Located in the southern Caribbean Sea about 40 miles north of the Venezuela, Curaçao is a Lesser Antilles island and a constituent country in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Curaçao's capital, Willemstad is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a result of the area's wide range of historic buildings. These include Landhouses, which are former plantation estates and West African style former slave dwellings, which are scattered all over the island. Some have been restored and can be visited.
Their ancestors had migrated to the island from the mainland of South America, likely hundreds of years before Europeans arrived. They were believed to have migrated from the Amazon Basin.
Developed on the banks of an inlet called the Schottegat, the island of Curaçao had long been ignored by colonists, because it lacked gold deposits. However, the natural harbor of Willemstad proved to be an ideal spot for trade.
With ancestors from the Iberian Peninsula, Sephardic Jews settled the island with the Dutch (and in then-Dutch Brazil). There influence has been quite significant on the culture and economy of the island.
In fact, the first Jew to settle in Curaçao was a Dutch-Jewish interpreter named Samuel Cohen, who arrived on board a Dutch fleet in 1634. By the mid-1700s, the community was the most prosperous in the Americas and many of the Jewish communities in Latin America, primarily in Colombia and Venezuela, resulted from the influx of Curaçaoan Jews.
The influence of the ethnically and culturally diverse inhabitants of Curaçao that include Spanish, Dutch, Arawak and more, has resulted in an especially rich food culture. The best place to find the best local eats is at Marshe Bieu, known as the “Old Market" which is known to serve vegetarian options!
For U.S. visitors, there is no need to exchange money when traveling to Curaçao as they accept United States Currency. This sure makes things for convenient for Americans!
Wow, not sure if this is for everyone, but those that are adventurous eaters, might like to know that Iguana has become a local favorite meal. Perhaps a little Iguana soup or stewed Iguana, “stoba yoana?”