Explore by Day, Party by Night - Willemstad, Curacao
We couldn't leave Curacao without visiting its colorful capital, Willemstad.
A quick 15 minute ride from our hotel, and we were smack in the middle of town.
The entire city center is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it's easy to see why with its charming Dutch architecture.
First things first... shopping! We booked it to the floating market to check out the fresh finds of the morning.
Visiting local markets and grocery stores is always a top priority of mine when I travel. My friends have also come to learn that I love munching on and hoarding foreign cookies throughout the trip ;)
As you wander down, the stalls start to sell all of the same tourist fare. But one handy fact about Curacao is that they accept both American dollars and the local Netherlands Antillean guilder. So it's a little too easy to spend tons of money!
It's also easy to fall in love with these colorful streets!
A pretty cool feature of Willemstad is the Queen Emma Bridge. It's one of the world's oldest pontoon bridges, and actually sways open to allow boats to pass by. We had just made it to the other side when we heard loud sirens going off and everyone ran to the side they need to get to. It was pretty hilarious to see that even on island time people still really want to get where they need to go quickly. Just a few minutes later, the bridge swings back and you're allowed on your way.
It surprised me that there's not too much to do downtown, so you really only need to set aside a few hours to explore.
Back in the water! Our wonderful hotel offers free use of their sea kayaks and snorkel gear. We were able to go down the little inlet (coral reef and fish everywhere) to the aquarium where the dolphins were enjoying their afternoon. They swam right up to the net in between us to say hi!
Clearly pulling off that "glamorous snorkel look"...
I had only been snorkeling a couple of times before this (in Honduras and Greece), so I enjoyed getting lots of practice in during this trip.
Sadly this was our last night in paradise. It happened to fall on the weekly Loko Party that the Royal Resort holds to celebrate all of the guests! Sipping on blue curacaos, we dined on chicken skewers, corn, and potatoes as the sun went down.
The staff truly went above and beyond to make this happen.
Post sunset, things got a little wild at the dance party. You already know that I tore up that dance floor, but I managed to snap a few pics during a breather.
Fire dancers, stroopwafels, and one last jump in the pool closed out the night.
We were very sad to say goodbye, but I'm so happy I was able to finally visit Curacao. Be sure to consider it for your next Caribbean adventure! While not as glamorous as some of the other islands, it's plenty full of heart.