Curaçao Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by steedappeal
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by steedappeal
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by steedappeal

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Curaçao

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    See and hear the blowhole

    by kyoub Written Jun 12, 2005

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    Boca Pistol

    Drive on a poorly marked dusty trail into a rather rough and kind of boring looking countryside. At the end of this dusty trail, you will reach Boka Pistol, a quite impressive place. The high waves of the northern coast crush into Boka Pistol forming a huge water fountain or blowhole. You will get sprayed but it is well worth it.

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    Sea Turtle Sanctuary

    by kyoub Updated Jun 12, 2005

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    Crashing waves

    Hugging the rugged northern shore is Shete Boka, the island’s newest national park, a series of picturesque bays, beaches, rugged cliffs.
    This was one of my favorite places on Curacao. I could stand on the platforms and watch the waves come in and crash against the cliffs, for hours at a time
    There was a small entrance fee that went toward the preservation of the nesting sea turtles.

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    See stalagmites and stalactites

    by kyoub Written Jun 12, 2005

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    Cave

    You can go on a guided tour of Hato Caves and see much of the caves 52,000 square feet. There are freshwater pools, waterfalls, and interesting formations, as well as bats.
    A path outside the caves leads to Indian petroglyphs.

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    Feeding ground for Flamingos

    by kyoub Written Jun 12, 2005

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    Flamingos

    A flock of several hundred Flamingos can be see feeding in the salt pans of Jan Kok.
    They filter their food out of the water. You can see them kicking up the bottom to find snails, mosquitos and the larvae of brine flies.
    If you stop try to be very quiet because they are very shy.

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    A great place to snorkel

    by kyoub Written Jun 12, 2005

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    Porto Marie

    Along the southern coast and very near where we stayed is the beach caled Porto Marie.
    It is just another pretty beach with nice sand, palapas, and a snackbar.
    What sets it apart from many of the others is that just a short distance from shore is a fascinating double reef system. It is a great place to go snorkeling or diving.
    The sign says that there is an entrance fee but when we asked where to pay they said no charge.

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    Kas di Pali Maishi

    by bijo69 Updated Apr 17, 2005

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    This little house is a typical example of how the African population lived after slavery was abolished. The houses usually consisted of two rooms, the kitchen being outside.
    The Kas di Pali Maishi is a small museum where you also find tools/kitchen ware from former times displayed.
    You'll find it close to the township of Barber.
    Opening times: Tuesday to Friday 9am-4pm
    Saturdays & Sundays 9am to 5pm
    Admission is 2 US$
    Driving around Curacao you'll see that some of these houses are still inhabitated.

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    • Historical Travel

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    Curacao Hato Caves

    by Ophelio Written Jan 31, 2005

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    Hato Caves

    Sherman and I took a taxi to visit the caves in Curacao, just north of Willemsted. Admission to the caves was around 6 usd. We were told that escaped slaves lived here for months at a time, and we could still see the soot on the cave ceiling from the campfires. Before that, the Awawaks had used the caves for shelter.
    Some of the shapes in the front cavern were very fanciful and surreal, and in this room photos were not allowed. Although certainly these stalagtites and stalagmites were not 100% authentic, still beautiful nonetheless.

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    Is This Over Yet???

    by Ophelio Updated Jan 31, 2005

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    If you book a riding trip while here in Curacao, (we booked ours through Avila Beach Hotel) maybe you could request a horse not indigenous to the island.
    Sherman started out riding Chopin, because our guide thought being a man he was better equipped to handle this big beast. I laughed watching Sherman bopping up and down and offered to switch horses because I took lessons once as a kid! (uh huh)
    Our guide then told us that the other horses had been imported, but Chopin was a local ruffian!

    This is pretty much the view at the end of our tour...hmmm...bumpy horses..and a "view".

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    Herb Garden Tour

    by Ophelio Updated Jan 22, 2005

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    Herb Garden

    A tour through the local herb garden, called Dinah's Botanic & Historic Garden, was a good way to get to know how the locals have used the indigenous plants throughout the years. Shastri, our guide, even dressed in the traditional garb. It's a very small place, so it takes less than an hour to wander through the gardens. The photo shows some of the examples they had set up here of people using the plants in different ways.

    It was free to look, but a just a bit of cash for the guide. Shastri even gave us a ride in his modern car back to town:)

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    • Eco-Tourism

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    SCUBA Diving in Curacao

    by dlytle Written Jan 14, 2004

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    SCUBA diving in Curacao

    Curacao was born millions of years ago, developing under the sea from lava rock on which coral has grown for centuries. For millions of years reefs have surrounded the island, attaching to the shore like a narrow fringe. In some places they are like beautiful gardens, with delicate corals and are home to brightly colored tropical fish. In others, massive coral formations extend into depths with deep-water fish patrolling the plunging walls.

