We spent our Sunday driving around & exploring the North & West side of the island. It was super fun to do and we’ve visited places that we’ve never even heard about or knew existed. Shame on us! We went to the Green Pool, Old Plastic Bay / Turtle Spotting, Natural Jacuzzi, Watamula and ended our tour with a swim at San Juan.
Curaçao is pretty dry these days, but in the midst of all the dryness we found this green pool. The water is salty, which you wouldn’t expect, and is surrounded by vibrant green trees and bushes. When you stand with your back to the Green Pool you’ll see Landhuis Ascension in the distant, which is a colonial house. The plantation was founded in 1672 and was initially grounds for growing corn, cotton and beans. In the 19th century it was used mainly for cattle breeding. Nowadays, the colonial home is open for public every first Sunday of the month from 10:00 – 14:00. You can also rent it out for parties & weddings.
Old Plastic Bay & Turtle Spotting
If you continue down the road that led to the green pool, you will reach the old plastic bay & turtle spotting lookout. All plastics that were dumped elsewhere in the sea would end up at the old plastic bay due to the current. Recycling was just not done back then, very environmental unfriendly! But since turtles started hatching nearby, the old plastic bay has been completely cleaned up from all plastic and garbage is not being dumped anymore in the sea. Yeay!
To go turtle spotting, you can either go by car, or once you reach the old plastic bay there’s a small opening in the rocks that leads you up to stairs. Taking these stairs you can then follow a path until you reach the turtle spotting area. At first we thought that all the turtles were hiding, but after a few minutes they finally started popping their heads up for air. It was very cool to see so many turtles together. Unfortunately we were not able to get some good pictures of them.
At the North side of the island the water is pretty rough and it’s not suitable for swimming. But at Boca Patrick there is this a small opening where you can sit on top of the rocks and the water blows up whenever waves enter an underwater cave and thrust upwards. Be prepared to get wet when the water splashes up. This is called the “Natural Jacuzzi” as it looks like a bathtub.
Watamula is where you can hear the island breathe and is rightfully called: “The Breath of Curaçao”. The name is derived from the Dutch word “Watermolen” (water mill), because of how the currents flow. If it’s not a windy day you can hear the sound as the air is pressed in and out of the tunnel system in the rocks, due to the powerful force of the waves.
San Juan has 3 beaches: Playa Largu, Playa Shon Mosa and Playa Manzaliña.
They are pretty secluded and don’t get a lot of local visitors. These beaches are registered as dive spots and this makes up the majority of the visitors. The main entrance closes at 6pm, so if you don’t want to stay the night and camp over, remember to get out on time.
There are several guided tours that can take you to these spots on the island, but we choose to go by ourselves. If you decide to be a bit more adventurous and explore by yourself, a pickup truck or a jeep is the best to take off road, because the ride can be a bit bumpy. I’m not saying it’s impossible to take a smaller car, but I can guarantee the fun factor will be higher if the car can take a bit of a hit. Especially if you want to drift around like we did!