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Location Information

Curaçao is located in the Southern Caribbean is about 90 miles north of Venezuela. It is an autonomous country within the Royal Dutch Kingdom along with their sister islands, Aruba and Bonaire. Together they are called the ABC Islands.

The capital of Willemstad is an historically-significant city and a busy seaport. The main shopping area is in the Punda quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its brightly colored buildings.

Although many international and vegetarian dishes are available in Curaçao, make sure you don’t miss out on traditional fare. You might want to start with keshi yena (stuffed cheese), a savory dish prepared with spiced meat which is so popular that some claim it is the national dish. Other local dishes include red snapper or cod with rice and beans, funchi (a cornmeal dish similar to polenta), cactus—either fried or in soup—and stewed plantains. Okra soup and iguana stew are also specialties on the island, so be sure to come hungry.
With influences from the indigenous Arawak, Europeans, West Africans, and Latin Americans, Curaçao has a fascinating culture. There are three official languages, but Papiamentu, a Creole dialect, is spoken most widely in daily life. Many foods are imported to Curaçao, and prepared alongside the typical Caribbean ingredients of goat, plantain, sea food, and fruit. Similarly, the art and music of the region is simultaneously local and international. People are welcoming, and the concept of dushi (sweet or nice) is both a tourist draw and a way of life.
Most shopping on Curaçao takes place outdoors—and rightfully so. With its temperate climate, ocean breezes, and infrequent rain, island life tends to take place in the open air. For the freshest of fresh fish and vegetables, head to the Floating Market in Punda, where boats dock with wares from Venezuela. Curaçao Beach Boulevard near Mambo Beach is a new family-friendly beachfront shopping, dining, and recreation area. For something a bit more local, head over to the area near Jan Thiel Beach. A smaller district, many of the shops are locally owned and operated here.

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