Visiting Curaçao

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This past week Ryan and I got a little R&R on the gorgeous island of Curacao. We love to head to the Caribbean to get some beach time. We try to go to new islands and every time I’m surprised how different the island is compared to the others. Here is what I loved about Curaçao.

1. Grocery Prices. Trying to save money we packed snacks and ingredients for quick meals while on our vacation. When we arrived we went to the grocery store to pick up cheese and milk and were shocked by the low prices of the food. Generally in the caribbean food prices sky rocket and all though it was more expensive than home it wasn’t too bad. We were able to grab an extra few things without breaking the bank.

2. The Economy is Booming. I love visiting islands where the locals are doing well. The people in Curaçao are doing great. The roads were smooth, any service needed was available, and no one approached us begging us to buy anything.

3. Crystal Clear Water. One of my favorite parts about Curaçao was the water. It was so amazingly clear. This is due to the fact that there is less sand. Of coarse there is sand, but there is a lot of broken corral and rocks that make up beaches. Which then makes it harder for the sand to stir up causing the water to be crystal clear.

4. Excellent Snorkeling. The crystal clear water was a great attribute to the excellent snorkeling, but that wasn’t the only reason is was great. Their was an abundance of fish! I felt like anytime I got in the water there were colorful fish surrounding me on all sides. Everywhere you turned you saw a new bright blue or pink or yellow fish. We even saw a pod of squids which was a first for me. We snorkeled as much as we could and loved it.

5. The Temperature. One of the reasons I chose Curaçao was because of the temperature. Every day it was about 88°-95°. There was never a time I was too cold to get into the ocean. There is also a strong breeze in Curaçao so even when you were walking around or laying out in that temperature it isn’t miserably hot. Curaçao seems to have the perfect combination for beach weather.

6. The North Vs. The South. One of the coolest parts of the island is the North shore compared to the South. The North is extremely rough waves that crash against hard rock and splash up tens of feet into the air. It is extremely gorgeous, but in no way a place to swim. On the south side the water is very calm and there are actual beaches. Seeing the two extremes on one island is a cool experience.

Although there is not much to complain about I do want to share the things I didn’t love about Curaçao in case it helps you determine if Curaçao is the right island for you.

1. The Refinery. There is a big oil refinery on the island and I realize this is the reason the island is booming. Because of the strong breeze it was never smoggy, and to be honest the refinery really didn’t affect us, but it was just big and ugly. I don’t know if this is a fair thing to mention since like I said it didn’t really affect us, but I was surprised by how big it was and all the equipment right on the coast.

2. Paid Beaches. There are a few beaches that you pay to get on and of coarse many beaches have the chairs that you have to pay to use. We generally just used our towels in that case and we only went to one paid beach and really weren’t impressed. I found the beaches with the less amenities were sometimes the best beaches. I much rather go to a free beach with rough sand and no crappy snack stand then pay money to go to a beach with those amenities. I also felt the paid beaches were just money pits. You paid to get in, you paid for a chair, you paid for the shower, you paid for the bathroom. I would just stay away from any beach you have to pay to enter.

3. “Uneven” Island. The island is very uneven and what I mean by that is on the East side of the island it is very built up. That is where most the hotels, restaurants, stores, etc are. On the West side of the island is where all the best beaches are. The drive out to the good beaches from Willemstad is a good 25-45 minutes. Once you are out at the beaches there aren’t many options to grab lunch or extra sunscreen. If we go back to Curaçao I think we will stay in one of the hotels(there’s not many) on the West coast and just stock up on groceries and things before we get out there.

Have you been to Curaçao? What was your favorite part?

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