These bright pastel coloured buildings are well known in Curacao - most pictures you see promoting this Caribbean island will show them!
Lining the harbour front in the capital Willemstad, they really brighten the place up, even on a dull day as in my pic!
The first place we looked for was the floating market.
Vendors purchase fresh fruit from the ships that arrive from Venezuela and Columbia, in the wee hours, and sell it along the pier.
The earlier you can get there the better.
We bought fresh mangos, papaya, & bananas. The best mangos that I have ever eaten.
They also sell fresh fish.
Groot Knip is one of the nicest beaches on Curacao. It's a nice sandy stretch of sand, one of the few natural beaches on the island.
There are a few parasol there to give you shade and some food vendors so you won't have to starve. The place gets very busy during the weekend.
The Hato caves once were a coral reef, you still can see fossils of coral there. Today you have limestone droppings are forming stalagmites and stalactites and freshwater pools and waterfalls down there.
You can visit the caves with a guided tour. They start on the hour from 10am to 5pm except on Mondays.
Admission fee is 6,25 US$ for adults and 4,75 US$ for children under 13.
This is the place to go if you want to go snorkelling/diving with dolphins, sea lions, turtles or even sharks. If you're not that brave you can watch them on shows...
There are also a couple of aquariums with tropical fish and a few flamingoes.
Opening times: 8.30am-5.30pm
Admission is 15 US$
Fort Amsterdam was one of Willemstad's firsts buildings. In the beginning it served to guard the harbour entrance, later it became the residence of the gouvenor. These days it's the seat of the gouverment of the Netherlands Antilles. You can enter the courtyard and visit the church and the Fort Church Museum.
There's an Ostrich Farm on the island where they grow these big birds for meat production. You get a tour of the farm and you can feed them yourself. But be aware, these beasts are greedy!
The farm also has a restaurant where you can taste an ostrich steak and a souvenir shop.
The farm is open from 8am to 5pm.
Curacao's capital was found in 1634 just after the Dutch took over the island. It's situated on both sides of a canal leading to the natural harbour of St. Anabaai.
The Dutch traders built houses copying those of their homecountry and these days Willemstad is also called "Little Amsterdam".
As it is a UNESCO heritage site, lots of money goes to the restoration of the historical building. They're doing a great job!
This is supposedly the oldest synogue of the Western hemisphere. Founded in 1732 it has been in permanent use by the Jewish community. It is possible to visit the synagogue (3 US$) and the Jewish Cultural Historical Museum next to it (+2 US$).
Spend a fun filled day at Breezes Super Club.
We found an offer we couldn't resist in one of our brochures.
It said we could spend the day at Breezes, all food, drinks, activities included for one price.
Everyone enjoyed our day here and wished they could have spent the whole week.
We swam, played volleyball, went out in a kayak, ate breakfast ,lunch ,and dinner from lavish buffets. Plus we enjoyed the almost 1,500 feet of white sand beach.
The floating market (mercado flotante) is where Venezuelan merchants dock and sell their fresh fish, produce and spices. Vendors make the sea trip from Venezuela every morning with fresh fruit, vegetables and seafood - the stalls aren't actually floating, but they're close enough to the water to justify the name.
Be sure to notice the awnings of magenta, green, red, yellow and blue that billow over the Dutch tile counters of the floating market on Santa Anna Bay. The market is at its most colorful each morning as Curacoans stuff mangoes, bananas, onions, fresh nutmeg; chiles, limes, cinnamon sticks and potatoes brought by schooner from Venezuela into their shopping bags. The vendors sing along with the ranchero music on their radios, while the schooners' crews play cards, fish, or lounge in hammocks on the boats' decks.
The unique crayon-colored architecture of Curacao sets the stage for a vacation more colorful than you ever imagined. In Willemstad, the capital city, colorful European-style buildings line the harbor reflecting the exuberant mix of cultures, languages, history and beauty contained within her shores.
One of Curacao's most famous sights is Punda's Handelskade, a historical waterfront street with colorful colonial houses.
So just why are the buildings in Willemstad so colorful? Blame it on headaches!
In 1817, after being plagued by recurring headaches, which he blamed on the glare of white houses, Governor-general Albert Kikkert passed a law that pastel colors must be used on all buildings - hence the color explosion throughout Willemstad.
You will delight in strolling through the colorful streets of Dutch style homes and buildings, creating a truly unique Caribbean cultural experience.
It's lovely to see this traditional altar at "Our Lady of the Rosary" cathedral. Placed beautifully in front of soaring stained-glass windows, and surrounded by flowers, candles and lace altar clothes, this church was quite inspirational for me.
Among the statuary at the Cathedral of Pietermaai you will find this one of "Dr. Hernandez." Though not a native of Curacao and not a formally canonized saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Dr. Hernandez is regarded as a saint here in Curacao and has been credited with cases of miraculous cures and healing!
Another example of the lovely statuary in the cathedral, notice the beautifully painted detail of this statue similar to the Pieta in Italy. It is also an example of the exceptional condition of the church and the works of art that remain inside. Given the humidity of the island, not to mention the deteriorating effects of salt water air, this cathedral is in exceptionally beautiful condition and is a tribute to those who labor to keep it this way.