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Curaçao to Panama City

Curaçao is an Island in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela, the capital is Willemstad.  Curaçao offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers.

  • Downtown Willemstad and Handelskade (the colorful houses)
  • Beaches of Lagun, Cas Abao, PortoMari, Blauwbaai (Blue Bay) and Mambo
  • Snorkeling and scuba diving
  • Hiking at Christoffel National Park
  • Klein lighthouse
  • Little Curaçao (Klein Curaçao)
  • Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge (and view of the city)

There are lots of tour companies based in Curaçao offering various tours to the points of interest.  If you prefer to have more freedom then you can hire a car to explore the Island.

Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles

Curaçao, Caribbean

Curaçao is a Caribbean Island, which was formally part of the Netherlands Antilles.  The main town, Willemstad, is very lively and colorful, which makes you feel like you are in the Caribbean.  This small town used to be the capital city of the Netherlands Antilles up until 2010 when, along with Sint Maartin, Curaçao became an independent country.  The Netherlands Antilles were several Caribbean Islands including:

  • The Windwards Isles – Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten
  • Leeward Islands – Bonaire and Curaçao

A visit to Curaçao is a visit to another country and of course, another country to tick off your list.  Notice that Aruba is not on the list as Aruba separated from the Netherlands Antilles in 1986.

Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles

Curaçao welcome band D-Tour X.

D-Tour X were playing live in the cruise port, welcoming the cruise ship passengers to the Island.  They are a great local percussion band, who mix several genres including Samba, Merengue and Salsa with the local sound of Tumba.  If you are interested, you can go to Curaçao, or you could have a listen to them on YouTube!

Willemstad, Curaçao

Willemstad, Curaçao

The beaches on the Island are less built up than those of Aruba, they don’t have the huge resorts here.  Well, they do have resorts, but not on the huge scale of Aruba.  Here you will find more natural beaches, by natural I mean beaches without a road and promenade behind them, but with palm trees and forest.

Since leaving Curaçao, I have discovered there is a Curaçao sign in Willemstad which I would loved to have taken a picture with.  I’m not sure if it is a new sign which was added after I left or if I just missed it.  Maybe I will put it on my bucket list, a picture with the Curaçao sign!

Fort Amsterdam, Willemstad, Curaçao

Fort Amsterdam, Willemstad, Curaçao

Other than beaches, Curaçao offers quite a lot of history.  In 1636 Fort Amsterdam was built by Dutch soldiers and Angolan Slaves.  Originally all inhabitants of Willemstad lived in the fort, but over the years the town has grown and spread out around it.

Pullmantur Cruise

Pullmantur Cruise Ship

The next and final stop on this Pullmantur cruise is Colón, Panama, the cruise port of Panama City.  I could stay on the ship and go back to Cartagena, and I was very tempted, but I need to carry on the journey from the other side of the Darien Gap.  I am now officially leaving South America and entering the small countries of Central America.

Panama City to San Jose