Bon dia Curaçao!
After a long period of hard work, it was time to recharge myself at a location where absolutely nothing is required and everything is allowed. An island with the 'don't worry, be happy' mentality... and I definitely needed that. Don’t worry, be happy… and there I was happy with my best friend in Curaçao.
On May 24, 2016 we left for Curaçao. The flight lasted 10 hours and we arrived tired. Fortunately, we had a direct flight from Amsterdam. From Hato Airport it took us about 30 minutes to reach our hotel Floris Suite.
Curaçao is not very big, so the distances are quite short. Of the ABC islands, Curaçao is the largest with a total length of 61 kilometers. Although 61 kilometers seems small to us, this "big" island has plenty of entertainment. Despite the fact that we were far from home, it was nice that the vast majority of the population spoke Dutch, due to its colonial history. The weather is nice all year round, but Curaçao also has a rainy season. Curaçao is a low-risk area for hurricanes, but they do occur occasionally here unfortunately. The best travel period is from May to November because that is when it has the most hours of sunshine.
As I just indicated, there is plenty to do on Curaçao. It's time for us to get out there. On the one hand, the white beach is calling to us and on the other hand there are countless happy hours. Let's explore the island first. We rented a car and drove around the island. From one extreme point to another extreme point. This brings us to Westpunt. It is a beautiful road. You are on your way to a piece of paradise on earth. Nature is in full bloom and we regularly drive along a beautiful bay. Westpunt is slightly less touristy and it is considerably quieter than other places in Curaçao. The bays in the area of Westpunt bring unprecedented peace.
The next day we decide to go out. Given the limited number of days we are in Curaçao, we have to make choices. Are we going to dive or swim with dolphins? Swimming with dolphins it is. What an exceptional experience. Dolphins are known to be very social mammals and this was confirmed once again. I have no words to describe this experience. In any case, it was beyond my expectations.
Two days have already passed. Time flies and we are having fun. Today we decide to go out to Klein Curaçao... truly a tropical paradise. We visited Klein Curaçao by taking a catamaran. This is highly recommended. After all, in the Netherlands we don’t travel a lot by catamaran. The catamaran also completes the paradise picture for us. Klein Curaçao is located about 20 to 25 kilometers from Curaçao. You really shouldn’t skip Klein Curaçao on your visit to Curaçao. Now is the time to recover and recharge myself. After a long day on the pearly white beach by the blue sea, it is time to return to the hotel.
Rested and fresh, we woke up the next day to explore Willemstad. The center of Willemstad is small, but it is wonderful to sit on a terrace and look out at the Koningin Emma Bridge. This pontoon bridge is 168 meters long and is the only floating swing bridge in the world, which means that it floats open. The bridge connects the two historic inner cities: Punda and Otrabanda. Curacao is not so much a shopping island.
Although there are plenty of burger restaurants, the local food restaurants are easy to find.
But if you really want to experience the Curaçao feeling, then you should definitely have lunch at the covered old market in Punda, also known locally as Plasa Bieu. You can get the tastiest local dishes for very little money. Locals eat lunch here, which is why it is only open until 3 p.m. on weekdays.
The first thing you will notice are the many wooden benches and tables. Then you will be overwhelmed by a huge variety of kitchens, each with its own specialties. The first time you visit this place, you really should check out each kitchen’s menu. It is difficult to choose though, because everything is delicious!
While you are still viewing the menus, the staff will quickly lead you to a table. They really want you to order from their kitchen. Just kindly tell them that you are there for the first time, and that you want to have a look around. People often take the time to translate the menu. Usually the menus are written in Papiamento because they mainly cater to the locals.
Local Curaçaoan specialties
You will find various local Curaçaoan dishes (Kuminda Krioyo), such as:
- Various types of fried freshly caught fish
- Goat meat stew (Stoba di Kabritu)
- Chicken stew (Stoba di Galiña)
- Beef stew (Stoba di Carni)
These are often served with fried rice, white rice, potatoes or funchi, which is a cooked corn pudding.
On the table, as in every snack in Curacao, is the delicious pica sauce, a fresh, but very spicy dressing that you can add to the dishes.
Where can I find Marshe Bieu?
Marshe Bieu is located on Waaigatplein in Punda, behind the covered round market and the post office. Please note: the covered round market is different from the covered old market where you can eat. It is very clean and the quality of the food is excellent ( bron: www.curacaovoorjou.nl).
In the evening there is a huge crowd at the beach bars and clubs. It’s a very pleasant bustle. The weekend has started and it is really celebrated here. The party starts on Friday evening and continues until Saturday morning. The jazz music of the clubs still rings in my ears when I think about it. On Saturdays, the locals usually go out with the family to the beach.
Before I know it, my 7-day trip is over. I was able to see a lot of Curaçao, so I think that a stay of 7 to 10 days is enough to visit all of Curaçao. We leave for Hato Airport to return home fully charged. It was a special experience and the dolphins were certainly a highlight of this trip.
Ayo, te despues, Curacao!