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Curacao Island

Curacao Island

Welcome to Curacao - Bon bini na Kòrsou!

Family Album

As mentioned on my ′About Me′ page, I was born at the St Elisabeth Hospital (Willemstad) on the 16th of September 1956 at 5 pm. This was my parents (Ena and Ronald Prophet) first and only child. Soon after I was taken home and I spend my early years in Willemstad. Below are some of my baby and toddler pictures together with my mother and grandma. As you can see live was simply and easy, playing in and around the house. At the age of 5/6 we moved to Holland by Dutch ocean liner. We arrived in Den Helder during the one of the coldest winters in Holland, 1962-1963.
I have been back to Curacao many times on family visits and holidays with my daughters. This time I decided it was time for a mini holiday and go on a private photo safari and capture the beauty of my native Island.


Curacao is a tiny island in the southern Caribbean Sea; roughly 70 km′s the Venezuelan northern coast. The island area of Curacao which includes the main island plus the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curacao ("Little Curacao"), is one of five island areas of the Netherlands Antilles, and as such, is a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Its capital is Willemstad.

Curacao is the largest and most populous of the three so-called ABC islands (for Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao) of the Lesser Antilles, specifically the Leeward Antilles. It has a land area of 444 square kilometers. At the 2001 Netherlands Antilles census, the population was 130,627 inhabitants, in 2004 the population was estimated at 133,644.

The origin of the name Curacao is still under debate. One explanation is that it is derived from the Portuguese word for heart (coração), referring to the island as a centre in trade, or it could mean heal (cura) for the plants that grow on the island. Spanish traders took the name over as Curacao, which was followed by the Dutch.
The original inhabitants of Curacao were Arawak Amerindians . The first Europeans to see the island were members of a Spanish expedition under the leadership of Alonso de Ojeda in 1499. The Spaniards exported most of the indigenous population to other colonies where workers were needed. The island was occupied by the Dutch in 1634. The Dutch ′West India Company′ founded the capital of Willemstad on the banks of an inlet called the ′Schottegat′. Curacao had been previously ignored by colonists because it lacked many things that colonists were interested in, such as gold deposits. However Willemstad natural harbor proved quickly to be an ideal spot for trade.
Commerce and shipping — but also piracy — became Curacao’s most important economic activities. In addition, Curacao came to play a pivotal role in one of the most intricate international trade networks in history: the Atlantic slave trade. The Dutch West India Company made Curacao a center for slave trade in 1662. Dutch merchants brought slaves from Africa under a trading agreement with Spain called Asiento . Under this agreement, slaves were sold and shipped to various destinations in South America and the Caribbean. The slave trade made the island affluent, and led to the construction of impressive colonial buildings that still stand today. Curacao features architecture that blends various Dutch and Spanish colonial styles. The wide range of other historic buildings in and around Willemstad earned the capital a place on UNESCO′s world heritage list. Land-houses (former plantation estates) and West African style ′kas di pal′i maishi′ (former slave dwellings) are scattered all over the island and some of them have been restored and are now major tourist attractions.
When in 1914 oil was discovered in the Maracaibo Basin town of Mene Grande (Venezuela), the fortunes of the island were dramatically altered. Royal Dutch Shell and the Dutch Government had built an extensive oil refinery installation on the former site of the slave-trade market at Asiento, thereby establishing an abundant source of employment for the local population and fueling a wave of immigration from surrounding nations. Curacao was an ideal site for the refinery as it was away from the social and civil unrest of the South American mainland, but near enough to the Maracaibo Basin oil fields.
Curacao natural harbor can now accommodate large oil tankers and the Dutch Navy has a naval port inside the harbor.


Like Aruba and Bonaire, Curacao is a transcontinental island that is geographically part of South America but is also considered to be part of West Indies and one of the Leeward Antilles. Curacao and the other ABC Islands are in terms of climate, geology, flora and fauna more akin to nearby Paraguaná Peninsula, Isla Margarita and the nearby Venezuelan areas of the Coro region and Falcón State. The flora of Curacao differs from the typical tropical island vegetation and features mostly rocky formations and cactus. Curacao is renowned for its coral reefs which makes it an excellent spot for scuba diving. The beaches on the south side contain many popular diving spots and swimming locations.