    So Curacao has much to offer for the diving tourist. Although Curacao is less well known for its underwater world than Bonaire, it has a lot of similarities. Most of the diving sites are reachable from the coast without the need of a boat. In fact while I was diving off of a boat we watched six divers enter the same dive site from the shore.

    Curacao has a number of dive sites with a lot of big sponges, especially around 70 - 100 feet. Lots of big orange elephant ear sponges and barrel sponges. Inside the barrel sponges sometimes you can find a big King Crab hiding.

    The water is very clear and there are a number of different types of dives that can be taken. If one is staying on the island then it is very easy to plan dives that require no dive boat but get you into areas with wrecks, lots of coral and sponge, many fish and often a nice wall as well.

    The photograph is from the second of my two dives that day. There was a little crab or something that had drilled a hole in the sandy bottom and was guarding the bottom of that hole. That’s what these divers are looking at. You can see how clear the water is. Visibility was about 100 feet. On the first dive I even saw a nice seahorse clinging to the bottom in shallow water.

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    Take a snorkeling or sunset cruise in Curacao

    by dlytle Written Jan 14, 2004

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    The sailboat Bounty on a Sunset Cruise

    One can take a sailboat on a snorkeling and sunset cruise out of Willemstad from alongside Handelskade Street in Punda. Altough I did not take this myself as I went SCUBA diving instead, it seems like it would be a lot of fun.

    The Insulinde is a 120 foot long (36 m) traditionally rigged sailboat and the Bounty is a dual-masted, five-sailed wooden schooner (shown in the photograph).

    We encountered the Bounty as they were returning to port and we were leaving port.

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    Plaza Pier at the entrance to Punda and Willemstad

    by dlytle Written Jan 14, 2004

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    Old walls of Plaza Pier in Curacao

    Standing guard over the Punda side of St. Anna Bay, right in the heart of Willemstad, the Plaza Pier is nestled in the ramparts of an 18th-century waterside fort on the eastern tip of the harbor entrance. In fact, it's one of the harbor's two "lighthouses." (The hotel has to carry marine collision insurance, the only accommodation in the Caribbean with that distinction.) The original part of the hotel was built in 1954, long before mass tourism swept the island, and followed the style of the arcaded fort.

    Part of the hotel is also a casino. When our cruise ship passed by it on its way to sea, the folks along the old battlements were sitting and standing out, usually with a drink in their hands. Many of them yelled parting calls as we departed. One especially loud voiced man was yelling “Marry me, marry me and take me back to the states with you.” A few of the passengers were encouraging him to swim to the ship and climb aboard.

    Anyway, I thought that this was a unique and picturesque entrance to the harbor and so I took this picture for posterity.

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    The Waaigat Canal

    by dlytle Updated Jan 14, 2004

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    Waaigat Canal with the floating market

    The Waaigat Canal leads to the large inner harbor of Willemstad where most of the commercial wharves are now located.

    Turning into the Waaigat Canal off of St. Anna Bay which is the outer harbor, brings one immediately to the floating market along the right side of the canal. If one progresses further up the canal the boat will have to pass beneath the Queen Wilhemina Draw-Bridge to continue on into the inner harbor. Unless you will be staying in Curacao for two or three days, you are unlikely to venture that far from the tourist spots of Punda.

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    Pleasant place to sit and sip a frozen margarita

    by dlytle Written Jan 14, 2004

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    Small shopping center and bar near the cruise ship

    The Gouverneur Building houses a few shops and a nice little bar. It is located very near the West Wharf cruise ship terminal, north of the free ferry pier on the Otrobanda side of the harbor.

    Besides having nice architectural appeal, it serves a mean frozen margarita and strawberry daiquiri. One can either sit in the bar, on stools alongside the street or in the cobblestone plaza with an awning shaded table.

    We were at the end of a day of walking around the area sightseeing and shopping and it was a very pleasant interlude before we re-boarded our cruise ship to sail back to the United States.

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    Interesting work of art on the Otrobanda promenade

    by dlytle Written Jan 14, 2004

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    Arawak Clay Picture of Punda and Pontoon Bridge

    We were walking towards the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge from the West Wharf, across the bay from the floating market, which is where our cruise ship had docked. Suddenly we came up to a very lovely painting done in clay showing the pontoon bridge with Punda in the background. It was an intriguing sight since it just sits there on the waterway promenade with no preamble or warning that you are about to come across it.

    In the lower right hand corner it gives the artist’s name (Frank Van Der Loo) and the date of 1988. It also lists Arawak Clay Products as well. I did take the picture that you see here but I did not take the time to visit that clay products factory. But since they were kind enough to provide this visual delight along the promenade I thought I’d mention them to you in this tip.

    It is my understanding that the Arawak Craft Products factory is in Otrobanda, near the cruise dock (but I do not know which one), and has an ‘outlet store’ full of beautiful clay pottery and other souvenirs.

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Curaçao Off The Beaten Path

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