A perfect day for me (Femmie) consists of relaxing, nature and culture. Our day started with the latter two. We first went snorkeling at the mangrove surrounded waters at Mangel Halto. If you do not feel like spending some time on cultural activities, you can easily spend a whole beach day in the South of Aruba.
After some snorkeling and reading a book it’s time to grab lunch at Kamini’s Kitchen. The owner of the restaurant is from Trinidad and Tobago, an island about 5 hours away from Aruba by plane. We had a chat with the Dutch husband of the owner, who has lived in Aruba for 20 years. He is our waiter for the day and tells us that he normally works at oil refineries.
Since the refinery in San Nicolas is closed until further notice, because of the historically low oil prices, his future is insecure. 1,5 years ago his wife started this restaurant, which is now very popular because of the high ranking on TripAdvisor, and he spends his time helping her out.
The food served is quite different from the food typically served on Aruba; the curry’s are their specialty. The duck- and shrimp curry’s with roti we tried were really delicious, so we can definitely recommend going there if you fancy something different. They also serve other rice dishes, sandwiches and even pasta’s.
After lunch it’s time to explore San Nicolas. We already read about the murals, and we must say these were really impressive. There are more than 30 murals all over the city center. All incredibly beautiful and high-end art.
Industry Museum in San Nicolas
During a day in San Nicolas, the Industry Museum located in the old Water Tower is definitely worth a visit. Beside a welcoming A/C, the 5 dollar entrance fee gives you the opportunity to learn more about the history of Aruba and its main sources of income through the years, all explained in a 30-min personal tour of a local. In this personal tour your guide will tell you about how the first gold was found, how Aloe Vera is cultivated, what phosphate is made of, and why oil is the reason Aruba is highly USA-oriented.
Currently tourism is the number one source of income on the island. But did you know that at the time the government decided to invest in tourism, they did not know how this was going to play out? In fact, it was a big leap of faith to focus on tourism. It’s nice to compare pictures of Palm Beach in the 1950s with pictures from now – be surprised about the differences.
Our guide was a young woman in her early 20s who lives in San Nicolas. She told us more about the change of San Nicolaas from a vibrant, lively city to a very quiet city where nothing ever happens anymore. She still does enjoy living there because of the friendly environment and bond between people living in San Nicolas, where everyone greets each other when crossing paths – an immense contrast with the touristy Northern part of the island.
The perfect end of the day
After absorbing all information about Aruba it’s time to give another try to get the perfect picture of the sunset at Baby Beach. No better way to end a perfect day with a perfect sunset and a cold ‘Chill’ beer. We already miss this and hope to come back soon!
Sander & Femmie, Amsterdam NL