It’s no secret by now that my family and I love the Caribbean! That clear blue water and those beautiful beaches have us coming back trip after trip. This time, we decided to visit the beautiful island of Curacao. I have been wanting to visit the island for some time now and I’ve always heard it was a great island for scuba diving. Even though we didn’t get to dive this trip, we’ll definitely be going back, and when we do, diving is on the list! To be honest with you, I didn’t realize how much there was to do on the island! I honestly thought it was just a small diving island, but to my surprise, it was so much more!
We stayed at the all-inclusive Sunscape Curacao Resort. As soon as we got to the resort it was party time! We arrived on Saturday at around 1pm and the resort was bumping. It was actually also St. Patty’s day, but we did learn that they put on a show most days of the week. They had a DJ platform over one of the pools and everyone was dancing, drinking, interacting, playing the sports activities, and just all around there was energy everywhere! It was a little different than the trips we’ve taken in the past. Most of the time we usually stay at more quiet resorts, which we love, and at first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like a party, upbeat atmosphere, but it was actually a nice change from what we normally do! Nathan really liked the fact that there was always something happening to keep him entertained. When we weren’t snorkeling or getting our nap time on the beach, we were playing soccer, volleyball, checkers (they had a giant life-sized board which he loved), shuffleboard, rock climbing (they have their own rock climbing wall), or ping pong. It was great! It was really nice to be able to enjoy all these activities together without ever having a reason to say “I can’t right now bud”. Sadly, a lot of time during the week, we’re working or doing house chores and we don’t get to do all these little things whenever he wants us to. So, when on vacation, I make sure to never say “not now”. I might say “after this Pina Colada” though (LOL).
On top of the activities, there was so much food…I mean, I must’ve gained at least 15lbs while I was there. That’s another thing on vacation I never say NO too…food! They had a huge breakfast buffet that served everything from oatmeal to pancakes, and omelettes to fried plantains…you name it, they had it. I actually had oatmeal everyday. I don’t know what it was about their oatmeal, but it was soooo good. It’s weird, because I never eat oatmeal like that (especially on vacation) but it was just so good! Usually after breakfast (if we didn’t have an excursion or trip planned) we headed right to the beach. Make sure to get there early and claim your chair because people get there super early and do the same. The beach was small but pretty awesome. If you didn’t get a cabana or umbrella you could usually find a set of chairs under a palm for some shade, which I actually thought was cooler than an umbrella. While laying there it wasn’t uncommon to see a giant iguana walking around…pretty cool! The island is pretty windy (similar to Aruba, if you’ve been) which is nice, since it’s also very hot, so it keeps it cool. The resort has a rock wall built around the beach about 30 yards out, which makes the swimming area a calm pool. It also acts as a small reef and attracts some fish to look at while snorkeling right off the beach. Nate is really becoming a pro at this snorkeling!
The pools were huge and nothing beats a swim up bar! Since we were part of the Sun Club we also had access to a pool that only members could use. Unfortunately, we didn’t find the exclusive pool until our second to last day. The resort was so big I didn’t even realize there was another wing with a private beach and cabanas for Sun Club members! (LOL) Duh!
For lunch we normally hit up the Bluewater Grill where they had burgers, hot dogs, chicken and steak sandwiches. You also had another option for lunch to go eat from the World Cafe Buffet. There they had a stacked selection of food to choose from. Don’t miss the little window right near the buffet that serves the BEST, and I mean BEST cookies and cream (somewhat melty) ice cream cones. They were incredible and we always made sure to be back near the pool area when they were serving it!
The island is full of adventures, so we wanted to make sure we got to experience a good majority of them. We took a private tour with our airport transportation guy, Taxi Max. We left early to start the day and our first stop was to go see the flamingoes. Unfortunately, they were kind of far away, but you could see their pink, little pretty silhouettes in the distance. To be honest, I would probably pass on this if you’re expecting to see them up close, because I was a little disappointed. I wanted to get up close to take some photos! Maybe in Aruba I’ll get to. Taxi Max then took us somewhere (I forget the name of the place!) where we went on a brief hike (which Nathan loved) and we got to do some exploring down a narrow path and up some stairs made out of natural rock. When you finally get to the end of the walk you come upon a bench at the end of a cliff where you’re able to look down into a canal-like opening where you can take in the beautiful view of the crashing ocean. The coolest part of all is that you’re able to spot turtles swimming around in the water down below. It was here, that made us really want to now get in the water and start swimming with those little guys. Next stop, Playa Grandi beach! When first arriving at the beach you probably wouldn’t think much of it, but once you’re in the water, you realize why Max took us here. The fishermen clean their fish right off the beach and throw the guts in the water. This sounds gross, but you actually don’t see them doing this or anything in the water! What you do see is the many turtles that know where they can come for food. There were so many turtles it was amazing! If you swim about 50 yards out there is a reef where you can see some cool fish as well and even a pretty cool sunken statue. We just love swimming with turtles, so this was definitely a favorite spot of ours!
