I love going on road trips. Baring in mind that I live on a small island in the Caribbean, these trips are never too adventurous but do make me fall in love with my island time and again. And believe it or not, after all these years there are still new places to find and things to discover.
Let me tell you about a few of my favorite places from some of my recent road trips to Westpunt. This trip takes you to a rural part of the island with beautiful nature, small beaches, local restaurants and historic buildings. Do note that I am kind of obsessed with food so it does require a bit of eating and some belly-space. Let’s call it a road trip for foodies.
Daniel Soda Fountain
Get a feel for the island snek-vibe. Order a coco friu (fresh green coconut with lots of delicious coconut water) and in case you missed breakfast a pastechi (local pastry filled with cheese, chicken or beef). I personally prefer their loempia’s (spring rolls) which are flavorful and spicy. You may want to stop here again at the end of the day for one last cold beer before you head home.
Marshe di Barber – Sunday market in Barber
This is where the locals go on Sunday mornings for a nice sopi (soup) or any form of stoba (stew). Think chicken, beef and goat. There are also a few butcher counters where you can buy fresh goat meat. You don’t find many tourists here; it’s really authentic.
Landhuis Dokterstuin – Komedor Krioyo
I love the vibe of this restaurant that is housed in a 17th century plantation house. The covered terrace in the back gets really busy on weekends. This is thé place to go if you want to try local dishes. The food is flavorful and the service is quick for island standards. Do note that it is only open for lunch.
At the entrance of the Christoffelpark you will find this former plantation house, which houses a lovely museum about the history of the estate. It was once a flourishing plantation with lots of cattle and crops. Quite interesting to learn more about the origin of typical local dishes.
When you arrive at the most Western part of the island, you’ll find Playa Piskado. It’s a small fishermen’s beach, where the little fishing boats anker and the fish is cleaned and sold on the spot. The fishermen throw the fish-scraps back into the sea, which attracts lots of turtles. So make sure to bring your snorkling gear for a unique chance to swim with these beautiful animals. On Sundays the little beach shack is packed with locals sipping cold Polar and munching on fried fish and funchi (local type of polenta).
Blue Sea View Terrace
A little further down the road on the way to Kleine Knip (together with Lagun my favorite beach on the westside), you’ll find this colorful restaurant. The name couldn’t be more accurate. Do stop at least for a cold drink and some yuca fries to enjoy the view. It’s breathtaking.
This cute little restaurant is not much more than a small deck nestled between the trees with a view of Playa Piskado. It is run by a friendly American couple, who also rent out a few rooms in the front property. The food is simple but fresh and made with love. Think homemade pizza’s and juicy burgers. A hidden gem.
This restaurant is a bit more upscale and housed in yet another plantation house not too far from Willemstad. I have spent quite a few nights in one of the basic affordable rooms upstairs in the attic after enjoying a lovely dinner. No need to drive home. The owner grows his own greens; the tastiest on the island!
When you continue down the road from Marshe di Barber, passed a cute little local pastry shop, you’ll find this new kid on the block on a hill to your righthand side. Simply follow the signs. The view over the Western rural part of the island is magnificent. On the menu you’ll find typical local dishes like karni stoba (meat stew) and fried red snapper. I’ve also heard stories about chicken cooked underground in a coconut shell, which should be amazing. Am definitely going back for that!