Outdoor Adventures All Over Curaçao with Colin and Charlie

We’d heard that the best way to see Playa Grandi was to get there early, before the hoards of tourists arrived to swim with the ever-present turtles. We tried, but not that hard, and by the time we finished the hour drive to the north end of the island, the place was swarming. (Also note the sign in the public bathroom.)

But we got in the water anyway, and swam with the turtles. As promised, there were lots of turtles, though there was also a lot of confusion and swimming around various butts.

Seeking a little more peace, we went up the road a little further to Playa Kalki. This proved to be a much calmer beach, and still had some nice snorkeling.

For lunch, we stopped at Jaanchi’s, which had decent local food and a ton of resident bananaquits.

This would be Andrew’s first time trying iguana. The verdict: like chicken, but with much smaller bones.

Driving back to town, we encountered the first dedicated cat ambulance either of us has ever seen.

Our next stop would be Landhuis Chobolobo, home of the Curaçao Liquor Distillery. We took the tour, which mostly meant listening to a spiel about how all other curaçao liquors are cheap knockoffs.

But it did come with some nice cocktails, well presented. Someday we will have tiki cups of our own.

The exit passes through the gift shop, of course, which featured a fantastic Christmas tree. Also, really happy with Jazz’s patient-tolerance-of-the-tour-guide vibes by the entrance.

After all that excitement we planned on a nice, casual dinner at a gastropub with tacos. Caña turned out to be a little more upscale than we were expecting, but we enjoyed it anyway. Great cocktails, and Andrew loved the food, though Jazz did not, and we were both a little annoyed that they let us over-order.

The next morning, we got up bright and early to take our guests scuba diving. The local dive shop runs a discovery dive, so we’d cajoled them into signing up. We met them at Tugboat Beach, a short walk down the road from the dinghy dock by the quarantine anchorage.

We left them to suit up, and got in the water to hang out and wait. We hung out on the shelf in some 15 feet of water, and we saw a bunch of awesome stuff. An octopus! A baloonfish! A flying gurnard!

Eventually they caught up to us, and we all swam out past the tugboat to the drop-off.

We stopped for groceries on the way home, which meant Captain got to play in some bags. He also got to “meet” the AirBnB’s dogs, through the glass windows. Neither was particularly impressed with the other.

We had a bit of a lazy afternoon, as our guests recovered from their first-ever scuba dive.

In the evening, we headed back downtown for a walk and some dinner. Note the car in the first picture: affectionately “the shitbox”, these were our wheels for the week. In the second frame, Colin and Andrew give a skeptical reading to a plaque describing a planned restoration of a decrepit historical building.

Dinner was at Ginger, which had a nice ambiance and some pretty good, if maybe overpriced, Thai-Caribbean fusion.

This would be our last night on land. The next morning, we moved back onto the boat.

… And then went right back out again, to grab a drink downtown by the Curacao sign. Andrew was thrilled to see a “great beer menu”, even if self-styled.

On the way back, we stopped for groceries and take-out. Thai Food to Go seemed to be run out of a nice Dutch lady’s house, with a bit of a sketchy waiting area, but the food was good. Also pictured: the candy selection at Esperamos, at least half of which is devoted to different kinds of licorice. We skipped the double-salt this time.

For our final adventure, we took the boat over to Fuik Baii for a night. Fuik is only a mile or so from the entrance to Spanish Waters, but just for fun, we took a short sail out and back on the way. We turned around roughly when we started to feel the waves from around the corner of the island.

Fuik was much more private than Spanish Waters, which was nice, but we were a little underwhelmed by the scenery. The hazy day didn’t help much with that feeling.

The next morning started out gray, but after breakfast it cleared up a bit, and we blew up the paddleboards. When we started the wind was mostly dead, but by the time everyone was organized and water-adjacent, there was enough wind blowing that making progress upwind wasn’t going to happen. So Colin and Charlie set off downwind, and Andrew took the dinghy to collect them and drag them back.

After that, we settled for playing paddleboard games off the back of the boat instead.

Back to Spanish Waters was a quick downwind zip, with barely time to get the genoa up before it was time to take it down again. We dropped anchor, watched the neighboring charter Casador come in with a full load of tourists singing Averil Lavigne at full Karaoke blast, and settled in for Colin and Charlie’s last night on the boat.

They would spend the next night on land, ready for their flight home the next morning. We came out to join them for one last dinner together, this time at Mundo Bizarro, where we would totally fail to get a decent meal or a group picture. Great decor though.

We were sad to see our friends go, but Captain was thrilled to get his blanket back.