May 8th, 2012 | By Victoria Boster | Category: Travel Blogs
The island of Curacao is one of the most vibrant and colorful in the Caribbean. From the moment that you walk across that world famous “moving pedestrian bridge” and view the exotic colors of the buildings along the front street – you know that you are someplace special.
Reminiscent of it’s European Danish heritage- the city of Willemstad looks like very much like the city of Copenhagen, Denmark. We LOVE visiting this beautiful island. Let me show you some of my favorite places here~~
Exiting the cruise ship, you will walk into the historic Rif Fort area. You will find several interesting shops and lots of vendors selling souvenirs. Climbing the steps to the top area of the fort will allow you some scenic views of the harbor.
If you are lucky, this vintage puppeteer wagon will be on display. I love the colorful paintings and the puppets. (Sometimes this wagon is covered when we visit – hopefully you will get to see it when you are there.) It sits just inside the Rif Fort area.
You will walk past some stone walls that have been colorfully painted with beautiful murals.
As soon as you cross the moving bridge – turn left and walk towards the end of the street. The famous floating market is set up there every morning. THIS is one of my favorite places to visit in the city! Let me show you why! (yep – that’s the Gardener~~)
Local fishermen come here early every morning to see their fresh catches. This is the first place that you want to visit as soon as you get to the island. Don’t sleep late on your day in Curacao or you will miss it ALL!
The market is a hub of activity in the early mornings!
Have your cameras ready!
The local people come here to buy their fish and vegetables.
If you are lucky – (and quick with your camera!) you can photograph the local fishermen bringing in their catch.
Of course – you can purchase some souvenirs here as well.
(I love the colorful paintings!)
If you walk past the market and take a left across the bridge – you will be able to see “behind” the market. These “behind the scenes” photos are some of my favorites~~
When we are finished at the market – we can turn and walk back down the street to one of my favorite stores on front street.
This fabric store has beautiful cotton prints and the upstairs of the store has a wonderful selection of locally made laces and trims. (You have to climb a set of narrow wooden steps to get to the upstairs section.) I always buy some beautiful lace notions when we visit here!
Right across the street from the shops – is a long row of sidewalk cafe style restaurants. This is a wonderful place to sit and watch the boat traffic go up and down the canal.
(If you want – you can even stand on the bridge as it opens and closes for the passing ships. “Riding the bridge” is a memorable experience. When we were there the Gardener and I waited on the bridge waited on the bridge so that we could be sure not to miss this opportunity! Mark that off our bucket list!!)
If you are spending some time at the waterfront restaurants – you might want to have one of these local passion fruit drinks. Pretty tasty – I’m just sayin! (The service at these restaurants is SLOW – you are definitely on island time here! And the food — not so good. I would suggest this as a place to rest a bit, watch the boats, and have a drink. There are lots of other local restaurants a few blocks back inside the city where the food is fabulous and much less expensive.)
This sailing ship has been docked along the front street canal every time that we have visited the island. I am totally captivated by it’s beauty~~
There is lots more to see in this beautiful city. If you wanted to spend the day here in the city — you would have a fabulous experience. The city is very walkable and in addition to wonderful opportunities for shopping and restaurants, you would want to be SURE to visit the Jewish Synagogue and also the Jewish Museum – they are both beautiful and well worth your time. The synagogue is absolutely stunning in its simplicity – one of my favorite places to visit when here.
We’ve visited Curacao on many occasions, and even though we love walking around Willemstad, – on our most recent visit there – we wanted to spend our afternoon at the beach~~
So – after our quick visit to the floating market (I can’t NOT go to the market!!) – we grabbed a taxi and went here~
Cabana beach is about a 20 minute taxi ride from the cruise ship pier. The ride will cost you about $15 (for 2 persons). Entrance to the beach is $5 US per person and the chairs will cost about $10 pp.
You can choose chairs under these open cabana tents or pull your chair under one of the available thatched umbrella trees.
This place was Paradise!
Would you like to spend the day here?
The beach is very long – perfect for beach walks. This is one of the other areas on the far end of the beach.
This photo was taken from the restaurant on the far end of the beach. We did not eat here — maybe next time!
The days pass all too quickly when you are on vacation~~ especially when you are doing nothing but relaxing on a beautiful beach! So – around 4 pm we packed it up and headed back to the ship. (There will be lots of taxis waiting at the parking lot for your return.)
So that’s it! I’ve shared with you all of our most favorite places and things to do on our recent two week cruise to the Caribbean. If these places are on one of your future itineraries and you have questions or want more info – feel free to email me- I’d love to share my experiences and gained insights with you.
I hope that you are all enjoying these longer days – it’s warm here– HOT actually! Our pool is open, my flowers are planted and growing on the back deck, we have bluebird eggs in nests out in our front yard, and my Mother’s peony is in full bloom. Our yard is beautiful!
Originally posted on 2 Bags Full.