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Capitol City of Oranjestad

City Life and Casinos

Written by Julie Greiner

Nights in Aruba are filled with excitement and big city entertainment. There are eleven casinos to choose from, and gambling is not the only thing they offer. The hotels all offer theme parties and live entertainment and shows filled with glitz and pomp are a nightly affair. The casinos offer roulette, blackjack and slot machines. Bingo and raffles are also a feature of the casinos.

The Capital City of Oranjestad

At any time of year, Oranjestad is a bustling meeting place and shopping ABC Map mecca. It is located on Aruba's southern coast and is a historical Dutch city filled with tall multi-colored houses and open air galleries. Aruba's government offices are located in Oranjestad. The shopping opportunities are boundless in the boutiques and the open marketplaces are gold mines for local crafts and art. The local fishermen sell their catch of the day right off their boats at the wharf. Oranjestad is not only the Capital of Aruba, but also the largest city on the island.

The City of San Nicolas

San Nicolas is a modern city typical of British Caribbean heritage. San Nicolas is the second largest city in Aruba and where Charlie's Bar has been located since the 1940's. For decades scuba divers have made it a tradition to hang their finds on the walls of Charlie's Bar, which is now a museum in itself. San Nicolas is known as the "Sunrise Local Artist in Aruba City." San Nicolas was named after a Mr. Nicolas Croes, the father-in-law of Jan Hendrick Gottfried Eman "Shon Jan" (1835-1897). San Nicolas is situated on the eastern tip of Aruba, just 12 miles from Oranjestad. Besides Charlie's Bar being its claim to fame, it is the center for sports such as baseball, cricket and basketball. The popular steel band music originated in this town.

The Alto Vista Chapel

The yellow chapel of Alto Vista is believed to have been the first Catholic Chapel to be built on the island of Aruba by the Indians and the Spanish Pioneers over 250 years ago. The area surrounding this little chapel became the village of Alto Vista. Although the small town was struck by a plague that killed many - the little Chapel of alto Vista was closed in 1816. Since that time the Chapel of Alto Vista has had many ups
Alto Vista Chapel
Courtesy of Aruba Tourism Authority
and downs. However, the Chapel is now open every day for visitors to come and be part of its rich history. Once a week the priest of Noord holds mass at Alto Vista. The chapel is the only remaining building of this once community... and standing alone so close to the sea it omits an ora of peace and tranquility to all who come to observe and/or pray.


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