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Curaçao is the largest of the Netherlands Antilles, 38 miles long and seven miles wide. Its varied landscape is filled with rolling hills, pastures, towering cacti, divi divi trees and salt flats. A fascinating ethnic mix developed as Portuguese Jews joined Africans, Arabs, Indians and Europeans on this tropical island which is rich in history and cultural heritage. Today, Curaçao is noted not only for its many ethnic groups and religions, but also for the easy-going toleraance and harmony of its peoples. Now self-governing, Curaçao is still closely tied to the Netherlands. Dutch and the local Papiamento, are the official languages; English and Spanish are widely spoken. Papiamento developed from a mixture of African, Portuguese, Jewish, Spanish, Dutch and English.

The island’s capital is Willemstad, founded as the Spanish town of Santa Anna in the 1500s, and renamed by Dutch traders in the 17th century. It is full of charm and color. Homes, shops and government buildings are painted in pastel shades of all colors. Fanciful gables, arcades and bulging columns evoke the spirit of the Dutch colonial burghers. The city is divided into two parts by the Santa Anna Bay: Punda is on one side, and on the other side is the Otrabanda. The latter is the less touristy, with lots of narrow winding streets full of private homes. Punda contains almost every point of interest in the city within a five block area. Some of the streets here are only a few yards wide, but attract the majority of tourists with their numerous shops offering international goods at duty-free prices.
Reviews for Willemstad
A nice, clean place to visit 
Chris Dikmen
Willemstad is a nice port city where you can easily walk off the ship and go into town for some shopping, or local dining. Good souvenir shops are everywhere. Liquor prices are no better than you can
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Things to see and do in Willemstad

  Day 5 - Willemstad, Curacao
This morning Carnival Breeze was at sea, sailing toward Curacao for...

  Star Pride - Curaçao
Star Pride docks in Willemstad, Curaçao, and we take a stroll into town



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