Friday, December 23, 2022

Willemstad: The Colorful Capital of Curaçao

When we first heard of Curaçao and before we had the opportunity to visit Curaçao for a week, the primary image we had in our mind of this small island nation was based on the many photographs we had seen of the highly photogenic UNESCO-listed Willemstad area and waterfront (especially Handelskade).

There is a good reason that so many of us first think of Curaçao's gorgeous Willemstad waterfront first; it is as stunning in person as it is in the plethora of photographs of it that are all over the web.

Some of the best views are from the floating pantoon Queen Emma Bridge.

The Queen Emma Bridge is itself photogenic.

Perhaps the best view of the Willemstad waterfront is from the really high Queen Juliana Bridge (highest in the Caribbean) built to allow vehicle traffic so that Queen Emma Bridge could be devoted to pedestrian traffic. Although we could not take a good photograph from Queen Juliana Bridge because we only drove across it, I like this photograph that shows the Queen Juliana Bridge behind the Queen Emma Bridge.

It is not just the Punda side with Handelskade that is colorful. The "other side" (Otrabanda) also features colorful buildings.

The next photograph shows birds flying above the Queen Emma Bridge.

We ate lunch at the perfectly situated Iguana Cafe on one our days in Curaçao

We enjoyed the meal and our waterside view while eating lunch at Iguana Cafe.

We enjoyed watching the floating Queen Emma Bridge slowly swing open (with people still standing on it!) to allow a large yacht through.

There is too much street art in Willemstad to see it all in a single week trip that includes snorkeling trips to multiple locations and visits to the Curaçao Sea Aquarium. However, we were able to see numerous murals and other street art on Dundu Tours's E-scooter Tour of Willemstad. Some other art (including street art) that we saw in Willemstad not already covered in our E-scooter Tour of Willemstad blog post are shown here.

The illuminated Queen Emma Bridge at night is also beautiful.

Other Willemstad attractions can also be seen with a different perspective at night.

Our visit to Curaçao was the first week of December and there were several Christmas and holiday decorations being displayed.

As much as we loved the beaches and other aquatic activities in Curaçao, we are happy that we spent time in the gorgeous and colorful Willemstad waterfront. See the post "Dundu Tours E-scooter Tour of Willemstad" for more details and photographs of the four districts of Willemstad.

Caracas Baai Overlook: I ❤️ Curaçao

There is an overlook of Caracas Bay near Jan Thiel, Playa Caracasbaai, Tugboat Beach, and Directeurs Baai that features a colorful concrete bench painted with "I ❤️ Curaçao".

We made a quick visit to this overlook during our week in Curaçao and noticed that some of the rocks in the ground in front of the bench are painted.

For us, what makes a visit here worthwhile is the view of Caracas Bay.

From this overlook, there is a nice view of Playa Caracas Baai.

There is also a nice view here of the industrial area in front of Tugboat Beach.

The steep drop-off and cliff at this overlook (no guard rails!) makes it even more dramatic!

I couldn't help but recall Palisade Head on the North Shore of Lake Superior when we saw this impressive overlook with steep drop-off, no guard rails, and dramatic water view.

This lizard was running around on the rocks very near the edge.

We probably spent around 30 minutes at this overlook, which we had to ourselves, and left when we saw a small tour bus preparing to park. If you're in the area anyway, this overlook can be a quick and memorable experience in Curaçao.