A few years ago I’ve read about the Dutch Antilles and I was so curious to find out how a country so far can be part of this small country in Europe. Curacao seemed to be a good choice having in mind the blue cocktail I used to drink sometimes going out. I have imagined a paradise with amazing sea colors but I have found out an island without identity. It was a week full with mixed feelings, let me tell you why.
After a 10 hours flight and one hour delay in the airport, we arrive in Curacao at Hato airport. From here we have a transfer arranged, through the company we booked our trip, and it took another 30 minutes for all the travelers to gather around. It took another hour to get to the hotel, situated on Mambo Beach, in the South of the island. After we checked in and took a shower, enthusiastic about our trip we got out. Surprisingly, at 9 on a Saturday evening, the beach is almost empty. Multiple beach pubs are still open, but there’s almost no one enjoying a drink or having dinner. Oh.. and there is almost no place to take a stroll along the beach, as I had imagined in my mind. Somehow disappointed I went to sleep. But nobody told me about the jet lag: each day I was up at 5 in the morning and mainly because of this beautiful bird, called bananaquit, a pleasure to hear it continuously and I am not joking. Oh, and should I mention about the Colibri birds I admired each day?! Or the iguanas?
Mambo beach is an artificial beach, with sand brought from the sea. The water is still clear and turquoise, but it’s just 10% as beautiful as the beaches in the West part of the island. It is also a private beach and with the prices charged it is clear that it is made for tourists and not for locals: in one week time the only locals we saw there were employees at the different restaurants. One of the best restaurants in the area according to TripAdvisor – Hemingway, is serving Pangasius fish on an island in the Caribbean Sea – how illogical is that?! In the one week time we ate only twice something you can call local food, but the main places in the area are tourist oriented and you will not eat with less than 20$/person/meal. It is outrageous, thinking of the locals which don’t have an open door on their own island. Thanks God there were a lot of activities on the island so we weren’t obliged to stick with this area. Stay tuned for great pictures from the West day trip, Klein Curacao island or Willemstad.
Visiting the Slavery Museum and visiting the city behind the great houses on the main streets, my heart starting hurting. I was full with rage and frustration, the only “sin” these people have is that they were born on the wrong continent: the white Europeans thought they should be sold and gain money from this. It is such an overwhelming feeling to be there and to observe the unfairness of life. My entire holiday I was with my heart in my throat, outraged by the history and not only. There was no local business we saw: most of the resorts, restaurants, private beaches are owned by Dutch/ Spanish people. And then we visited some public beaches. The water is amazing, but there’s a refinery close to it. Or the beach is max 2 meters long. And only in these places you may find a few locals.
I am truly sad to say that I don’t recommend Curacao as a travel destination. It is perfect for snorkeling (swimming with hundreds of fishes or turtles is a daily activity) and scuba, but, unfortunately, it is not a destination for experimenting new food or culture. You will be with your heart broken and I will let you know why – in my next post about the Slavery Museum. Until then, wish you all the best!