free activities {in curacao}

Last week I decided to join in the fun at my new buddy, Jamie’s blog, C.R.A.F.T. where she’s hosting a fun summer series called Creating Really Awesome Free Trips!  The acronym for her blog name, wait … the blog name is the acronym, right?!?!  Whatever.  CRAFT actually stands for Creating Really Awesome Free Things … obviously I love this girl as much as I love creating really awesome free things … and that is a lot.  ;)

The premise is to share 10 free, or nearly free, things to do where you live.  Seems like the perfect way to end (frown) ‘this week {in Curacao}’.  If you’ve missed any of the glorious Curacao action this week you can find all of the links here.

So, it is my sincere pleasure to bring to you ~ Curacao!  The island is a part of the ABC Islands, right between Aruba and Bonaire and located about 35 miles north of Venezuela and 35 miles east of Aruba. We are an autonomous island colony under the Dutch Kingdom … whatever that means.  ;)

Now that you know where we are, let’s get busy figuring out what to do.  Everything on this list is entirely FREE unless otherwise noted.  :)

1. Downtown Willemstad – You have probably seen pictures of our beautiful architecture and colorful buildings that line the water in town.  Believe you me, they are more spectacular in person … day or night.  While you’re meandering in town I also suggest you stroll by the floating Venezuelan market, tour the old Rif Fort that is now a hub of shopping, restaurants and beautiful sea views and walk our floating Queen Emma bridge.  If you’re lucky, you’ll be in town when they open the bridge for a container ship heading into port.
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2. Meditation Hike – If you’re looking for an easy hike with beautiful views, this is your spot.  Truth be told, it is on private property.  But if you’re coming down to the island give me a shout, I can take you on this hike that only takes an hour to get up and back … sunrise is the best time for this adventure.
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3. Blue Room – As with most Caribbean islands we have a plethora of water activities at your disposal, one of our favorites is called the Blue Room.  A 30 minute walk from Playa Santa Cruz is a spot of crystal clear water and a small opening along the shore where you can swim into a cave where it is all … you guessed it … blue.  :)

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4. Playa Forti Cliff Jump – For the adventurers in your group.  This is a 43 foot high jump off a cliff by a restaurant into crystal clear water.  Perfect for the adrenalin junkies.  :)
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5. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving – Now, I’m not a diver, so all of the diving purist will probably shun me for combining the two.  But, one of the best things about Curacao is the amount of shore dives we have … for snorkelers like me, that means that there are just as many spots I can don a bathing suit and snorkel gear and just head into the water to explore.  The sea floor around the island drops off pretty quickly creating a wall of sea life and creatures for the divers to see not far from shore.

This also means, that you don’t need to book a charter, rent a boat or have any other sort of guide to go scuba diving.  As long as you have the equipment you can dive to your heart’s content.  We have seen sea turtles, sting rays, an eagle ray and numerous tropical fish and eels and a friend of mine saw an octopus last year.  In addition to the Blue Room some of our favorite spots include Tug Boat (a sunken tug boat), Playa Lagun, Klein Knip, Director’s Bay and Klein Curacao (you have to pay to get there – that’s where Bachelorette Emily took Sean in the helicopter, but you can get there by boat too if you don’t have a TV network paying your expenses).

(I don’t have any good snorkeling pics, a good underwater camera is on our wish list!)

6. Sint Joris Baai – One of the really cool things about this island is that the topography (yes, big word, I know … I hope I used it right) is so varied.  What you will find on the north shore of the island is completely different from what you will find on the south shore … where all of our beaches are.  The north shore is rocky and cavernous, with deep blue, powerful ocean water barreling into it.  Sin Joris Baai (St. Joris Bay) is one of the places you can actually drive out to and experience the coast.  This is a popular wind surfing, kite surfing and hang out area because of all of the wind.  And it is also where I find a lot of my driftwood that I’ve used in my trees and shelves … as well as where I found the bottles on my summer mantel.  But shhhh, don’t tell anyone!  :)
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7. Westernmost Point – At the westernmost point of the island you can see first hand just how much of an impact that the powerful sea and wind has had at corroding away the island rock.  Curacao is essentially made up of a coral reef that had formed over volcanic rock and turned into limestone over time.  The weathering has created caves in spots and on the westernmost point of the island it is said that you can ‘hear the island breathe’.  It is the sound of the crashing waves coming up under the island on that coastline.  It is pretty cool.  Oh, and there’s a rock painted like the Curacao flag and a cute husband, if you’re lucky.  ;)
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8. Shete Boka – This is actually the only item on my list that costs any money.  But, at Nafl 3 per person (less than $2) I thought it was a fair addition.  ‘Shete Boka’ literally translates to ‘7 mouths’ (from the national language of Curacao, Papiamentu) and is a National Park here where you can visit 7 different areas where the powerful water has created caves, caverns, and even a water spout.  There is also a high likelihood that you will see sea turtles in certain areas.
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9. Beaches – Now, I really could have made a list of my Top 10 Favorite Free Beaches in Curacao for this list and called it a day.  But, now that you’ve explored the island and seen some of the off-the-beaten-path spots above, it’s time to relax at the beach.  The island has about 40 beaches total and many of them are free.  Which means that they usually don’t have any amenities like restaurants, etc … but that’s what coolers are for, right!?!?
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Check out more pics of my favorite Curacao Beaches here.

10. Sunsets – What’s better than ending a fun-filled day on an island than enjoying an adult beverage overlooking the sunset?  Not much I say.  Click here to see a few of my favorite sunsets on Curacao and around the world.

And … since island living is notoriously ‘colorful’ it seems appropriate here to toss out a reminder of our ‘Crazy for Color’ link party next Tuesday, July 31st!  Hopefully you’ve garnered some color inspiration from some of these Curacao features … and will have a colorful project to share at the party!  Link up here to be automatically linked up to 5 fabulous blogs.  The Cottage Market, Eclectically Vintage, Thistlewood Farm and it all started with paint.

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So, have you started to plan your trip down to Curacao yet?  Could you come up with 10 free things to do in your town?  Missed part of ‘this week {in curacao}?  Click here to get all caught up.

Comments

  1. andrea cammarata says

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!!! talk about a POP of COLOR!!!! PUNTA ROCKS!!!!! how gorgeous is that view! The colors…the personality…the bridge! INCREDIBLE!!!! Thanks for taking us on an incredible trip of the island…almost feel as though I just came off the beach…look at that…I a bit of sand between my toes : )
    hugs and tons of hugs to my furry team M&M hope things are going wonderfully for them : )

  2. says

    I don’t know whether to be more impressed with the fabulousness that is Curacao or your use of the words topography & plethora!

    Seriously amazing paradise – need to get myself there soon so you can take me on that sunrise hike!
    Kelly

  3. kathleen says

    Beautifule pictures. What a wonderful opportunity that you have to experience this country.
    My husband and I would like to retire to a place like this. We have been looking at Central America but this place is beautiful. Is it expensive and American friendly?

  4. says

    Your photos are beautiful! Thank you for sharing. Also, thanks for the visit and sweet comment at The Dedicated House. Would love it if you would share this great post at my Make it Pretty Monday party at The Dedicated House which goes live on Monday at 8am CST. Hope to see you at the bash! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  5. Bonnie says

    Thanks for the tour—-we saw the bridge turn while there. Ate an expensive meal while watching that night. Fascinating! Need to do the FREE things next time! My husband dives but could snorkel some sites you mentioned. May not have to go back to Bonaire as I am a bigger fan of Curacao. Thanks for the info!

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