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Curacao

Are We There Yet? Willemstad
Bask in the beauty of the brilliant pastels of Curacao while walking across the Queen Emma Bridge. Just be aware-this "Pontoon Bridge" swings open across the water to welcome ships into port.
Leagues under Curaçao
You came to the island to relax, but after two days of lying on the beach you begin to feel guilty you’re missing out on something. Learning to dive has always required commitment it seems. Maybe you have always wanted to try it but weren’t sure you’d love it? Time to get off the beach, lazy bum, and try a mini-submarine! Whereas health concerns can restrict certain people from diving due to pressure changes in the body, this is not the case with a mini-submarine adventure. What’s more, you’ll be able to boast that you submerged to 1000 feet, greater depths than most most divers can reach. Crystal clear waters, colorful fish and coral – you’ll finally learn what all the hubbub is about. We promise we won’t tease you when you return to the island next year, your scuba gear in tow.
Leagues under Curaçao Curaçao  Curaçao

Creole Eden
The Ethnic diversity of Curaçao is impressive. Consider its location, just off the tip of Venezuela, Caribbean gateway to Latin America, and its rich history of diverse colonization. This adds up to the veritable multicultural melting pot it is today. Dutch is the official language, but the local creole (or Papiamentu) is a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, English, and Arawak Indian. However, it’s when you learn that Papiamentu is spoken by everyone, rich and poor, that images of Eden are conjured in the mind. It is an integral part of the island’s identity. It’s certainly a paradise for linguists, tickled to decipher the origins of different words and phrases.

Here are two excellent examples to learn before you go. Thank you is danki, which comes from the Dutch dank u, and you’re welcome is di nada from the Spanish de nada. That kind of harmony between Germanic and Latin languages is enough to bring out the word nerd in anyone!
Creole Eden Curaçao  Curaçao

Tastes so Gouda
Local dish, Keshi Yena, which is Papiamentu for stuffed cheese, touts a long history dating back to its 17th century origin during the Caribbean slave trade. Dutch settlers would toss the scraps of their Edam or Gouda cheese, which you recognize by its red wax covering, and plantation cooks would salvage the rind, soak it, stuff it with leftovers, and bake the ensemble to make a meal. Today we get an upgrade on the once slave fare at the best restaurants on Curaçao, still stuffed, but now refined with ingredients like capers, local spices, raisins, or spicy peppers. It’s a cheese lover’s hearty fantasy. Mmmm cheese…
Tastes so Gouda Curaçao  Curaçao

Blue Curacao
Say Curaçao, or kur-a-sow, and your mind’s eye points you promptly to this blue-colored liqueur. And you are correct! But not many people know its namesake is the island it comes from. Most necessary fun fact for your trip to the Caribbean’s best kept secret: this liqueur is produced from a very bitter orange, unpalatable even to the indiscriminate wild goats of the island. The Laraha orange originates from the succulent Valencia orange brought over by the Spaniards in the 15th century. The different soil and climate produced this mutant fruit from which a beautiful fragrance was discovered of the oil from its dried peel. Authentic Curaçao liqueur can only be produced from the oranges that grow on this island.
Blue Curacao Curaçao  Curaçao

Return to Westpunt Paradise
Remember the The Blue Lagoon with Brooke Shields? Westpunt is the part of the Curaçao where you want to reenact that first kiss with your honey. But let’s keep it PG folks! On the west side, near the northern-most tip of the island, a drive treats you to a visual sojourn from the rocky landscapes of the dry, cactus-peppered countryside, to more fertile surroundings with stunning views on the bluest waters of the Atlantic. Away from the tourist center, you find peace here.
Return to Westpunt Paradise Curaçao  Curaçao

Cool Jeep!
Lesson number one for the experiential traveler: get your bearings as soon as you hit the ground, especially on an island so manageable in size. Curaçao is only about 40 miles long and 10 miles wide. Roaming through the flat, rugged terrain, weaving through many an inlet with the limestone cliffs in view and the wind at your back, you will find your sense of adventure here. These yellow jeeps make guided safari trips supercharged with priceless insight on the flora and fauna of the land. Some favorite moments include a visit to Brua cave, ancient escape slave hideout and, of course, the excellent drive through the Christoffel Park nature preserve, where you may spot unique animal and plant species like the White Tailed deer (only 250 remain), or, in an area exclusive to park rangers, beautiful wild orchids.
Cool Jeep! Curaçao  Curaçao

