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Curacao: A Hidden Secret, But Not for Long

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Dear Curacao,

Masha danki for the wonderful time on your picturesque Caribbean island! I thought it was high time to write and let you know how much I enjoyed exploring all that you have to offer your visitors.

First, I'd like to say congratulations! You have all the qualities of a perfect Caribbean island. There are your 30-plus unspoiled and intimate beaches, calm gorgeous blue water and a diver's haven of reefs and shipwrecks that rival the best diving spots in the Caribbean. I was also impressed with your variety of great accommodations, shopping, fine dining and fun nightlife. I partook in them all. Well done!

C'mon, who couldn't like you with your sunny pleasant year-round weather? Your average temperature is 80 degrees due to trade winds and being near the Equator AND you're below the hurricane belt to boot! You really do hold the best of what the Caribbean offers with something for everyone, and amazingly, you've somehow remained under the tourist radar.

But what I truly treasured most about you, and what I think makes you unique, is your remarkable multicultural diversity. Even though your population is widely Dutch, another 50 nationalities call you home. And when you pair that with the unexpected fact that you have more residents than tourists at any given time, it pretty much guarantees memorable interactions and experiences between visitors and your locals. I know on all of my outings I was embraced by your people. Thank you Curacaoans for being so gracious, warm and welcoming. I had a ball mixing it up with you from Latin dancing to exploring the Blue Room. You really do have such a rich heritage and history. I appreciate you sharing it with me.

I also loved that English is widely spoken in addition to Dutch, Spanish and your local Creole dialect, Papiamentu -- that mixes Dutch, Spanish, French, Portuguese, English and West African. Talk about a melting pot of languages! Plus, the majority of the visitors that are in the know about you are European. Bottom line -- I felt like I was on a beautiful remote island yet, with your international cosmopolitan edge, it also seemed like a European getaway. How fabulous!

Some of your other perks that made my trip easier were that you accept the dollar and overall you are a relatively affordable place to visit. Driving wasn't difficult either. I drove on the right side and roads were easy to navigate. I'm glad that I rented a car and traversed your island to see some of your more secluded and stunning gems.

I think you'll be happy to hear I've been raving to all my friends about you, Curacao. You won't remain a hidden secret for much longer with all the buzz you've been receiving. It's no wonder you are your own country now since you gained your independence from the Netherland Antilles last October. You deserve to stand on your own as a top Caribbean destination. Your friendly locals, spectacular beaches, authentic old world charm and adventures for every interest make you a winning choice. No matter if I travel with friends, family or solo next visit, I know I am going to be as much in awe of you as the first time. I look forward to returning and discovering still more about you.

Until then - ayo!

XO - Lola

For more tips on where to stay and what to do while visiting Curacao go to www.lolatravels.wordpress.com