Published On: Tue, Oct 14th, 2014

Two Americans take on Curaçao Pride

gay-pride-Erin and Margaret, winners of Out Traveler’s Curaçao Pride Instagram Contest, report back from their adventures at Curaçao Pride

Just off the coast of Venezuela, Curaçao is a member of the ABC Islands. Together with Aruba and Bonaire, this picturesque island chain makes up the Netherlands Antilles. While only a 2.5-hour flight from Miami, Curaçao feels a world away, due to the Dutch influence and desert climate.

Just two years out of the gate, the team behind Curaçao Pride created an impressive celebration. The five-day bash boasts local and international partygoers of all stripes. We arrived in Curaçao on a Thursday, just in time to get settled in before our first event. We stayed at Curaçao Pride’s host hotel, The Floris Suite Hotel. It boasted modern amenities, a beautiful pool, private beach, free Wi-Fi and a noteworthy hotel restaurant, Sjalotte.

We struck a nice balance between Pride and exploring all the great things about the island. Our first night, we attended dinner and a cabaret show right around the pool at The Floris. It featured a six-course meal from Sjalotte, multiple bands, and performances by drag queens from New York, Atlanta, Miami, and Curaçao. The queens stuck around the rest of the weekend, serving as MCs for many of the other events, including the Rainbow Lounge Pride Party and the White Party.

On our second day, we rented a car and drove up the island to visit a snorkeling beach. Because numerous coral reefs are so close to the shore, Curaçao is home to some of the best snorkeling in the world! While our hotel had its own beach, we wanted a little escape off the beaten path. We found it 30 miles west at Playa Lagun. Not only was the snorkeling beautiful, but the remote beach had ample shade, and you can rent a lounge chair for $5. Just up the hill from the beach sit two restaurants, each with full bars and some of the freshest fish in the Caribbean. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.

There isn’t a traditional Pride Parade in Curaçao, but they’ve created the next best thing. We attended the Sea Pride Parade onboard Insulinde, a 120-foot sailing/fishing vessel. For $55, passengers enjoyed unlimited food, beer and wine and set sail for a cruise to a secluded beach. With music pumping and pride flags hoisted to the skies, we sailed alongside the shores of Curaçao. Locals, hotel guests and beach goers waved and cheered for the ship as we passed. It was a fun and inspiring voyage and definitely put a new spin on parade “float.”

It was a lot to experience in just a few days, but our first trip to Curaçao was a memorable one. It’s a stunning island with a lot to see and do. As a couple, we felt safe, welcome and celebrated during Pride, and look forward to another trip to this beautiful island paradise.

Source: Outtraveler

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