. Not just the Caribbean. And it’s apparent from all the well-preserved flora and fauna that surrounds Aruba. Eco-conscious travelers will love it in Aruba. For one, the government has banned the use of single-use plastics and Styrofoam. This includes plastic cutleries, straws, bags, and containers.
You may spot a few plastics from smaller vendors around the city, but the majority of Aruba’s establishments strictly follow this law. Additionally, wearing any sunscreen that contains oxybenzone is strictly prohibited. The harmful chemical has been known to damage marine life and corals and even human skin after prolonged exposure.
The Bahamas is 10x bigger than Aruba and has more than 700 islands; however, only about 30 of those islands are inhabited.
The Bahamas is divided into three main islands: New Providence, Abaco, and Grand Bahama. 90% of the total population live on these islands. The remaining 10% live in the scattered cays and islands. New Providence is perhaps the most populated, with nearly 70% of the population living here. It’s also where Nassau is located, the capital of the Bahamas and its largest city.
Nassau is divided into two parts: downtown and Paradise Island. Both are easy to differentiate, and it’s fairly obvious that the downtown area is where most locals live. There, you’ll also find colonial-style, colorful architecture everywhere. In contrast, Paradise Island is the main hub for tourists.
Think of it as like a tiny paradise bubble full of world-class resorts, natural beaches, casinos, golf courses, and more. If you’re thinking of spending your trip at Paradise Island in the Bahamas, take note that prices can be steep.
For those who want to explore the cultural and historical side of the Bahamas, head to the country’s capital, Nassau. This place is full of restaurants, local markets, and luxury retail stores. You can even easily find jewelry boutique shops around Nassau.
There’s no shortage of adventure on a Caribbean Island like the Bahamas. Especially for anyone in need of a serious island adventure. And with 100,000 sq mi (258,999 sq km) of the clearest waters, the Bahamas is the best beach break you could ask for.
What Makes The Bahamas Unique?
Meet and Greet Swimming Pigs, Reef Sharks, and Sea Lions
It’s not every day you see pigs swimming in the ocean. Had it not been for Exumas Island in the Bahamas, you’d still be thinking that pigs love to lay in the mud. In fact, swimming Bahamian pigs have become so popular the island is also referred to as “Pig Island.”
While there, swimming pigs greet tourists with their pink noses and happy smiles, eagerly waiting to be fed. And if swimming pigs couldn’t be any jollier, a little further from Exumas Island is Blue Lagoon Island. A place often regarded as the “Real Bahamas” and where you’ll also get to meet sea lions.
Not just one or two, but dozens of them. For those looking for something a little more exciting, you can swim in a lagoon full of reef sharks at Compass Cay Bahamas. Don’t worry. These little carnivorous elasmobranch fish don’t bite. That’s just movies like Jaws and 47 Meters Down messing with your head.
The reef sharks at Compass Cay are completely harmless and one of the best family-friendly activities in the Bahamas.
One of the Clearest Waters in the World
Only a few places around the world make it to this list. And it’s also one of the reasons that put the Bahamas on the map. The waters in the Bahamas are so clear you can see the ocean floor as deep as 200 feet (61 m). That’s about the same height as a 20-story building. With clear blue Bahamian water, there’s no refusing a swim in the Bahamas.
In fact, the waters in the Bahamas are so clear their blue and cerulean colors are visible even from outer space! The Exumas islands have especially clear waters, with a sapphire blue color that would blend well on any Instagram feed. But mostly, these waters are so clear it’s the sole reason so many enjoy visiting the Bahamas.
After all, if it’s a beach vacation you’re looking for, the waters in the Bahamas are a paradise you just can’t get enough of. Royal blue, ultramarine, sea green, and even purple. These rich shades of blue are definitely what you’ll fall in love with. Want a sneak peek? You can see precise images of these tantalizing waters on Google Earth.
Well, whaddya know, it’s pink sand! And there’s an island in the Bahamas with sand so pink you’d think you’re on another planet. Mercury, perhaps?
