Castaway to the beautiful island of Curacao, a now breathtakingly colorful stretch of land with a dark past . . . First settled by the Dutch, in 1662 Curacao was a main source of slave trades. Many of the trade buildings, now colorfully painted and converted, still stand as a reminder of the scars of a people. While some will be off put by Curacaoís past you shouldnít let this islandís dark history steer you away from its wonder. The soul and life-drive of this vibrant place today draws hope from its past making the daily celebration of freedom and life to the fullest rooted in the very blood of its people. The perfect honeymoon hideaway for nature lovers, scuba divers, cyclists and adventure lovers alike, Curacao offers a little bit of everything Mother Earth has to offer. With 60 different diving locations, secluded beaches and terrains made perfect for hiking and biking, the island is a canít miss for any couple who wants to get lost in exotic scenery.
When to Come:If you want to really dive into the culture of Curacao and its people visit the island in January. This is when the Curacao Carnival kicks off although it lasts until the day prior to Ash Wednesday. Here youíll see extravagant floats, hear lively music and watch as colorful, vibrant costumes fill the streets.
When Not to Come:There really isnít a bad time to come to Curacao, but if you are faint of heart youíll want to avoid the last day of the carnival. Held on the day prior to Ash Wednesday, at the stroke of midnight a large straw image of King Momo, a local symbol that represents bad luck, sins and infertility, is not only set afire but explodes. This can be a bit of a culture shock for those unfamiliar with the Curacao way of life. Itís also worth mentioning that while you arenít likely to be hassled some visitors report having been asked if they wanted to buy drugs while in the area. If this happens simply decline and walk away. This is probably as far as the nuisance will go, however, and itís not very common though also not extremely rare. As with most countries, drugs and drug dealing is illegal. Curacao has especially strict punishments.
Culture Shock Factor:Depending on when you come, the culture shock will be different. During local festivals you may find that the customs are a bit different than your own.
What to Do While Youíre Here:While you are here you must try some of the local foods. While Kabritu and Yuana sound simple enough they translate to stewed goat and iguana. Sure it sounds scary but those who have tried it swear by its surprisingly addictive taste. If you arenít quite that adventurous try the fried plantains which are a little easier to stomach for less adventurous foodies. After dinner make sure to stop off at Hato Caves, a natural wonder formed in the Ice Ages. The caves have been modernized to include a bar, romantic pools and a natural waterfall. Before you leave donít miss swimming with the dolphins at the Dolphin Academy nor miss out on strolling hand in hand in one of Curacaoís many fine art galleries.
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