Baby Beach is located on the most south eastern point of Aruba. It is one of Aruba’s most popular beaches. Baby Beach lies in the area that is locally called ‘Colony’ but the official name of the area is Sero Colorado.
Sero Colorado was once ‘colonized’ by Exxon’s Lago Oil Refinery, where only the refinery’s high executives used to live. There was a hospital, school and every other facility you can expect.
For the era, the architecture used for building houses was cutting edge. The rooftops, for example, were “revolutionary” shingles. The island was more used to “modern”, highly corrosive, cheap metal rooftops back then.
In the heydays of the refinery, St. Nicolas was a booming oil town, with Sero Colorado being crème de la crème in terms of being an upscale neighborhood. I remember as a little boy I had the opportunity to enter the community a few times and from what I remember we always had a great time. There was a modern community park on the central square of Sero Colorado.
With the closure of the refinery in the 80s the value of property in the whole area collapsed ferociously. In fact, Sero Colorado became a ghost town, just as St. Nicolas. It was the time that many of these houses started getting dilapidated.
Eventually the refinery opened back in the 90s. Coastal Corporation bought the old refinery, invested in some new equipment and restarted the operation. It was a much smaller company in comparison to the Exxon refinery. Thankfully St. Nicolas recovered somewhat from the closure. At the same time tourism started to hit a higher gear.
Despite the arrival of Coastal Corporation and tourism, Sero Colorado didn’t recover. Properties were in bad shape and virtually ruined. At best Sero Colorado was used as a transit district for commuters to Baby Beach.
The area of Sero Colorado is expected to receive a major boost. This boost might come from rumored development/commercialization of the area and/or from a new buyer of the refinery.
Another sign of recovery in Sero Colorado is the start of careful construction of new houses. Old properties are also being renewed. There is still a lot of old houses, meaning that there are opportunities in beach front real estate in the southern part of Aruba.
Sero Colorado is a sleeping beauty with a lot of potential. There are many houses built in the 50s and 60s, in old American architecture style, that for sure is going to bring back nostalgia to some people who remember that era and those houses. Houses built on the coral hilltops, with a view overlooking both Baby Beach and Rodgers Beach are jewels waiting to be brought back to the old glory.