Skooter reporting 09/17/12
We are now in letter “C” - Curacao
Curacao is the largest of the three islands, it also has the biggest population and one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean due to its well-developed oil refining business and other industries. Established in 1634, its capital Willemstad, is the financial and commercial center of life on the island, as well as a Unesco World Heritage Site, thanks to its well-preserved, cotton-candy-colored Dutch Colonial architecture and buildings such as the Mikve Israel Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in use in the Western Hemisphere. Curacao’s history of slavery can be viewed in the countryside’s plantations, and is recorded in the fine Kura Hulanda Museum. There are direct and non-stop flights to the island from Miami, Florida, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Newark, New Jersey, as well as direct service from Venezuela and the Netherlands.
The isolated beaches on the western coast of the island, from Willemstad north to Westpunt, are well-known for snorkelling and sunbathing. Again we met Marielle Goedmakers-Joutbert, managing director at Joubert Realty told us that the island attracts buyers who seek out sun, sea, sand and an overall good quality of life. Currently the market is drifting downward dramatically, but the well-like areas to buy remain near Willemstad and on the water. Normally people want to buy near the financial and commercial areas, and popular developments and central neighborhoods such as Damacor, Mahaai, Van Engelen, Jan Sofat and the areas of Spanish Water Bay and Jan Thiel Bay. The island became an autonomous country in 2010 within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, gaining more control over its tax revenues and governance. The currency will convert from the Netherlands Antillean guilder, or the florin, to the Caribbean guilder in 2013, however prices are usually quoted in US dollars. A typical two-bedroom villa is between $250,000 and $450,000 and rentals start at around $1,500 a month.
Live in Curacao: comprehensive travel site with news, events, maps to beaches and list of dive shops