Bon Bini to Curacao (long)

Discussion in 'Other North America/non U.S.' started by AmericanGirl, Feb 24, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. AmericanGirl
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    AmericanGirl Silver Member

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    As some background, I grew up in St. Croix, USVI and had an amazing childhood in paradise. I have travelled to a few Caribbean islands over the years, but tended to vacation in Mexico which I love as well. Due to recent troubles, even in Cancun, my husband and I are thinking of changing our vacation habits and explore other destinations. Because I now live on the coast of the Mississippi, I always want a tropical vacay.

    I was invited late last year on a site visit for meeting planners to Curacao (pronounced kyur uh sow) , which was appropo because I have a client interested in holding a meeting there. I brought the client along and immediately fell in love with this beautiful island. It is truly a best-kept secret.

    "Discovered by the Spanish, overtaken by the Dutch, ruled intermittently by the British and long coveted by the French, Curacao’s history is indeed a diverse one. The result is a Caribbean destination that defies description and recalls the quaint designs of Amsterdam"

    The Capital city of Willemstad is one of six UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Caribbean, joining the ranks of Old Havana, Old San Juan, and Colonial Santo Domingo.
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    One of the most interesting historical sites we visited was the Synagogue Mikve Israel-Emanuel (Snoa). The congregation was founded in 1651, and the synagogue has been in continuous use since 1732. It’s the oldest active Jewish congregation in the Western hemisphere – and the synagogue is the oldest one in continuous use in all of the Americas. Fascinating! Sorry I didn't get a good picture.

    Although Dutch is the Curacao official language, and English and Spanish are also widely spoken, many residents speak Papiamentu — a "Creole mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, English, and Arawak Indian." Truly one of the loveliest languages I have ever heard and very easy to pick up. Bon dia/tardi/nochi (m/a/e) to all!
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    We were also told that Curacao is a deep water island known for snorkeling and scuba diving. As such, there are not as many long stretches of beaches to lounge about.
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    I decided to stay an extra day and a local guide drove me to the less populated side of the island where we visited some lovely bays and cultural sites. At one point we drove through a bit of a thunderstorm and actually saw a small tornado at the tip. Curacao is the southern most island

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    For many years tourists in Curacao has consisted of Dutch nationals and other Europeans. They have recently started reaching out more to the United States to bring awareness as a destination. While it can be a bit expensive to get there depending on your US origin, it wasn't outrageously expensive in my opinion.

    The food was amazing! Shame on my memory for not remembering the name of it, but there was local dish made with chicken and covered in dome of Gouda that was out of this world.

    The Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino was our host and I can't say enough great things. The rooms were lovely, staff exceptional, and the food top notch. The Casino is small and right off the lobby. Majority of the rooms were ocean view. The hotel was built on a small pennisula with a manmade beach, saltwater infinity pool, and small chlorine pool. There is an small lounge outside that serves those relaxing about the area. The last picture is the view from my room.

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    The hotel is built on top of an upscale shopping area and next door to the Rif Fort which has been turned into a quaint shopping and dining area. The shops have lovely creations from local artisans. It is also just a short walk across the hanging bridge to Willemstad.

    A wonderful experience all the way around and I can't wait to go back. Thanks for reading my story and Bon Dia!
     
  2. Bob Smolinsky
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    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

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    Lived there for almost 2 years as an Expat....I do miss it now.
     
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  3. AmericanGirl
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    AmericanGirl Silver Member

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    That is awesome Bob! We are thinking about buying there for retirement. I don't know how to put into words the feeling I had there. I met so many great locals and it was just inspiring for me. I can't wait to take hubby there and hope to do so for our 10th anniversary this summer.
     
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  4. Bob Smolinsky
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    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

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    Might be better for retirement....or more family life....when I was there I was relatively young and single, so outside of work, it was like one long party ;)

    After awhile that grew stagnant and of course it being a small island, grew slightly boring to me.

    Still a great experience as I also got to see and work in Caracas and Bogota as well from there.
     
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  5. scubaflyer
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    scubaflyer Silver Member

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    Nice info on Curacao. I've been wanting to get there for awhile to do some diving. Would love to get all 3 of the ABC islands checked off sometime soon.
     
  6. scubaflyer
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    scubaflyer Silver Member

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    Oh, and the "(long)" included in your title is not really needed. I was actually looking for even more info from yours ;). Your post is pretty short compared to some of the trip reports I've seen posted already on MP.
     
  7. AmericanGirl
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    AmericanGirl Silver Member

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    Understood Scubaflyer. I haven't made a post like this before, so wasn't sure. I made some really great contact there so if you want information feel free to let me know.
     
  8. Bob Smolinsky
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    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

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    bonaire is the most quiet for sure and during low tide, you can walk out into the sea about 1km or so at some points...
     
  9. Bob Smolinsky
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    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

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    and Aruba, although the same architect and life style by the locals, is a totally different experience as it's much more American oriented (and visited).
     
  10. AmericanGirl
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    AmericanGirl Silver Member

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    Aruba was the first visit on this trip and for me it was just okay. I loved the people, but I don't know that I would spend my own money to just visit Aruba. I made some good friends there though and keep in touch with them.
     
  11. Lalala
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    Lalala Silver Member

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    What a great experience and nice report. I want to go, but my TH hates hot and sticky. Is there a less humid time of year to visit Curaçao?
     
  12. Bob Smolinsky
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    Bob Smolinsky Gold Member

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    If I remember correctly, it's only really humid/sticky Nov-Dec. Other times the trade wind breezes are present.
     
  13. Jubileesmom
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    Jubileesmom Gold Member

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    I've been to Curacao, but it was a while ago now. We enjoyed our visit there.
     

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