SEVENSEAS Marine Conservation & Travel Issue 17, October 2016 - Page 127

e had heard of Bonaire and Aruba as popular travel destinations but hadn’t heard of any friends or family visiting

Curacao. After some Google searching we figured might as well check it out and we COULDN’T have been happier with our choice. Curacao turned out to be a shore diving paradise. A quick two and half hour flight from Miami International Airport lands you in the former Dutch colony of Curacao with mountains covered in cactus forests next to sandy beaches and rocky cliffs. Most people on the island speak English so getting around was easy. People also spoke Dutch and Papiamento which is a mix of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and pre-colonization languages of the locals, but if you speak English you’ll have no trouble getting around. Speaking of getting around, definitely rent a car while visiting. Public transportation is supposedly nil, we didn’t even try based on the bus schedule and rumored reliability, and taxi costs will add up quickly. Several car rental companies have booths at the airport, but book ahead of time to ensure they will have a car for you, and if you’re coming in on the last flight from Miami, do not book with Budget because if your flight is delayed it will cost you an expensive taxi ride to your hotel since they close soon after the flight is scheduled to land; the other companies stayed open until 11pm. We made this mistake and just barely missed the 1030 cut off time for the Budget booth and had to rent a taxi to our AirBnB and then back to the airport in the morning to pick up the car the next day, a minor bump in what was supposed to be a smooth, fish and turtle filled underwater vacation. We loved the diving here so much that we took my parents back to the island when they were visiting Miami for the summer.