Travelling with a 6 year-old: Curaçao

Curaçao was a special trip for us. This was the trip where the Kid learned to swim. She spent so much time in the water that she finally learned to float and doggy paddled without fear. Once Hubby bought her the snorkel gear, and she saw how the jelly clear sea water was teeming with gorgeous sea creatures, there’s no turning back, she became a swimmer.

We didn’t plan to be in Curaçao. Initially, we wanted to go to Greece, and charter a boat to sail ourselves. While looking for flights, I just noticed that it cost the same amount of money to fly to Greece 3 hours away compared to Curaçao 9 hours away, in a different continent. We also managed to get a very affordable holiday rental directly from the owner. So Curaçao it was!

Where we stayed:

We got one bedroom self-catering bungalow in a small complex that seems to be managed by its owner’s associations, which were made of mostly Dutch retirees, who take turns between staying at their own bungalow and managing their neighbours’s properties. There’s a pool, and the beach is only some stone steps down the cliff away. It was located in a cove just above the small beach of Playa Lagun, on the northern tip of the island (the Southern side of the island is the more touristy part). The view was simply breathtaking, and the water is so clear even standing on top of the cliff, you could see right through to the bottom of the sea below you, which was quite some distance. If you have really good eyes, you might even manage to spot swimming turtles.

The Kid instantly fell in love with the place. She was inseparable from the water, she would go swimming by the pool before breakfast, and then head to the beach to snorkel with us pretty much the whole day. The beach was small, quiet frequented only by locals, fishermen, and holiday makers from the the odd holiday rentals in the area.

Aside from the sea creatures, the area also attracts many colourful birds, which would land on the terrace and steal a bit of our fruit (their favourite was watermelons). There are also several resident iguanas, languidly sitting in the sun. The Kid fed one her ice lollies once, and it seemed to enjoy it.

What we ate:

I’m not sure if it’s because we stayed at the quiet end of the island, but our food experience in Curaçao was pretty much hit and miss. It was ok, but not memorable, which makes me regret not ordering that iguana soup at Jaanchie’s (a popular restaurant serving local dishes). As far as the Kid go, she’s happy to eat fish, grilled prawns, or any Dutch dishes such as pancakes. The affinity the island has with the Netherlands made it an easy location to feed the Kid, but since Dutch food tend to be kid-friendly anyway, I don’t think it will pose much problem to any kids.

What we did:

It was such a beautiful setting to bring my books outside, and read it in the shade, to plunge in the water when I got too warm or restless, and then being tired from swimming, going back for a nap.

We did explore the small island with our rental car as well. We went and had a dip in other beaches, spotted some wild flamingoes along the way. We went to visit Hato Caves, and had a walk around the colourful and lively capital of Willemstad.

But we did spend a lot of times doing whatever we felt like doing at the moment, from feeding iguanas with lollies, being in the water until wrinkly, chasing the sunset, having night swims before bed, or watching the stars from our roof terrace. It was blissful.

The Kid still constantly asks if we are going back to Curaçao whenever I told her I’m planning for a new trip. We’ll definitely be back, even if it’s just so I could have a taste of that iguana soup.

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