The Best Of Curacao
PHOTO: Use the Sunscape Curacao as a home base to see the best the island has to offer. (Courtesy AMResorts)
Curaçao is a Dutch Caribbean island that is known for its many beautiful beaches. Snorkelers, swimmers and scuba divers will enjoy the waters at such popular locations as Blue Bay, Playa Lagun and Blauwbaai.
Of course, there is so much to this island beyond the water. Your home away from home, AMResorts’ Sunscape Curacao Resort, Spa & Casino, is a good place to start.
But if you want to get out and explore, head into Willemstad, the capital of Curacao. Here you can visit the Queen Emma Bridge, known as The Swinging Old Lady, which is a pontoon bridge built back in 1888 that connects the Punda and Otrobanda quarters of the city.
Take in art at the Octagon Museum, which houses the Simón Bolívar exhibit, or walk around the Kurá Hulanda Museum, an anthropological museum that focuses on Origin of Man, the African slave trade, West African Empires, Pre-Colombian gold, Mesopotamian relics and Antillean art.
Hikers and nature lovers will want to check out the rugged landscape of Christoffel National Park, where you can see barn owls, White Tailed deer and 450 species of plants. The Park doesn’t allow hikes to start after 11 a.m. because of the lack of shade, but there are also safaris and guided climbs. The Park’s Savonet Museum is a look back at the history of slaves who worked on the plantation, and the Arowak Indians who called the park home almost 4,000 years ago.
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Another museum, the Curaçao Museum, gives the traveler an intimate look at the island’s history. It’s also the island’s oldest museum and houses a collection of items from the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries, including paintings, furniture, a cockpit from the first airplane to cross the ocean to Curacao and so much more.
Riffort, located in Willemstad, is now a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been converted into an upscale shopping mall, but the history of the site remains. The fort’s five-foot walls were once used to protect the island from invaders, but today they welcome the Tiffany & Co and Armani shoppers. You can also spend a few hours here trying the food at the various cafes.
All this beach hopping and sightseeing is bound to leave a traveler with a hungry tummy, and you will definitely want to sample some good Caribbean eats while you are here. Gouverneur De Rouville Restaurant & Café serves a tasty pastechi, which is a patty with goat cheese and fresh spinach, or you can try Cuban banana soup or coconut marinated chicken. Sit in their Motown Soul Bar while you sip a wine or cocktail or you can try the Rum Tasting Experience, because, after all, you are in the Caribbean, which is known for their rum.
Enjoying a meal at the Fort Nassau restaurant means enjoying a spectacular 360-degree view of the island and Willemstad. The restaurant looks just like an 18th-century fort and offers homemade ravioli of pumpkin in truffle sauce, escargots in herb butter in a potato tulip, or enjoy a medley of Caribbean sea fish. Of course, make sure to leave room for dessert!
More by Lisa Iannucci
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