I’m an enthusiastic traveler. Traveling is my passion. I love traveling round the globe whenever I get the time. This time, I had a 3 – day off when I decided to pay a visit to Curacao. I did this travel with my brother. And these days were some of the most amazing days of our lives.
Curacao is a beautiful island nation in the Caribbean, a constituent nation of the Kingdom of Netherlands. With a moderate climate and fun stuffed beaches, Curacao is a great place to chill out. Whether you are looking for a shallow snorkeling option or a deep, challenging wall dive, you will find it all here in Curacao. The beautiful beaches with calm water and sugar-fine sand are perfect for kids.
We took a cruise to Curacao, which landed us in Willemstad, the capital city of Curacao. Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge was the first place we visited. This bridge is famous because of its capability to swing wide, many times a day. This is to provide entrance to one of the busiest ports in the world. The bridge also separates the Willemstad city into two halves. When we reached the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge, we heard the bell ring. We knew that it was time for the bridge to open. And yes, there it was..The perfect piece of engineering! We decided to stay on the bridge as it opened for a boat to pass. The way it waves from side to side in the water is fascinating to watch. There were a lot of tourists here, all taking pictures of this excellent creativity of engineering. We also did the same. We captured some nice pictures of the bridge and the view of the city, as seen from the bridge. The city looks dazzling from this spot, and the bridge adds a great amount to its dazzle.
An interesting place nearby is Handelskade Street. The Handelskade Street is lined with vividly painted buildings from the 18th century. Built in the beautiful Dutch-Caribbean architecture, these buildings now house art galleries, boutiques and sidewalk cafés. The street is a nice place to have a walk. Brightly colored buildings, floating market, outdoor eating spots, there’s a lot to enjoy at this place. After a walk around the whole area and after cracking some good deals at the local shops, we had our lunch at one of the outdoor restaurants. The food’s tang was just in sync with the beauty of this place.
Jan Thiel Beach was the next place we decided to visit. This is a popular, artificial beach of Curacao, full of tourists. We rented the snorkel equipment and enjoyed snorkeling in one of the best options available in the world. The underwater diversity is admirable. There are a lot of options available here to choose from. You could sun-bath, snorkel, dive, or just grab a beer and chill out. There are some really cool bars and eating hubs at the beach. You can’t miss trying something if you are a foodie.
The Curacao Dolphin Academy was our next destination. The Dolphin Academy allows intimate encounters with dolphins in a natural lagoon. These encounters are fun to watch and educative in nature. The staff is very professional and knowledgeable. They know everything about the cute creatures. The Academy area is huge. It is separated in 3 different areas for the dolphins. The dolphins love to play with their trainers. Though when we entered into the pool, they chose to maintain a distance from us, not sure if because we were strangers or because we were stinking! Lol! Anyways, this Dolphin Academy is a pure fun place to be. We enjoyed the dolphins’ company, and we’d suggest that if you are travelling to Curacao, missing the academy would be a sin.
We then visited the Queen Juliana Bridge. This bridge links Punda and Otrobanda. Being the tallest bridge in the Caribbean, the bridge provides the highest point in the area. A significant part of the city can be seen from up here. You cannot stop on the bridge because of the high traffic. We had asked our taxi driver to slow down a bit so that we could capture some images of the bridge and the views of the city from this point. With this, our first day in Curacao ended with still much left to explore…
The first place we visited the next day was the Shete Boka National Park. The name means Seven Coves, or Seven Bays. It got this name because seven attractions worth seeing are found here. The Boka Tabla cave is the most famous among these. One side of the cave is accessible from land, while the other end is dammed inwards by sea rocks. A path takes you down a few steps to the cave. The steps leading to the cave are slippery. A few tourists have died due to slipping off these steps. We knew this and so took our steps very carefully. After some careful steps, the sight was ravishing. Water rushing violently in the cave could be seen here. This place is a contrast to relatively calm attractions of Curacao. Water splashes on the rocks with great force, producing loud sounds. This place has to be visited to understand nature’s forces. Then there is Boka Wandomi, the natural bridge. We did not spent much time at the Boka Wandomi and the other bays. You can drive between all these bays. We did the same. The Shete Boka National Park is worth the ticket they charge. Sheer natural beauty!!
Our next destination was the Maritime Museum of Curacao. Inaugurated in 1999 on the 500th anniversary of Ciracao, this museum is a must watch place in the region. The Museum exhibits Curacao’s interesting maritime history, many models of ships and a really nice collection of photos and models of the Dutch Marine. They charge a small fee to enter the museum, but it is well worth the money. They show a very nicely created, informative video to help comprehend all the information. We didn’t have much time, so after viewing about 5-6 minutes of the video, we skipped the rest and started exploring the museum for ourselves, though it’s a good video to watch if you have time. You don’t have to be an expert in maritime history to enjoy this museum. Just take the guided tour; the staff will describe totally everything about Curacao’s maritime history with great passion.
We then moved on to the Parke Tropikal Zoo. Owned by the Curacao government and managed by the ‘Fundashon Parke Propikal’ foundation, this zoo was originally a natural rainwater reservoir. This area became a popular attraction among the people when in the late 1950’s; different collections of animals were exhibited along the reservoir. After many years, the botanical garden was converted into a zoo. Situated just outside the city of Willemstad, this park is relatively small, but is a home to some exotic animals. We spotted some capybaras, a lioness and many other animals. Being a small zoo, you don’t need too much time to walk around. Spare about an hour and experience some nice animal – views in this zoo. The animals are happy being here. They are treated adequately and provided with nutritious food. After taking pictures of almost every animal and after spending some good time in the Parke Tropikal Zoo, we were back en route to our hotel, where we had to pack our bags to get back to our country.
I and my brother were really happy about our decision to visit Curacao. This island country absolutely lived up to our expectations. Curacao is definitely one of the best holiday options available in the Caribbean.