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We were in port at Willemstad, Curacoa for the full day from 7 AM in the morning until 11 PM, so we had plenty of time to explore and enjoy the area. The ship pulls into Willemstad and that is a blessing because there is so much to do.
As you know my first part of the day in Curacao was spent in a private tour seeing the things that are beyond walking distance. After the first part of our day, we then did what I will refer to as part two of the discovery of Willemstad, Curacao.
There are 10 things to experience and see in Willemstad Curacao and they are totally accessible by walking from the ship port along the path. While you will need to allow at least an hour, we spent about 3 really taking it all in.
Lavishly live walkable travel time out loud and enjoy these 10 things to experience in Willemstad Curacao close to the ship port.
10 Things To Experience In Willemstad Curacao Close To Ship Port
Cruising is about discovery and unlike any other method of travel, you can see so much each day and unpack one time. I heart cruising and I enjoyed my time with Holland America, who I was a media partner of while cruising on this journey.
My top 10 list is based on my personal experience as I spent my time walking and moving through something, unlike anything I have seen before.
Head off the ship and follow the path to the right, and adventure will just lend itself to you.
Do make sure to bring your ship ID, and your passport (you may need this to get back on). Before we look at the 10 things to see in Willemstad, Curacao let’s cover some basics real quick since I’ve been there done that.
Immediate Port Shops
The immediate shopping on the port is just ‘eh’ in my opinion. The selections are just ok, and the pricing is higher than most that we experienced as we moved further inland.
Cigars were more than they were in the Punda, so were most other items. However, that said, if it were raining and you did not want to go far, you could grab some stuff and get back on the ship. Enough said.
Make sure to look for this larger than life Clog with cheese, the cheese is a product of Holland, so it makes sense that it is there right? Remember, Curacao is part of the ABC Islands: Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao. The city was built by Dutch colonists, so you will see a lot of Dutch/Spanish architecture and it pops in colors of the rainbow that are sherbert like!
Also, to be noted is the fact that Willemstad is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Get your cameras ready because the color is about to appear around every turn, even more than a box of crayons.
10 Things To Experience In Willemstad Curacao Close To The Ship Port
1. Infinity Pool At the Renaissance Resort & Casino Curacao
So don’t mind the man and lady getting it on, just look at the boat, their positioning and the boat.
They are in the infinity pool which resides at the Renaissance.
If you have your reliable walking shoes you are set, the path will set you towards the Renaissance Hotel. I had to go inside and I had to see the infinity pool.
You see from the top of our ship I saw the infinity pool and it looked amazing, so we meandered to the 2nd floor of the hotel right to the pool. I wish I would have done this during the day!
Along the way, there are public restrooms (yeah), a coffee shop, a SWATCH shop and more. We even spotted a water pad where little kids were splashing away having a blast in the plaza within this walkway. All this is on the pathway when you get off the ship and bare right.
2. RIF FORT Renaissance (UNESCO’s World Heritage Site)
Perhaps I loved this part of our walk best, as I felt safe and secure at all points in time. This is a waterfront mall with boutique stores, souvenir shops, bars, and eateries.
During the day the shopping is fun, there’s ice cream, and beverages and plenty of photos ops.
Let me add that this is the best path to follow to and from the boat for shopping and accessing the Pontoon bridge and Punda (the colorful
However at night, it’s personality totally changes, the shops close, and it’s a party in the middle with live bands, and great drinks!
During the day there were multiple souvenir shops and I stopped for a photo with this clog.
To The Top Please
The walls I am about to go to the top of are almost 5 feet thick coral walls, how cool is that?
My favorite photo opportunity came from up in the fort. After I climbed the steps
I saw these cool windows and a really incredible photo.
The Dutch sherbert colored buildings which you can see here or in the Netherlands and nowhere else so really snap those cameras. #Bucketlist.
3. Queen Emma Bridge (Pontoon Bridge)
Words escape me so this video should do it.
This is the only bridge in the world that opens and closes like this and it is actually manned by a person who uses a steering wheel to complete the task.
If you are on the bridge walking you hear an alarm that the bridge is going to move.
You have to get to one side or the other. If you need to go from side to side a Free Ferry Runs, so use this.
Did you hear those people in my video above who just kept on getting in front of me no matter how hard I tried to avoid them?
The pontoon bridge sits across St. Anna Bay in Curacao.
To get from Otrobanda (the side you are on if you came in on a ship) to PUNDA (the colorful city with photo moments everywhere) you have to go across this bridge. We were so not pressed for time so I watched it open and shut 2x that day, and remained fascinated, it’s just that cool and it’s a free attraction and I consider it yet another bucket list item!
4. Night Time Lighting Of Queen Emma Bridge
So there is no such thing as a bad time to see the bridge, and at night it lights up, it’s for lack of a better word, incredible.
5. PUNDA (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Hello yummy sherbert-colored, picturesque streetscapes, offering more shops than you can get too and delectable eats.
Stop and smell the roses, oh well, I mean stop and enjoy life. The streets are pedestrian-only (though traffic does seem to flow one-way).
This area is where you can get up close and personal with Willemstad.
6. Artwork on walls, buildings and on the street
From the streets to the alleys, color abounds and for those of you who love to shop till you drop (I DO) get your fill of it in this area.
The PUNDA area very much shoes the Spanish/Portuguese/Netherlands architecture and vibe.
7. The Big Signs of CURACAO & DUSHI
Head to Queen Wilhemina Park inside of PUNDA. If you have come across the bridge from Otrabanda (cruise ship & Ft RIF Side) you are now in PUNDA.
You just gotta, and that’s all I have to say about it!
Don’t forget this sign, it is in the same area too!
I mean you want everyone to know where you are right?
8. Wedding Cake House
Yes, it’s a bit further than PUNDA but totally worth the walk.
If you want to see the most photographed house, this is it. It’s called the Wedding Cake House and my shot hardly does it justice.
Lock your love together forever in Willemstad Curacao.
This sculpture is one of a few pieces of art you will see when you get to the PUNDA side of Willemstad.
10. Shop Penha
How can you not be entranced by the paint of the building and yet the contents within are even better. It’s the flagship store of Penha! Shop till you drop! ~
Lavishly live travel to Willemstad, Curacao out loud and indulge in all the luxuries it offers! ~ DANA