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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Dutch Culture of Curacao

Curacao, along with Bonaire, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, and Saba, are all considered part of the Netherlands Antilles. The Dutch came to power on Curacao in 1634 and to this day, Dutch remains the language of instruction in schools and is widely spoken in government and business. Over 2,000 makambas (the name coined for native Dutch people) have made the island their permanent home.

Stroll along the narrow streets of Willemstad, the capital of Curacao, and you’ll find exquisite 17th and 18th-century Dutch colonial buildings not found anywhere outside of the Netherlands. The steep pitched gable roofline is typical of Dutch urban architecture, but the bright bold palette painted on the walls of the buildings is undeniably Caribbean. First stop in town is Fort Nassau, a restored Dutch seafood restaurant created from the ruins of an 18th-century fortress and is now a favorite dining spot of Queen Beatrix and Crown Prince Claus of the Netherlands. Dine on fresh red snapper and grouper on a hilltop overlooking Willemstad with panoramic views of the ocean. Then head onward to New Amsterdam, a favorite store in Willemstad known for its hand-embroidered tablecloths and other Dutch novelties. Last, but certainly not least, make sure to pop into any of the grocery stores in town to grab Dutch chocolates and a wheel of very old Gouda. The latest resort to make its debut on the island is Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa, and Marina. The hotel features a Pete Dye-designed golf course, private beach, spa, multiple pools, and 350 rooms offering water views.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/09/11 at 02:00 PM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

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