5 Things You May Not Know About Curacao
Written by Marsha Mowers – November 27, 2019
1. First Female Governor
Curaçao’s capital Willemstad is divided into four districts: Punda, Otrobanda, Scharloo and Pietermaai. Each district is equally beautiful with baroque style old Spanish colonial style buildings that are boasting with colour. To get there by foot, cross the floating Queen Emma Bridge (a three minute walk across) and you’re immediately at the King’s Palace, dating back to the late 1800s and home to all things politics. Curacao’s Governor, the first female in the island’s history – Lucille Andrea George-Wout, is also the first to not live at the Palace. Guests can know when she’s there by her car – the only one with a designated flag on the license plate.
2. Watch the Queen Emma Bridge
Queen Emma Bridge is a pontoon bridge across St. Anna Bay in Curaçao, connecting the Punda and Otrobanda districts of Willemstad. It is the only bridge in the world that swings across the bay to open, a process done approximately 35 times a day and taking only a few minutes to do. Since it’s floating on pontoons, walking across it can feel a little wonky, but only adds to the fun.
The Iguana Cafe is a perfect spot to grab a snack and a beverage and watch the whole thing.
3. See the “Wedding Cake House”
Located in the eastern end of Sharloo, it’s one of the most photographed buildings in Willemstad. The story behind it dates back to the late 1800s when the owner promised his bride-to-be’s father he would building her a house so beautiful it would look like a wedding cake. Sharloo is part of an area originally inhabited by local vendors at the sea markets and renovated by the Foundation Monument Care of Curacao, which is similar to the historical society in Canada that prohibits the changing of outdoor facades. There are many buildings in downtown that are in disrepair, but it is for that reason – they’ve been updated on the inside and are waiting for the Foundation to assist in re-building, a process that takes both time and effort.
Once a building has been renovated, they are required to re-paint every year as the building material is made of sand, which deteriorates in the climate.
3. Zero Dangerous Wildlife
In fact, you’ll see lots of wildlife including flamingoes, wild goats, wild pigs, iguanas and many beautiful species of birds such as the orange oriole.
As one local joked, he’s born and raised in Curacao and has no desire to ever leave, because why would he? “We don’t have any snow, we’ve got great people and there’s no animals or snakes on the island that can kill me.”
3. Infinity Pool at Renaissance
The Renaissance Resort and Casino is located on a part of the island which has rougher waters. What’s a hotelier to do? Improvise and bring the beach to the guests.
The infinity pool is built overlooking the ocean, complete with sand, so guests can sip away at their Curacao cocktails while dipping their toes in the sand.