November 2016 we visited Curacao for 12 days. We flew on Jet Blue to get there and American Airlines to return. We rented a comfortable townhome at Marazul Dive Resort Apt 5A, Westpunt, Curacao.
Walk in to a hall and on the right is a full bathroom and shower (great for getting sand and sea salt off of you after the beach), also a laundry room with washer/dryer. Next is the full kitchen with a refrigerator, stove, oven, and microwave. There is a lovely comfy couch with a TV then a dining room with table and chairs. There is one shared wall to another unit. Next go upstairs to the 2nd level with the master bedroom and full bathroom with shower. There is a queen bed. There is a walk-in closet with extra sheets if you get cold. There are two air conditioning wall units. One on each floor. The 2nd level balcony that faces the ocean is wonderful. We ate breakfast every morning at the table and chairs. Then in the evenings, sat on the 2 lounge chairs. There were fewer mosquitos on the 2nd level when compared to the 1st level area that also had a table and chairs. I enjoyed the view of the ocean more from the 2nd level.
There are many games such as dominos available to spend time on a raining afternoon at the townhome.
Power was included in our rental agreement. It’s based on a specific amount of usage, so will cut out if you exceed (we never ran into an issue). Ask when you rent for the amount. We still turned off the air conditioning when we left the home. Since the power to the island is from wind power. On days when there is no wind blowing, the power can stop for a few hours. Then only limited items can be used, if any.
Internet was included in our rental agreement. It worked great for checking email and looking up maps.
Water was filtered and we drank from the tap. We filled up water containers and stored them in the refrigerator.
6. Rental Car
We rented a car. Here are a few insurance tips. There is a refundable mandatory insurance ranging between $500 -$1,000 that you pay up front. Then there are multiple car insurance options that they charge you daily. If you do not want to pay for car daily insurance DO NOT initial the section on the form that says you okay insurance. Even if the car representative tells you that section means the refundable insurance acknowledgement. We pointed this out multiple times, we didn’t want insurance as our CC has it included, the Budget rep told us multiple times it was just for the mandatory one, but when we returned the car the cost was almost double and they said we should contact Budget about us having not wanted it. When we did, Budget said they couldn’t do anything about it as they have no control over the local business. Hence, we will never use Budget again.
The onsite pool is a nice place to relax and cool off. There are chairs near the pool and under a ramada. Bring your mosquito repellant.
There are two entrances to the ocean. Both entrances are via stairs. We would snorkel between the two sets of stairs changing directions depending on the current. You can snorkel the cliff wall. On calm days there are many fish and corals to see. Such as, cow fish (box fish), halibut, eels, tangs, parrot fish, christmas trees, brain coral, plate coral, elk horn corals, fans, etc
Since we rented a car, each day we drove the big circle and chose a new beach to explore. Some beaches were calm and some were wavy. The calm ones were easier to snorkel at. The main road had very well marked signs for each beach for where to turn. It should be noted that the actual place we stayed did not have a sandy beach, just cliff walls. So you either had to walk down the road some or drive to one of the many beaches.
There are nearby restaurants at hotels that you can eat at. We chose to purchase our food at the large superstores near the airport. They had fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, chicken, fish, cheese, etc. The drive from the food stores to the house was ~45min. There is a fishing dock about 10min walk to the north. If the fisherman has fish they will sell it to you. Bring cash.
11. Bonus Hike
Blue room hike – One of the neighbors told us of a hike at a nearby beach, where ~1.5 miles you could reach a great snorkeling spot called “the blue room”. The trail actually starts by the beach and a company that sells boat excursions over to the same attraction. So if you don’t feel like the short hike you can always take the boat. The hike was really nice traversing the hillside through the jungle. You first come out to a nice dark sand beach that gives you a chance to jump in and cool down. The trail then turns into a dirt road for the rest of the trip. Once to the blue room you jump in the ocean and are facing a cave entrance. The waves were about 5ft, while we were there. So it was pretty exciting swimming in and then diving down about 5-10ft. You could then swim into the cave about 20ft and surface inside the room. Its completely closed but very large and when you look back toward the entrance it makes the whole room look turquoise blue due to the sunlight reflecting off the white sand outside. If you’re not comfortable in the water this might be one to save for a day when the water is calm.
We notice when we rent a home we get to meet people that are also staying there for a long period of time. This we find exciting because we get to meet people from all parts of the world. They share experiences on the island and give tips on places to see. Don’t be afraid to ask around, “What is there to see?”