Postcard from Pietermaai

Postcard from Pietermaai

Curacao is well-known for the colorful buildings that line the waterfront in Willemstad: as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic downtown and harbor has been carefully renovated and restored. And although Willemstad is fantastic, I think that Pieteramaai might be my favorite vibrant urban neighborhood in Curacao. Mostly because those colors!

Colorful houses in Pietermaai Historic District, Curacao

The neighborhood of Pietermaai was completely run-down up until the early 2000s: dilapidated buildings that were breeding grounds for poverty, homelessness, drug use. But an incredibly successful revitalization effort started around 2008 to turn the area into the “SoHo” of Curacao: trendy bars, boutique hotels, shopping and restaurants. Although it’s not a UNESCO site, there’s been a lot of care paid to respect the historic roots of the area: buildings have been preserved but transformed with luxury details and bright paint jobs.

Colorful houses in Pietermaai Historic District, Curacao  Colorful houses in Pietermaai Historic District, CuracaoColorful houses in Pietermaai Historic District, CuracaoColorful houses in Pietermaai Historic District, CuracaoColorful houses in Pietermaai Historic District, CuracaoColorful houses in Pietermaai Historic District, CuracaoColorful houses in Pietermaai Historic District, CuracaoColorful houses in Pietermaai Historic District, CuracaoColorful houses in Pietermaai Historic District, CuracaoColorful houses in Pietermaai Historic District, Curacao

A few recommendations:

  • Ginger for dinner (the outdoor seating is fantastic, and the Indian-Caribbean fusion is delicious)
  • Mundo Bizarro for drinks (the funky decor is actually made up of the crazy things that they found while demolishing the building)
  • Saint Tropez Ocean Club for drinks or dinner (the decor is super plush, and it’s right on the ocean!)
  • These posts about Curacao have really made me want to visit! It looks amazing! How much time would you recommend spending there?

  • Gorgeous! I went to Curacao with my family when I was really young, and these rows of bright, beautiful buildings are the only thing I remember. I have to go back now that I can actually embrace every experience!

  • Christine, I absolutely LOVE your blog! Your recent posts have made me want to travel more. I adore all the colors going on in the streets of Curacao!

  • gonewithawhim

    WOW! Amazing!

  • Beautiful! I couldn’t stop scrolling through the photos for a full 5 minutes, they’re so bright and fun!

  • Lauren @BonVoyageLauren

    I have a weakness for colorful buildings. These are gorgeoussssss! Thanks for sharing!

    Happy travels 🙂

  • Hi Christine,

    Thank you SO much for these gorgeous & informative posts about Curacao – My boyfriend & I have one week’s holiday this year and we will be working in NYC prior to this week, so we wanted to go somewhere beachy & convenient, so we’ve been looking at the Caribbean.

    Coming from Australia, we know next to nothing about this part of the world, and have found it really hard to find destinations that seem safe & friendly, with nice beaches, that are also affordable. Everywhere we’ve found is either super super touristy, eye-wateringly expensive or we’ve been warned off going there by our American friends who know the region better.

    Since reading these posts, we’re seriously thinking about going to Curacao! We’re actually thinking of booking the same accomm you stayed in too, it looks ideal. I’d never even heard of Curacao, so thanks! 😀

    It looked like you had an amazing time, so this seems like a dumb question, but did you feel pretty safe & secure while you were there?


  • camorose

    I was there for about three full days (one afternoon, two days, one morning) and it was PERFECT. The JetBlue flight from NYC is direct and thus makes the travel really easy, and I felt like that was just enough time to fully decompress, relax and see all of the top places. That said: I could have happily spent a few more days there 🙂

  • camorose

    Yes! You should, it’s such a fun place to explore and photograph!

  • camorose

    Oh yay! I’m so glad you found me, and so glad you’re enjoying the Curacao posts!

  • camorose


  • camorose

    That’s how I felt when I was there! I just wanted to take photos of them all!!!

  • camorose

    Even better in person! It was so great to wander through!

  • camorose

    YAY THIS WHOLE COMMENT MAKES ME SO HAPPY. As for feeling safe and secure: 100%. The locals are all super friendly and helpful, and it’s a pretty touristy place–so they’re used to out of towners! Loved Lions Dive, I thought it was a really awesome base to have to explore the island–and honestly, I never even wanted to leave the beach! The JetBlue direct flight from NYC makes it SO easy, so highly recommend it. Yay! Enjoy!!!

  • Yay!!! It sounds like exactly what we’ve been looking for. Excited to start planning it this weekend – so excited to be heading to somewhere that I hadn’t even heard of at the start of this year (tick: wildcard destination off my New Year’s resolutions!). Thanks again! 🙂

  • I was in Curacao about 1o years ago and it was by far my favorite place in the Caribbean I’ve been to. So colorful, vibrant, and the beaches are just out of this world. I must say, too, your photography has really come a long way in the past year or so. Loving these pictures!

  • camorose

    Hooray hooray hooray! Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any other questions 🙂

  • camorose

    Thank you, Nichole! So glad you enjoyed the photos, and really appreciate the compliment! Made my day 🙂

  • Thanks, will do! 🙂

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