Give me a city filled with streets full of street art and I’ll be a lot happier right away. When we went on vacation to Aruba, I did not necessarily have the idea that you could do much more besides sun, sea and beach. The opposite was immediately proven when we entered the empty town of San Nicolas. In the deserted streets we were suddenly surprised by gigantic artworks in several places. A huge portrait of a Mexican girl suddenly stared at me from the street corner. And before we passed the police station, a wall with an owl in all the colors of the rainbow suddenly shot past. When we spotted an empty parking space, this was the signal for us to park our rental car and go out with our cameras.
Why is there so much street art in San Nicolas?
San Nicolas used to be a real workers’ town because of the oil refinery that was there. Since 2012, this refinery has been closed and the streets have become increasingly empty. Until a few years ago. During an Art Fair, various art organizations and artists decided to decorate parts of the city. The result? All kinds of cool pieces, murals and 3D artworks. And the number is still growing every year! New street art is now added to the streets every year. So get out of Oranjestad or the coast for a while when you’re in Aruba and make time for this surprisingly cool town:
The street art in San Nicolas is a must when in Aruba, see for yourself:
In addition to spotting street art, you can also visit San Nicolas in Aruba
Did you know that San Nicolas is also called Sunrise City? This is because it is on the Sunrise Side of the island! And did you know that it is the second largest city in Aruba after Oranjestad? Just over 18,000 people live there and you will find it in the south of Aruba.
Mundi Health Cafe in San Nicolas: On a very sunny day it is quite tough to wander through the overheated streets in search of the most beautiful works of art. So if you want to cool down in the air conditioning or if you are ready for a drink, we can fully understand that. There are two places that are fun to go and the first is Mundi Health Cafe. A small cafe that is located in the same building as the Community Museum San Nicolas and is immediately noticeable, because it is located on the roundabout and on the front of the large yellow building “Nicolaas Store”. Here they have divine, healthy wraps on the menu and also for a very nice price.
Charlie’s Bar in San Nicolas: Another must in San Nicolas is Charlie’s Bar, when we were there the cafe was unfortunately closed but from the outside you can already see what to expect. Why this cafe is so cool? All kinds of divers finds are attached to the walls! So it is like stepping into a huge treasure chest, it is a cafe but one where you can feast your eyes. In addition to diving finds, the walls are decorated with newspapers and all kinds of iconic number plates.
From San Nicolas continue to Baby Beach: From San Nicolas you can then continue to Baby Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Aruba and the ideal place to cool off or chill. You can also combine your road trip to this side of the island with a stop at the giant red anchor, Anchor in Memory to All Seamen.