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Highlight of the East!

Curaçao’s wide-ranging attractions are hidden all over the island and well worth going off the beaten path to discover. So, let’s trek to the east to find some secret gems.

 

There are wild things waiting for those who love animals, nature, and eco-touring away from the fray, and you need only follow the road to Santa Catarina on the island’s east interior to find them. There are farms, ranches, parks, and art and culture all concealed in this vicinity like Den Paradera the famous healing herb garden cultivated by legendary local Dinah Veeris. You just have to know where to look!

 

And thanks to Serena Israel creator of Chichi®, the island’s most beloved, colorful sculpture mascots, more visitors are realizing the area’s appeal when they seek out her art factory where you can create your very own Chichi® souvenirs through her workshops.

 

Make your own Chichi®
Serena says, “When I first decided to open my own factory/atelier and give local women a place to work and create art, I knew that I wanted a spot where we would be able to be at home with nature, away from the crowds – it had to be a setting that inspired creativity. I found that out here on the east side in a lovely garden with the audio backdrop of birdsong, and I wanted others to discover it too! I also have great neighbors that have much to offer as well. So, we’ve all decided to work together to promote the region. Come out for the entire day or even two, there’s a lot to do!”

 

Visitors are invited to join the walk-in workshops at Serena’s Art Factory each Tuesday and Saturday morning from 9:00 to 12:00 where you can paint your own Chichi® doll with expert supervision at Serena’s Art Factory. No doubt you’ve seen the famous Chichi® all over the island, from an eclectic assortment of sizes and renditions in chosen retailers to the larger-than-life sculptures adorning the streets throughout Curaçao. They make ideal souvenirs, and better still, when you paint your own they become even more special! And the entire setting is wheelchair accessible.

 

+5999 738 0648
www.chichi-curacao.com

 

Surprising family fun
If you’re seeking some very cool attractions for families, you’ll find Curaçao Ostrich Farm just down the road. Another place ideal for all ages is called Amazonia. It is indeed a surprise to find a huge replicated rain forest jungle full of exotic animals not indigenous to this island. Every effort has been made to make the over 130 species of animals feel right at home in their lush man-made environment. You’ll encounter snakes, spiders, lizards, monkeys, lots of beautiful birds, and more. Tours begin at 10 a.m. and you can combine it with a day pass at their pool.

 

Did you know they make a health drink using aloe vera juice and herbal extracts now?

 

The Aloe Vera Plantation nearby is another interesting stop. That’s where they grow the plants used to make CurAloe products. Though Curaçao is too arid for growing many things, aloe thrives there, and you can see all the wonderful healing and beneficial properties that the aloe gel can make via a movie at their farm and learn how the production works. You can also purchase some quality CurAloe products on-site and all over the island. Did you know they make a health drink using aloe vera juice and herbal extracts now? Aloe is such a wonder plant!  The plantation is also a popular stop on guided ATV tours. 

 

+5999 767 5577
www.curaloe-shop.com

 

Tour by ATV or Buggy
An excellent way to really explore deep into the wild nature and secret vistas of the east end is by all-terrain vehicle with a guide where most cars can’t venture.  ATV & Buggy Tours Curaçao have tough rugged open-air vehicles that are fun to drive, and they do a fabulous three-hour guided adventure on the East end that stops at some very cool spots. Discover an Indian Cave and a secret escape called Cave of Doom! (Your guide will tell you why it’s called that.) You’ll also wind through beautiful countryside, stop at the Aloe Farm, see an intriguing natural bridge by the sea, and stop in for a refreshing dip at Playa Canoa – so don’t forget your bathing suit! Unlimited water and safety gear are included in every tour. They also explore the stunning wilderness around St. Joris Baai where you can’t help but notice the colorful kites of the boarders gracefully swooping over the aqua blue sea.  You might want to return to the bay another time because there’s no better place on the island to take a windsurfing or kiteboarding lesson, and NIX and Awa Salu have professional, certified top-notch instructors that give instruction there. 

 

+5999 540 5640
www.atvbuggytours.com

 

So, as you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to head to the eastern interior region of this island for some seriously special, out of the ordinary experiences.

 

You just  have to know where to look!

 

by susan campbell

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