Sometimes the best places are the ones that aren’t really planned and Curacao proved to be one of those glorious unplanned stops. The only reason we decided to visit Curacao was because our plane was landing there on our way to Brazil (we had to cancel Brazil because we couldn’t get tourist visas due to the Foreign Ministry workers strike and as such we are now heading to Colombia instead).
We decided to stay in Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so that we would have good access to restaurants and supermarkets. We figured that we could either rent a car or take public transport to the beaches. We loved Willemstad and they have done an incredible job at restoring the historic buildings.
We were fortunate to be there at the right time to take in the fireworks. It was beautiful with the historic center of Punda in the background.
We rented an apartment on the Otrabanda side of the city which literally means ‘other side’ and forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was a five minute walk across Sint Anna Bay via the Queen Emma pontoon bridge (the only one in the world of its kind) to reach the oldest part of the city called Punda, established in 1634. The bridge swings open and floats like a boat to allow large vessels to pass. When you hear the whistle you had better get off the bridge or you’ll be stuck on it waiting for it to close again. When it’s open for long periods there is a ferry that can take you across. The bridge is really pretty at night too and on most evenings we would sit for a glass of wine and just soak in the scenery!
We really enjoyed walking around the old city and took ourselves on two walking tours. The first one was on the Punda side. We viewed all the points of interest and afterwards we strolled through the floating market where boats from venezuela come and sell fresh fruit and fish.
The next day we did the walking tour on the Otrabanda side. This side felt much more authentic and wasn’t as touristic as Punda.
One evening we caught a drum team performing, they were incredible with their drumming skills and being able to dance while drumming.
During the last half of our stay on Curacao, we rented a car for a few days so that we could see the rest of the island. There is a public bus but apparently they don’t really follow a schedule so renting a car was the best option. Our first stop was at Boka Shete National Park. There are some short hikes to several view points and it was worth seeing.
We made a stop at Playa Kalki and the water was beautiful so we had a swim and did a little snorkeling.
We moved on to Playa Piskado where we were told we would for sure see turtles and we most certainly did.
One of our most favourite beaches was Playa Grote Knip. We were stunned when we approached this beach from the parking lot and saw how clear and beautiful the water was. The sand quality was also amazing, just like powder. We lounged in the water here for a long time!
The next day we dedicated our time to some snorkeling. We enjoyed our snorkel at Playa Lagun in the morning.
For the rest of the afternoon we lounged on Playa Cas Abao, this beach was also stunning with powdery white sand and clear turquoise water.
On our way back to the apartment we stopped at an old church. A bit further down the road we pulled off to the side and watched the flamingos for a while, they were beautiful to see.
On our last day with the car we headed out in the morning to snorkel ‘The Tugboat’. This was the best snorkeling on the island. It was a bit of a swim out to it but the waters were calm and it was very enjoyable, so much so that I went twice.
Right next to the snorkeling area was Fort Beekenburg. It was built in 1703 with stones from the Walloon Region which were brought over as ship ballast.
At the end of a great day and when in Curacao…
We loved Curacao, it had everything we like – beautiful white sand beaches, amazingly clear warm sea, good snorkeling, and an abundance of history and culture. We just might have to come back here!
Where we stayed: Kas Di Laman Apartments ?
Written by: Tammy Hermann…Live~Love~Travel