After three months spent living on the small Caribbean island of Curaçao, Jürgen and I came away with some unforgettable memories. We’ve now collected our experiences into an e-book, with all of our articles and over 200 full-color photographs.
Drag racing is a phenomenon across the Caribbean, and Curaçao is no exception. When the races are on, hundreds of people cram into the stands to watch tuned-up cars and tricked-out motorcycles squeal down the track. Our last Sunday on the island coincided with the first day of the season, so we decided to check it out.
Budget travelers to Curaçao will find no lack of cheap lunch joints in Willemstad. We’ve already written about some of our favorites in Punda, and there are plenty of others that we didn’t get a chance to try out. But as the sun goes down, these shops tend to close up. So what are the cash-strapped do for dinner? Cooking at home is a reasonable solution, but that’s no fun. The best option is to hunt down a food truck.
An 18th-century plantation house on the western side of Willemstad, the Landhuis Habaai is home to Curaçao’s oldest private art gallery. On the second Saturday of every month, they host a crafts market, where the island’s amateur artisans can sell their masterpieces.
The very fact that tiny Curaçao has a Postal Museum was strange enough to arouse our curiosity. And after learning that it’s housed in the island’s oldest surviving building, we knew that we’d have to check it out. Later on the same day, we passed by another museum which looked to be even more unusual: the Octagon Museum in Pietermaai.
From now on, when I hear the word “Curaçao,” I’ll think primarily of soft, sandy beaches, and colorful buildings. But there was a time (not that long ago!) when the only connotation brought to mind would have been “liqueur.” Blue Curaçao has long been a staple at bars around the world, and we went to the Landhuis Chobolobo to see the factory in which it was originally produced.
Ever since the dawn of the 16th century, when it was finally drawn onto the maps of European explorers, Curaçao’s fortunes have been tied to the sea. The Maritime Museum, located across from the Floating Market at the beginning of the Waaigat Harbor, is a must for anyone interested in understanding the history of the island.
Between the town of Barber and the eastern coast of Curaçao lies a swath of land known as Patrick, named after a plantation house which used to sit roughly in its center. Rugged, isolated and mostly flat, this is a popular area for ATV tours, but you can also hike and easily reach the coast where there are a couple of impressive inlets.
A large, full-service beach between Playa Porto Mari and the beaches of San Juan, Playa Cas Abou is not a recommended destination when you feel like getting away from it all. But if you want an easy day on the sand, with food and drinks readily available, you could certainly do worse.
Every Sunday morning in the northern town of Barber, the market hall is converted into a food court where you can find every type of Curaçaoan specialty imaginable, from fish soup to stewed papaya, along with a wide variety of baked sweets and homemade drinks. Show up hungry, because you’ll likely want to sample a little of everything.