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fabila
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Joined: 01/26/02
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Loc: Westchester County
Re: Trip report Curacao Oct 28-Nov 7, 2017 (long) [Re: irish1223]
      #1751542 - 11/10/17 11:03 PM (66.87.116.249)

Thanks for the report. Are there hotels closer to the west end beaches?

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thesimpsons
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Joined: 09/16/12
Posts: 342
Loc: Northern California
Re: Trip report Curacao Oct 28-Nov 7, 2017 (long) [Re: irish1223]
      #1751548 - 11/11/17 10:59 AM (71.134.236.246)

Thank you for the nice report!

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LBI2SXM
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Joined: 06/02/08
Posts: 2129
Re: Trip report Curacao Oct 28-Nov 7, 2017 (long) [Re: fabila]
      #1751550 - 11/11/17 12:58 PM (73.112.165.173)

There is one hotel, the Kura Hulanda (sister resort is in Willamstadt) that is very nice. It's up on a cliff and there are stone stairs down to the beach. Beach is a little rocky but nice. Most of the places to stay are either apartments or small condos, most quite affordable and most on or above the beach. Westpunt is only 30 mins. by car so staying closer to town is another option but do not miss those beautiful natural beaches in the west. To clarify, the majority of "man made" beaches are built with stone type bulkheads which prevent big waves off the beaches and make for very calm swimming. I never saw one with algea as the water flows from the sea to the beach constantly. Curacao is very windy and the southern coast of the island has waves from the wind.

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irish1223
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Joined: 01/02/07
Posts: 1278
Loc: originally NY/now Tennessee
Re: Trip report Curacao Oct 28-Nov 7, 2017 (long) [Re: islandgem]
      #1751567 - 11/12/17 01:21 AM (66.191.237.193)

Elizabeth, we did indeed stop at Karakter one day with the intention of spending the day there; but it was very crowded and the only chairs left available were not shaded. While it’s in a beautiful spot as far as scenery goes, we did not care for the beach there. It is very rocky and you have to climb down some stairs to get into the water. There were a lot of divers there and I imagine it’s a great area for diving. We did take some pics there, but can’t seem to post them. The bar and menu looked good, but I burn like the dickens in the sun, so we ended up leaving and going to Playa Knip instead. While the Curaçao Karakter is plenty nice, we definitely liked the SXM Karakter beach itself better. One thing of note is that the Curaçao Karakter is located in a gated community with a guard shack where the guard gives you a parking sticker to place on your dashboard. Not a big deal, we just didn’t care for all the formality of getting into place. (We like our beaches a little on the natural, wild side ).

All in all though, Curaçao is a great island in its own right and I think you would enjoy your time there. It’s not SXM to us, but then no other island among the 12 or 13 we've visited over the years is. But as you reiterated, it's sometimes refreshing to visit other places from time to time. We're very glad we went.


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irish1223
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Joined: 01/02/07
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Re: Trip report Curacao Oct 28-Nov 7, 2017 (long) [Re: fabila]
      #1751568 - 11/12/17 01:30 AM (66.191.237.193)

There are mostly private condo rentals near the western beaches, but not really big resorts or hotels, other than the Kura Hulanda. That area is a bit out of the way with few restaurants or activities other than the beaches. Very pretty though. It is about a 30-40 minute drive from downtown Willemstad, depending on which beaches you go to. The Avila Resort we stayed in was only a 5-7 minute drive from downtown Willemstad in one direction and the Mambo beach strip/shopping Blvd in the other. We compared it a bit with what we do on SXM; that is, sleep on the Dutch side and spend the day on the French-side beaches. Everyone has their own personal preferences as to where to stay and what is more convenient to be near. If we go back, we would still prefer to sleep closer to town.

