The Renaissance is where I would stay on my return visit to Curacao. It has an amazing infinity pool and a terrific location near town along with a good selection of shops and places to eat and drink. Forget the bland Lobby bar and head into the casino where you can splurge on the 5 cent slot machines and order all the free drinks you could want. The staff at the pool wanders off around 5ish so you never know when a non-registered guest will fall-into the sea water! Pool bar is especially nice at sunset (opens to outside guests at 6 pm).
This is actually along a well-beaten path; I enjoyed sitting in this shady spot on a daily basis. A stones throw from the Renaissance Hotel, this bench provides a great view of the majestic cruise ships that visit Willemstad as well as a chance to meet locals and tourists alike as they wander along this seafront promenade.
I was curious to know what the space atop the Curacao Plaza Hotel looked like. So, in good hotel creeping form, I managed to make my way to the Penthouse after a few false starts. It is a banquet space used for special events and has a gorgeous view over Willemstad. Many thanks to the nice server I startled when I gate-crashed the top of the Plaza!
FYI: the pool area and terrace of this hotel is nice, too. However, the entire property looks a bit shop-worn. It's retro-official decor felt a bit like a hotel a local government would build.
On the northern tip of the island, down several bumpy dirt roads lies Watamula. A large hole in the rocky ground where the ocean waves crash & create powerful imagery. It is also a top dive site for advanced divers. I highly recommend. Follow the signs ... it is fairly well marked.
Experience Curaçao's underwater beauty!
The oceans life zone is found in the first 30 feet of water. This is where you will find more color, more coral, and certainly more entertainment. Try an introduction dive at one of the many dive schools on the island. Your satisfaction is guaranteed!
Relax.. and enjoy the fun of wandering underwater!
I had read on Virtual tourist about "the most beautiful beach" someone had seen. They were not kidding. This beat Hawaii! Getting there was a little different. I figured we could take the bus up to the beach. You can, but bus drops you off at a fork in the road and there is NOTHING nearby. We walked the rest of the way. As we were walking, we stept on cacti. All I can say is...TAKE A CAR! This does have the most gorgeous turquoise water and white sand. Lots of white coral too. Bring your flip flops.
Tug boat wreck- Want to see a real wreck, but dont have your scuba liscence? You have to go to Caracasbaii, near the Spanish Waters, and Willemstad. The beach is not that hard to get to, and one you arrive there, swim along the line of rock jutting out into the sea, and in about only 15-20 feet of water there is the wreck of an old tugboat. It is incredible. If you were to stand on the top of the captains quarters, you would be out of the water, up to only your waist in the water. Plus, it's not wavy and hard-swimming conditions, but is rather calm. It's really an incredible experiance. There's a plethora of colored fish swimming all around, it's truly a site. I went to Curacao for the first time in the summer of 2006; my family own a house there, but my parents were hesitiant to take my brother and I there because the location of our house in on the west side of the island, about a half hour from the nearest hospital. But when we went for the first time I was enchanted! Curacao is incredible!
The eastern coast is windy and the sea very rough. You can take a dirt road from the airport towards the north and exit at San Pedro passing by the windmills. The area is desertic and you may find people exploring with jeeps or just on a photo safari. We preferred to drive north on the road, turned right before reaching San Pedro after we left the windmills to our right and went down a road that took us to a farm on the road. A guy showed us around and then allowed us to access the private land over the sea by paying a few bucks. It was very interesting to tour around with our Nisan sedan and take some amazing pictures.
There is a library (Biblioteka) on the other side of the water from the floating market. There are some computers for tourists to use for 30 minutes and its free. Just make sure you bring an ID and a book to read because you may have to wait for a computer.
I wanted to see the ostrich farm and aloe vera park but one of them is closed on a sunday and one is closed on a monday. But they both seems interesting. The caves where cool and you can walk around the area there and see the Indian drawings. Then drive east to the ostrich and aloe farms.
I would do this day on a weekday and not the weekend.
This is a full day, but you see a ton of cool sights. Get an early start, pack some snacks and lots of water. Don't forget your swim suit, beach towel, and snorkel gear. Take Weg Naar Westpunt out toward Westpunt to Sheta Boka National Park. Spend the morning walking the trails out there. For lunch drive toward Westpunt. Drive through Westpunt and through a windy area and though a small town. Pretty soon you'll get to Playa Forti (I don't know if there is a sign). On your right you'll see a colorful house on the cliff. Get lunch there. I didn't eat there but it looked like Cuban food. Have a couple of beers then jump off the platform into the ocean. Its pretty high and when i was there there was a bunch of Dutch teenagers doing this. After cliff jumping get back on the road and keep heading south to Playa Mari. This is popular beach with permanent umbrellas. Its also small and crowed but I heard the snorkeling is good here (I didn't have my gear with me that day).
...TRY AND WITNESS THE CORAL SPAWNING!
A once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Dutch Caribbean!
2007 ONLY CORAL SPAWNINGs: SEPT 29-OCT 6 and OCT 29-NOV 6 2007
"Sometimes referred to as “the best kept secret in the Caribbean,” one of the most wonderful things about diving in Curaçao is its versatility to accommodate divers of varying certifications. Whether visitors prefer to remain in very shallow water or dive down deeper along the coral walls, the marine life is plentiful and the conditions are near perfect. "
Divers visiting the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience when the natural phenomenon of 'coral spawning' takes place 3 to 10 days AFTER Full Moon, in 2007: between September 29th and October 6th, and the 2nd spawning around Oct.29 and Nov. 6. Caused by certain environmental conditions, including high water temperatures and the lunar phase, coral spawning is the moment when multiple coral species, together with other invertebrates, release their gametes into the water column! For more info, try these sites:
This bridge is 185 feet abone Santa Anna Bay.
Mortorists have a wonderful view of Willemstad as they pass over the bay.
It is for motor vehicles only so don't even think about walking up to get a picture.
Knip Beach it is one of the largest and most scenic beaches of the island. The sand is as white as snow. It was pretty quiet on the week day that we were there but can be full on week-ends.
Little Knip Bay is right next door.
There is also a trail in National Park Shete Boka that heads along the shore to Boka Wandomi where the water has carved out a natural bridge which is viewable by descending the stairs to the beach or by standing on the platform provided at the top.