Curacao is part of a trio of islands known as the ABC islands. They are off the coast of Venezuela and you will often read they are outside the hurricane belt. Once I read they were low on the hurricane belt. Either way, when it’s hurricane season in the Caribbean, the ABC islands have a low risk of getting hit since they are outside the belt. They do get hit with rain and tropical storms but the frequency of hurricanes average 28.8 years for this area.
A trick for winter traveling to the Caribbean so you can get that tan that will make you the envy of your friends. We look for trips in November and early December before peak season starts. This has worked for Aruba and Curacao. We’ve traveled to Aruba in November, December, January, and August. November/early December was the least expensive. Summer isn’t as cheap as you would think since it’s outside the hurricane belt.
You need to drive to get around so we stayed on the property (we don’t drive anywhere we go). We stayed at Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino. One of the crewman on our catamaran told us that Marriott was their version of a 5 star hotel, it’s a fancy place. I was like we got lucky, we got a really good deal and paid $120 a night. He was like, “You aren’t suppose to say that. Tell everyone you are staying at a posh place.” We picked there because the pool looked nice (I like pools – not scared in places I can stand in) and there’s a reef off shore. Vic would go out and snorkel everyday.
The resort had a complimentary shuttle bus that took us to the capital, Willemstad. It looked exactly like the picture in my atlas I had as a kid. Finally, after all these years, I got to set foot here.
We almost stayed in the capital but decided to stay outside after we read on Nomadic Matt’s blog that the beach water is cleaner farther away from Willemstad. The air won’t smell as clean as you imagine. They have oil refineries on the island. It’s a part of their economy, provides jobs, and this is still a very petroleum based world.
We booked an island tour that took us around the island to visit Christofel Park. We’ve been to Aruba a lot (6 times in 6 years) and Curacao is greener than Aruba. The ABC islands are desert like islands. Curacao is the greenest of them and rugged and wild. If you want less touristy islands, this is one place. Other people we met really liked the fact it was less commercial. It isn’t as easy to get around without driving which is tough for us. But we were very happy at our resort which had a reef off shore and a nice pool.
Christofel Park is the largest National Park on the island and a must see for outdoor enthusiasts. But if you have limited time and need to pick between the park and Klein Curacao, we’d go with Klein Curacao. We’d like to hike and plan to take a tour of the Hato Caves when we return on a future trip. We are in love with the ABC islands and have to see Bonaire to complete it. Even though Aruba is more commercial, we like the food and ease of getting around compared to Curacao. It’s our other home away from home, Philly and Aruba.
You can hike, bike and there’s other outdoor things you can do if you’d like to leave the resort. I forgot what tour company we used to see the island. Here’s a link to Curacao’s tourism site here.
We’ll return to Curacao, we keep getting side tracked by other trips and we really miss the beach. Divers, we heard good things about diving here. Vic only snorkels so we don’t know personally. Bring bug spray, there was more greenery than we expected and were glad we had bug repellent. All in all, nice relaxing trip, very good water clarity, and sea turtles, saw a few sea turtles on Klein Curacao!
If you like our photos, some are available for purchase on metal, giclee (traditional wrapped canvas), print and note cards through our store, available here, prices have been discounted 30%, sale ends on St. Patty’s Day, discount is already listed in prices. To view full prices of prints available click here.