Location and activities
Location on Curaçao
The Tropical Villa is situated in the leafy and quiet colonial villa district called Julianadorp. Julianadorp is centrally located on the island, the nearest beach (Blue Bay) is within 5 minutes, it is 10 minutes (by car) from Hato Airport and only 10 minutes from Willemstad and all the restaurants and at 2 minutes distance of a large supermarket, the University, the Schroeder school and the Vespucci College. Julianadorp is a beautiful, green residential area just west of Otrobanda and within a stone’s throw of Piscadera. Julianadorp is a spacious villa district, built in 1948 to accommodate the Executive Board of the Shell. The specially designed tropical homes with their many bay windows, wide eaves and very generous sizes are typical for colonial Julianadorp. The ‘Dutch Tropics’ is a good nickname for Julianadorp: the great colonial villas on very large lots to the broad green boulevards breathe the atmosphere of bygone times.
The real Curaçao
The Tropical Villa in julianadorp is the ideal base to see more than just the familiar places of Curaçao such as Jan Thiel and Mambo Beach. The experienced Curaçao visitor knows that the island has so much more to offer such as the quiet and untouched West with its many beautiful bays and natural beaches. Kokomo beach, Cas Abao Beach (in 2011 on Yahoo Travel’s list of ‘10 Best Beach Destinations’), Grote Knip Beach, Daaibooi Bay en Playa Porto Mari are white natural beaches located in secluded bays with crystal clear water: true tropical paradises. Or drive to the famous West Point and turn to the rugged coast on the other side of the island and enjoy the spectacular view and see the rugged sea beech on the rocks. But there is more than coast, discover the characteristic countryside of Curaçao with its old country houses and enjoy a cold beer and a pastechi along the way at a local Snèck. On Curaçao a rental car is essential to discover the most beautiful beaches, the coolest bars and the best restaurants. Whether you’ll have a drink in the city at the colonial Gouverneur, Saint Tropez Beach Club or at the Schoonerbar at the Avila Hotel or grab a bite to eat at a one of the Country Houses like Landhuis Daniel or at Fishalicious or Rozendaels it is all equally close by but only by car. The motoring and traffic is very relaxed as is everything on Curaçao. The signage on the entire island very clear and recognizable with old-fashioned Dutch motoring-signs.
The historic centre of Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao, is on the World Heritage list of UNESCO. The beautiful skyline of Canal houses with Dutch architecture in Caribbean colours have the nicknamed Willemstad ‘the Amsterdam of the Western Hemisphere’. The beautiful St. Anna Bay separates the old centre of Willemstad in two parts: Punda and Otrobanda. Both districts are connected by the famous Queen Emma bridge, popularly known as The swinging old lady or pontoon bridge. Take a seat on one of the terraces of the cafés of Otrobanda (literally ‘the other side’) and enjoy the picturesque view on the façades of Punda. Or go shopping in the picturesque Punda, a shopping area where not only local products are sold but also all major world brands are represented. Don’t miss the floating market, where merchants from Venezuela offer their products right from their fisherman boats.
The beautiful bays and beaches of Curaçao are mainly scattered along the sheltered and peaceful coast of the Southwest. The white soft sandy beach of Blue Bay is only 5 minutes from the Tropical Villa and probably the most popular beach on Curaçao Kokomo Beach is very nearby. But there are many more beaches nearby like the paradise like beach of Cas Abao and Playa Porto Mari with its unique ‘double reef’ that you definitely shouldn’t miss and where you can completely unwind. Check out the website of the Curaçao Tourist board for all the beaches on Curaçao.
Snorkelling and diving
The coral reef that lies off the coast of Curaçao can compete with the most beautiful reef formations in the world. 57 coral species and 500 fish species live on the reef. Of all Caribbean Islands Curaçao is known as one of the best areas for shore diving and snorkelling. Access to most locations is very easy, right from the beach because the reef is mostly near the coastline. The water temperature is always pleasant, between 24 ° C and 27 ° C and the visibility is excellent, average around 30 metres, the ideal conditions to enjoy this underwater paradise. There are many accredited diving schools where you can book a special snorkel or dive tour or get your dive certification.
Swimming with Dolphins
Dolphins are intelligent, friendly and above all playful animals so it is not difficult to imagine that ‘swimming with dolphins’ is on many peoples wish list. On Curaçao you can make that wish come true very easily. At the Dolphin Academy you can swim with dolphins in their natural lagoon, an unforgettable experience culminating in the ‘dorsal ride’ where two dolphins take you for a ride while you’re holding their dorsal fins.
Uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao
Far away from the animated bustle of Punda and Otrobanda, lies an island with white sandy beaches, crystal clear water and a beautiful coral reef: a true Mecca for sun worshippers, divers and snorkelers. Klein (literally ‘small’) Curaçao lies 15 miles from the south eastern tip of the ‘big’ Curaçao, about two hours sailing from the Spanish Water. For an unforgettable day book a sailing yacht at Bounty Adventures or a motor yacht at Mermaid Boattrips and visit this uninhabited Caribbean Pearl.
Not all activities are concentrated in and around the water on Curaçao. If you like to play golf then you can go to the Blue Bay Golf Course (within 5 minutes from the Tropical Villa) where you’ll find a an 18 hole Golf Course. The course offers challenges and surprises for players of every level, the infamous 5 hole requires that you hit the ball all the way ‘over seas’. Blue Bay Golf is ‘Pay & Play’, so no membership required, and of course you can also book a clinic or lessons.
Food and drinks
Due to the enormous cultural diversity of Curaçao there is a choice of restaurants where you can enjoy local or international cuisines. Whether you want to eat on the beach, in the city or in the hills, there is something for everyone and a different place to go to every evening. It’s always happy hour somewhere on the island to enjoy a sun downer at one of the many (beach) clubs and bars. In the Tropical Villa you will always find the latest edition of the Big Red Island Guide, the guide for the best restaurants, and (beach) bars. And everywhere on the island you will find the free K-Pasa flyer with an overview of the happy hours, films and performances that week.
Other activities and attractions
There is plenty to do and experience on Curaçao, too much to mention it all here. On the website of the Curaçao Tourist Board you can find all Curaçao attractions, sights and activities.
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