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Curaçao

Main attractions

Willemstad, Curaçao
Willemstad / Aaron Toth, / CC BY-SA 2.0

Curaçao is one of constituent countries of the Kingdom of Netherlands and is located in the Caribbean region.

Contrary to most other Caribbean islands, Curaçao is very rich with architectonic landmarks. Historical districts of the capital Willemstad are rich with amazing, nearly unique architecture but countryside has numerous historical plantation houses - comparatively small but distinct and elegant buildings.

Natural landmarks

Coastal formations

Boca Pistol, Curaçao
Boca Pistol / Lswarte, / CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Boca Pistol - narrow inlet, which projects the wave energy towards a narrow chasm. As water reaches it, it shoots backward in the air with great force.
  • Boca Tabla - impressive cave - tunnel, which starts on the land and ends in the sea. Waves enter the cave, creating a very impressive sight and sound. Grottoe is some 20 - 25 m wide and 20 - 30 m deep.
  • Boka Wandomi natural bridge - wide natural bridge formed of coral stone.
  • Watamula blowhole - large window - opening down to the sea, located at the northern shore of the island.

Other natural landmarks

  • Barber kapok tree - giant ceiba tree, considered to be 800 years old.
  • Hato Caves - show caves, with many petroglyphs engraved by Amerindian people, prehistoric burials. Caves are adorned with many stalactites, stalagmites, other dripstone formations. Remnants of extinct animals.

Man made landmarks

Fortifications

  • Fort Amsterdam (Curaçao Government Building) - Willemstad. Once the most important fort in Curaçao, built in 1635.
  • Fort Beekenburg - outskirts of Willemstad. Remnants of impressive fortification tower, built in 1703.
  • Fort Nassau - Willemstad. One of the best preserved forts in Curaçao, built in 1797.

Plantation houses

Groot Davelaar plantation house in Curaçao
Groot Davelaar plantation house in the 1950s / Harry van der Made, / CC BY 1.0
  • Groot Davelaar - impressive and ornate plantation house, built roughly in 1865 by the future Venezuela president Guzman Blanco. House is built in Neo-Renaissance style with a local flavour.
  • Landhuis Brievengat - plantation house, built around 1750, once one of the most prominent ones on the island. The plantation was growing aloe.
  • Landhuis Daniel - landhouse for a plantation which was established around 1650. The plantation house was built in the first half of the 18th century.
  • Landhuis Dokterstuin - well preserved plantation house, which was built (most likely) in the 18th century.
  • Landhuis Groot Santa Martha - one of the oldest and largest plantation houses in Curaçao. Built at the end of the 17th century. Built to govern the sugar plantation, later produced salt.
  • Landhuis Habaai - one of the most beautiful colonial plantation houses on the island, built in the 18th century.
  • Landhuis Papaya - charming, small plantation house from the middle of the 19th century.
  • Landhuis Savonet - beautiful, well preserved plantation house. Savonet plantation is one of the oldest on the island, current main building is from 1804.
  • Landhuis Zeelandia - one of the most beautiful historical country houses in Curaçao. Built in the second half of the 18th century.

Other man made landmarks

Queen Juliana Bridge, Curaçao
Queen Juliana Bridge / Navin Rajagopalan, / CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Pounda and Otrobanda - historical centre of Willemstad. These two district contain huge amount of ornate historical architecture. The numerous Dutch / Spanish colonial style buildings are colourful. Punda was established in 1634, Otrobanda - in 1707.
  • Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge - possibly the largest floating pedestrian bridge in the world, built in 1888. This is swing bridge which often is opening to let the ships pass.
  • Queen Juliana Bridge - Willemstad. Spectacular, up to 56.4 m tall bridge with four lanes. Constructed in 1974.
  • Rooi Rincon - cliff shelter, the oldest human settlement site on the island. Inhabited since 2900 - 2300 BC. Petroglyphs.
  • Snoa (Curaçao synagogue) - Willemstad. The oldest synagogue in Americas, built in 1692 and reconstructed in 1732.

List of described attractions

ArrowHato CavesCaves, Petroglyphs and rock art

Map of Curaçao

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