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San Nicolas, Aruba - San Nicolas Travel Guide - visiting San Nicolas - Indian Chief Travel
ARUBA  |  Aruba, Aruba Travel Guide
Monday, August 26, 2019
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San Nicolas

San Nicolas

The rich aroma of oil once again hangs over Aruba’s second largest town. At one time, the world’s largest refinery produced crude oil from Venezuela in San Nicolas, but a world-wide glut closed that plant in 1985. Texas-based Coastal Oil bought out the former owners and reopened in 1990, but by that time the entire island had turned from oil to tourism as its economic mainstay. Today, San Nicolas is looking pretty good as a slow-paced free-thinking village. New residents are moving in, building lovely homes, and demanding more creature comforts, such as restaurants, shops, and churches.

Aruba’s Carnival got its start here in San Nicolas, and each year the streets ring with music as costumed residents from all over the island parade through the streets behind tambú bands. The rest of the year, the town is quieter, and tourists enjoy wandering the uncrowded streets to view the 1950-ish art deco buildings. Charlie’s Bar is unquestionably the most famous landmark and has been drawing a crowd since 1941. Take time to have a drink and look at the museum of jumbled treasure that covers every inch of the restaurant and bar. Scuba divers, fishermen, sportsmen, and entertainers have left a half-century of memorabilia stuck to the walls and ceiling.

Last updated February 2, 2012
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Posted in   Aruba  |  Aruba
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