The oil refinery I saw on the solution to my apartment rental in CuraГ§ao had been a harbinger of things to come.
The Caribbean conjures up images of white sand beaches, palm w ds, coral reefs, and tropical beverages. Come july 1st, we planned to visit a lot of the Caribbean (spoiler alert we didnвЂ™t). A part of Holland and famous for its casinos, nightlife, and eponymous blue liqueur at the top of my list of places to visit was CuraГ§ao, located in the Dutch Antilles.
I dreamed of all the Caribbean offered and imagined myself relaxing on long, white-sand beaches with a piГ±a colada in hand as I flew into CuraГ§ao. The biggest and most tough associated with ABC (Aruba, Bonaire, and CuraГ§ao) islands, CuraГ§ao additionally held the vow of g d hiking and non-beach activities.
But nearly immediately after showing up, I was disappointed.
Whatever they donвЂ™t show in the brochures may be the oil refinery in the edge of city. You realize this stunning, multicolored, waterfront photo that showcases the view CuraГ§ao is well-known for?
Well, appropriate near there exists a not-so-wonderful oil refinery blowing black smoke in to the atmosphere вЂ” and itвЂ™s really visible from city.
That refinery set the tone for the week
CuraГ§ao ended up being, even as we say, вЂњmeh.вЂќ It wasnвЂ™t a bad spot, nonetheless it didnвЂ™t blow my brain. I left the national country indifferent. The islandвЂ™s vibe and I also just didnвЂ™t mesh. I desired to love it, but with sadness to be leaving or a desire to stay as I boarded my flight home, nothing in CuraГ§ao filled me.
LetвЂ™s begin with the beaches g d, although not that great. Those nearby the primary city are all resort beaches, meaning you have to pay to savor them in the event that you arenвЂ™t currently remaining in among the resorts. TheyвЂ™re cluttered with people, lounge chairs, and artificial breakers to safeguard up against the waves and create a calm swimming area. ( Not that the relaxed swimming area is bad, however the breakers decrease the movement of water, and since most resorts have actually ships and docks, I didnвЂ™t have the water had been the cleanest.)
The beaches up north are general public, wider, and more normal, but also still, they arenвЂ™t the long, white-sand beaches we usually imagine. Moreover, the shoreline is full of dead coral and rocks. Had been they pretty? Yes. Did we sit here and go, вЂњDamn, this really is beautifulвЂќ? Certain. Ended up being we blown away by them? No, not necessarily. ThereвЂ™s better.
I happened to be also disappointed by having less affordable and available general public transportation. Buses just run every two hours and taxis are extremely costly ($50 USD for the 15-minute cab ride). You really have to rent a car during your stay if you want to see the island. Not having one actually limits that which you is able to see.
To top it off, even the towns arenвЂ™t that pretty. Outside WillemstadвЂ™s waterfront that is famous I ended up beingnвЂ™t t impressed by the scenery, structures, or houses. Perhaps the resorts l ked outdated. ThereвЂ™s nothing like a small grime and wear and tear a city on to offer it some charm, but in CuraГ§ao, the grit only added a sense of woeful neglect.
One thing I loved, though, ended up being the locals. They made the journey. These people were friendly, helpful, and great conversationalists. We stayed in an Airbnb leasing, and Milly, my host, was super helpful and friendly. She also went the mile that is extra drove me some places and so I wouldnвЂ™t need certainly to have a taxi. I would stay at her place again if I returned to CuraГ§ao.
While searching for places to eat, we found a local, family-run restaurant near my apartment and consumed most of the meals here. Each and every time I stepped in, they greeted me personally like theyвЂ™d known me personally for a long time ( I happened to be possibly the only non-local to consume there). Jack, from another restaurant, kindly gave me their telephone number to call if we required anything so when he saw me personally, constantly remembered me and that I really loved their lemonade.
After which there were the bus motorists whom aided guide me around city, the locals who let me hitch a ride with them when the bus didnвЂ™t come, and the countless other little moments of friendly conversation and assistance that t k place during the course of my week.
If I thought we would return, it will be for individuals, perhaps not the spot.
CuraГ§ao wasnвЂ™t awful, but IвЂ™ve experienced better destinations. Maybe I didnвЂ™t enjoy it because I had high expectations вЂ” when you think of nearby Aruba and Bonaire, you might think Caribbean paradise, and I just lumped CuraГ§ao in with them. Expectations can frequently induce disappointment as s n as we build areas inside our head.
I strolled far from CuraГ§ao without any burning desire to go back. IвЂ™m happy I went and IвЂ™d encourage other people to get, but there was clearly nothing in CuraГ§ao you canвЂ™t find elsewhere better and cheaper.
You canвЂ™t love every location. ItвЂ™s impossible. I could often discover the g d in every accepted place(even Vietnam!), but humans have actually opinions, feelings, and preferences вЂ” and mine does not prefer CuraГ§ao.
You should go and explore the island for yourself. You simply wonвЂ™t find me here.
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Last Updated January 13, 2021