Wednesday, December 14th, 2022
Punda Vibes in Downtown Willemstad
Feel the vibe every Thursday night when the Punda downtown section of Curaçao’s capital Willemstad puts on an evening of entertainment.
Each Thursday evening beginning as the sun goes down, the Punda district set up shop in Pietermaai, sometimes called the Soho of Curaçao.
Here bars and restaurants spill out onto the pavement as visitors flock to see art galleries and artists at work. Opened up for late night late night viewing, artisans open their galleries and set up stalls while musicians, strike up for a fun filled evening that, if the rain stays away, is truly magical.
Take a selfie in front of one of the many colourful murals that adorn the walls in alleyways and tiny streets. Visit shops housed in buildings that were first constructed in the 1700s and feel the Punda vibes kick in.
Buy the famous eponymous liquor, who is lurid blue matches the colour of the Caribbean sky and sea that envelop this island. Enjoy the night time excitement that Punda Vibes give.
Nearby is the Queen Emma, Pontoon Bridge resting on 16 pontoons is known as the swinging old lady. This now, pedestrian only, swing bridge dates back to 1888, and connects the Punda and to the Otrobanda quarters of the capital city, Willemstad.
It was named after the then Queen Consort of the Netherlands. The bridge is hinged and opens on demand to facilitate the passage of oceangoing ships and yachts. On the opposite end from the hinge an operator controls the process which allows it to quickly swing parallel to the shore.
Originally a toll bridge, those without shoes were permitted to cross the bridge without paying. Now it is free to use at any time. When the bridge swings open, two ferries spring into action to bring pedestrians across the water. The ferries are also free of charge
Have your camera ready and a smile, photo opportunities abound here as you approach the storybook vista of pastel coloured, colonial, merchant houses lining, the Handelskade, scattered along the Punda waterfront.
Marvel at the typical curved baroque style gables and arched galleries. In particular look out for Penna building, it was built in 1708, as a merchant house and is now a duty free store which is quite handy!
We felt truly safe walking around here after dark, exchanging greetings with locals and visitors alike. Of the many restaurants we could have chosen to eat at, we selected la Bohème in Columbusstraat. Delicious local foods, jolly good drinks and a cheerful, willing, waiting staff made this a great place to hang out and watch the world go by.