Consider stopping at a hotel or rental car place and picking up a Curacao map. I have one from Avis Car Rental and it is excellent for planning out walking tours of Punda and Otrobanda. Let me give you a few suggestions.
You’ll be drawn to explore Punda because of the startling beauty of its crayon-colored buildings. So one of the first things to do is to find the Pontoon Bridge if you are on the Otrobanda side of the harbor.
Enjoy the uniqueness of walking across a floating bridge. There are a number of photo opportunities along both sides of the bridge. Don’t just look forwards as you walk, look behind you also.
Reaching Punda, you’ll have some decisions to make - namely which way to go?
My suggestion, walk down the main street, Breedestraat, to Columbusstraat. There are a number of nice shops to visit and shop, as well as photos to take, on both sides of the street. At Columbusstraat, turn left and walk and shop the street down to where De Ruyterkade comes in from the right and you can see the Queen Wilhemina Draw-Bridge on the left as well as the floating market along Caprileskade Street. Work you way over to Caprileskade Street back towards St. Anna Bay.
From here there are many ways to go. I’d suggest that you walk down past the major street of Keukenstraat to Heerenstraat Street. This is a pedestrianized street and if you turn left onto it, it will take you all the way back to Breedestraat Street where you started from.
Another option is to take Keukenstraat Street to the left, shopping along the way, until it takes a hard left bend. Past this turn is Da Costa Gomez Plein. If you turn right onto this street it will take you back to Breedestraat Street from where you started. You might also consider taking a street off of Da Costa Gomez Plein to the right and wander back down to the waterfront.
At some point you must walk along world famous Handelskade Street, along the waterfront, just to taste the ambience of the place if nothing else.
Favorite thing: You may wonder how Curacao came to have so many brilliantly painted houses and buildings. We were told that an former governor complained that the sun glare bouncing off the many whitewashed houses and buildings was hurting his eyes. So he declared that entirely whitewashed buildings were forbidden and that other color paints must be used. It just so happened that the Governor also owned the island's paint factory. Fact or fiction, there seem to be no entirely white buildings!
If you are a snorkeler, I highly recommend the Animal Encounters Adventure at Seaquarium. The fee is $34 and includes the $15 entry fee to the aquarium. You get a bucket of bait fish and an hour to swim in an enclosure with some really neat fish. You can feed sharks and turtles through a plexiglass fence. Look around for the puffers - they like being fed too!
Fondest memory: I loved the people - especially the staff at our resort (Sunset Waters). I loved the colours of the ocean - gorgeous. I loved Willemstad. The colourful buildings are really a treasure to see. We found the prices in Willemstad extremely reasonable.
Enjoy the weather because it's fantastic, and you can't beat the location. One thing for American's visiting Curaçao, this is a very european island, so you must behave!!! No disrespect to Mexico, but American's visiting the Netherland Antilles should act like they have some common sense.
Fondest memory: The weather, the people, beaches, and the Amstel Beer Factory tour. Also, please note that it's a very expensive island.
Local plants have ingenious mechanisms allowing them to weather the dry, desert climate, scant rainfall and the ever-present tradewinds. These include marvelous adaptations to their roots, leaves and stems.
No group of plants is as well suited to the climate as the cacti, which are specially designed to reduce the amount of moisture lost to evaporation. Their nasty thorns are, in fact, modified leaves. The island hosts hundreds of species. Not all of the species on the Island are harmless.
One plant you have to avoid contact with is the manzaliña tree, called manchineel in other parts of the Caribbean. This tree has rough, dark bark and small green leaves. The fruit of this plant is poisonous, and will cause skin irritations and burning if touched.
One of Curaçao's most characteristic trees, is the Dividivi tree-recognizable by its "wind form," caused by the tradewinds.
Landhuizen (Country Houses)
Curaçao’s “Landhuizen,” built in the 18th and 19th centuries, are usually former plantation houses that were built among the lower-lying slave accommodations. They were raised from coral with the addition of some brick stone details—the high saddle roofs were made with Dutch tiles, leading the rainwater to detached brick built collectors. Some 55 of these landhouses are still to be found, scattered around our island.
Fondest memory: It is thought that plantation Daniel was established around 1650 by a shipwreckling who washed ashore on the holiday of Saint Daniel. According to Newton, Daniel was named after Daniel Ellis -an Englishman employed by the Dutch West Indian Company- who built the plantation house in the first half of the 1700s, being -according to Ozinga_ one of the oldest, still existing plantation houses of Curacao.
The plantation house is located alongside the road to Westpoint, formerly described as : the plantation Daniel alongside the road, called "the Prayer without ending".
In 1997 plantationhouse Daniel has been transformed into a guesthouse/hotel and restaurant.
Located in the tropics, just 12° north of the Equator, Curaçao has a warm, sunny climate year round.
The average temperature is about 27° C (in the mid 80s F). Cooling trade winds blow constantly from the east, picking up in the spring months.
