Destination Weddings in CuracaoWords by Carly Cylinder
Photos courtesy of Curacao Tourist Board
Bright, colorful buildings, turquoise water, desert hills, lush green mountains, palm trees – this island has it all.
Curaçao is a unique blend of European sophistication meets laid-back attitude with over 50 nationalities spread over a population of roughly 150,000. About 30 miles north of Venezuela, the Dutch ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) avoid the hurricane belt and have an average year-round temperature in the mid-eighties with little rain.
Downtown Willemstad, lined with vibrant Dutch architecture and historic yellow coral-stone buildings, is filled with quaint shops and restaurants scattered along the shoreline. Check out the floating markets where small boats dock with fresh produce from Venezuela. At Plaza Bieu, an indoor food market, taste local creole cuisine such as fresh fish, iguana stew and polenta.
The island is so diverse that even the most restless couple will easily find an adventure to embark on.
Past bride, Shannon Everley explains, “We decided on Curaçao because we were looking for a unique, tropical destination that offered a bit of luxury with fantastic scuba diving.”
In the northwest area of Westpunt, explore Shete Boka National Park, a pebbly plain with stunning waves crashing against limestone bluffs. For snorkeling, walk straight into the clear water or take an excursion out to the Blue Room cave where you’ll admire the grey-green peaks gracing the horizon on the ride out.
While chain hotels are on the island, two properties, both family-owned, give a true taste of culture.
Avila Beach Hotel has a leisurely European-style buffet breakfast, infinity pool and lively schooner bar. During sunset, place your feet in the sand while listening to local singers. Farley Hollander, Sales & Marketing Manger says, “We have special packages where honeymooners and couples can pose with our vintage 1926 Rolls-Royce.” Be sure to check out Blues Bar in the evening. Even the Queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands stays here.
For a five-star stay, the Baoase Luxury Resort offers private pools, an island oasis and massages on a helipad. Jacqueline Held, a Sales Manager at the resort, explains the marriage process, “Any hotel can handle the paperwork and the couple only needs to come to the island a few days before the wedding to make it legal in the U.S.”
With direct flights (five hours) from New York City and over 60 cities connecting through Miami International (three hours), Curaçao is easily accessible. And of course, don’t forget to have Blue Curaçao in your W-Day toast or honeymoon libation!
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Fall/Winter 2015 issue. You can order a copy here.
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