Journeys

72 Hours in Curacao

Curacao was a 3 days’ business trip (Thursday to Saturday). For those who love to travel like me, isn’t amazing when your job will occasionally require you to head to some fantastic places around the world in order to increase your productivity?

In 2012 I used to work for a very well-known executive training company based in Santo Domingo as a business developer manager. This trip was to perform a Team Building with a multinational company based in the Caribbean. I was approved to go (because I sold the program I was not the coach) to live personally the experience with an international client and have that foundation for future clients.

So! Who thinks about Curaçao, thinks about the bright colored houses at waterfront. Of course, it’s beautiful and you need some pictures of it for sure. But there’s so much more to do.  As I said I was working so I didn’t have the time to explore much. But we had the chance to see the beach of our hotel – Hilton Curazao – also to go out for dinner with our client, and visit downtown which is impressive at night.

I would definitely go back to explore as it should be…during vacations! On my smart tips category I’ll be sharing useful tips about traveling with colleagues and clients. It may sound repetitive but what happens at a business trip doesn’t necessarily stay at the place of the trip —and you don’t want to run the risk of your bad behavior making it back to your boss.

 Fact #9    Fact #10

Back to the beautiful Island, let’s read about some important facts:

    1. Curacao is an independent Island in the Kingdom of the Netherlands and total area of the island is 444km / 171.4 sq. mi.
    2. It was first called Isla de los Gigantes by the Spaniards because the original inhabitants was very tall.
    3. The island is de “CEE” in the ABC islands, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao.
    4. Curacao is known for having excellent Diving Sites.
    5. Average temperature 30 Celsius / 86 Fahrenheit
    6. National Currency is the Netherlands Antillean Guilder (ANG or Florin) but they receive dollars.
    7. The capital of Curacao is Willemstad. It is divided into two sides: Punda and Otrobanda.
    8. The spoke 4 languages: Papiamentu, English, Dutch, and Spanish.
    9. The Wedding Cake House located in Scharloo on the Punda side of town is the most Photographed building in Curacao.
    10. The most popular animals in Curacao is the Green Iguana. Not only can it be spotted everywhere in the wild. It is also part of the local cuisine.

My Experience

After finishing our work agenda on Friday, we had the chance to go for a walk. We went to the Renaissance mall and Rif Fort, both located in Otrobanda, this area offers you the most unique shopping & dining experience of Curacao, and great entertainment. ‘Otrobanda’ literally translates into “other side”. It got its name as it is located on the other waterfront of downtown-area ‘Punda’, across the St. Anna Bay.

The Rif Fort was originally constructed in the 19th century to protect the island from invasion by both pirates and enemies. Today the Fort has been redeveloped, by the Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino, bringing new life into the legendary historical attraction. Renaissance Rif Fort offers a warm welcome to visitors. This UNESCO World Heritage Site with its historic and artistic atmosphere now hosts a variety of shopping and dining experiences.

The Renaissance Mall is home to the most luxurious brand names in Curacao. Brands like Adolfo Dominguez, Breitling, Diesel, Guess, Mango, Tiffany & Co, Starbucks, Hilfiger Denim, Paul & Shark, Sunspecs and many more…

 

After a little bit of shopping, we had dinner at Steak & Ribs Restaurant, our waiter was Dominican and very attentive, we felt like home. Food was beyond amazing!  I still remember my delicious plate, a famous fall-off-da-bone ribs!  (Is 11pm right now and I’m hungry…) this restaurant has an ocean view side. One might find a better view or a better meal…but this place delivers both!

After dinner we walked around the plaza, there was a very good atmosphere and live music. Then we crossed the bridge to Punda. Locals recommended these 6 things you must do in Otrobanda. At least we had the chance to walk around and we did all except visiting the museum.

  1. Kura Hulanda Museum
  2. Visit the Rif Fort
  3. Shopping in Renaissance Mall
  4. Spot cruise ships
  5. Walk on the ‘Pontjesbrug’ Also known as ‘The Pontoon Bridge’ of ‘Swinging old Lady’, will make your experience of Curacao even more memorable. From here, you will have an amazing view on the colored houses at both waterfronts.
  6. Visit Breedestraat:  is the main street of downtown Otrobanda and also its main shopping street. Surely worthwhile visiting if you are interested in seeing Curacao with its true, uncensored features.

It was very safe, we were 3 women walking alone at night with no worries. Definitely is a go-back destination plus is in the Caribbean. Is on my list to go for a romantic getaway. My brother and sister-in-law went there for their 1st anniversary this year,  and they said it was very romantic.

Related to this post I’ll be posting next week on Smart Tips; Business Trips: Make it fun but not too much fun.

Muah! Joa

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