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Curacao Day 1: Another Red Eye to Another ABC Island

Three years ago, we went to Bonaire and loved it. Since that time, we wanted to visit its sister island, Curacao, to see how it compared. Both islands are in the southern Caribbean, not far from the coast of Venezuela. Both islands have great shore diving and are part of the Dutch Netherlands Antilles. Bonaire has rocky beaches. Curacao has sandy beaches. Bonaire's dive sites are much more condensed and side-by-side. Curacao's dive sites require some driving about. Bonaire rolls up the streets by 10p. Curacao has more of a nightlife. On Scubaboard, they say that "Bonaire is where divers go to vacation and Curacao is where vacationers go to dive."

Our flight was leaving at an incredibly early 5:45a and I arranged for a car to take us to the airport at 3a. We decided it would be easier to just stay up all night and try to sleep on the plane. The excitement pretty much kept us awake and then a shower around 1:30a helped. We arrived at the airport to find that security wouldn't be open until 4:30a and there were no places open to get food or drinks. Our flight was on time and we set off for Miami. Unfortunately, the plan to sleep on the plane didn't go well. We arrived in Miami with a couple of hours to kill so we got some brunch at Island Time. I had a tasty, grilled mahi mahi sandwich and Mike had some ribs. We both had bloody marys. We left Miami on time but still arrived a little late in Curacao. We were the last in the immigration line because just as we got off the plane, Mike realized he left his brand new sunglasses on the plane. Of course, they wouldn't let him back on to get them nor would they go to his seat and find them for him. I guess some airport personnel is the lucky owner of a brand new pair of polarized glasses. After the usual to-dos upon entry, we met Robert from Just Drive who took us to his rental car company down the road to pick up our Toyota RAV4 with GPS. They had already set up our rental house in the GPS so all we had to do was hop in the car and go.

The main town of Curacao is Willemstad which is on the southern or eastern portion of the island. Many of the beaches and diving areas are on the northern or western portion of the island. I tried to choose lodging somewhere in the middle because I knew we would want to be in one area for beaches/diving during the day and in town for dinner at night. I found the perfect home, right on the water, mid-island, in a fishing village called St. Michiel.










Master bedroom

Master bathroom

Second bedroom

Second bathroom, with outside door


View from livingroom window to front yard

We met with the property manager, Nathaly, and got things settled in then drove down to the corner store to get some beer, Cokes, and snacks. We had 8:00p dinner reservations at a restaurant on the water so we went into Willemstad early to look around. Mike was excited to check out the casino so we drove to the Renaissance where there is free parking in the garage. The Renaissance casino is the biggest in Curacao and has roulette, blackjack, and slots. We just had time for a couple of slots then walked through Riff Fort and down the waterway to our dinner locale, Governeur de Rouville.


Governeur is a beautiful, local restaurant with a balcony view of the downtown waterway and the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge.

We started with some tropical drinks and beef carpaccio. Mike ordered a pina colada and I ordered a prosecco with blue curacao.


For dinner, I had shrimp in garlic sauce with gratin potatoes and vegetables and Mike had spare ribs (for the second time today).


While we were finishing up dinner, a huge cargo ship came through the canal. It was so gigantic that everyone stopped what they were doing to watch it. It seemed like it might not even fit through the waterway.


The Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge is a pedestrian bridge across the waterway in downtown Willemstad. It was built in 1888 and opens and closes when necessary for oceangoing vessels to pass through the waterway. When it's open, ferries are used to take pedestrians across to each side.


After dinner, we went back to the casino and played roulette for a while then relaxed on the back porch, heading to bed about 12:30a.

Posted by zihuatcat 11:01 Archived in Netherlands Antilles Tagged curacao

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