Curacao has a semi-arid savanna-like climate with a dry season from January to September and a wet season from October to December. The temperatures are relatively constant with small differences throughout the year. The trade winds brings cooling during the daylight and the same trade winds brings warming during the night. The coldest month is January with an average temperature of 26.5 °C and the warmest month is September with an average temperature of 28.9 °C. The year′s average daylight temperature is 31.2 °C. The year′s average night temperature is 25.6 °C. Curacao lies outside the hurricane belt, but can still occasionally be impacted by hurricanes. A landfall in Curacao has not occurred since National Hurricane Center started tracking of hurricanes.

Curacao Attractions

Queen Emma Bridge (a.k.a "The Swinging Old Lady"), Willemstad. A floating pontoon bridge that links the "Punda" and the "Otrobanda" of the Willemstad across the Sint Annabaai Channel. You get to see the bridge open and close, to allow marine traffic going through the channel.(In the event the bridge is open for a prolonged time, there is a ferry service across the channel as well.)

Queen Juliana Bridge, Willemstad. At 185 feet, this is highest bridge in the Caribbean (and one of the tallest bridges in the world.) The bridge overlooks St. Anna Bay as well as Willemstad. Note: The observation platform has been closed to pedestrian traffic.

Christoffel National Park, West Point. A national park that is run by the by the Carmabi Foundation. The Park is home to Boca Grandi, Indian caves where you can see paintings left by the Arawak Indians and Mount Christoffel. (At 1292 feet high, Mount Christoffel is the highest point in Curacao.)

Curacao Sea Aquarium, next to Mambo Beach, is home of the Dolphin Academy. This is one of the most popular attractions in Curacao. If you wish to do Dolphin activities book as early as possible! Entry price (depends on activity you choose) But paying for an activity gets you entry to all of the Aquarium.

Hato Caves are located across Hato International Airport. Open 7 days a week, with tours 2 times a day. The caves contain beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations as well as water pools and a waterfall. The caves are also home to a colony long nose fruit bats. (Because of the colony, photography is limited and not allowed in certain chambers.)

Fort Amsterdam, (Punda), Willemstad. The seat of the Netherlands Antilles, Fort Amsterdam sits at the mouth of the harbor at the end of the Sint Annabaai Channel on the point. The complex has restaurants, shops as well as the Governors Palace.

Fort Nassau, Willemstad. Fort Nassau was built on the hill to defend both St. Anna Bay as well as part of the city of Willemstad. The fort is open for tours and there is also a restaurant that overlooks the bay. It offers great photogenic view across the harbor and the city.

The Floating Market, Punda Side, Willemstad. The "floating market" is actually a mini boat fleet that comes in from Venezuela and sells ultra fresh fish and fruit at the best prices. Most boats, if not all, come from Venezuela.


The island has about 38 beaches, but there are also a few places by the sea that are tucked away in little inlets, or bocas as they are called in the Papiamentu language. These secret sands are generally located on the east and north coasts and are more rugged than many of the more popular beaches. The larger beaches on the island are called playas and fit the typical definition of a sandy, Caribbean beach.

The northwest narrow cove Playa Lagun boasts tranquil and shallow blue waters where you can glimpse vividly colored tropical fish which flourish in the waters off of this shore. This beach is located between towering steel-gray cliffs and framed by the crystalline waters of the Caribbean.

The beaches of Blauwbaai, or Blue Beach, have plenty of sugary sands which are suitable for all kinds of beachgoers. Although Blauwbaai is not the most secluded beach in Curacao the natural setting, personality and atmosphere offered at this location could be just what the doctor ordered. Vacationers will find this beach on Curacao&prim e;s southern coast

Daibooibaai features crystal clear water with giant cliffs rising out of their depths. This beach is on the western coast of Curacao, 3.0 miles from Boca St. Marie Dive Spot. Daibooibaai is near St. Willibrordus, so you can explore the town as part of your day at the beach.

Seaquarium Beach is a man made beach with majestic palm trees for shade and surrounded by calm blue waters that are protected by a carefully placed breakwater. This beach is located on the southeastern coast of Curacao. A nearby landmark is the Royal Sea Aquarium Resort, which is 0.3 miles away. Seaquarium Beach is close to Bapor Kibra. Next to the Seaquarium beach is Mambo Beach and has the same setting as Seaquarium. In the weekends Mambo beach turns into an open air nightclub. A lot of tourists come here to party every weekend.

Jan Thiel Beach sits on the cement quays beside the large open bay, which has excellent diving and snorkeling. The beach is located in a new upscale residential area east of town. There is little sand, but children enjoy the semi-closed wading area that resembles a swimming pool.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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