Andrew and I were so excited about our holiday this summer. We had never even heard of Curaçao until we booked our trip. What we realized is that we were not the only ones. Thank you Calvin and Teresa for finding this holiday for us! We would have never gone without your help.
“Are you guys going on a holiday this summer?” People would ask.
“Yes! We are going to Curaçao!” We would gush excitedly
“It’s off the northern coast of Venezuela.” We would begin to explain.
No sign of anything registering
“It’s a Dutch colony”
We really didn’t know much more than that when we left…other than that the snorkeling is supposed to be amazing which made Andrew super happy.
With our bags packed we boarded a plane early Thursday morning on a week long adventure.
Curaçao is an island country in the southern Caribbean Sea, approximately 65 kilometers north of the Venezuelan coast, that is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It includes the main island and the uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao (“Little Curaçao”). It has a population of over 150,000 and its capital is Willemstad.
Our first impression getting off the plane was that it felt surprisingly like Mexico…and then you would see a road sign in Dutch and realize that you were not where you thought you were.
I worried that Curaçao and I would not be friends during our first 24 hours…that I may end up totally hating this trip…but looking back now I realize that I was just excessively overtired (from flying overnight and getting very little sleep).
As we walked out of the airport I was acausted by wind…not a cool gentle Caribbean breeze but a knock-you-down-push-you-across-the -ground constant gust. If you know me, you know I despise the wind…it makes me irrationally angry, so I was not overly happy about the wind that was pelting my face. But I took a deep breath and reminded myself I was in paradise…and I needed to choose my attitude towards the wind. I would come to embrace the wind over our week because without it, I would have melted into a puddle instantly.
We arrived at the resort, had dinner and enjoyed the beautiful scenery. We were so exhausted from all our travelling that we decided to go to bed and get an early start to the next morning.
That’s when it happened.
We had been blissfully sleeping for about 40 minutes when we were jarred awake by a matching band. Yep you read that right, a marching band…playing their hearts out…for 30 minutes.
All the irrational thoughts you could have ran through my mind
“Are they in our room?”
“I need to go home”
“Where can we move in the resort that is quiet…I can’t stay here”
“Why won’t it stop?”
And the one that scared me the most
“Will they do this every night??
Luckily, that was the only night the marching band played.
We woke up the next morning, went for breakfast, and Curaçao and I were best friends for the rest of our week together!
This is the only all inclusive resort on the island. It is a wristband-free resort…you just give your room number every time you go to a restaurant or get towels or equipment. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it sure was nice not having one of those scratchy bands around your wrist for a whole week.
We stayed in a deluxe ocean view room and it was perfect for us. The room was clean and comfortable. Our view was incredible and we were literally steps from the restaurants and beach. It was so nice to have our room close.
The food on the resort was great. They had one buffet restaurant that was open for all meals and late night snacking. It was typical fare for any all inclusive resort. They also had 4 sit down restaurants in the resort. (seafood on the beach, BBQ on the beach, Japanese and Italian) We really enjoyed all of them, but ate twice at the BBQ place and the Italian place.
A big part of why we went to Curaçao was because the snorkeling was supposed to be great. Our resort did not disappoint! It has a built up surf break which allowed for snorkeling in very calm waters. There were so many fish to swim with and watch right off the beach. We snorkeled every day and loved it!
Besides snorkeling lots, we did the usually lying around, reading and general lazing that is akin to a beach holiday. It was glorious…I read 3 books during our week away and napped often.
The beach tour
There are many tours available, like in Mexico, but we didn’t have trouble narrowing it down. We came for the snorkeling and beaches so that seemed like the best tour to take. We were picked up early in the morning and made our way to the Western side of the island to see 3 of the most popular beaches in Curaçao.
We started at Knip beach. This is a free public beach that they call the natural swimming pool. It was beautiful, but not great for snorkeling because of the waves coming in. It churned up the sand too much so you couldn’t really see anything. But any day you get to swim in beautiful blue water like this is not such a bad day!
Next we went to Cas Abo beach. This was by far my favorite! You have to pay to go to this beach ($6 USD a car) but again the view is gorgeous and the water is clear. We didn’t get a chance to snorkel here because we ended up talking with a Dutch woman for half our time. Actually she started speaking to us in Dutch and we just nodded and smiled until she realized we didn’t understand her and switched to English…
Our last beach on the tour was Port Mari. This is also a paid beach but it was very crowded and not nearly as sprawling as Cas Abo. I am sure part of the reason it was so busy was its proximity to the capital city and its snorkeling. Andrew went out for a quick zip around and said he saw all kinds of stuff. You can also shore dive out to a reef from this beach which brings lots of people.
On our last full day we took the free shuttle bus into the capital city, Willemstad. The two halves of the city are separated by a big floating pedestrian bridge that opens and closes during the day to water traffic.
We walked around and saw all the local vendors as well as many American stores that have set up in Curaçao.
We also had a chance to walk along the floating market where farmers from Venezuela set up and sell fish, fruits and vegetables that they bring to the island every day. Again, people were friendly and not overly pushy at all which made our time in the capital very, very enjoyable.
We would totally go back to this beautiful island! We enjoyed our time there and wished we could have stayed a few more days. The resort was great, the people were friendly and the beaches and weather were incredible…paradise, really!