Curacao: Westpunt — The Quiet Side

Our new accommodations were at a Scuba Diving resort in Westpunt. We came in late last night when it was dark, so it was exciting to see the natural beauty of this part of the island in full daylight.

This resort is located on a cliff overlooking the amazing turquoise water.

Looking over the cliff wall down on the beautiful turquoise water.
Our accommodations are the left side of this building.
The kitchenette was handy for morning coffee. By the time we were were done snorkeling, swimming and watching the sunset, the restaurants were closing.

It was about 7:00-ish by the time we got cleaned-up from the beach. Most of the restaurants close by 8:00 pm. We had cocktails on the patio until the mosquitos arrived followed by light suppers made in the kitchenette. I think the locals tend to watch the sunsets from the restaurants.

In the evening, the chameleons would cling to the ceiling above our patio table.
We were really happy to have a comforter — ceiling air conditioner kept the room cool. It was also nice to have a second bath upstairs.
Second floor terrace overlooking the sea.
Main floor patio comes with a cat.
Beautiful landscaping on the cliff
The Iguanas like the view too. Look at the tail on this guy!
From the resort, you could climb down the cliff to Scuba or snorkel.
We did use the pool. After all the salt water it was nice to relax in fresh water.

Westpunt first appeared on maps of the Dutch West Indies Company around 1700. In 1849, land was donated to the Catholic Church by plantation Savonet to build a church and school.

A village appeared around the church in the 1860s inhabited by newly freed slaves following the abolition of slavery in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Westpunt remained isolated for most of its history due to the 22 miles to Willemstad. There is public bus service around the island. The bus stops are plentiful and most are decorated for the holidays.

The population density is low, and the number of inhabitants has been steadily decreasing. In 2002, the elementary school closed. Tourist resorts and holiday homes have appeared near the coast. To sum it up, let’s say it’s a very quiet but beautiful part of the island.

Westpunt is home to some of the island’s most beautiful coral sand beaches. Three were very near; small Playa Kalki, Playa Forti, and Playa Grandi (aka Playa Piscado and Sabana Wesport). Playa Grandi is the sales center for the local fishing community. The daily catch includes Barracuda, Mahi Mahi, Blacktail Tuna, Yellowtail Tuna, Red Snapper, Queen Snapper, Wahoo, Sailfish, Amberjack, Bluejack, Black Grouper, Lobster, Octopus, and Lion Fish.

We really wanted to try Lion Fish but it was always sold out.

Playa Kalki is a small, very uncrowded beach but it’s one of the best. Occasionally seahorses are seen here by snorkelers and divers.

Playa Kalki is also known as Alice in Wonderland due to mushroom-shaped coral formations. The name Kalki comes from the local Papiamentu word for the white coral rock and limestone, which is abundant on the beach and surrounding cliffs. You wouldn’t want to walk on this barefoot.

Playa Kalki and its surroundings are known for their good scuba conditions. There is a professional dive center located directly on the beach at Playa Kalki.

Our next stop, Playa Grandi. This is the first time I’ve seen roosters and chickens on a beach. This tiny fishermen’s beach is also popular for snorkeling and diving. Entrance to the water is somewhat rocky.

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the beach.
Playa Grandi had a children’s playground. We especially liked the Octopus tree.

The Sea Turtles appear from 11:00 – 4:00 daily and so do the cruise ship excursions. The sea turtles come for the Fishermen’s scraps that get tossed over.

The cruise ship guests come to see the turtles. The ships are parked outside Willemstad, a good 40 miles away. This is probably a 6 hour tour with a few stops. The motor coaches pull up and the beach fills. The groups march into the water with life jackets and snorkel masks. The sea turtles are everywhere and quite easy to find.

A bus load of cruise ship tourists invade the beach.
Sea turtles are plentiful and easy to find.

This is one of the reasons why we hit the beaches after 4:00 pm. We like to watch the sunsets too.

The beach has emptied. Rocky shoreline with a bit of an underwater rock shelf.
It’s late afternoon and we have the beach to ourselves.
The fishermen have parked their boats and ended their day.
The turtles have gone back out to sea. The fish are found close to the reef and cliffs.
Another beautiful sunset.
It’s dark by the time we load up and leave. Across the road from the beach is a church. They are lit and decorated for the holidays.

We head back to the resort to finish off the evening.

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

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