The charms of Dutch Colonial Willemstad, Curacao, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its rainbow palette of gabled buildings accented with louvered shutters and white gingerbread trim, never lose their appeal. The winding cobblestone streets and alleyways of this 17th century city, located on Santa Anna Bay, are crowded with art galleries, restaurants, shops and little plazas shaded by acacia trees.
The beauty and sophistication of Willemstad is a marked contrast of the wild and rugged outcroppings of rock of much of the island. It is here where delicate orchids peek from tiny crevices, flowering cacti and twisted divi divi trees are part of the arid landscape known as kunuku.
Along the way to the tip of the island — Westpunt or West point, known for its black sand beaches and high cliffs overlooking the rugged ocean — are stopping points of small villages, parks, caves and Landhuzen or Land Houses. These were once manors, some dating back to the late 1600s, belonging to the wealthy Dutch settlers. Now they are museums, restaurants, art galleries and even a distillery for the distinctive island drink Blue Curacao made from the bitter oranges that grow abundantly here.
And, of course, there are the beaches along the seemingly endless shoreline. Here, depending on your preference, are havens for privacy and serenity, ultra-pampering at beach clubs where fabulous food and drinks as well as entertainment is available by the day or night, water sports paradises and for underwater explorers—coral reefs and wrecks inhabited by a vast array of shimmering and colorful sea creatures.
Curacao beckons with fine cuisine, world class shopping, outdoor adventures, culture, arts, history and more. Come explore.
Hato International Airport (CUR), with flights arriving from the United States, the Netherlands and other spots in Western Europe as well as countries in South America and the Caribbean, also has short shuttles to Aruba and Bonaire, also part of the Netherlands Antilles. By sea, Curacao is a major port for the cruise ships which ply the Caribbean waters.
The food of Curacao reflect centuries as a major seaport where traders from around the globe dropped anchor and along with their goods, bought the foods and recipes of their native countries. That’s part of the wonder of culinary Curacao—a cuisine both traditional, international, classic and nouveau.
Bistro Le Clochard
Jo Jo Correa Craft Market