But really, the pink sand is caused by foraminifera, which is a marine animal with a reddish-pink shell. As the lore goes, when waves crush the shells of foraminifera, it mixes with the sand producing a rose-pink color. But is that all there is to it?
Mostly, the pale pink sand color is a mix of foraminifera shells, corals, and calcium carbonate. Now that you know what turns the sand pink, there are a few beaches around the world that also feature pink sands. Because after all, foraminifera isn’t just found on the shores of the Bahamas. There’re pink-sand beaches in Greece, Indonesia, Spain, Barbados, and Bermuda.
In the Bahamas, you’ll find this 3-mile (4.8 km) pink sandy shore at Harbour Bay on Eleuthera Island.
The Bahamas Is Home to the 2nd-Deepest Blue Hole
Named Dean’s Blue Hole, it was initially the world’s deepest. However, that was until the deepest blue hole, Dragon Hole, was discovered in the South China Sea. Dean’s Blue Hole has a depth of 202 meters (663 feet) or two-thirds of the Dragon Hole.
Scuba divers and even free divers are welcome to explore Dean’s Blue Hole but be warned. This isn’t like any other dive. Think of it like climbing Mount Everest, except instead of freezing to death, you could get nitrogen narcosis. In other words, it’s dangerous if you don’t have the proper experience.
Legend says that blue holes are entrances to dragon palaces. And even the Mayans believed they served as portals to the underworld. But thanks to several scientific expeditions, you don’t have to worry about dragons and underworld portals. The truth is that blue holes are sinkholes that developed gradually over time.
You won’t find a lot of marine life in a blue hole. Especially since not much sunlight can penetrate through. There may be marine life in the shallower depths, but generally, the condition of blue holes is that they’re anoxic. This means they’re barren of any oxygen.
If you want to see Dean’s Blue Hole for yourself, head to Long Island, which is located in Clarence Town.
Endless Island-Hopping Options
For the island adventurer, the Bahamas is hands down the perfect place to spend your vacation. Of the 700 islands in the Bahamas, only 30 are inhabited. However, that’s plenty enough to explore. And here are a few you can start with:
- The Berry Islands
- Long Island
- Grand Bahama
- Exumas Island
- Inagua Island
- Acklins & Crooked Islands
- Ragged Island
The Berry Islands
Hailed as the fishbowl of the Bahamas, the Berry Islands has the best fishing in the region. Additionally, it’s also one of the best islands to go diving.
The area is a collection of 30 islands with white sand and turquoise waters all over. While many encourage you to visit the Berry Islands to go on an underwater adventure, it doesn’t always have to be the case. This beach paradise is also a haven for anyone looking for a laid-back island attitude to relax.
As mentioned earlier, one of the most popular Bahamas attractions is found here: Dean’s Blue Hole. But also, it’s the pick of the bunch if you’re looking for unspoiled nature.
That’s right. Nature surrounds you at Long Island. And with clear blue waters to swim in, you could spend days here and never have a dull beach moment. Plus, you can also go fishing and diving here.
Although not an island, Nassau, being the capital of the Bahamas, grant tourists easy access to several gorgeous beaches. Most beaches are just minutes away from the capital, while others require a short drive.
You may have heard of popular beaches like Cable Beach or Cabbage Beach. Well, you can easily reach these beaches from Nassau either by car, taxi, or bus. Granted, Cable Beach is a drop-dead gorgeous beach featuring the whitest sands on earth and mesmerizing blue waters.
The same for Cabbage Beach – water so blue you’d want to swim here every single day. But these aren’t the only beaches near Nassau that also offer enchanting waters and soft-as-silk sands. While in the capital, be sure to visit any of these beaches too, such as:
- Love Beach
- Caves Beach
- Jaws Beach
- Junkanoo Beach
- Arawak Beach
- Paradise Beach
- Saunders Beach
- Coral Harbor
- Adelaide Beach
- Montagu Beach
The Grand Bahama is the Beverly Hills of the Bahamas. It’s a major tourist attraction and also a social hotspot for locals and tourists. Although it suits every budget, the rich and wealthy thrive in Grand Bahama.
