Long term stay at Curacao for the winter

We are living in a crazy time now Covid-19 has thrown a spanner in the works with all our travel plans. As I am typing this I have been in Curacao for 2 months. A fantastic time (and still) with the intention to stay here even longer, but when uploading this interview suddenly the lockdown came. With this lockdown they hope, just like last year, to successfully reduce the number of infections and believe me, you are safe again! So put Curacao already on your bucket list for spring/summer and read below what Curacao has to offer for a wonderful sun vacation or if you want to go to Curacao for a longer period of time.

Completely unexpectedly Rinkje from “TheTraveliciousFamily” ended up on Curaçao six months ago when they were busy with their world trip and at that moment, when about half the world was locked up because of Covid-19, they had to leave Africa in a hurry to be able to fly home safely. Via Iceland they ended up on Curaçao and they liked it so much here, that they decided to stay, and even their 3rd child Louise was born here. Because of Rinkje we are here now too, which was the best choice ever. In this interview Rinkje, as a true island insider, gives all her tips from sunny Curaçao.

Little Curacao

In the meantime they had sold all their belongings and decided to change their world trip and travel to those countries that were still open. Looking back, a period they would not have wanted to miss because via Iceland they eventually ended up in Coronaproof Curacao.

By now they have been staying in “paradise” for 6 months and Rinkje and her husband decided to have their 3rd child born in Willemstad. In this interview they share their adventure with us and give all her tips for an unforgettable corona proof holiday in Curacao once everything is open again.


1. What is it like to fly to Curacao during Covid time?

Mouth masks are mandatory and the service was less so in the kitchens the food is put down and you have to take it yourself, to reduce contact moments with the staff. You are allowed to walk to the toilet and through the aisles (KLM, September 2020).

Rinkje with daughter Sophie

2. Jan Thiel is the well-known hotspot place for tourists, but are there any other nice places you can recommend? 

Yes, the area around Mambo beach is also very nice. Only in terms of villas, there is the most choice in Jan Thiel, and then specifically on Vista Royaal, which is the part of Jan Thiel that lies on the beach.

Of course there are other nice neighborhoods where you can rent a villa, since you do everything by car you could also rent at Villapark Zuurzak or Jan Sofat (these are gated communities).

The child-friendly beach of Mambo Beach

3. Do you recommend renting a car upon arrival on the island

Yes definitely! We thought, well we are on Jan Thiel / Vista Royaal so walking distance from the beach, the supermarket and the restaurants of Jan Thiel. Yet we use the car daily, even to (with kids) go to the beach.

You can walk a few 100m in the sweltering heat with tired kids and all your beach gear, or just jump in the car for a minute and get off right at the beach.

Moreover, the rest of the island everything is really only to be done by car. The island is totally not equipped for cycling, scooter riding etc, you rarely see this here either.

Every day beach weather on the beach of Jan Thiel

4. What Covid restrictions apply in Curacao until recently and what is open or not?


The curfew is now from 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. and it is good for crime, which is therefore greatly reduced. Furthermore, we experience absolutely no hindrance to the curfew. Note, as soon as things get better here, the curfew will be lifted.


Before lockdown: It is allowed to sell alcohol in the catering industry. However, at the time of writing you are kindly requested to finish your last drink at 20:00, due to the curfew.

Hotel bars and restaurants are always allowed to continue serving their guests in the open. These bars may simply remain open after 8 p.m. for hotel guests.

*Mouth Mask

As of December 1, it is mandatory to wear a mouth mask in public places as well as in supermarkets. Furthermore, you will also find hand sanitizer at entrance stores and are expected to use it upon entry.

*Live Music

Live music is allowed with max 4 band members so no big gigs or big bands, and people are not allowed to dance, to ensure the 2 meter distance.


In the catering industry and on the beach in terms of beach beds etc. you notice very little of the distance, the beds on the beach are still arm to arm 😉


Personally, we like the fact that we notice little to nothing of Covid here and therefore no rules and restrictions, we can move freely on the island.

