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Approximately 3½ Hours
Meals not included
Board an air-conditioned motorcoach for a scenic drive past the colorful sights of Willemstad.
Your destination is the Curaçao Museum in the Otrobanda neighborhood. Founded in 1946, the museum, housed in a colonial-style building dating back to the 1800s, showcases contemporary and traditional art from both local and international artists. There is a lovely permanent collection that features antique furniture, maps and charts from the Caribbean region, pre-Columbian Indian artifacts, and mahogany woodwork that dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries. Special exhibits are installed regularly, so there is always something new to discover, and the outside grounds are shaded and are perfect for a stroll.
Continue with a guided driving tour through the island's northern countryside. This is your opportunity to see the area's stark landscape with small traditional villages and dramatic salt marshes. Watch for bright-pink flamingos.
At Hato Caves, join a knowledgeable guide for a walking tour through the dramatic underground grottos. Marvel at the imposing stalactites and stalagmites, which produce unusual shadows in the caves' eerie lighting. Your guide will point out the Pirate's Head, the Sea Turtle and the Giant. Within the caves you will find unexpected crystal-clear pools and waterfalls that form in the limestone's depths. The caves are also a haven for a colony of rarely-seen long-nose fruit bats. The cave was originally used as a hiding place for runaway slaves and prior to that as a shelter for island natives. Outside the caves you can see the famous Madonna statue.
Cross the Queen Juliana Bridge. At 185 feet above sea level, this is one of the highest bridges in the Caribbean and affords magnificent panoramic views of the city and the harbor. At Chobolobo -- the Dutch colonial country estate where the famous Curaçao liqueur is distilled. Valencia oranges used in the processed were planted here by the Spaniards when they first discovered Curaçao. Chobolobo has been producing Blue Curaçao since 1946, using the peel from the fruit. But it almost wasn't so -- the different climate and soil conditions changed the normally juicy oranges into a kind of bitter, almost inedible produce. It was not until decades later that someone discovered that the peels of this orange contained an essential oil with an extraordinarily pleasing fragrance. During a guided tour of the distillery, you will gain a good understanding of the process. Sample the liqueur and purchase bottles to take home.
Guests who wish to stay in town to shop or explore independently are welcome to do so, but must return to the ship on their own.
At Hato Caves, participants must climb 50 steps. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Minimum age for liqueur tasting is 21 years. Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed.