Where in the world is Curacao?
After telling friends and family, I was visiting Curacao, the next immediate question was where is that? Curacao is a Lesser Antilles island in the Southern Caribbean and makes up the ABC islands which consist of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. Curacao is a Sovereign state of the Netherlands. The official languages are Dutch, English, and Papiamento (combination of Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch).
My bestie and I had a great time in Curacao! We flew from DC to Miami and then Miami to Curacao. The flight from Miami was about 2.5 hours. U.S Dollars are widely accepted. Visa is not widely accepted at ATM’s, MasterCard is preferred. We spent four fun filled days in Curacao. If you are thinking about planning a trip, here is a short list of recommendations for your upcoming vacation!
Ostrich Farm: Here you may take a tour to see the various Ostriches and Emus. Fun Fact! Did you know an Ostrich egg can withstand 485 lbs of weight??
Kura Hulanda Village and Slave Museum: Learn about the impact of the slave trade and its connection to Curacao.
Curacao Distillery: Take a tour of the distillery and learn how the liqueur is made. Unique flavors such as Rum Raisin and Tamarind are available to sample!
Self-guided Tour: free
Standard Tour: $12.50 (1 cocktail included)
Deluxe: $20 (2 cocktails and gelato included)
Jan Thiel Beach: Beautiful beach near several restaurants and bars
Mambo Beach: Small beach surrounded by a variety of restaurants and shops.
Kenepa- Beach on the western side of the island.
Cliff Jumping at Playa Forti (Restaurant Playa Forti): The cliff is about 36 ft. high. Not for the faint of heart but if I can do it, you can do it! Beware, you might be a little sore after the jump!
Saint Tropez Beach Club Restaurant: Miami South Beach vibe! Great place to unwind and people watch. There is a beautiful pool which overlooks the ocean. Cocktails are an average price of 10-12$.
Punda/Downtown Willemstad: Popular with locals and tourists. This is a great place to buy souvenirs, go shopping, and eat at one of the countless restaurants. Come witness the colorful skyline overlooking the water where you may cross the Queen Emma Bridge. On the other side (Otrobanda) you will see the beautiful street art which adorns many of the buildings.
Iguana Café: Delicious restaurant overlooking the water. Be sure to get the salmon with shrimp!
Kome: Try the chicken and waffles
Zest: Delicious pizza place near Jan Thiel beach.
Restaurant and Café Gouvernours de Rouville: The fish salad was divine!!! Out of this world!!! Ask to be seated on the terrace.
Papagayo Beach Hotel: Hotel on Jan Thiel Beach which has an amazing infinity pool overlooking the ocean.
Island time is a real thing! Don’t be surprised if service at restaurants is not as fast or the servers don’t check on you as often as they would in the U.S.
Renting a car is highly recommended! You can rent a car for about $40 a day. Taxis are extremely expensive. Our first night in town, we took a taxi 5 minutes away to downtown and it cost $20 USD one way. The beaches on the Western part of the island are about 45 mins to an hour from the center of town and are easily accessible if you rent a car or book a tour. However, if you book a tour to other parts of the Island, you may not have as much time as you would like.
Gratuity/ Service Charge is sometimes included in the bill. 15% gratuity is expected.
Happy Hour is popular at many restaurants but is usually only for an hour.
If you happen to need a taxi while you’re downtown, look for the taxi stand. Uber is not available.
Beware of false advertising! It’s not uncommon for restaurants to advertise having certain services like hookah for example; only to show up and it not be available.