Culture: Scharloo

Scharloo is the neighborhood at the northside of de Waaigat harbor in Punda, Willemstad. It is the youngest colonial district of the city and known for its colorful mansions built in the 18th century. During that time, Curacao was a popular port with wealthy shipyard owners who lived in these beautiful houses.

Last week we visited Scharloo (although we come here more often, not the least for the good coffee, more about that later).
We parked our car in Punda and walked via the floating market and crossed the bridge to Scharloo. The first thing you see is the Maritime Museum, located in a beautiful restored building. The museum shows more than 500 years maritime history of Curacao and in addition organizes several tours, also a harbor tour. Definitely worth a visit!

Before the museum, go to the right where at the end you enter a small alley. The small houses were originally built for the people who worked on the shipyards. Further on you will find more of these houses, all painted in similar bright colors.
At the end of the alley, turn right and you will see a building with a gorgeous colorful nature mural. Since a couple of years, Scharloo is more and more well known for its murals, which are all being initiated by Street Art Skalo. This organization makes it possible for the artists to make their master pieces. Street Art Skalo wants to bring people together through art by making the streets of the district more beautiful. Their mission: turning Scharloo into the creative district of Curacao.

When you walk straight ahead you are at the Scharlooweg, which is parallel to the Waaigat. Here you will find many of the beautiful restored mansions. All of them with baroque elements and painted in the most vibrant colors: pink, green, yellow, blue and bright red. Many of them host governmental institutions or function as business offices.

Today Scharloo is slowly becoming a hipster district. Not only because of the many murals but also because of the presence of creative businesses and new local (lunch)shops.
When you turn around and walk back to the building with the colorful nature mural, turn right and here is the shop of Integra Natural. The address for hand made natural products like body scrubs, lip balms, body lotions, soaps and much more. You will not leave without buying a couple of things! At the opposite of the street is Eatery Shop Fleur de Marie (Fleur de Marie is the name of the area on the rocky slope northwest of Scharloo). A little further (back to the main street at your right), is lunch café Beyglz. You can sit inside (where it is lovely cool) or at the terrace in the back. We enjoyed coffee (as always), fresh juice and some good food. For sure we will be back!

MORE INFORMATION:

Maritime Museum www.curacaomaritime.com
Street Art Skalo www.scharlooabou.com/street-art-skalo
Integra Natural, Bargestraat 28D, open Mon-Fri 9.00 to 12. 00 AM
Beyglz Bitterstraat 17, open Mon-Fri 9.00 AM to 3.00 PM

2019-04-07T13:25:54+02:00april 7th, 2019|Culture, Food&Drinks|0 Comments

Culture: Discover urban art in Willemstad

Willemstad, the capital of Curacao, is a vibrant and colorful town.
Besides shopping, buying souvenirs, enjoying the food and drinks on the numerous terraces, of course there is much more to discover. And a fun way to do this is by bike.

A couple of days ago we joined a bike tour through Punda, organized by Avantia Damberg, a local artist who tells you all about the public urban art in the city.
The art Avantia takes you to see, varies from being funny and sweet to really, really impressing.
We got to know the stories behind the art pieces as well as those about the artists who made it.

Special during the tour was the visit to the first floor of Marshe Nobo (the round market). We climbed all the way to the top and had a great view overlooking the city.
And on the first floor we admired some beautiful paintings.
At the opposite of Marshe Nobo we visited a, what seemed to be an almost historic bar full of paintings and owned by the initiator of the Carnival Parade and the popular Tumba Festival on Curacao.

After approx. 1,5 hour we biked back to the place where we started and had a well-deserved drink at ‘Mijn Broodje Pietermaai’. No better way to end this really nice discovery tour!

More information:

Besides bike-tours through Punda, Otrabanda and Scharloo, also walking-tours are being organized by Avantia’s company ‘Art Now Tours Curacao’.
The duration of the tours is between 1,5 – 2 hours and the cost is between $ 10 – $ 25, including the bike.
Make sure to bring your water bottle and camera!
http://www.justavantia.wixsite.com/artwalkscuracao

2018-04-03T03:23:52+02:00maart 1st, 2018|Culture, Willemstad|0 Comments

Nature: National Christoffel Park Curacao

During your vacation on Curacao, a trip to the Christoffel Park is definately something to add to your to-do-list. The park is the largest national park on the island and mountain Christoffel is 378 m high.

The park has beautiful flora and founa (check for the wild orchids!) and during your visit you will see many local birds, iguana’s and maybe even barn owls or a white tailed deer.

The park offers 8 hiking trails, which run from easy to challenging. Challenging for sure is climbing the mountain. Preferably start the climb in the early morning (around 7 or 7.30 am is advisable), and if you take it slow it takes approx 1,5 hour to reach the top. Especially the last part might be a bit difficult but the reward is a breathtaking view and a never-forget experience.

In addition, the park offers several activities for you to join, like safari’s, deer watching, cave excurisons, full moon walks and sunrise safari’s.

At the entrance of the park is a just-opened lunch cafe Cactus. They serve huge sandwiches, good salads and coffee.

The Christoffel Park is also the home of the Plantation Savonet, which is one of the oldest plantation houses of Curacao. Nowadays it is a museum and one of the cultural highlights of Curacao.

More information:

The park is open each day and from Jan Kok Lodges it is approx 20 minutes drive.
Make sure to visit the office at the entrance for info about tours, excursions and a map.
www.christoffelpark.org

2018-04-03T03:42:41+02:00januari 24th, 2017|Culture, Nature|0 Comments