A popular walking path connects the neighborhood of Otrobanda to Piscadera, up the coast to the north. We regularly drive by this path, and always see people walking their dogs or jogging on it. So we decided to join them on an otherwise lazy Saturday afternoon, for a much-needed spot of exercise.
The deserted section of coastline to the northwest of Curaçao’s international airport is known as the Hato Plains. There are no paved roads here, but if you have a jeep, this wide expanse of dry red earth trapped between the ocean and a set of inland cliffs is a fascinating area to explore.
We carefully made our way along an overgrown path, which, according to my calculations, had last been used by the Arwak Indians sometime in the late 1400s. Our mission was to find the legendary Playa Hunku, a place rumored about in whispered conversations across the island, but which no living man or woman had yet laid eyes upon. Our expedition was fraught with danger (cacti! mosquitoes!) but after a wearying trek of twenty entire minutes, we saw it: the fabled beach of Playa Hunku. And it was ours… all ours!!
After having hiked to the top of Christoffelberg, we had enough time to continue exploring the park. A driving route recommended by the visitor’s center brought us to a few interesting sights, including a remote beach, a dark cave, and ancient rock paintings made by the Arwak Indians.
Crystal blue waters, soft white sand, a laid-back atmosphere in a gorgeous natural environment… you know, it feels like I’ve been using this description a lot, doesn’t it? It’s getting boring. Come on, Curaçao! Why don’t you surprise us with an ugly beach?! Actually, on second thought, scratch that. Just keep the beauty coming and we’ll try not to complain. Next up: Playa Jeremi.
We were overwhelmed by the beauty of the underwater world we discovered at Directorsbaai. Pristine coral just a couple feet below the surface and legions of fish oblivious to our presence… if there’s better snorkeling anywhere on Curaçao, I’d be surprised. In fact, if there’s better snorkeling anywhere in the world, let us know. So far, Directorsbaai is about the best we’ve seen.
Found across the Waaigat Bay from Punda, Scharloo is the newest of Willemstad’s four historic districts and, as evidenced by its abundance of stately mansions, was home to Curaçao’s richest citizens. Today, the wealthy have moved on to other neighborhoods, but the mansions have remained.
After visiting Boka Sami and the dilapidated Fort St. Michiel, we found a trail which led up the hill and along the cliffs to Vaersenbaai, home to Kokomo Beach. A short, mildly strenuous walk through the woods, followed by views over the Caribbean, and then cooling off in clear blue waters? Sigh, if only all our hikes were like this!
Playa Kanoa, on the windward side of Curaçao, isn’t what comes to mind when you think “idyllic Caribbean beach.” Like the rest of the eastern coast, it’s subject to strong winds and rough water. But although big, consistent waves make swimming more difficult, I can think of at least one thing they’re good for. Surf’s on!