The ABC Islands :: Curacao {Spotlight}

[trip style = sun + beach + urban]

{Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of Trip Styler's ABC Islands Spotlight after a short and sweet intro a few weeks ago. First stop, Aruba, second stop, Bonaire and today, Curacao.}

Curacao would be the worst place in the world to do an Easter egg hunt. Its pastel green, blue, pink and yellow buildings would mask the colour of the eggs and the bright Caribbean hues would distract from the task at hand. The chocolate would melt too {it's the Caribbean after all}.

Curacao is the ABC's boutique island. Sure, its capital, Willemstad, welcomes cruise ship passengers and a few mega hotel mavens, but most of the resorts are small and most of the visitors are seeking an edited experience---the kind where you dine under a thatched roof for dinner, where you snorkel with turtles and where you sunbathe between a coral cliff and clear water that refracts light like a Swarovski crystal.

As a tourist you feel like you blend in---whether this is true or not. The 38-mile island has 50+ ethnicities represented and everyone seems to do every job---regardless of background. This is as refreshing as sipping a Blue Curacao cocktail {like a blue lagoon} under the shade of an umbrella with misters and fans refreshing you from the intense heat. {Trip Styler Tip :: Blue Curacao is also an apropos souvenir to bring home.}

Eat Overlooking Willemstad and the rotating bridge {which allows freighters entry into Curacao's deep-water port, its main and thriving industry}, Governeur De Rouville offers open-air dining in a restored Dutch building. Excellent service and a fusion of local and globally-inspired cuisine make it consistently busy with both tourists and Curacaoans. If you make it outside the city, there’s a local garden joint in Westpunt that can’t be missed. Jaanchies is an 85-year-old restaurant with an owner who acts as the host and talking menu.

Do Kill two birds with one stone: shop hop and cool off in Willemstad's boutiques, visit Blue Beach and dive off the far reaches of the island.

Stay Kura Hulanda Hotel and Lodge Hotel: Hang out in history in a UNESCO World Heritage Site and restored Dutch village in the heart of Willemstad. Walk along cobblestone streets, dine in the main square or massage your shoulders under the cascading waterfall in the eco-pool. Lodge: For a breezy beach experience, stay at the Lodge on the island’s west side. A tranquil cove and coral cliffs front the cool, coastal retreat with amenities from home, thousands miles away from it all. We just featured Kura Hulanda in our weekly Roam+Board feature---see more details and photos here!

Getting There Get there from the US with direct flights from NYC, Miami and Charlotte, and it just got a little easier from Canada. Starting December 24th, Air Canada is doing a weekly service from Toronto on Saturdays. This means that Air Canada Vacations will be offering flight and hotel packages to nine resorts, two of which are mentioned above!

Related ABCs {An Intro} Spotlight :: Aruba Spotlight :: Bonaire Roam+Board :: Sorobon Beach Resort {Bonaire} Roam+Board :: Kura Hulanda {Curacao} Jetset Jingles :: The Caribbean

[photos by @tripstyler]