I have to admit that Curacao was not very high on my bucket-list. It was on it, just not very high. However, as we were looking for a sunny destination in February, we ended up booking a ticket to Curacao.
Through booking.com, we found a charming luxury boutique hotel, Villa Tokara. The hotel has only a few rooms and we felt right at home when we arrived. All rooms are beautifully decorated, the lounge is so cozy, and the welcome is warm. The lounge has a large fridge with all kinds of drinks. Help yourself, write down anything you've taken and the bill is settled at the end of the holiday.
The next day we went on a trip to discover the region. On the west coast we made a stop at the National Park Shete Boka. One of the highlights here is Boka Pistol. This is an inlet carved into the coast into which the ocean crashes with fury and sends sprays of water high into the air. It sounds like a gunshot and is a beautiful place to take pictures and watch the power of nature.
Along the way we passed a lot of beautiful beaches and an ostrich farm. There were many other animals there besides ostriches. Perfect stop if you are travelling with children.
Iguana and sea snail on your plate
For lunch we stopped at Jaanchie's restaurant, which is a very intriguing restaurant. All windows and doors are open and the building is completely covered with various climbing plants. Bird feeders are everywhere and hundreds of birds flutter around constantly. If you want to eat something unique, this is the place to be. There's iguana on the menu. However, we opted for a conch (sea slug) stew. Delicious!
We didn’t taste the iguana, but on the road we acted like real tourists and took a picture with a giant iguana.
Do you like snorkeling? If so, then you must rent a boat. We worked with one of the many adventure companies, Bounty Adventures. We sailed along the coast and made two stops for snorkeling. The second stop especially, on top of a wreck of a sunken ship, provided some spectacular snorkeling. If you like diving, there are some amazing dive sites in Curaçao too.
Need a faster pace? Rent a jet ski and enjoy the bumpy ride. Unlike many places, children here are allowed to use a jetski, too. Is this justified? We remain neutral.
No sea legs? In that case you better book a trip with a buggy. We booked our trip at Curaçao Buggy Adventures (it seems they want bankrupt during Corona). They have buggies for 2 or 4 people and are accompanied with a guide who provides you with a tour around the island. Again we stopped near the rugged coast to see how the ocean sprays high up in the air. Spectacular!
A little further inland we stopped on a mountain to enjoy the beautiful views. The children felt a little like vampires while walking through a cave that many bats called home. The scarf you have to tie up your nose and mouth is indeed a necessity. You are covered in orange dust by the time you return. Thank God Villa Tokara stood there waiting with a delicious bath.
Willemstad is the capital of Curacao and is called the Amsterdam of the Western Hemisphere. In 1997, the city of Willemstad was placed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage. The brightly colored houses provide a very cozy atmosphere. The most beautiful street has to be Penstreet (Villa Tokara is located here). Go sit on a terrace and enjoy the view.
The Punda and Otrobanda districts are connected by the Queen Emma Bridge and have been since 1886. The locals call this bridge ‘Pontjesbrug’. During our stay we saw a Dutch submarine leave the harbor. All the Marines were standing in position on top of the ship. They took a last breath of fresh air before they disappeared for many weeks into the ocean.
Jan Thiel, to see and be seen
Want to see and be seen? Then a night out on Jan Thiel is a must. Your feet are in the sand and a delicious lobster sits on your plate. What more do you want? By the way, they say they serve lobster, but in fact it is langouste.
Curaçao was nice for a week. The weather is great, they serve delicious food and a few hours by the pool were interspersed with some nice tours around the island. As we are also Dutch speaking, it felt a bit too close to home, but we took it gladly.
Travel time: 1 week
TRAVEL TIME: February
Have you ever been to Curaçao? Do you have some more tips?
Check here some other great islands to visit with your kids.