Willemstad Wonderland in Handelskade
This row of colorful buildings is the indisputable calling card for Curaçao. After you’ve wistfully returned home from your trip to the island, you catch yourself at the hardware store eyeing the paint color swatches, toying with the idea of painting your house either mango, magenta or hot pink flamingo, and you realize it’s true. That combination of colors coupled with the Dutch colonial architecture is just so pleasing. You finally settle on peppermint patty, but you aren’t sure anymore if the neighbors would be able to handle all that color. And so, to vanquish your nostalgia, you settle on the easier and more satisfying solution: plan for Curaçao again next year!
Willemstad Wonderland in Handelskade Curaçao  Curaçao

A Reflection on Plantation Life
Kas Di Pali Maishi, or sorghum stalk house, is a historical example of a typical adobe home similar to those used by slaves, representing the way the Afro-Curaçoan rural population lived until the 1950s on Curaçao. The small museum is dedicated to understanding the lifestyle of the African slaves here, exhibiting furniture, tools, and other artifacts helpful for understanding the memory of the island’s complex colonial heritage.
A Reflection on Plantation Life Curaçao  Curaçao

Darwin’s Theory at Play
Curaçao has existed for centuries upon centuries with some species unique to the island and some that have been introduced to it over time. This combination of fates has ushered along some compelling genetic mutations. Nestled in the heart of the Christoffel Park nature reserve, the Savonet Museum is a haven for science junkies who want to see Darwin’s theory in action. Through artifacts and photographs, the museum establishes the island’s unique history dating back to the arrival of the Arowak Indians 4000 years ago. It is a vivid demonstration of the interdependence between humans and nature, of history both cultural and natural.
Darwin’s Theory at Play Curaçao  Curaçao

Great to Meet Chu
Chu, born Jesus Zimmerman (fantastic name, so characteristic of Curaçao’s diverse heritage) is manager at Netto bar, a famous local hangout on the island. Built almost 60 years ago by Ernesto Koster, called Netto by everyone, this is Curaçao’s very own Cheers, where people come from all over for good times, good music, and good drinks. Just one look at this man and you know he will have as many stories to tell you about island life as the collection of images on the walls have to show you.
Great to Meet Chu Curaçao  Curaçao

Messengers of the Sea
Dolphins are repeatedly found in Greek mythology as sacred, magical creatures, messengers of the sea, heralding goddesses as they descend from the heavens. We have always been intrigued with these sea mammals that appear to play as humans do. Imagine the opportunity to come in contact with one of these peaceful beings or, even better, to swim along side them. We captured this little darling doing just that at the Dolphin Academy on Curaçao, where six different programs lend to every interaction imaginable with these intriguing creatures.
Messengers of the Sea Curaçao  Curaçao

The Colors of Curaçao
This exemplary young goat, roaming free in Curaçao, posed for such a picturesque photograph - his white fur blending in unison with the wall beneath him. He thought he had almost made his chameleon escape. Thanks to the contrasting emerald and turquoise waters behind him, we caught the moment. Traditionally, when one defines this island as colorful, it’s the vibrant colonial buildings of Handelskade in Willemstad that come to mind. But it’s moments like these that demonstrate the origin of the colors that the Caribbean is known for, in nature.
The Colors of Curaçao Curaçao  Curaçao

Dining Out
Have you ever slept out under the stars? You may remember wishing you could sleep with your eyes open, to take in all that beauty without pause, all night long. It’s the same feeling you get on Curaçao, where eating outside at every meal is possible. Feet in the sand, cool breeze on the cheeks, and the most stunning views of the water, just steps away. It gets you wondering if you could go in for a quick dip between courses. Would that be rude? Not here!
Dining Out Curaçao  Curaçao

Underwater Paradise
Just think, the only real thing that gets in the way of a great swim is the need to come up for air. Snorkeling is great in Curaçao, but the diving is even better. Exploring an airplane wreck will have you humming the Indiana Jones theme song, and at Punt'i Piku, the huge (harmless) Baracuda take your breath away. There’s so much to do on this island, but you could spend the entire week just diving. It’s a swimmer’s fantasy come true.
Underwater Paradise Curaçao  Curaçao

Shake it Loose
Carnival is a month long reason to have a good time. It’s a street party. It’s theatre. It’s history, food and folklore. It’s music that gets into your skin until you find your hips starting to move as if they had their own set of batteries. This image is a favorite. At first glance, you’re wowed by the intense grace of this woman in her elaborate costume. She’s bursting with passion. But then you notice the woman standing behind her, and it shows you another side of the locals. Simply put, she is just doing her thing, enjoying being part of the spectacle. She’s not taking it too seriously – she’s just having fun with it. She is a reminder of the inner peace you find in island living and the reason to come to Curaçao in the first place. To breath and let loose!
Shake it Loose Curaçao  Curaçao

Curaçao