At Grand Bahama, you’ll also find a ton of water sports activities to do in the area. This includes a plethora of spas, resorts, and restaurants, along with several souvenir shops.
One of the most popular tourist attractions here is the Lucayan National Park. It’s home to the largest underwater cave system that preserves the remains of Lucayan Indians.
You’ll find more sandbars than you can ever imagine here. And its peerless clear blue waters are exactly what put Exumas on the map. Not to mention, this is the place to go if you’re interested in greeting swimming pigs.
Of course, there’s a lot more to do at Exumas than simply swimming with cute pigs. You could spend an entire day exploring the sandbars in the area. Even better, you don’t even need transportation. For the most part, you can walk from sandbar to sandbar. How amazing is that!
Inagua is also known as Flamingo Island and is every bird-watcher’s dream. The island is home to more than 80,000 flamingos and 140 different species of native & migratory birds. You could say Inagua is the bird-watching capital of the Bahamas.
It’s also largely uninhabited, with only 800 people living in the area. If you want a secluded beach paradise to visit and steer clear of touristy areas or large crowds, Inagua is the place to be. Plus, you get a bird’s-eye view nearly everywhere you look. Get it?
Interestingly, Inagua is also where fishing enthusiasts can enjoy a good match with sergeant fish, more commonly known as snook.
Acklins & Crooked Islands
Acklins & Crooked Islands in the Bahamas is the complete contrast of what a party island would be: unspoiled, peaceful, and secluded. A lot of old people live here as it’s mostly seen as the retirement island of the Bahamas.
But don’t mistake old for boring and dull. What’s most interesting is that the island remains as natural as it was 500 years ago. And for fishing enthusiasts, this island is perfect if you want to do bonefishing. Most of all, Acklins & Crooked Islands is a haven for snorkeling, diving, and boating.
The island is every angler’s dream, with the water here being so shallow it doesn’t get any deeper than knee height. Even if you’re 5 miles (8.04 km) offshore, it’s still as shallow.
For the perfect secluded getaway, you can’t go wrong with Acklins & Crooked Islands.
Looking for a romantic island to spend Valentine’s in? You just found it. The name “Ragged Island” sounds misleading, but this quaint beach paradise belongs to seafaring people. Building boats, booms, masts, race boats, you name it. The inhabitants of Ragged Island are masters of the sea, and you’d be wise to come here and learn a thing or two about the ocean.
That aside, Ragged Island is also a haven for anglers. A one-day fishing expedition alone will allow you to easily snag tuna, barracuda, grouper, snapper, and kingfish.
North of Rugged Island is Hog Cay – a popular spot for intimate celebrations, be it in tantalizing waters or by a romantic bonfire. For the curious traveler, you can easily hop from cay to cay and revel in what each has to offer.
Which Is Better to Visit – Aruba or Bahamas?
Both Aruba and the Bahamas offer the best of both worlds when it comes to beaches and sunshine. But for the Caribbean-bound visitor, you’re looking for more than just white sand and cheerful weather, right?
What about hurricane season? Or is it safe to walk alone at night? Better yet, what about traveling solo? And how goes the nightlife?
You make fair points. And there really isn’t a definite answer to which is a better Caribbean destination… yet. So, here’s a quick run-through to help you decide:
Aruba scores higher than the Bahamas in most categories, but it’s also smaller. The Bahamas, on the other hand, has more beaches and unique experiences.
Overall, Aruba is ideal for anyone looking for a vacation that doesn’t require a lot of effort to plan. Aruba’s main attraction is its beach life, along with a few unique experiences in the area. Feeding the flamingos, bathing in a natural pool, and crossing dunes on an ATV are all great activities.
