Family Travel Ideas

Travel Talk: My Amazing Trip to Curacao Review {Photos}

I am about to make all of you extremely jealous with the details, photos and down right bragging about my recent trip to Curacao. It was a girls trip, 8 of us actually, all child-free. YES. I believe all moms should remove themselves from everyday life and GET AWAY from it all. Annually. This has been my M-O for the last few years and i’m stickin’ to it!

Where is Curacao?
Curacao (pronounced cure-ah-saoh) is a small island in the Caribbean, which I think is one of the best kept travel secrets. A part of the Dutch Netherlands, it lies at the southern most end of the Caribbean islands and is quite close to the northern edge of South America, we could have taken a 30 minute ferry ride to Venezuela! It is known as one of the “ABC Islands”, which include Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.  The sandy beaches, bright blue waters, warm Curacao weather and gorgeous sunsets are what give Curacao the tropical WOW-factor we were all looking for. We were able to make it affordable by spliting costs and searching for cheap airfare at the right times (middle of the week).

Where we stayed
Of the many Curacao hotels, we chose the Hyatt. The Hyatt Curacao, built in 2010, is an amazing hotel complete with all of the luxuries you’d want during your stay. It is built right along the southern coast of the island, so the beach is literally steps from all rooms and the views are astounding. The service was impeccable, food was great, but a bit pricey, and the rooms were perfect. It is a bit far from everything else on the island, so if you are an explorer, I do suggest renting a car. We did, and it ended up being cheaper that paying for transportation to and from the airport alone.

Dine at the open air Shor restaurant. Get a massage or facial at the Atabei Spa. Relax and swim at one of their 3 onsite pools or simply lie out on the resorts private beach. Not enough? Burn off some calories at the Stayfit Fitness center, tennis courts, or private golf course. If you are vacationing with the kids, there is Camp Hyatt, the daily kids camp to explore, learn and play doing various activities, crafts, games and more.

One of the 3 pools
My poolside Mango Pina Colada 🙂

I am standing in the Hyatt open lobby, this is the view behind me…

Part of the Hyatt’s private beach
Available to rent, right on the beach
Cute little sea snails we found

Looking out at the gorgeous water, that’s my butt on the right… LOL

What We Did in Curacao
Swam. Sailed. Biked. Ate. Drank. Snorkled. Shopped. Sun Bathed. You name it, we probably did it! There are plenty of things to do in Curacao, we were there during Carnival and enjoyed that as well!

Sail and Snorkel Trip with Adrenaline Tours – We took a 3 hour sail and snorkel trip that toured us around the richest areas of the Spanish waters and ended at a snorkel and dive site with a popular sunken ship. Coolness! We had plenty of fish pictures, but the camera did not do them any justice.

Boarding the boat
My sis… the captain let her drive the boat!
Estimated $3 Million dollar home on it’s own little island in the Spanish waters, Curacao

Snorkel gear
Sexy and ready to dive in my snorkeling gear

Under the sea… if you snorkel, an underwater camera is a must
An octopus!!! The tour guide dove all the way down to get this picture for us. We stayed at the top!

The Sunken Ship
Shopping – We shopped in Downtown Willemstad at the local markets. Plenty of handmade goods, fruits, veggies, clothes, souveniers, etc.

Local Food – We mostly ate at the restaurants on the Hyatt property, but there were a few times that we ventured out. I highly recommend Espetada House for dinner, they serve meat, seafood and veggies on large skewers… the food there was amazing!
The photos below are from the local food house in town where a bunch of restaurants are lined up and ready to serve. Everything looks and smells YUM.
Whole fish. Didn’t eat this, but it looked very interesting.

This is what I ate. Stewed fall-off-the-bone chicken, dirty rice, salad, crisp plantain…
The ladies after dinner…


Bike riding on the trails around the Hyatt
Curacao Carnival 2012 – Very detailed costumes and floats!

Local Life
The people of Curacao are extremely friendly. They all put me to shame when I found out that the majority of them are fluent in 4 languages: Papiamentu (native language), English, Spanish and Dutch. Most of the restaurants, shopping and nightlife is downtown in Willemstad, their capital, where everything is full of color and life.

A glimpse of what Curacao locals see everyday…

This guy was right on the beach! He jumped up on the rocks when we got close.

Pelican? They dive from the sky and make a huge, unexpected crash into the water

Beautiful color on their buildings throughout the island
View from our rooms balcony

Local Currency, the Netherland Antillean Guilder

Water so clear you can see random fish

Beautiful bird!

Curacao Flora
If you are considering a tropical travel destination for your next vacay, do check out Curacao! It’s only a 3.5 hour flight from Miami and totally worth it! Just looking back at these pictures makes me wonder why I ever left… oh yea, LIFE.

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