Restaurant “Bij Blauw”, Curacao

5. What are some fun kid-friendly resorts in Curacao that you can recommend?

  • Baoase, really fan-tas-tic (also for day at the beach / massage etc)
  • Papagayo beach resort
  • Blue Bay resort
  • Hotel Santa Barbara Beach

Happy Island Kids

6. What are your favorite restaurants/beach bars that are fun to visit?

  • Bij Blauw, beautiful on the water, also nice concept store and even a hotel there with apartments.
  • Mosa, very good dinner!
  • Heren at sea, beautiful waterfront view and with playground for the kids (brother of “the Heeren” in the sugar garden mall (Zuikertuintje), nice for lunch with shopping.
  • ZEST, at Jan Thiel beach. Lovely sunset viewing, dining and or drinks with your feet in the sand, by the sea, also with playground for the kids. The regular place for us for Friday afternoon drinks.
  • Kokos beachbar, delicious coffee and great for lunch and also for a day at the beach (advantage is that the kids can not enter the water, so you do not have to be afraid if they can not swim, but at the same time it is also a disadvantage that the kids can not swim).
  • Number 10, Super delicious food in a beautiful green garden. Are open early for coffee, from 08 am I think, also nice for lunch (don’t forget your mosquito spray!) Note “Number 10” is closed on weekends.
  • Restaurant ‘’nultwintig’’, Delicious, really good food, you just have to be patient because the times we were there it took really long. You will find Restaurant Nultwintig in the Pietermaai district.
  • Fort Nassau, nice in terms of views, food also fine, but also nice to just have a drink, because of the view over the city and the harbor etc.
  • Maira’s kitchen in Otrobanda, very good lunch and coffee (”sister of Mosa/same owner”).

Maira’s Kitchen

  • De Gouverneur sits at the pound in the center of Willemstad and gives fantastic views of the Old quay, nice to have a drink or lunch (and while you’re there don’t forget the little store downstairs, where they sell all handmade sustainable souvenirs of lionfish from wine drops, cufflinks, key chains, necklaces bracelets, earrings (short, long buttons) etc.
  • Chill beachbar for Friday afternoon drinks (happy hour) at Mambo beach, while the kids play on the beach or in the water.
  • Zanzibar: on Saturday is the Saturday afternoon drink/ happy hour at Jan Thiel beach, while the kids play around.

Sunset at Jan Thiel Beach

7. What are great stores / boutiques / lunch spots for a day in Willemstad?
For shopping you should not be here. Personally I find it really difficult to find nice clothes and stores here. But anyway, here is an attempt at nice stores that we have come across:
  • Concept store on the boardwalk and then have lunch at ”the Ladies” (de Dames).
  • Bijblauw conceptstore (lunchen at BijBlauw) in Pietermaai district.
  • Rebels / Milk (for baby and children’s clothing), these 2 stores are near Jan Thiel beach, so possibly have lunch at Kokos or ZEST.
Furthermore, there are nice stores on the Mambo beach boulevard and also at Renaissance shopping mall are next to the big brands (MANGO, la Coste etc) also nice small stores, such as Mom & Co.
You can also shop around Punda in Willemstad, however due to Covid (staying away from the cruise ships this part of town lives on) it is really much less, the trading quay is empty and deserted, very unfortunate to see and experience.
If you do go into the center then I would have lunch at De Gouverneur, sitting on the pound in the center of Willemstad and gives fantastic views over the handelskade, nice for a drink or lunch.
And while you’re there don’t forget the little store downstairs, they sell all handmade sustainable souvenirs from lionfish, wine drops, cufflinks, key chains, necklaces bracelets, earrings, etc.

Swimming with turtles at Playa Grandi (West Point)

8. What are the best hot spots/ outings/excursions on the island? 
1. Playa Grandi (beach with the turtles, guaranteed swimming with turtles).