Not to mention, it’s ideal for travelers who are mainly looking for a relaxing vacation, a lot of sunshine, and pleasant weather even during the rainy season. Plus, all the main attractions and sights in Aruba are within close reach. Hopping from one beach to the next is very easy and accessible.
The Bahamas is perfect for island explorers or anyone who loves island-hopping. Divers and snorkelers will also love the Bahamas, as underwater activities are prevalent around the island. If you’re looking for a quick beach escape, the Bahamas fits your needs perfectly.
For those who love a great party scene and exciting nightlife, the Bahamas also offers several clubs and bars for tourists. Unique experiences are also abundant in the Bahamas, most especially scuba diving, snorkeling, and any underwater activity.
If you’re also willing to splurge during your vacation, make no mistake, there are a lot of luxury shops in the city. This includes jewelry and even luxury retail brands.
Is Aruba Safer Than the Bahamas?
Aruba is one of the safest Caribbean destinations in the world. The statistical data shown in Numbeo proves this. The level of crime in the Bahamas is 73.44/100 while Aruba’s is at 21.43/100.
That said, this isn’t to say because the Bahamas has a higher level of crime that it isn’t safe. The data from Numbeo also reveals crime that happens in rural areas or downtown streets far from where tourists usually spend their time in. The same goes for Aruba. Although Aruba has a low level of crime, there is still some crime happening around the area. But just like in the Bahamas, this is likely to happen in communities or areas where tourists aren’t living or staying in.
Statistical data aside, it’s important to note that no place in the world is perfectly safe. There’s always some form of crime, be it theft, a robbery/break-in, or scams. In Aruba, it’s wise to never leave your valuables in the car, especially if you’re using a rental car.
In the Bahamas, steer clear from Over-the-Hill communities, which are south of Shirley Street of Nassau. When exploring the city, always make sure to exercise caution. This advice applies to any country you’re visiting. If you’re flashing expensive jewelry left and right, there’s no doubt people will take notice.
Overall, both Aruba and the Bahamas are safe destinations, and using common travel sense always comes in handy whichever destination you’re traveling to.
Which Is Cheaper – Aruba or Bahamas?
Both Aruba and Bahamas are relatively more expensive than other Caribbean islands. That said, you can still find a good number of price-friendly rates in either destination. Luxury resorts aren’t your only options, after all. You can book Airbnbs and vacation rentals in Aruba or the Bahamas.
Because tourism is higher in Aruba and the Bahamas, it’s only expected that the prices are also higher than average. Food-wise, there’s a good mix of cheap and expensive restaurants in the area. Even if you were to visit Aruba or the Bahamas on a budget, it’s doable. From lodging and food down to nightlife and transportation.
One thing to note, though is that doing more tours and excursions can quickly eat your budget. This is the same principle that applies to everywhere else. To give you more insight, here’s a table comparing the average costs in the Bahamas and Aruba:
|Hotel price (3-star)
|216.60 Aruban Florin (USD 120)
|255 Bahamian dollars (USD 255)
|Airfare (from New York)
|418.8 Aruban Florin (USD 232)
|279 Bahamian dollars (USD 279)
|7-night stay with flight included
|2,736.4 Aruban Florin (USD 1,516)
|3,024 Bahamian dollars (USD 3,024)
Aruba vs. Bahamas for Family Vacation
Whether it’s Aruba or the Bahamas, both are great Caribbean destinations to spend the family with. Both Aruba and Bahamas don’t fall short on excursions and family-friendly activities.
One important distinction to note though is that the Bahamas leans more towards underwater activities. This holds especially true for those who enjoy island-hopping or exploring secluded beaches.
In the Bahamas, most families spend it at Paradise Island and explore Nassau during the day. This may also be due to the safety of living in other remote areas in the Bahamas.
In Aruba, any of the hotels or resorts in the area are great options. Since Aruba is smaller, it’s easy to get around and everything from beaches and restaurants to outdoor terrains is within reach.
