Curacao, often listed as the Caribbean paradise. You have probably seen pictures of what looks like beautiful and long white sand beaches with crystal clear water from this destination. However, here are seven reasons why I don’t consider Curacao as such a paradise destination.
1. The beaches are not SO nice
They are not long, white, as you imagine before coming. The shoreline is filled with dead coral, shards and rocks. Some places I even saw pieces of broken glass bottles.
The beaches near the main town (Willemstad), are all resort beaches. This means that you have to pay for entry, if you are not staying in one of the resorts. They are full of people, and lounge chairs. There is also artificial breakers to protect against the waves to create a calm swimming area. This is in one way good, as it contribute to calm swimming. However, it also contribute to reducing the flow of water, making the water a bit dirty due to the resorts have boats and docks.
The beaches, apart from being full of stones and tourists, are extremely small. The beaches up north are public, wider, and more natural. However, they are still not that good. Don’t get me wrong. They are okey, but far from impressive, compared with the long white uninterrupted beaches you can see in Aruba, Cuba, and Colombia. For mention a few places.
2. Oil refinery blowing black smoke into the air
I have to admit, the Amsterdam inspired facade of Willemstad is truly beautiful with its colourful buildings. However, what is not fully attractive, is the oil refinery close by. The black smoke from the refinery, is very visible from the center.
3. Beautiful Willemstad – Just four blocks
Though the colourful houses on the façade of Willemstad as mentioned are precious. Also declared World Heritage by UNESCO. They are only 4 blocks! You can walk 4 blocks on one side and two on the other. That is it! Besides that there is not so much to see besides ugly, cluttered homes.
4. Lack of affordable and accessible public transportation
The public transportation could be much better. Buses only run every two hours. Taxis on the other hand are incredibly expensive, costing around 50 USD for a 15 minute cab ride.
5. Everything cost money
It is not just the taxi that cost much. I have also mentioned that it cost to entry to most of the beaches on the island. The cost is usually between 10-20 USD. If you would like to get to the better and public beaches, be prepared to pay 40-60 USD in taxi each way, due to that they are located further from the Willemstad.
When being on the beach, be prepared to pay even more. If you feel thirsty, you have two options. You can pay 8 USD for a small bottle of water or you can choose dehydration. Also be aware that before showering after getting up from the sea, some beach resorts even charge around 7 ÙSD.
6. The iguanas, lizards and geckos
I have never seen so big and many iguanas, lizards and geckos as in Curacao. I think personally that they are beautiful, with all their colours. If you don’t fear these creatures, everything will be fine. However, if you are like some of the people I saw on the trip that screamed just seeing them, the trip can be your worst nightmare.
Because the lizards are everywhere. You will find them in your hotel room, next to the pool, on the roads, in the chairs where you sit, and in the restaurant. Everywhere. Be prepared to come to a tiny and Caribbean version of Jurassic Park.
7. Tourists – everywhere
Curacao, is very touristic. If you have been following my blog, you might have understood that I am not such a big fan of the most touristic destinations. But in Curacao you will find tourists everywhere. I know I was also a tourist. But going to a beach for relax and maybe read a book, it is not easy to avoid getting annoyed by crying children, families arguing, and people passing kicking sand on you, all the time.
Do not get me wrong. I did enjoy my time in Curacao. However, if you want a place where there is something to do, beaches are walkable, lizards are not everywhere and you don’t want to be ruined, remove Curacao from your list. You can do what you do in Curacao, laying on the beach, in a much nicer and less expensive places. The Caribbean is full of choices.