San Nicolas is called the sunrise city of Aruba and is the country’s second-largest city. Known for its majestic views of the sunrise, people flock to the streets early in the morning to witness this beautiful event.

Blessed with beautiful beaches, San Nicolas is more than just beautiful sunrises, as it is also a city that is referred to as an artistic community, a cultural hub, and a carnival hotspot. The city is now enjoying a colorful and imaginative revival, thanks to its investment and dedication to the arts.


Today, the number of visitors going to San Nicolas is increasing gradually and rightfully earning recognition due to its annual carnival celebrations, pop-up carnival events, and picturesque street art from local and international artists. Therefore, if you are planning to visit San Nicolas for the majestic sunrise, or have other plans, read on and find out what you should see in Aruba’s sunrise city.

Behind The Incredible Street Art

San Nicolas was not like this during its early years. A chat with the locals and some artisans will tell you that Aruba’s artistic soul of a city was a product of the community’s hard work in turning the city that was once a beach destination into a street-art capital that is worth visiting.

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To be honest, the hard work of artisans and locals has paid off because when you visit San Nicolas, you will be welcomed by the creativity that will blow your mind. You will find coffee shops that are hidden behind wall paintings of laughing faces, restaurants that have stenciled decks of cards that fall onto the next building, and a local art souvenir shop that is spray painted with life mottos.

Truly, as compact a city of San Nicolas is, it redeems itself by showcasing an overflow of creativity and beautiful scenery on its streets.

What You Should See

Begin your unforgettable journey in the streets of San Nicolas by visiting the Cosecha Creative Center – a carefree building erected on a corner lot that is pointed, with wide openings on either side. It is considered a pioneer in bringing new life to the sunrise city by offering visitors local products made by artists and offering art activities that you can do on your own.

By checking the schedules, you can be informed if your time of visit at the Cosecha Creative Center is holding workshops or art talks from any of the city’s local artists. If you are lucky enough, you may find yourself attending an art class or even making your contribution to the city’s art by joining a wall painting workshop.

Artworks On The Street

Booking a street walk with some of Cosecha’s tour guides is one of the finest ways to be fully acquainted with the city. These once run-down structures have now been polished and are now proudly exhibiting artworks by local artists and international contributors as well.

Walking through the city’s street arts takes about an hour and a half, which also includes seeing some of the city’s hidden artworks and hearing a brief story on the heritage and history behind these wonderful works of art.

Visit The Aruba Art Fair

Bringing more creativity to San Nicolas’ streets is the newly established Aruba Art Fair that began in 2016. The event, which runs for three days and pulls in thousands of visitors, allows you to experience a wide variety of sculptures, prints, paintings, and art throughout the sunrise city.

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Aside from buying goods, the fair offers a lot more such as having the opportunity to support the local artists that are emerging in their craft (who are highly endorsed during the 3-day fair), attending workshops that are suitable for all ages, listening to talks and watching memorable performances.

Stop at the Newly Constructed Carnival Museum

Paying tribute to San Nicolas’ colorful and captivating festival that is held during the first months of the year, the Carnival Museum, which started operations in 2019 showcases the story of the Aruba Carnival along with some mannequins dressed up in flamboyant and fabulous outfits.

While staying in Aruba, you may spend some time in the Carnival Museum, which will give you an understanding of how significant these events are for the Arubans, which is a good starting point for taking a deep dive into San Nicolas’ great history.

Pop-up Events And Carnival Celebrations

Aruba has much more to offer than its beaches. If you plan your visit to San Nicolas correctly you will have the opportunity to witness its pop-up carnival celebrations where dancing and loud clanging will be heard all over the streets from sundown. Guests are actively called to participate in the parade, which will prove beneficial to the soul regardless of how you feel.

There will also be instances where restaurants will be set up on the streets, pop-up carnival-style that lets you enjoy the music of local bands along with delectable Aruban cuisine.

Likewise, during the first couple of months of the year, you can also witness the city come alive as the month-long celebration of Aruba Carnival begins. With a celebration of dance, laughter, music, and color, you are in for a very memorable vacation treat, making San Nicolas, the sunrise city of Aruba a place worth visiting all year-round, not only for its amazing street art but also for sharing in the joy of the city as well.

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