There’s no shortage of family and kid-friendly activities in Aruba and the Bahamas too. For Aruba, you have a Donkey Sanctuary, Big Bird Farm, and the Arikok National Park. In the Bahamas, bird-watching, Lucayan National Park, and the Clifton Heritage National Park are all great places for families and kids.
Aruba or Bahamas for Honeymoon?
Aruba’s beaches are picture-perfect, not to mention, barefoot friendly. And a romantic beach vacation at Aruba’s is a decision you can’t go wrong with. The same can be said for the Bahamas.
However, the Bahamas offers more for couples who prefer something more intimate. Exumas, Acklins & Crooked Island, and Mayaguana, for example, are all romantic beach spots to spend your honeymoon.
Is Aruba in the Bahamas?
Both Aruba and the Bahamas are independent countries. Considering the size of the Bahamas and the 700 islands it comprises, it may seem that Aruba could be part of them. But this is far from the case.
Aruba’s geographical location lies in the Southern Caribbean Sea and within South America. In comparison, the Bahamas lies on the southeastern side of North America.
Is Aruba Near the Bahamas?
Aruba is quite near to the Bahamas, since a flight from either destination takes around 2 hours, according to Travel Math. In some cases, and depending on the speed, the shortest travel time is around 1 hour and 42 minutes.
However, this isn’t always the case. When booking flights from Aruba to the Bahamas, there will almost always be one or two stops along the way. And because of this, the average flight time takes between 17 to 20 hours.
Aruba to Bahamas Distance
The distance between Aruba and the Bahamas is 988 miles (1,590 km).
Is Bahamas Bigger Than Aruba?
The Bahamas is 72 times bigger than Aruba even if Aruba has a longer coastline. The total land area of the Bahamas is 5,359.10 sq. miles (13,880 sq. km) while Aruba pales in comparison – 74.51 sq. miles (193 sq. km).
How Do You Get to Aruba From Bahamas?
The quickest way to get to Aruba from the Bahamas is by plane. You could also take the ferry, but this also requires a land trip, which can be stressful for some.
Can You Fly From Bahamas to Aruba?
You can fly from the Bahamas to Aruba and vice versa, but expect to have a layover every time. A stopover might be too extreme, but generally, you’re looking at a flight with one or two stops. There are no direct flights from the Bahamas to Aruba.
This is mostly because there aren’t a lot of passengers that fly to and from Aruba or the Bahamas. In turn, this wouldn’t be profitable for airlines. On the bright side though, there are nonstop flights from several airports to the Bahamas or Aruba.
And if you want a nonstop flight to either of these destinations, you’ll have to do so from any of the following airports:
- William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)
- Tampa International Airport (TPA)
- Denver International Airport (DEN)
- Orlando International Airport (MCO)
- Nashville International Airport (BNA)
- Louis Lambert International Airport (STL)
- Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
- Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI)
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
Note: These are direct flights if you fly with Southwest Airlines
All major cruise lines should also have a lot of Bahamas- and Aruba-bound sailings. Just be sure to check the itinerary ahead of time.
Bahamas to Aruba Flight Time
The flight time varies from the Bahamas to Aruba. On average, expect at least one or two stops and a total flight time between 17 to 22 hours. It also mostly depends on which airline you’re flying with and how many layovers there are along the way.
For instance, if you fly with JetBlue Airways, the total flight time is 19 hours with a total layover of roughly 12 hours. Flying with American Airlines also has a total flight time of 19 hours on average. Some take longer and even reach up to 23 hours. The majority of the stops in this case are at Miami International and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
If you fly with Delta Airlines, the average total flight time is 21 hours, and will usually have two stops. In most cases, the stops are in Atlanta and New York.
So, as you can see, flying from the Bahamas to Aruba takes close to one day. Despite the short distance between the two Caribbean islands, flight times are longer and will almost always have two stops. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a short layover of two to four hours. But if not, expect a stopover lasting up to 11 hours.