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A Birthday Celebration at Playa Forti

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This year, we celebrated Jürgen’s birthday at Playa Forti. I wouldn’t be so crass as to reveal how old he was turning, but please let me reiterate that this birthday celebration was at Playa Forti. It was a wonderful spot to spend the morning, swim, snorkel… and to mourn the loss of fleeting youth.

Playa Forti

Almost immediately, Playa Forti worked its way into the top echelon of our favorite beaches on Curaçao. It has everything: beautiful rocky surroundings, glorious solitude, calm water, soft sand and excellent snorkeling. While in the water, we saw sea turtles, puffer fish and huge schools hiding in rocks along the shore. Forti is right next to Playa Piskado, and the snorkeling is similar. You can easily swim between the two.

But even more than the swimming, we loved the beach itself. You park at the top of a cliff which overlooks the scene, and then walk down a set of stairs to the sand. The beach is large and continues past an outcrop of the cliff which meets the water. We set up our towels on the other side of this rocky formation… there was a single palapa, which we claimed, and no other people. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

I don’t think we’re ever going to make a final decision as to our favorite beach on Curaçao, but Playa Forti would definitely be in the running. It doesn’t seem to be as popular as the Knip beaches, or nearby Playa Kalki; I’m not sure why. If you’re looking for an enjoyable, uncrowded day at the beach, definitely check out Playa Forti. Even if it’s not your birthday.

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Playa Forti
Playa Forti
Playa Forti
Playa Forti

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February 14, 2016 at 7:22 pm Comments (3)

Fine Dining at Fort Nassau

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Of all Curaçao’s former Dutch fortresses, our favorite was destined to be Fort Nassau. Fort Amsterdam might have the most fascinating history and Fort Beekenburg the coolest atmosphere… but Fort Nassau has the food nailed down. And food beats history or atmosphere every time.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, when the Dutch were busy extending their tendrils across the globe, a number of forts named Nassau were established to protect their new properties. You could find a Fort Nassau in the Bahamas, New York, New Jersey, Indonesia, Senegal, Ghana and Guyana, all of them named for the House of Orange-Nassau, an influential Dutch dynasty. In 1797, Curaçao got its own Fort Nassau, on the point where the Saint Anna Bay empties into the Schottegat Harbor.

Fort Nassau was taken over for a brief period by the British, but never came under serious attack, so it’s been able to remain in marvelous condition. In 1959, a restaurant was established in the old fortress, and ever since, Fort Nassau has been Curaçao’s most celebrated place to eat. For Jürgen’s birthday dinner, it was the only real choice.

Set high on a hill, the views from Fort Nassau are incredible, especially at night with the lights (and flames) of the Isla Oil Refinery off toward the north, and Punda laid out to the south. Almost anywhere you sit inside the restaurant, you’re guaranteed an excellent panoramic view.

However, you might have trouble taking your eyes off your plates, because the food in Fort Nassau is mouth-watering. The dinner menu includes an appetizer, a main course and dessert. And while it’s not cheap, neither is it overly expensive, considering the quality of the dishes and the generous portions. We both took the steak, and were left very satisfied.

If you only have time and money for one fine dining experience in Curaçao, rest assured that Fort Nassau makes a great choice. Often, these “most famous” restaurants don’t live up to the hype, but Fort Nassau was as good as we had hoped, with top-notch views, food, and service.

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February 14, 2016 at 3:33 pm Comments (0)
A Birthday Celebration at Playa Forti This year, we celebrated Jürgen's birthday at Playa Forti. I wouldn't be so crass as to reveal how old he was turning, but please let me reiterate that this birthday celebration was at Playa Forti. It was a wonderful spot to spend the morning, swim, snorkel... and to mourn the loss of fleeting youth.
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