Tap into this post to read about some of our sightseeing, fun facts, travel tips and many pictures of our time in Curaçao. We encourage you to get out and see the world if you are able, and if not, we will bring it to you through our posts. We hope you enjoy!
The flag of Curaçao consists of a deep blue field with a horizontal yellow stripe below the center-line and two white 5-point stars. The blue field represents the blue skies and blue sea that engulf the island nation, while the yellow stripe represents the abundant Caribbean sun. The two stars symbolize ‘love’ and ‘happiness’, while the 5 points of the stars symbolize the five continents from which its people emigrated.
I have to start by saying that we absolutely loved Curaçao, thanks to the colourful and vibrant city of Willemstad, the island nation’s capital. Our cruise ship docked in the Otrabanda section of Willemstad, conveniently close to many amenities and attractions, making it an easy walk for us to tour the city. Initially, we walked through Rif Fort, a fortress built in the mid-1800s that has been converted into a tourist retail center with many shops and restaurants. These shops and restaurants have been cleverly incorporated into the original fortress in a functionally unique way.
From Rif Fort we took the bayside pedestrian walkway toward the famed Queen Emma floating bridge. As we got closer to the bridge, the vibrant colours of Willemstad’s waterfront buildings could be seen across the St. Anna Bay. Walking across the Queen Emma Bridge into the ‘Punda’ quarter of Willemstad was a unique experience as the bridge gently lists with the swells in the bay. The ‘Punda’ quarter is a vibrant, colourful part of town with pedestrian only streets and alleys filled with shops and restaurants. Nina and I walked all around Punda, did some shopping in several of the numerous retail shops, had coffee at a lovely cafe, and snapped many photos of the brightly coloured buildings during our self-guided walkabout.
Afterwards, we decided to walk back to Otrabanda (which literally means ‘the other side’) and eat at one of the outdoor restaurants on the top floor within the repurposed Rif Fort that had stunning sea views. Later, after our breezy, casual late afternoon meal, we couldn’t pass up some of the shops in the Renaissance Mall.
Facts & Figures
— Curaçao is one of the former Netherlands Antilles islands, which are sometimes referred to as the ABCs (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao).
— The Willemstad quarter of ‘Otrabanda’ was formed across the St. Anna Bay when the ‘Punda’ quarter became overcrowded in the late 1800s; the two quarters are connected by the Queen Emma floating bridge and the Queen Juliana highway bridge.
— The ‘Punda’ quarter of Willemstad was established in 1634 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
— Curaçao citizens drive on the right; but no need to rent a car in Willemstad as it is a tourist friendly walkable city.
— The Queen Emma Bridge in Willemstad is a floating pontoon bridge that is hinged and swings open regularly to allow passage of sea-going vessels, so be sure to time your walk across accordingly.
— The unit of currency for Curaçao is the Netherlands Antillean guilder; however, the US Dollar is widely accepted in Curaçao.
2 Corinthians 5:7 – New Living Translation (NLT)
7 For we live by believing and not by seeing.
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Thanks for stopping by! Happy travels.