Curaçao 2005


To escape the never-ending rainy season in Bergen, I fled to the Caribbean for two weeks in December 2005. The trip went to the island Curaçao in the Dutch Antilles, one of the so-called ABC-islands in the southern parts of the Caribbean. The distance from Curaçao to the Venezuelan coast is only about 65 km.

It turned out Curaçao was an excellent place to relax. Swim, snorkel, dive, walk in the Christoffel National Park, and dine and spend some time in one of the many bars. I rented a car and was able to see most of the island. One day I bought a boat trip to Little Curaçao.

People in general were friendly. Interestingly, I was told Curaçao is one of the main routes used to smuggle gold and drugs from Colombia and Venezuela to North America. Except seeing one person chased after stealing some vegetables at a street market, I experienced the island to be safe for travellers.


Willemstad, the capitol of Curaçao




Facts about Curaçao (from

Curaçao is a long, arid, and generally flat island, stretching some 40 miles (64 km) from southeast to northwest, at much the same north-south angles as it's sister islands in the ABC group (Aruba to the west and Bonaire to the east). The island is about 10 miles (16 km) at it's widest point, and the area is about 180 square miles (472 square km), making it the largest island in the Netherlands Antilles group.

The coastline along the south is irregular, peppered with small bays and inlets, including the spectacular bays and beaches at the west end of the island. The largest bays are located along the central-east and east end of the island, where you'll find the capital and major port of Willemstad. Most of Curaçao's 170,000 residents live in and around this historic town.

The long north coast of the island, buffeted by constant northeast trade winds, is characterized by a rough coasthne, limestone cliff formations set on top of eons-old volcanic rock, and weather-beaten terrain. It is generally less inhabited than the south coast, but you will find smaller villages and many of the island's famous landhuis, or old plantation house, structures here.

The west end of the island is also characterized by expansive, hilly terrain, most of it encompassed by Christoffel Park. The 4,500-acre (1,820-hectare) park contains Mt. Christoffel, at 1,239 feet (377 meters) the highest elevation on Curaçao. The east end of the island comprises flat and mostly barren plain, with few settlements and some secondary roads weaving to and from its coastal inlets.

With an average 20 inches (510 mm) of rainfall yearly, Curaçao is generally a dry island. There are few standing bodies of water save some saline ponds, and most of the island's water is provided by a large desalinization plant found on the south coast.


Willemstad. View from my hotel room


Willemstad at night


Otrobanda Hotel where I stayed, Willemstad


Willemstad market


Willemstad street


Willemstad central area


Oceanfront restaurants


Willemstad cruise ship




One of many cruise ships in Willemstad


Replica of slave ship, Kura Hulanda Museum, Willemstad


Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Kura Hulanda Museum


Old weapons, Kura Hulanda Museum


Punishment torture chair, Kura Hulanda Museum


Mask, Kura Hulanda Museum


Mask, Kura Hulanda Museum


Curaçao beach - lots of nice places for a swim or snorkeling at Curaçao !


Curaçao cactus (Cereus repandus)


Curaçao landscape


Curaçao beach


Curaçao coastal landscape


Cacti field


Curaçao cactus (Melocactus macracanthos)


Curaçao cactus (Melocactus macracanthos)


Crested caracara (Polyborus plancus), the "vulture" of Curaçao


Juvenile crested caracara


Juvenile White-tailed hawk (Buteo albicaudatus)


Curaçao - the cacti island


Green iguana (Iguana iguana)


Green iguana


Common whiptail (Cnemidophorus murinus murinus)


Kadushi cactus (Cereus repamdus)


American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)


Snowy egret (Egretta thula)


Venezuelan troupial (Icterus icterus). The national bird of Venezuela



Brown-throated parakeet (Caribbean parakeet) (Eupsittula pertinax)



Boat trip to Little Curaçao


Little Curaçao


The light-house on Little Curaçao


View from the Little Curaçao light-house


Little Curaçao shipwreck


Little Curaçao barren land


Little Curaçao beach


IF you ain't Dutch, you ain't much !


A thief running after stealing from a street market in Willemstad


With two tame iguana's


Tree lichen, Christoffel National Park


Mount Christoffel is situated in Christoffel National Park


View from the top of Mount Christoffel


Rufous-collared sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis), Mount Christoffel


On the top of Mount Christoffel, at 372 meter, the highest point in Curaçao


View from the top of Mount Christoffel

        Some bird species seen on Curaçao in 2005
        Saffron Finch, Rock Pigeon, Royal Tern, Brown-throated Parakeet, Black-necked Stilt, Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Bananaquit, Rufous-collared Sparrow, Americam Flamingo, Crested Caracara, White-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Osrey, Least Sandpiper, Snowy Egret, Tropical Mockingbird