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Robin & Ed


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irish1223
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Joined: 01/02/07
Posts: 1278
Loc: originally NY/now Tennessee
Re: Trip report Curacao Oct 28-Nov 7, 2017 (long) [Re: LBI2SXM]
      #1751569 - 11/12/17 01:43 AM (66.191.237.193)

Quote:

LBI2SXM said:
To clarify, the majority of "man made" beaches are built with stone type bulkheads which prevent big waves off the beaches and make for very calm swimming. I never saw one with algea as the water flows from the sea to the beach constantly. Curacao is very windy and the southern coast of the island has waves from the wind.




Maybe that was the difference when we were there — it wasn’t very windy at all, just a nice slight breeze. Much less windy than when we were in Aruba last year. There was very little movement at all in the 2 man-made beaches at Avila and the bottom was very cloudy and silty. Not much flow between them and the ocean during our stay. Mambo beach area was slightly better and we did swim there for a short while. No comparison to the western beaches with super clear water and gentle surf. Those are the Curaçao beaches we fell in love in and the reason we would go back.

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Robin & Ed


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The_Lurker
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Joined: 04/25/08
Posts: 1905
Loc: Connecticut
Re: Trip report Curacao Oct 28-Nov 7, 2017 (long) [Re: irish1223]
      #1751597 - 11/12/17 02:56 PM (24.44.41.166)

Very, very nice report!

You were saying that the beaches on the western side are natural and calm??

But if I read correctly there are no hotels close by?

We are big fans of spending days on the beach where we can swim and don't have to get up 5:30 in the morning for an umbrella or hut.


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irish1223
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Joined: 01/02/07
Posts: 1278
Loc: originally NY/now Tennessee
Re: Trip report Curacao Oct 28-Nov 7, 2017 (long) [Re: The_Lurker]
      #1751640 - 11/13/17 11:18 AM (66.191.237.193)

There are some nice condos and apartments you can rent over by the western beaches. And, yes, the beaches there are gorgeous, natural (meaning not man-made), AND calm. Grote Knip (also known as Playa Kenepa) was our favorite, followed closely by Cas Abou (you can google them), though there are others just as charming (Daaibooi, Playa Mari). If you wish to stay closer to those beaches, I would suggest checking out Airbnb for condo/apartment rentals. The town of Westpunt is also nearby and you may be able to find places there, as well. We didn’t drive into Westpunt, the closest we got was about 5 miles away at Knip.

We very much enjoyed our time in Curaçao and will definitely consider a return trip at some point in the future.

One thing I will add is that wearing water shoes is highly recommended at a lot of the beaches. Curaçao beaches tend to have a bit of coral and rocks at the entrances into the water (with some nice sand bottoms just past that). It was easier for me with water shoes on, though Ed chose not to wear them and did fine.

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Robin & Ed


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GettingThere
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Joined: 03/07/11
Posts: 47
Loc: Traveler
Re: Trip report Curacao Oct 28-Nov 7, 2017 (long) [Re: irish1223]
      #1751866 - 11/16/17 09:35 AM (174.233.13.248)

We too opted for Curacao in place of our St Martin trip. We did a VRBO in Cas Abou Estates. It actually has its own very small private beach and is just a few minutes from Cas Abou beach. We spent most of our time on the Western beaches and Knip was probably our favorite but there were many beautiful beaches. Although I look forward to going back to St Martin and supporting the businesses there, I definetly hope to return to Curacao.

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GettingThere
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Joined: 03/07/11
Posts: 47
Loc: Traveler
Re: Trip report Curacao Oct 28-Nov 7, 2017 (long) [Re: fabila]
      #1751872 - 11/16/17 10:43 AM (50.41.245.182)

Fabila, while not really a Hotel there are units available at The Coral Estates. They look and I think operate like hotel rooms. They have a beautiful infinity pool and the two restaurants ,one of which is Karacter. We enjoyed a day there and went back one evening for dinner right at the waters edge. I highly recommend it. Coral estates is a gated community with 24 hour security at the gates. As I mentioned in a previous post we stayed in Cas Abou Estates which is about 5 miles away but will consider Coral on a return trip.

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