Jane Not In Spain: Curaçao

Where?? That’s the common response when I mention a trip to Curaçao. A map is needed to explain this one.

Curacao is about 50 miles from Venezuela.

Located in the southern Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela, Curaçao was a Dutch colony for a long time. Since 2010, Curacao has been an independent country within the kingdom of the Netherlands. They are in charge of their own affairs with the exception of defense and foreign policy which are managed by the Dutch. Together with Aruba and Bonaire, it forms what’s known as the ABC islands. Information taken from Enjoy Curacao.

The thought of Curacao in December is very inviting … 80 degree days, beautiful beaches, exotic birds, snorkeling with the sea turtles … exploring a place where many cultures have blended together. These pleasant thoughts were interrupted by a Minnesota reality … the sudden appearance of a snowstorm that arrived the day David and I were to depart. Beachwear and snorkel gear packed, we were planning to head to the airport in a couple hours.

I love a white Christmas but did the snow have to come today?

Our flight cancelled. This was not a good feeling. It took a few hours but I managed to shift our entire trip back by one day without incurring any additional charges. After all the re-arrangements had been made, it was kind of nice to have a little time to relax before departing.

A snowman on display at MSP airport made me anxious.

The second most common question about Curacao is, ‘how do you get there?’ And the answer is ‘through Miami’. The flight from Miami is about two-and-a-half hours long.

After completing immigration forms and going through customs, we headed for the car rental. The first thing you notice about Curacao is the humidity and then the heat.

To get to our hotel in Otrobanda, we drove over the St. Anna Bay on The Queen Juliana bridge. It’s a white-knuckle steep-drive that goes straight into the sky. The bridge is high enough for the largest ships to pass under.

The first part of our trip, we are staying in Willemstad, the capital of Curacao. It’s divided in half by the St. Anna Bay. On one side there is Punda (which means ‘the Point’) and across from it is Outrobanda ( which means ‘the Other Side’).

Even though the street signs are all in Dutch, the language here is Papiamento, a Portuguese-based creole blend of African, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French, English and Arawak Indian. The official languages in Curacao are Dutch, Papiamento and English.

I chose this hotel based on location. We could leave the car behind and easily walk around and Punda and Otrobanda.
This hotel offered small apartments.
Typically, we don’t spend much time at hotels but with this heat and humidity, it was nice to take a mid-day break when it is the hottest.
No blankets here, just a sheet. The apartment has two high-speed air conditioners that cool the place in minutes.
In addition to a balcony, we have an outdoor terrace at the entrance to our room.
A few steps from our room is a tranquil pool with beautifully landscaped palms.
The outdoor bar and restaurant are very popular with the locals and feature live music most evenings.
Tonight, we enjoyed salsa, meringue and pop music.
After hours of travel and getting acclimated to the heat and humidity, it was nice to kick-back and enjoy the surroundings. The Bario entertainment shuts down around 10pm and then it’s very quiet.

Published by janeinspain.blog

Jane is a resident of Browndale neighborhood in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

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