The vibrant, pastel-hued homes adorning Willemstad’s harbor stand as a visual symbol of the colorfully eclectic narrative that defines what it means to be a “Yu di Kòrsou,” a phrase in the local Papiamentu language meaning “Child of Curaçao.” Step out of the airport (JetBlue now offers four-hour direct flights from JFK) and it becomes clear the island has its own identity ingrained in the culture and its people.
Willemstad is the island’s capital city and cultural hub, and its Pietermaai District has a diverse mix of Colonial architecture, shopping, and museums. Restaurants like Mundo Bizarro, Kome, and oceanfront St. Tropez play to the island’s history with an enticing blend of Dutch, South American, African, and Caribbean culinary influences.
Photo courtesy of CuraÇao Tourist board
As a UNESCO World Heritage site, the city’s art and architecture are worthy of their own tour. Exploring from the comfort of a tuk tuk makes for a fun, relaxing way to take in the city’s highlights, including the iconic Queen Emma Bridge, fruit vendors at the Floating Market, and the Governor’s Mansion. A dedication to upcycling means decaying Colonial structures are transformed into trendy hotels, restaurants, and homes. And street murals merge social and political commentary into resounding splashes of enlightenment on unassuming corners.
A few minutes by taxi from the city center, Baoase Luxury Resort, the island’s sole five-star accommodation, captures another side of Curaçao — its idyllic beachfront. Some of the resort’s suites and villas boast private outdoor Jacuzzis, pools, and even the occasional private beach. Take advantage of Baoase’s main beach at dinner with a romantic meal from Dutch Michelin-trained chef René Klop. It’s all part of your experience as Yu di Kòrsou.
Winter rates from $575/night; www.baoase.com