You’ll understand that after the little snafu with the car on Bonaire and the resulting 565 usd excess charge, we weren’t too keen to rent a car again in Curaçao to explore the island. We still wanted to explore the island though, so BijBlauw hotel advised us to book a private tour with Quincly. At first we were hesitant because of the price, but at the end it was totally worth it.
Quincly’s Qraçao Tours
In the morning of the third day of our visit, Quincly rocked up in his car with already a cool itinerary in mind. My friend and I went into the tour with an open mind so we were happy he knew where to take us. We had one request though, we really wanted to go to the Aloe Vera farm to buy some ointment for the burns we had received on the Klein Curaçao trip the day previously. He had already covered this in his itinerary, so we were ready to start the day!
The first stop was to buy lunch at a supermarket and breakfast in the form of the delicious pastechi; it reminded me of the Greek tiropita which I love love love.
The west of the island is known for its beautiful beaches, so it’s a good thing we started exploring the east of Curaçao first.
Jan Thiel & Caracas Bay
We drove through Jan Thiel where the expensive resorts and rich people are located. The first stops were lookout points over Jan Thiel Lagun & Caracas Bay. The view is beautiful, but the area doesn’t have the same feel as the rest of the island; it’s nice to see but you’ll get the resort version of the island rather than the real deal. If this is your thing I can really recommend Riffort in Willemstad as well.
Our second stop in the east was the below blue bench, which goes to show the value of a tour guide. If we would’ve seen this bench ourselves, we would’ve jumped on top of it and posed for silly pictures. However, Quincly told us this is where the slaves working at the salt pans would come for a break. Not really something you want to handle disrespectfully.
Fort Beekenburg is a fort located at the Caracas Bay. It was built in 1703. I’ve declared a few times that I’m not a fan of the historical buildings on Curaçao or Bonaire, simply because they’ve lost their historic value since they are now completely re-purposed. Fort Beekenburg is actually a fort worth visiting, because it’s left in it’s “original” state.
If one would like, one could even climb into the tower to get a better view of the area. I didn’t like, because it’s a very steep ladder, and the view from the ground floor was good enough for me.
That’s all we visited in the east. Luckily, (at this point we were proper burning up) it was time to visit the Aloe Vera farm, which is cleverly called the Curaloe plantation. You can walk around the area for free, but apart from a lot of aloe vera plants there’s not much to see outside.
Inside the building is where the magic happens! We watched a video how they make the juices, ointments and gels; we drank some of the juice and tried some of their ointments and gels but I had my eyes on the prize for a long time. The body gel! I put it on straightaway and as promised it really relieved me from my burning skin.
In the morning we were told we would visit an ostrich farm. I was slightly sceptical as I’d seen one in the ostrich capital of Africa (Oudtshoorn, South Africa) and I didn’t think the one in Curacao could outdo that one. It turned out it didn’t have to, because we didn’t go in to see ostriches. Our guide knew a good lookout point inside the farm, which we could visit for free. Again, a nice insider tip from our local tour guide!
We visited one beach in the north, namely playa kanoa. According to our guide, it’s an excellent beach to spend a weekend day on because it doesn’t get as crowded as the beaches in the east. It terms of appearance, the beach itself isn’t very spectacular but the water is as clear as anywhere else on the island.
We drove by a natural bridge which at first seemed very impressive to us, until we visited Boka Watamula in the west of Curacao.
Jan Kok Bay & House
Our first stop in the west was a flamingo area. On Bonaire, it was slightly more difficult than expected to spot this elusive bird. On Curaçao, it was relatively easy but maybe that’s because Quincly knew where to go.
Jan Kok’s manor was the second stop on our way to the west. The artist Nena Sanchez is now located in this house, and her art is stunning! All paintings are made in the brightest colours. I didn’t have the capacity to take home a life size painting, instead I bought a mousepad which still cheers me up when I’m working by my computer.
Boka Watamula is located at the western & northern most point of the island. It’s free to enter this area, which means the sights gets brownie points in my view. Here we found the eye, nose and mouth of Curaçao.
It’s been said that slaves have been chucked into this evil eye.
I couldn’t photograph the nose, but if you listen carefully you’ll hear the sea breathing in and out through the holes.
The spray was pretty impressive at this sight. It’s so strange that the Netherlands Antilles have so many of these spots where the sea is crashing into the side so much the water has nowhere else to go than to spray upwards.
In case we forgot where we are, there was also a flag.
Beaches of West Curaçao
We visited most of the beaches along the coast on our way back to Willemstad. There’s no reason to linger since we visited for one minute and drove on. It was a good way to get acquainted though.
Playa Piskado (aka Playa Grandi)
Playa Abou (aka de Grote Knip)
Playa Kenepa (aka de Kleine Knip)
Viewpoint Santa Martha
On our way back we stopped on the most impressive viewpoint we had seen that day: Viewpoint Santa Martha. Gorgeous!
At 5pm we were dropped off at the hotel.
I think this is the first time I went on a private tour. If this is what private tours are always like I can definitely recommend it! Quincly was a lot of fun which added to the day. We felt like we were on a road trip with a local friend.
If you’d like to contact him for a tour of the island, you can find him on Facebook at this address: Qracao Tours