It took us a bit to figure out where we were going to go on our honeymoon. Our original dream destination was Bora Bora, but it was a good bit out of our budget. We then thought about Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, as from Baltimore it was a very good deal, and being a same sex couple we also read that it was a gay friendly destination.
We felt that we wanted to go somewhere a little more exotic than Mexico, not that Mexico isn't beautiful, but after a lot of investigating it seemed as though this was going to be our honeymoon destination. We were also very interested in the Caribbean, but having a September wedding and being in the middle of hurricane season, we decided that would be a risky move. I then did a little more research and stumbled upon Curacao.
The first thing that caught my attention was the beautiful water and beaches. I then did some more researching and found that Curacao was considered the most gay friendly island in the Caribbean. This was very important to us as we were not interested in clubbing and things of that nature, but just to be able to be ourselves on this very special getaway. We read that Curacao's motto was "Live and Let Live." We soon discovered just how accurate their motto turned out to be. After checking out various places, based on a combination of price, location, and amenities, we chose the Hura Kulanda Beach Lodge in Westpunt, which is on the gorgeous western side of the island, about 30 minutes from the airport. They also had an awesome deal that for every three nights, you received a free night. So we ended up staying for eight nights and nine days. We flew from Baltimore to Miami and then onward to Curacao. We picked up our rental car and made our way west down rolling roads passing large windmills and the occasional iguana crossing in front of you.
When we finally reached the resort, we knew immediately upon pulling that we had picked the right spot and that we were in for something truly magical. We pulled up in the breezeway right in front of the open air lobby where we were greeted with refreshments and the most pleasant clerk.
After registering, the incredibly friendly porter welcomed us and lead us through beautiful winding paths through lush tropical foliage and on to our villa. We entered the door and made our way up the steps which led us into our beautiful condo-like suite. We first went into the bedroom and our porter showed us where everything was located, including the outdoor shower, the modern and elegant bathroom, and the living room.
Meanwhile, right off our balcony was the most amazing view of the Caribbean. Our porter left and we made our way to the balcony where my breath was truly taken away. It was almost too much. After a while, we headed for the grocery store back near the airport and loaded up with snacks and beverages and came back and stocked our wardrobe closet-like kitchenette, which could not be more perfect for vacationing.
We decided before we left home that we were not going to plan anything but just go with the flow. The first day we just relaxed at the resort and sat on the beach and then spent the evening on our balcony. We enjoyed music and wine and just looked out at the stars and the Milky Way, which seemed to float right above us. We marveled at how many stars we could see. It was truly incredible.
The next day we awoke and made our way down the road with our snorkel gear and just went from beach to beach. The amazing thing about the beaches in Curacao is that somehow each one has something different to offer. We went snorkeling at Playa Lagun where we met up with a sea turtle who seemed to enjoy the two of us swimming along with him. By the way, the snorkeling in Curacao is brilliant. The following day we went snorkeling off the beach at the resort, Playa Kalki, also known as Alice In Wonderland. The most amazing thing here is the dropoff just past the rope (yes you can go beyond the rope). It literally took my breath away. In fact, this is what we spent the majority of our time in Curacao doing. Along with fantastic snorkeling, the sunsets were absolutely amazing. Each evening offered a more magnificent display than the one before.
On another day we went into Wilemstad, which is the main city on the island. It really is a blast. It has a very European feel to it with sidewalk cafes and a large assortment of shops offering everything from trinkets to high end retailers. The colorful buildings are so delightful and to cross the Queen Emma floating bridge is a unique experience. It is such a joy watching it open when towering ships come through and pass just feet in front of you.
We eventually made our way across the towering Queen Juliana bridge, which affords unbelievable views of the city and out to sea and onward to Seaquarium Beach. We ended up at Wet & Wild beach bar. We had a great time here thanks to their happy hour, which included great drink prices and a live DJ. They also had a chef grilling up some awesome asian-style ribs, which they passed out to everyone. The place had a great vibe and everyone was very relaxed and just having a good time.
It is hard to remember on what days we did what, but on one of our ventures out from the resort, we went to Janchies restaurant, which was just around the corner from the hotel. Although it wasn't the best food I have ever had, it was definitely local and the experience was worth it. Mr Janchie personally greets you and sits down with you and gives you the verbal menu for the day (just as cheerful birds are flying in droves beside you feeding from the sugar feeders intertwined in the foliage).
Another amazing day away from the resort was spent on the north side of the island within Shete Boca National Park. The difference between the two sides of the island was like night and day. It was like walking on the moon with its very arid landscape. The rough surf and tall sea cliffs all made for quite a show. There was also an amazing cave you can climb through and listen to the sounds of the pounding ocean echo within.
Finally, we both agreed that time almost seemed to stop on Curacao. They say time flies when you're having fun, and somehow that isn't the case here. We cannot wait to return.