2. Paya porto marie (Beach with pigs! Reminds you of swimming with the piglets in the Bahamas).

3. Kids museum (lots of thing to do and super nice!).

Kids Museum Willemstad

4. Jan Thiel salt pans, flamingo watching and hiking (if you want to see the flamingos up close you better drive to Willibrordus then you will meet them on the way).

Jan Thiel, Salt Pans (Zoutpannen)

5. Dolphin Academy, too crazy for the kids.

6. Zee aquarium, very nice for the kids!

7. Hato Caves (Laurens went there with his class as a school trip, he found it very impressive).

8. Day trip to  Little Curacao (we did this with a private yacht via Transmark Sailing, including an overnight stay on the beach or on the ship). Can also be done in groups, on a yacht for instance with Miss Ann Boat trips.

Lighthouse “Klein Curacao”

9. Baose (for a ultimate day relaxation), can possibly make a day of the beach with the kids but also secretly nice to be pampered a day without kids 😉

10. Tuktuk tour through Otrobanda, great to learn more about street art and also possible to do a tour through Punda, which we will do next week. These are together the two well known neighborhoods of Willemstad and are both on the Unesco world heritage list. Do you want this too? Book here directly with CurTukTuk.

CurTukTuk tour through Otrabanda

11. If you like diving and cooking: ”Catch and Cook” while diving hunting / spearfishing for lion fish and then a course on how to prepare them poisonous fish, by the well-known Caribbean chef and author of dive caribbean cookbooks, Helmi Smeulders.

Cooking Class “Catch & Cook”

9. How do you deal with the time difference and the climate with small children? 

On day 1, when we arrived, we kept the kids awake until 7 p.m. They only woke up once the first night, went back to bed and didn’t suffer from jet lag or anything like that.

Sunset, Mambo Beach


September / October are the hottest months here, and just the first 2 months for us here, yes it is really very often very hot but we really never hear the kids complaining about that (thankfully!).
Well it is also an advantage that we have a house on the wind so there is always a nice breeze and the kids are usually in the pool 🙂

Saint Tropez Ocean Club Hotel

10. Finally, what makes Curaçao so special to you as a family? 
For us, Curaçao was never on our planning to go, or on our world travel wish list. In fact, we have never been there before. Due to the travel restrictions of Covid-19 we are ”stranded” here and are very grateful for that. It is such a nice and colorful island, we get really happy with all the colored houses, streets full of color and the ”street art” etc.

Street-Art Otrabanda (Willemstad)

The climate is very pleasant, the language is Dutch, so it is also easy to ground for the kids, playing with other children can just be without language barrier, really blissful.
Our oldest, Laurens, (4 years old) goes to elementary school here (private school “Klein College”) and Sophie (2 years old) goes to daycare Boobalooh the same school hours. The schools are here from 07:30-13 hours so every afternoon we do fun things as a family.

Laurens and Sophie, Zanzibar

For us, Curacao stands for freedom, where we lost that feeling of freedom in the Netherlands by Covid-19, Curacao (expect from a lockdown) offers everything what you wish for. It is relaxed, a pleasant climate, the sun shines almost always, there is much to do with the kids and life takes place mostly outside.
In addition, all the people we met went here ”alone” with their families and left friends and family in the Netherlands. This makes everyone very open, spontaneous and accessible to meeting new families and new people.
Personally we find the quality of life on Curacao at the moment really better than in the Netherlands (especially because of the Dutch restrictions of Covid-19), that is why we decided not to fly back to the Netherlands for the planned C-section of our youngest daughter in December, but to have her born on Curacao. I think that says enough about how much we love this island 🙂

Sailing to “Klein Curaçao”

Curious about the adventures of “TheTraveliciousFamily” in Curaçao and their next adventure to Costa Rica? Then follow them on their Instagram account where they give a daily update of their existence on this tropical island and further adventures.

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