Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

From the City to the Coast: Our Final Day on Curaçao

Our first few days on Curaçao were full of tours and diving, eating and culture. So it seems insane that we didn’t even make it to the beach until the very last day we were on the island.

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

It was worth waiting for.

On the final morning after breakfast at our resort, our guide Cecil, drove us through Willemstad and up the west coast of the island, a drive that isn’t so long in distance but for which you’ll want to allow ample time for stops. Because first, before we got our swim on, we had to see a man about a flamingo.

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

Much like Bonaire, Curaçao is a protected habitat for flamingos. There are hundreds that reside on the island, and most days you’ll find a couple dozen wading through the waters of Rif-Sint Marie just before Sint Willibrordus.

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

Pull over and park on the side of the road, and you’ll find a path that cuts right through the center of their swamp that’s perfect for strolling out, observing the brightly colored specimens in their natural habitat and taking their portraits.

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao
Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

After we’d exhausted our trigger fingers, we continued onto the beach area, stopping for a quick look at the town of Sint Willibrordus along the way.

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

It started raining at that very moment—I promise, SVV is simply not that sweaty by nature—so we hopped back into the car and drove to the ocean instead. I mean, if you’re going to get wet anyway, you might as well be in the sea, right?

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

While much of the sand had been washed away by Hurricane Matthew just weeks before our arrival, I immediately saw why Curaçao’s beaches are consistently ranked among the top in the world nontheless. This sugar white sand that we could see and that aquamarine water don’t lie!

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

Alas, the rain didn’t abate, so we spent a half hour at the pair of beaches at Kenepa before turning around and heading back into town with a quick detour for iguana stew (naturally) along the way.

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

By day four, we’d seen much of the island as it isn’t that large in size, but I still didn’t have my epic aerial shot of colorful Willemstad. I expressed my dismay to Cecil, who knew just where to take us to remedy that.

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao
Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

Up at Fort Nassau, you’ll find both a restaurant and a bar, but also epic views like this one that are completely free to enjoy.

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

As we drove back into the city with the sun setting behind us, I felt like I could truly say I’d seen every angle of Curaçao—the beaches, the cities, beneath the sea and from a bird’s perspective—and that it’s gorgeous no matter which way you view it.

An Aerial View of Curacao

That night for our final dinner, we headed to Jan Thiel, an outdoor beach and resort area that’s slightly touristy but I loved it all the same. With views like this one, how could you not?

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao

Jan Thiel has a number of dining and retail options, but we settled on the beach BBQ at Papagayo Beach where we all chowed down on lobster. Once again, the food didn’t disappoint, though the generator on the beach flickered in and out a couple times before finally lighting up our table
https://i0.wp.com/www.camelsandchocolate.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Curacao-Beaches-43.jpg

All in all, our five-day assignment on Curaçao may have been a crazy packed itinerary, but it was a wonderful trip nonetheless. Along with Bonaire and Grenada, Curaçao has landed somewhere near the top of my favorite islands list, and (as long as this guy was with me) I would go back again in a heartbeat, work trip or not.

Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao


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Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao
Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao
Flamingos + Beaches: The West Coast of Curacao
COMMENTS
  • February 3, 2017

    I realized when I returned from Bonaire and Curacao that I didn’t relax on the beaches at all – even though they looked amazing. Going back to relax on a beach doesn’t sound so bad to me though 🙂
    Dominique recently posted..Vatnajökull National Park – Misadventures of Glacier HikingMy Profile

    • February 6, 2017

      You and me both, Dominique! What is our problem? We clearly are bad at vacationing 😉

  • February 3, 2017

    Aw, love that last shot of you two! Also love an island that you can explore so thoroughly in four days. It’s a good feeling!
    Alex recently posted..Why Your National Parks Need You NowMy Profile

    • February 6, 2017

      Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved a week so we didn’t feel so rushed, but given it was an assignment, four nights is what we got 😉

      I agree, though, what’s great about so many Caribbean islands is that the size lends itself well to a shorter stay since many Americans can’t afford the luxury of a one-week vacation (or longer).

  • February 4, 2017

    Iguana stew? Do tell!
    Leigh | Campfires & Concierges recently posted..Kayak Camping in Baja MexicoMy Profile

    • February 6, 2017

      I mean, I hate to be cliche here, Leigh, buttttttt…it tastes like chicken 😉

      It’s one of their native dishes, and it was actually quite tasty!

  • February 6, 2017

    Great, that is an awesome palce and full with beautiful things. you have suggested so good activity to enjoy beauty of that palce and stunning photos you shared.

  • February 6, 2017

    Curacao is a place I’ve always wanted to visit. And, that lobster looks incredible!
    Valen recently posted..Best Tips For Motorcycle TripsMy Profile

    • February 6, 2017

      Everything about Curacao was amazing, Valen! I hope you make it there someday.

  • February 6, 2017
    Lee

    one of the Caribbean islands I am looking forward to returning to soon. I only had 2 days my only time there.

    • February 20, 2017

      Definitely far too short of time for such a multifaceted island!

  • February 7, 2017

    Wow! The color of the water is INSANE!!! 50 shades of blue… sign me up!
    Justin recently posted..Why Joining Travel Massive Was the Best DecisionMy Profile

    • February 20, 2017

      Ha, so true! Sooooo much blue.

  • February 11, 2017

    I’ve long wanted to visit Curacao as it looks like one of the most colorful places in the Caribbean (which is saying a lot!). I loved following your trip and need to start planning my own.
    Brianna recently posted..Whale Watching in Virginia BeachMy Profile

    • February 20, 2017

      I hope you make it there! As a fellow mural lover, I do think you’d love it =)

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