Plantation House Tour
|It takes a day or two to find/tour them all.
The first plantation houses were built as early as the 17th century. They were referred to as the ?big house? (kas grandi) and followed the styles of the urban mansions.
Most plantation houses used a cistern for collecting rainwater and had warehouses for storing the harvest. Slaves who worked in the great houses lived in small stone huts near the ?kas grandi.? Those who tilled the fields constructed small houses of branches, mud, or straw.
Curacao's plantation houses, strikingly different in colors and styles, are an intimate reflection of country life. Some have been turned into restaurants.
All are worth visiting for their varying architectural styles and, at several, their spectacular views. Bring a camera!
Once outside Willemstad, driving around Curacao is easy and the plantation houses are easy to find. The first is still within the city.
Landhuis Chobolobo: Located in the Salina shopping district. This former plantation house has gone into the liqueur business, producing the famed Curacao liqueur made from the peels of the bitter laraha orange. On the self-guided plant tour you get to sample the tasty product, available in orange, blue and red colors. Open Monday through Friday 8-noon, 1-5. Free admission. Call 613526 for information.
Curacao's Western End
Landhuis Papaya: Restored in 1993, this classic example of 19th century country architecture includes a restaurant, children's playground, art gallery and a guesthouse. Weekend barbecues with live music are popular here. Open Tuesday through Friday 9-6; on Saturday and Sunday from noon until 11 p.m. Call 695850.
Landhuis Jan Kok: An 18 th century plantation house best known for its Sunday morning Dutch pancakes served in its small restaurant. Free admission though there is a charge for a property tour including the building, cellar and grounds. Tour reservations must be made in advance. Open Tuesday through Sunday 11-9. Call 648087. The salt pans near here have a good flamingo colony. There are no designated trails but you can explore on your own. Best time is late afternoon.
Landhuis Daniel: Now a guest house and located back from the main road, this place has a little bit of everything: restaurant and bar, dive shop, souvenir shop and lots of animals such as iguanas, parrots and toucans. Open to the public Wednesday though Sunday, 8:30-6:30. Closed Monday and Tuesday except to guesthouse residents. Call 648400.