This past fall might have been my busiest in history, travel-wise. I bounced from one state to another state, one project to the next with little rest in between. As such, I totally haven’t had time to share my new favorite Caribbean hideaway: Curaçao.
I’d long wanted to visit this Dutch island, which I didn’t know much about until my first jaunt to the Dutch Antilles in 2009. I fell in love with Bonaire then and on a subsequent dive trip in 2015, during which I also got to hop on over to Aruba for a few days. But the final piece of this trilogy of ABC islands eluded me until last October.
I’m an AFAR Ambassador and when the team asked me to go to Curaçao on their behalf for five days, there was no answer other than “yes!” despite the fact that it was sandwiched between work trips to Lexington and Macon, with only 48 hours at home on each end.
SVV tagged along on this one, which was a huge help as we were creating Instagram content for the website and the AFAR Instagram account (in addition to my social channels), and two photographers are better than one!
To be frank, I was a bit nervous of going to Curaçao on assignment, rather than for fun, as I’ve visited more heavily trafficked islands in the Caribbean like the Dominican Republic in the past that completely fell short of expectations, then I had to write about them in a glowing manner anyway. Given that Curaçao sees a handful of large cruise ships each week, I feared it might fall into a similar category of being too touristy for my liking.
But, nope. I loved it. It had the perfect blend of so many of my favorite things.
Excellent food. I shouldn’t have been surprised by this as Bonaire’s dining scene tickled my taste buds on my last visit, but more often than not, island cuisine disappoints. Not on Curaçao!
A thriving nightlife. To be fair, I’m usually falling asleep in my cocktail after a long dinner, but for those who do fancy a nightcap following a good meal, the neighborhood of Pietermaai is filled with fun bars.
Beautiful beaches. We were on the go for most of our days there, so didn’t get a lot of time to relax but we did get to black-hawk into some of the best beaches on the island and take some quick photos!
Bountiful booze. Why, did you know that the blue liqueur you’ve probably consumed on more than one beach vacation actually comes from the island of the same name?
Great underwater landscape. We squeezed in just one morning of diving—a tantalizing appetizer, if you will—but given it was our first time in a wetsuit since the Bahamas the previous October, we couldn’t have been more stoked. And the diving in Curaçao was gorgeous, too.
Wildlife. Despite the iguanas that roam the terrain freely, Curaçao has a famous flock of flamingos (try saying that five times fast!) that reside near Sint Willibrordus.
Have I sold you on planning your next tropical jaunt to ? If not, I fully intend to in the coming days.