I’m traveling for quite some years now and have been blessed to see many beautiful places on this earth. Crazy cities, good food, beautiful nature, friendly people, different cultures, beautiful beaches… Put those things together and I’m sure to have a great vacation. However, the feeling of relaxation that I’ve experienced the moment I set foot on the island of Curacao, is not comparable to any of the destinations I visited before or after.
Old love never dies
I’ve been on Curacao three times now and there’s still a tiny little flame burning inside of me loving to go there again. Like an old love that never dies.
So what makes this little Caribbean island so special? I’m not sure I can put my feelings in writing, but let me try.
Obviously, the climate. It’s a wonderful place to visit during European winter months. When everybody is freezing at home, trying to survive the darkness and the cold, you’ll be laying on one of the most beautiful beaches sipping on a cocktail or a cool beer. I mean, what can possibly beat that? I don’t hate the colder months. Actually I really enjoy autumn and winter. Cozying up by the fireplace, burning candles and sipping some lovely Ripasso. Love that. It’s just that little escape, sunlight and warmth on my skin that I’m longing for. Just for a week, maybe two… 😉
In The Netherlands we tend to rush things. Everything is on a schedule and there’s no time to waste. Time often is money and that’s basically the rule we live by. On the beautiful island of Curacao the people have a wonderful, soothing, easy going kind of lifestyle. Most things are done at a slower pace. Is it the warm wether? The culture? I don’t know and I don’t care! I just go with the flow and it works fine for me.
The food on Curacao is amazing. If you want to try the best local food you should go to Plasa Bieu. It’s an old market place that has been converted into a cozy food court. At around noon it wil packed with all kinds of people. Tourists, families, locals, young, old, business people… Everybody longing for a fresh and homemade meal for a small amount of money. You can choose from fresh fish, vegetables, stew’s, fresh lemonade. All prepared and served by lovely mama’s. It’s a great experience of the culinary side of Curacao.
You should als try the various toko’s along the road. Sometimes they don’t look very appealing but they have the best street food. Nothing fancy. Just some grilled chicken or some ribs. But made with love and care, super cheap and served with a smile.
The beaches of Curacao can easily compete amongst the other bad boys in the world. Playa Kenepa Grandi (Knip Beach), Cas Abao and Playa PortoMari are my three favorites on Curacao. While Cas Abao and PortoMari both have facilities like toilets, showers, some shops and a restaurant, Knip Beach in comparison is more rustic and back to basics. There is a small food toko available for drinks and some easy dishes but no fancy stuff. Grote Knip is really popular among the locals and in the weekend the beach is crowded by families with filled cool boxes and BBQ’s. The blue water is just breathtaking. Beautiful, crystal clear waters, parasols and beautiful reef for snorkeling and diving.
I highly recommend a boat trip to Klein Curacao (Little Curacao). It’s a whole day trip and everything is taking care of. Drinks, snacks and a BBQ. Klein Curacao is a tiny little island with nothing more than a shipwreck and an old lighthouse. You can take a walk, snorkel with some turtles or just chill on the beautiful beach. The boat trip can be quite rough/adventurous for some people (me) and you can get sea sick. But it’s still totally worth it.
In addition to the recommendations listed above here’s a little side note as well. Most people who visit Curacao have this bounty island idea about it. As you can read above, that is totally true. What most people don’t expect is that Curacao also has a less attractive side. The local people tend to throw old tires in the ocean. Car wrecks and other old and rusty trash can be found at the side of the road etc. If you only expect it to be picture perfect than maybe you should stay at your resort and enjoy yourself there. If you are in for some real Curacao experience then you should rent that car and drive all around the island. See it, feel it and taste it. Have fun guys!