Geography of Curacao

 

The country comprises the island of Curacao and the island of Klein Curacao, which lies 10 km from the east coast. The highest point is the 375 meters high Saint Christopher Mountain. The island consists of coral limestone and volcanic rock.

Curaçao has six natural harbors, created by the sea which has eroded the coral calcium. To the southwest is the largest of these, Schottegat, the port of Willemstad. It is said that this is the largest natural harbor in the world. Around the harbor are the largest dry dock and the largest oil refinery in the region. A container terminal, freight yards and docks for cruise ships and boats. Schottegat is reached through the St. Anna Bay.

On both sides of the St. Anna Bay are the two districts of Willemstad. In the east, the oldest part: Punda (the point) with the ‘Handelskade’ with its colored buildings and the terraces on the waterside and in the west, Otrobanda (Papiamento for "The Other side) with the restored Riffort with its many shops and the cruise terminal where huge cruise ships dock regularly.
Both parts are connected, since 1888, by a wooden pontoon bridge (Queen Emma Bridge, also known as the "pontoon bridge"). On the ‘De Ruyterkade’ you will find the lively floating market where many Venezuelans sell their merchandise (fresh fish, vegetables and fruits) from of their boats.


Places

The capital is Willemstad. Over the years, the city has grown throughout the area around the large natural harbor, Schottegat. As a result, many villages were loosely fused to a large urban area. The city covers about one third of the island in the east. The most famous districts of Willemstad:

• Punda, the historical city center with the ‘Handelskade’ at St Anna Bay
• Otrobanda, located on the opposite side of the St. Anna Bay
• Juliana Village, built around 1928, commissioned by Shell for its staff
• Salina, located near Punda and has many shops and restaurants
• Brievengat, a suburb in the north of the city


Some other places on the island west of Willemstad:

• West Point
• Barber
• Soto
• Saint Willibrord
• Saint Michael (Boca Sami)
• Big Mountain
• Tera Corá
• Lagun

(Source: wikipedia)

 

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