Last month I shared my five favorite things about Punda, Curacao’s original downtown.
Today, in what appears to be DC’s never ending winter, let’s visit Otrobanda, the “Other Side” of downtown. I don’t know if it is because my mom went to secondary school there or because my dad’s office was there or because some of my family is buried in a cemetery there or maybe it’s because of the historical nature of some of Otrobanda’s buildings, but the “Other Side” has always held a special place in my heart ever since I was a kid.If you’re cruisin’, the Mega Pier in Otrobanda will likely be your first stop on our beautiful island, which is located next to the Renaissance Hotel. I don’t know much about the hotel, so I can’t give you feedback on that, but one of my favorite spots in Otrobanda is right next to the Mega Pier and hotel:
1. Riffort: The Riffort is a fort that was built in the 1800s at the entrance of the St. Anna Bay to protect the entrance into the harbor. It’s across the harbor from the Waterfort (on the Punda side) and there used to be chain between the two forts that was used to seal off the entrance to the harbor. Nowadays, Riffort has shops, like the CurAloe shop, and some yummy restaurants (Bistro Le Clochard is where I first ate escargots when I was maybe 5 years old and Steak and Ribs has a fun view and some very yummy steak) and a wonderful view of Punda and the Swinging Old Lady.
2. Restaurant & Cafe Gouverneur De Rouville: Another place with a fantastic view is De Gouverneur. If you’ve been following my blog, you may remember reading about De Gouverneur in Natalie’s guest post about the KLM Curacao Marathon. The restaurant is named after Governor Rouville. While he never lived in this building, the road it is on, leads straight to his house -Villa Belvedere-, a beautiful building in Otrobanda surrounded by restored 18th and 19th Century buildings…but back to De Gouverneur…
The typical Curacao foods the restaurant serves are delicious and if you’re lucky enough to sit on the balcony, you’ll enjoy a wonderful view of our beautiful Handelskade.3. Kura Hulanda: Right behind De Gouverneur you’ll find Kura Hulanda. Even if you don’t stay at this hotel, I highly recommend a visit through the hotel and it’s museum if you’re in the area. Check out 1000 Awesome Things About Curacao’s post on the Kura Hulanda Museum which traces Curaçao’s African Roots and Dark Legacy of Slave Trade. 4. Karnaval: You’ll only be able to experience this once a year the Sunday before Lent, but if you’re there for it, I highly recommend it. My dad has been participating in Carnival for many years and while I’ve never participated, it’s always fun to head out to Otrobanda to watch the parade and dance the day away!
Check out 1000AwesomeThingsAboutCuracao.com for more about Carnival.
5. Juliana Bridge: Okay, so this bridge isn’t really a part of Otrobanda any more than it is a part of Punda, but since the Swinging Old Lady got a mention in my Punda post, I figured the Juliana Bridge should get a mention here.
This bridge offers beautiful views of the city and in 2013 as part of the Ride for the Roses 8K walk/run, I got to join hundreds of people as we walked across the bridge (which is normally off-limits to pedestrians) from the Brion Plein to Seaquarium.
More on Seaquarium next time, when I explore other parts of my beautiful piece of paradise!