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Willemstad Travel Guide, Netherlands Antilles

Willemstad, Travel guide – Location

Willemstad is located on the exotic Curacao Island in the sunny Caribbean. Willemstad travel guide will bring interesting and practical information regarding this capital city.

Willemstad, Travel guide – Geography

Willemstad’s topography is characteristic for the low costal area with white sand beaches, turquoise waters bay and port. As a consequence the average elevation within the city is only 1m and the substratum is made up of calcareous coral rocks.

Willemstad has a very pleasant climate with sunny days all year round, calm waters and is outside the hurricane threat. Average temperatures are around 26ºC, winds blow constantly cooling the atmosphere and rains occurs in short episodes without dramatic consequences. As a conclusion Willemstad is he perfect vacation getaway if you prefer sunny exotic beaches and inviting Caribbean waters.

The hydrographic network is very poor in Willemstad and on the entire island, due to the absence of rivers and underground waters. The locals use the waters of the sea for obtaining fresh water or consume bottled water.

Willemstad, Travel guide – Flora and Fauna

The local flora and fauna in Willemstad is well adapted to climatic and topography conditions and is represented by plant species which resist during long dry periods. The most common plants are the different species of cactuses like the kadushi cactus, yatu cactus, prickly pear cactus, acacia species, aloe vera, the divi divi trees, coconut palms, wayaca tree and many more.

Fauna is also diverse but one will find here just few mammal species like the rodents, hares, bats and white-tailed deer, numerous birds like the hummingbirds, egrets, spectacular flamingos, mockingbird, pelicans and more. Lizards are also present in this area especially iguanas and the beautiful sea turtles.

Willemstad, Travel guide – Transport

Because Willemstad is the largest city on the Curacao Island and is also the capital city numerous important transport routes meet here. you can easily get to Kralendijk or Oranjestad. The Willemstad Curacao International Airport is located just 10 km away from the city and can be reached easily by bus or car. Ferries and boats are also a very popular transportation option here, the city having two free public ferries operating in the area.

Within the city public transport is made by buses, tram or taxis which are very well organized and reliable. The city is located on both sides of St Anna Bay and the road connection between the two districts is made on the Queen Emma Bridge. From the bridge one can admire a spectacular landscape offered by the ferries and ships passing through this area and also a great view over the two sides of the city.

Willemstad, Travel guide – Population and Economy

Willemstad’s population is a mix between the original black population and the Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, African Americans and other nationalities from the Caribbean region. The city houses about 120.000 inhabitants who have Dutch as their official language, spoken along with English and a local dialect called Papiamentu. The dominating religions in Willemstad are Roman Catholic, Protestant, Buddhists and Jew which have a very old synagogue dating back from the seventeenth century. The Dutch influence can be felt also in the city’s architectural style with numerous pastel colored houses along narrow and picturesque streets.

The local economy is mainly based, since 1918, on the local oil refinery’s activity but also on agriculture, tourism, fishing and commerce. Agriculture exports Aloe Vera extracts, oranges, vegetables and cotton.

Willemstad, Travel guide – Cuisine

Willemstad local cuisine is also known as Creole cuisine and combines ingredients such as fish, seafood, different types of meat, local vegetables and fruits and many spices. Some of the most common dishes here are the stoba which combines the goat meat with vegetables and fruits, the different soups like the guiambo which is a seafood soup, kadushi which is made with cactuses, sopi mondongo which has as main ingredients animal intestines, traditional bread and more. Fish is usually consumed smoked, salted or fresh along with vegetables, plantains, polenta and more.

Desserts are usually made with coconut like the kokada or with peanuts like the tentalaria. Traditional beverages include fruit juices, orange liqueurs and the famous curacao liqueour which is made from a fruit called lahara.

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