Welcome to the Sunrise Side of the island
Although San Nicolas, Aruba’s “Sunrise City”, is a quiet coastal town of 32.84 KM2 located only twelve miles southeast of Oranjestad, it seems a world away. In the heart of Aruba’s second largest city is a quaint promenade on Zeppenfeldstraat, an art gallery, some stores, snack shops, restaurants and bars as well as historic buildings of architectural interest. The spewing metal maze of refinery dominates the landscape, and in its spicy heyday, when the oil business thrived, San Nicolas was the place to be. For tourists looking for authentic Caribbean flair and flavor, San Nicolas does not disappoint. It offers beautiful beaches and island charm far removed from the glitz and glamour of Palm Beach high-rise resorts and sparkling new malls.
The city is normally a little on the quite side, but full of unique charm with fun things to do and see.San Nicolas boasts a long history of steel bands, calypso music, and exuberant Carnavals, first introduced by refinery workers from Trinidad and the English islands. Though the island is Dutch, many San Nicolas residents have a British Caribbean heritage and English is still the first language in their homes.
Perhaps nothing captures the island mood more than the music of the steel pan, the world’s youngest acoustic instrument. San Nicolas has a street party nearly every Thursday called Carubbian Festival, and you are on the invited list!
For years, one of the main reasons that visitors have found their way to this end of the island was to drop in at Charlie's Bar. This bar has been famous since the 1940's when scuba divers began to hang their underwater discoveries on the walls there. It has become a bit of a museum in the decades since. San Nicolas is part of our tourist destination and the main street shopping and restaurant areas have been renovated to reflect the city's history when seamen around the world took shore leave to enjoy the local hospitality.