The Curacao Port is a destination port that is easy to explore and a safe place to visit. Curacao is the largest of the five islands in Netherlands Antilles and is the most populous among the three ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao). Passengers in a cruise ship approaching the island will be amazed by the brightly hued buildings from afar. It has been said that an early governor ordered the buildings to be painted with pastel colors of pink, ocean blue and yellow. He had migraines and the usual building white building color triggered his headaches.
There are two main docking spots in the Curacao cruise port; the Mega Port and Mathey Wharf. The Mega Port accommodates huge cruise ships. Cabs, car rentals and tour companies usually meet the passengers in this port. Smaller cruise ships are docked at Mathey Wharf.
Punda is Curacao’s shopping district which houses around 200 upscale shops and international stores. You can start in the district’s two main shopping streets; Heerenstraat and Madurostraat. A wide selection of jewelry items, linens, pottery, local souvenirs and embroidered handkerchiefs can be bought at discounted prices. You can also bring home Gouda cheese and Curacao liqueur by traversing along Breedestraat Street.
It is normal for some shops in Curacao to close down between noon and 2 p.m.
Things to See
Curacao can be explored by foot. You can start strolling at the Queen Emma Bridge. The bridge is about 100 years old and swings open for about 30 times a day to make way for large ships. It connects the two sides of the city and is locally known as the Swinging Old Lady.
Cruise ships dock at Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its neat and magnificent architectural structures. The Penha Building, built in 1908, is the most photographed real estate piece in Curacao. You won’t miss it because of its color and structure; a yellow building with curved baroque gables and arched galleries.
You can also visit the Museum Kura Hulanda and Maritime Museum. The former is an anthropological museum featuring African exhibits and the Curacao culture. The latter showcases Curacao’s rich naval history. A floating market is located across from the museum.
An 18-hole golf course designed by Rocky Roquemore is available for tourists at the Blue Bay Golf Resort.
Children will also enjoy the Curacao Sea Aquarium where all species of Curacao marine life are displayed, from 20-foot sharks to huge to giant Moray eels.
You can also take a tour at the Landluis Chobolobo to see how Curacao liqueur is made and have a taste of the popular drink.
Restaurants and Bars
The Jaanchi’s Restaurant in Westpunt specializes in Antillean cuisine and is famous for their goat stew and fresh snapper.
Swiss and French cuisines are served in Bistro Le Clochard in Riffort. Their house specialties include New Zealand lamb chops and red snapper fillet.
Eateries can be spotted in Handelskade and they offer burgers, chicken, fish and shrimp dishes.