Once back at the hotel we were able to eat at one of the 5 options for dinner. There was the Italian restaurant, Da Mario, The Bluewater Grill, The World Cafe buffet, Oceana Seafood Restaurant, and our favorite place for dinner, the hibachi place, Himitsu. Usually after dinner we would either get a drink from the bar and get ready for the entertainment to start or go to Coco Cafe and get a hot or frozen cappuccino and a chocolate one for Nate. For late night entertainment they always had something going on to watch. Sometimes it was trivia games where they would ask for volunteers to go against each other and entertain everyone else, sometimes it was musical entertainment, and sometimes it was a parade or a show. One night they put on a spectacular show on the beach that had all kinds of fire spinning, twirling, dancing, and all this crazy stuff…it was very cool. We were lucky enough that we could see it from our room so once Nate started getting tired we could sit on the balcony and cuddle and still see it. We had a great view from our room!
Due to a storm in NY, Jet Blue decided to cancel our flight home which left us on the island for an extra 5 days! Even though we were initially shocked and thrown off, we decided to make the best of it. We decided to check out some more of the Island and since we loved Playa Grandi beach so much, we went back for some more turtle swimming! Be prepared…it is an hour drive from the resort, but it’s totally worth it! On the way back, we decided to stop at Shete Boka National Park. This was another highlight of the trip. Even though it was super hot you’re able to drive to the different sites in the park and see everything pretty quickly. The coolest thing we saw was a really cool blow hole. Nate really got a kick out of how high the water would shoot up between the rocks. It was beautiful. There was also a really cool natural bridge there as well. Nate and I also got to stack some rocks, which seems to be a thing to do there (LOL). We always love water activities the most, but since we had all this extra time on the island we wnated to make sure we saw as much of it as possible. Plus, Nate loves anytime we do hiking and exploring.
Not far from the hotel, about a 5 minute walk, is Mambo Beach. Though there were some cool restaurants and a beautiful beach, we didn’t spend too much time at the beach. This was definitely an upbeat and fun beach, but we had the same at our hotel. We did have some rolled up ice cream and walked around just to check it out, which was still fun.
A must when visiting Curacao is going to Willemstad. It’s such an amazing little city! It’s got beautiful colored buildings, tons of restaurants, a cool bridge which lights up with different colors at night, a fun fountain you can play in, and an old fort turned into shopping center which you can still get some history out of. We actually got to spend Sarina’s birthday in Willemstad. We took her out to eat at Porto. They had an amazing singer who could not have been more spot on with his voice and song choices. The food was ridiculous, and the whole family could not have been happier during our dining experience with them! In the middle of the fort they also had a bunch of restaurants & bars with a musician playing for everybody. Ever artist they had was really good and brought a lot of energy into the night. It’s just such a cute little area with great ambiance! We ended up visiting Willemstad a few times because we liked it so much, and we also liked the fact that you could go to a food truck and get an order of yummy churros for only 3$ (LOL).
During our stay on the island we also got to visit another amazing restaurant, Limoncello By The Sea, which had a great ambience and delicious food. It’s situated in the bay, which lends for a beautiful view. Ahhh, to be back there right now, eating my plate, stealing some bites of my wife’s and sipping some wine. I miss it so much!
We really couldn’t have been happier on this trip. The entertainment staff at the Sunscape Curacao was amazing. “Mr. Choco” and the “Candy Man” put on a show everyday and kept the party going. They always had so much energy and were super polite and friendly to my whole family. I have to also thank Chantilly from the Sunscape Curacao. She was absolutely amazing at making sure my entire family had a VIP experience. She was constantly asking if there was anything she could do for us, she gave us recommendations for island activities and made sure we had an unforgettable trip. She honestly went above and beyond. Thank you Chantilly (last photo of her & Nate) and all of the staff at Sunscape Curacao. Our not-so-planned extended vacay in Curacao was truly memorable. We’re already ready to come back!