Williwood is one of the most extraordinary places in Curaçao. This peculiar countryside town has a lot to explore and many surprising things to discover.
The town’s official name is St. Willibrordus, but the name Williwood was officially adopted by the island back in the day. The village owes its nickname to the white Hollywood-esque letters that dominate the view in the middle of a bare plain.
The village has flourished around this phenomenon and local businesses settled around the famous sign. There are several activities and things to do in Williwood and the surrounding area. In this blog, we will share a couple of our favorite touristic attractions.
The Williwood sign
Let’s start with explaining to you a bit more about the Williwood sign, the main reason why the village became so popular over the last couple of the last years.
It once started as a joke of a village boy who painted a road sign to the village with letters. Nowadays, the sign represents artistic expression and a sense of togetherness among neighbors and islanders.
The Williwood sign is a popular place to take social media photos. Some music videos were also shot at this location. This all adds to the cult status this setting is acquiring.
You can find the sign opposite Toko Williwood. This tourist attraction is on your left if you drive past the saliñas of Jan Kok into the village.
The vibrant neighborhood bar ‘Toko Williwood’ is the best place to stop for a quick lunch. Here you can order the one and only Williburger, a juicy burger whose patty is made from goat meat.
Ordering a Williburger at Toko Williwood is bucket list material.
A cold drink tastes best during sunset. The view of the Williwood sign during the golden hour is magnificent. The whole setting makes you feel like you’re in a nostalgic 70s road movie. Cheers to the good life.
Landhuis Jan Kok
The country house of Jan Kok is just around the corner when entering the village of Williwood. The Landhuis is named after the slave master Jan Kok who was known to be very cruel.
You can visit Landhuis Jan Kok and walk around the premises. From the terrace, you have an amazing view over the salt flats where you can spot wild flamingos.
Nena Sanchez Art Gallery
Landhuis Jan Kok is the home of Nena Sanchez Art Gallery. Nena Sanchez is one of the island’s most famous artists, creating bright colorful paintings that depict vibrant and tropical island life.
The Flamingo Sanctuary viewpoint
Curaçao offers the possibility to spot wild flamingos at the salt flats of Jan Kok. You can find the Flamingo sanctuary near Williwood, around 400 meters outside of town. It doesn’t require a long visit, but it’s worth staying a while and watching the flamingos from a distance.
You can park your car next to the road alongside this viewpoint. The flamingos are not always there. The best time to see the wild flamingos at the sanctuary is in the morning and at sunset.
Caution: Do not leave valuables in your car. In the past, car thefts have been committed at the Flamingo Sanctuary viewpoint.
The Church of Sint Willibrordus
Following the main road to the beaches, you will find the Roman Catholic church of Sint Willibrordus on your right. The Neo-Gothic style church was built in 1884 and forms the recognizable center of the village.
After passing Williwood you can choose to take the road to Daaibooi.
Daaibooi is a clean and easily accessible beach with a laidback vibe. It’s a great spot to snorkel, you will spot beautiful corals and sea life along the cliffside. Feeling hungry? There’s a small snack shack where you can purchase cold drinks, snacks, and french fries.
Daaibooi is a public beach and therefore you do not have to pay an entrance fee.
Playa Porto Marie
Anyone looking for a beach near Williwood with a little more amenities will feel right at home at Playa Porto Marie. Porto Marie is one of the most breathtaking beaches in Curaçao. Not surprising, because Playa Porto Marie is situated in a coastal inlet and has a beautiful viewpoint on top of the cliff. Porto Marie is the ideal place to relax, swim and dive for a day.
Playa Porto Marie has two famous residents: Willy and Woody. The two pigs are named after the nearby town of the same name. Willy and Woody walked in a few years ago and never left the beach.
You can find them often just chilling in a mud puddle near the parking lot. Sometimes they show themselves on the beach and even pose for a photo. But only if they feel like it.
The facilities at Porto Marie beach include a restaurant, bar, a beach store, lockers, showers toilets, and even a diving school. Long story short: everything you need for a fun day out at the beach.
When you take the road to Daaibooi you can choose to turn left towards Coral Estate. Coral Estate is a luxury resort near the village of Williwood.
The resort has 4 restaurants where you can eat as a non-resident. With a beautiful view and an elegant ambiance, this resort is one of the gems of Curaçao.
We like to have lunch at Karakter. They offer a varied menu, the ingredients are fresh and the dishes all have an extra twist.
In short: the perfect place for a quick and worthwhile stop if you are touring the area.
Walking and Hiking around Williwood
There are plenty of opportunities for walking and hiking in the area of the village.
The salt pans of Jan Kok are perfect for a nice walk in nature, but be careful not to get too close to the flamingos.
You can also take a short walk through the village. For example, you can walk past the Williwood sign, the church, and towards Landhuis Jan Kok to see the gallery of Nena Sanchez.
At Playa Porto Marie you can choose from three different hiking routes: the Seru Matteo Trail (45 minutes), the Bird Watching Trail (1.5 hours), and the Historical Trail (2.5-3 hours).
Williwood is the place to visit
Forget Willemstad and forget about Westpunt. Williwood is an unspoiled gem that has not been explored yet by the general public. Curaçao enthusiasts may have visited this place once, but the mass tourism that takes place in the city and the famous beaches have not yet discovered Williwood.
On one hand, that’s a shame, because the village has so much to offer for anyone who wants to get acquainted with the real Curaçao.
On the other hand, this neighborhood also needs tranquility. Because that piece of untouched capriciousness is the success factor of this town. The mysterious laidback vibe is what makes Williwood so special.
I could write about this subject for hours, but right now I think it’s time you experienced the phenomenon of Williwood yourself. Enjoy your trip.