First things first: San Nicolas is not your average Caribbean town. To say it's rough around the edges would be an understatement. What most guidebooks will tell you is that there's nothing doing for tourists, but that's just because they're keeping Aruba's dirty little secret--that this is the only town on the island where prostitution is legal. Women in windows legal. Red light district legal.
But of course, that's not the reason why you'd visit San Nicolas--in fact if you go during the day the bars that encourage such behavior are closed. Nope, you go for Charlie's Bar, a quirky dive with over sixty years worth of mementos--antique cameras, rusty trumpets, wooden clogs, you name it--hanging from its ceiling, walls and rafters. Founded by Holland-born Charlie Brouns in 1941, the bar is now run by Charlie III, an affable Aruban who'll regale you with stories of how all that stuff got there in the first place.
Have a seat at the bar and order a Boozer Colada--Charlie's own rummy concoction--and don't miss the steamed shrimp: five-inch jumbos caught off the Venezuelan coast and served with a homemade hot sauce. No doubt, this is a dive that delights.