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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.