The rainy season, which is between October and February, is usually marked by short, occasional showers, mostly at night, and continued sunny weather by day.
Favorite thing: Pacho's portraits! This charming artist makes paintings and especially portraits of all well known Curaçaoan persons, like the Carnival Tumba Queen, our Prime Minister, our Queen Beatrix, and more. He believes art has to be close to the people. He made a lot of tourists happy with a unique Curaçao souvenir: your portrait on an authentic oil barrel lid!
Favorite thing: ....look for the ladies behind the trees, downtown Willemstad. Don't question your sanity if you think you're seeing faces peering out of the trees in front of the Government Palace. You are! Resident wood sculptor Mac Alberto has gone through a lot of effort to create this double-take vision by carving intricate faces, animals and other items out of the wood here. Although it may remind you of Disney's 'Pocahontas' and the kindly wooden grandmother, be forewarned…some of the more elusive carvings are definitely not for children. Enjoy!
...try the art galleries and look for Hortence Brown's women! One of my favorite local artists, the human body is the main theme of her work. We have one of her sculptures at our office, and i enjoy it every day. The inner feelings of the human being come to expression in movement and attitude. That is what she expresses in her work. Feelings like sadness, happinesss, fear and despair reveal themselves in the body language. Even when a person is seen from the back, his essence can be read. She uses both natural as well as man made material for her sculptures. Natural material: marble, limestone, Curaçao limestone, alabaster.
Man made material: bronze, cement composites.
For more of her sculpures, click on:
...take along some postcards or a calender with views of Curaçao by the naieve painter Fred Breebaart! Before even ever having been to Curaçao this dutchmen painted our island out of books and pictures. By now he visited several times. Also by him we have a painting at my workplace. The vivid colours always make my day! Postcards in most book stores and souvenir's shops. Enjoy his impression of one of our most famous landhouses at Knip.
For more local art and artists, click on
...try and go when Carnival! Next year 2008's Carnival Grand Parade is on Sunday February 3, and the Farewell Lighting Parade on Tuesday February 5. But behold! Carnival season starts already in January with a jump-up each and every weekend to which EVERYONE can participate! This is just for you to get in the mood by the big day!
For more information about how to participate in the Grand Parade go to
Fondest memory: ...the music, the singing and the dancing! And, wow, will you have a chance during the Grand Parade! Starting around 11 a.m. you will be dancing in the streets untill sunset. As i warned: be prepared to be surprised...mostly of yourself!
So you’re getting married……… The Ideal Place for an Outdoor Wedding!
Well, now we will look at options for an ideal outdoor wedding. I love outdoor weddings, especially if you find a beautiful location that introduces nature as part of the celebration of this wonderful occasion. Curaçao is blessed with temperate climate all year long. What we call the rainy season are occasional downpours during the months of November, December, and January. With the exception of these months, planning a wedding outdoors is relatively safe. The only factor that one may have to consider is the ‘heat’, which during the summer months can be quite uncomfortable. If you do not mind the heat, there are many options.
Taxis are very, very expensive in Curaçao. Do consider renting a car in the internet. We got one, with air-cond for US$34 (incl. insurance, unlimited mileage). Taking a taxi can cost you US$25! With our rented car, we could visit many beaches, go around the island, go into town whenever we wanted.
Fondest memory: We absolutely loved Cas Abou (beach), incredibly beautiful, well organised;
diving is great, even with a snorkel or goggles you see amazing things (such as squids just meters from the beach);
the colour of the sea is... you should go and see for yourself. What a beautiful island Curaçao is...
We spent just 4 days in Curacao in 2009 finding the island nice enough for these days spent. We stayed at Howards Jhonson Hotel which is located in from the Boulevard (nice location) near good restaurant and more luxurious hotel in Punda side (the island is divided into two main regions Punda and Otrabanda)
We paid $20 for transportation Airport-hotel and I may advice you not to because every twenty minutes or so, there are blue vans that drive you to Punda for $2 p/p yes!.
The airport is about 15 minutes far from Punda and to go to Otrabanda, just take the movable bridge which connects both sides of the island, really nice to see it moving while big boats, cruises and oilship pass through it. But that´s not a problem. While the boat is out of service, you can take a cathamaran ship to take to the other side.
Shopping is convenient and the people are friendly. The beaches (mambo beach) are ok and the water is clear and beautiful.
Since I love shopping, it is not as cheap as we though it could be, nevertheless food is. dinner for two at a luxirious restaurant about $45 and there are some outlets to go for shopping in Saliña. to go there, you can take vans for $5. You can find Tommy, Guess, Max, United Color of Benneton and some others.
I recommend Curacao to spent few days only and it is not necessary to rent a car unless you want to explore the island.
The airplane ticket was about $400 and the hotel about $200 breadfast inclusive at a restaurant near the hotel. The rooms were just fantastic and the service was friendly and courteous.
Fondest memory: The outlets are very nice and vary.