After a few minutes rest and lunch in the outdoor restaurant we're off for an afternoon of browsing and shopping in Wilemstead. The hotel offers a shuttle service (reservations required) or you can take a taxi to the floating bridge. From there it's a short, but hot, few minutes walk across the river to Wilemstead. The floating bridge is the pride of the city as it's one of the oldest still in operation today. The tour books all contain a short history about the bridges of Wilemstead. The bridge opens and closes frequently to allow ocean going vessels to depart the port so you may have a few minutes wait if you arrive at the wrong time. But, then, it's interesting to watch the ships with the city in the background.

There are definitely bargains to be had, but I would advise that you know what you want and how much it cost here before purchasing anything. For some reason I prefer to buy my underwater camera equipment in the islands and have found their prices match those from the bigger discount houses in New York. The advantage to buying in Curacao is that you don't pay the hefty taxes you would in the city, but be prepared to walk away when they don't offer a good price.

Arriving at the floating bridge you have a good view of Wilemstead across the river. Be prepared to wait a good twenty to twenty-five minutes if the bridge is opened to allow traffic through. As an alternative there is a ferry just a few steps from the bridge that you could take. Once you cross the bridge you are at the beginning of the main shopping street in Curacao. From there you can walk in almost any direction in search of your bargains. Remember it's going to be hot so take refuge in the air-conditioned stores for a few minutes or stop and have an ice cold refreshment.


Queen Wilhemina Bridge and Cruise Ship

Ship leaving port.

Main shopping street.

Anne all decked out for a days shopping.

Main shopping street.

Floating vegetable vendors.

Anne looking at the Dutch influence.


After a half day shopping and walking the hot streets of Wilemstead it's back to the hotel in preparation for our final dinner at the hotel's Portofino restaurant. The food and service are excellent and worth the price. But, before dinner can be enjoyed there are a couple of mandatory things that must take place. A walk on the beach to enjoy the last island sunset. A refreshing shower and, maybe, another little cat nap to rejuvenate you.


Sonesta Beach Resort


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