Vibrant. Warm. Rich in culture. These are just a few of the words I would use to describe Curaçao.
Why Curaçao? Well, I was in mid-Google search of “affordable countries to visit in the Caribbean” when Curaçao popped up.
I have to be completely honest. I barely knew anything about this unknown island, but that’s what made it even more exciting. Did I read any blog posts about Curaçao? Did I know of any friends or relatives that have visited Curaçao? Nope. It was mysterious, therefore I had to go. I booked my flights and oceanfront hostel, and off I went.
While visiting, it really made me wonder why Curaçao isn’t as well-known as its neighboring islands? In my opinion, it’s one of the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets. The beaches are gorgeous, the town is full of life and history, and it’s almost impossible not to fall in love with the gorgeous pastel-colored architecture.
Surprisingly, a lot of people never heard of Curaçao or have no idea where it is. Just forty miles off the Venezuelan coast, this island is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Dutch is the official language but Papiamento is the most common — a Spanish Creole language with admixtures of Portuguese and Dutch. Papiamento is also spoken on the Caribbean islands of Aruba and Bonaire.
Below are the top 3 reasons I loved Curaçao:
1. The Beaches
Curaçao’s beaches have crystal, blue oceans, and white sand beaches. Isn’t that what we all look for in the perfect beach? The number of beaches that you can visit in Curaçao is endless and each one has its own unique trait. Since there are so many amazing beaches to visit, I recommend renting a car. I know, I always recommend renting a car and I also know that it’s not for everyone but if you can, I highly suggest it.
Here is the list of beaches that I visited and what stood out most:
- Playa Kenepa Chiki – Beautiful crystal, clear water.
- Playa Kenepa Grande – one of the popular beaches with a really awesome cliff to jump off of. I was terrified to jump at first and it took me chickening out a few times before I finally did, but it was totally worth it.
- Playa Jeremi – More secluded with no facilities available.
- Jan Thiel Beach – one of the more popular, crowded beaches but still worth checking out.
- Kokomo beach – Gorgeous sunset and cute swing to take pictures on, that’s if you can get on without sliding off!
- Playa Kalki – Another great beach but much smaller. Bring your water shoes because this ocean has a lot of rocks.
- Cas Abao – Another popular, more crowded beach. I enjoyed a relaxing massage and lunch here.
Some beaches were more crowded and popular than others due to music, food, or location but it really depends on your preference. My goal was to relax on this trip so I favored the more secluded beaches. But again, each beach is truly beautiful.
2. Diversity & Culture
There are many languages spoken in Curaçao — Papiamento, Dutch, Spanish, and English. And it is SO dushi to see all these different cultures come together in one country. You must be wondering if the word dushi is a typo, it isn’t. The word dushi in Papiamento has many meanings, such as nice, sweet, sexy, beautiful, and tasty just to name a few — all positive things! You’ll see and hear the word being used around the island a lot.
Ironically enough, we were visiting while they celebrated their Carnival — Gran Marcha (the grand carnival parade) and what an amazing experience it was! The entire island was a part of this huge celebration. The beautiful smiles, Caribbean music, and colorful costumes really was the icing on the cake.
3. Colorful Architecture
You MUST visit the rainbow of colorful buildings in Willemstad.
There you can find Queen Emma floating bridge that connects Punda and Otrabanda — the two sides of the capital. Check out the views during the day AND at night. I loved taking a walk after a nice dinner and seeing the buildings come to life at night. Also, check out the colorful houses and buildings in Punda, Otrabanda, and Pietermaai Historic District. Pietermaai District is filled with small shops, bars, restaurants & hotels. Whether you decide to walk, drive, or take a cab, explore the island until you’re exhausted because the pastel architecture is really a sight for sore eyes.
FYI for all my vegan/vegetarian readers — there are meatless options in Curaçao! Pirate Bay has a delicious vegetarian lasagna. Right across from Pirate Bay is Tomatoes where you can find good pizza. But, my two favorite restaurants were Bali and Ginger — both have great meatless dishes. Enjoy!
I hope this blog post gave you some insight into how magical and dushi Curaçao really is!