If you follow along on Instagram, you know that I recently visited Curaçao… for a SECOND time! This go around I was exploring all of the islands’ trendiest activities and spots from colorful quarters to a farm to table restaurant to crystal clear waters and even the best sunset spots! Without further ado, let’s get to Curaçao’s top trendy spots!
Explore Otrabanda by way of tuk-tuk!
Perhaps one of the most unique ways (and most trendy) to see and experience the different parts of Willemstad. My tuk-tuk experience began on the Otrabanda side of the city, or the “other side” as known by the locals. We saw countless murals and colorful homes scattered throughout. Here are a few of my favorites:
Roam the colorful streets of Pietermaai
Pietermaai is the laid back, cozy bohemian part of Willemstad. What’s more trendy than that!? It’s filled with lively bars and restaurants, quaint shops, and trendy hotels and accommodation options. From Carib-Asian cuisine at Ginger to an authentic Dutch bar to hip poolside hangs at Saint Tropez Ocean Club to the colorful streets- Pietermaai is a must see/do/experience!
Paint your very own Chi Chi
Wait, what’s a Chi Chi? Happy you asked! Chi Chi is the Papiamentu word for ‘big sister.’ This well-rounded figure represents the bond of a family and is deeply rooted in the culture in Curaçao.
Every Thursday, the Chi Chi shop in Punda hosts a workshop where guests can paint their very own Chi Chi! I can’t think of a better souvenir. An experienced Chi Chi painter (yes, there are experts) will guide you through painting your doll and provide you with a few guidelines along the way ie. don’t paint your Chi Chi too sexy. Listen to live music coming from the streets because Punda Vibes is every Thursday and sip on bubbly and enjoy some snacks as you paint your Chi Chi.
Soak up the sun next to crystal clear water
First things first, grab a betido at the betido stand located near the Renaissance Hotel (arguably the best on the island). A betido is a smoothie made of fresh fruit with the option of adding sugar and milk. I opted for orange, pineapple and guava- no milk or sugar. Perfect lil’ snack when you’re on the go.
Betido in hand, head to Playa Kenepa. This is my favorite beach on the island and is home to some of the clearest water I’ve ever laid my eyes on. Rent a comfy beach chair and umbrella, soak up some sunshine and wade in the water. The water is so clear you’ll even spot the occasional fish swimming around you! I also love this beach because the water is much calmer than other spots on the island. Tips: bring cash if you plan on grabbing food from the snack bar, using the facilities, or renting a beach chair AND bring your own snorkel gear to get a look under the sea! PS there is cliff jumping too so you’ve got to take the obligatory floating photo!
Watch the sunset at Kokomo Beach
Not sure anything is! If Bali isn’t in your vacation budget this year, no worries Curaçao has got you covered! What’s more trendy than an in-water swing at sunset? You could spend an entire day at Kokomo Beach lounging by the sea, eating lite bites, sipping fruity drinks, soaking up the sun, and swinging off into the sunset.
Lunch Mijn Broodje Pietermaai
I call this spot the Map Café, mainly because there is a giant map on the wall and before I knew the name this is what I informally coined the spot. Mijn Broodje Pietermaai is the spot for lunch. It’s trendy atmosphere, location and menu options make this every explorers favorite spot for sandwiches and a cold beer, or in my case the daily special of veggies and rice with a diet coke!
Grab a coffee at Wandú
Grab a cold drip coffee sweetened with local honey at Wandú, the islands trendiest café in the heart of Punda. It is also the BEST spot for coffee, as deemed by me. I’m a huge coffee lover and always struggle finding a good cup of joe when I’m on the road. What can I say, I have high standards! Wandú exceeds every single one of ‘em.
Smoothie time at La Bohème
All smoothies are not created equal! This is my favorite spot for smoothies on the island. You’ll find many spots blend syrups, sugar and frozen fruit together and call it a smoothie. By all standards this is more of a sugary drink than a smoothie. La Bohème, on the other hand, prides itself on using the freshest ingredients and no added sugars in its smoothies and juices! The options on the menu are endless and you can create your own concoction. My go to: carrot, orange pineapple with ginger to spice things up a bit!
Sunday Brunch at the islands farm-to-table restaurant Hofi Cas Cora
Open for just 3 years, Hofi Cas Cora is Curaçao’s only true farm-to-table restaurant. It’s also the islands go to spot for organic, vegan and gluten free dishes! The ingredients are harvested on the property, yes this restaurant is located on the farm its ingredients are sourced from. I’ve never dined in an atmosphere quite like Hofi Cas Cora. The items on the menu change with season depending on what crops are growing at the time. I enjoyed the most delicious falafel salad, fresh juice and soy milk latte (again, sweetened with local honey!).
Dinner at Blessing
Blessing is located in an old monastery. You’ll notice the exterior and interior still remain nearly the exact same as they once did when the building was an active monastery. Their menu features an array of different dishes from chicken satay to catch of the day to the good ol’ burger! Oh and instead of complimentary bread Blessing does potato wedges! YUM.
Safe to say I discovered far more in Curaçao during this visit. The itinerary options are truly endless on this lovely little island it can be as relaxing or as exciting as you want it to be. Curaçao has something for everyone- solo travelers, groups, families and couples. I had no idea this island had so much to offer prior to my two visits. But I’m so happy to share its charm with all of you. So, have you booked that ticket yet!?
The Sunny Side of Things was a welcomed guest of the Curaçao Tourism Board, as always, my opinions are my own.