advertisement

Willemstad's shops concentrate along Heerenstraat and Breedestraat in the Punda shopping district. Most stores are open Monday through Saturday from 8am to noon and 2 to 6pm (some stay open at midday). When cruise ships are in port, many shops open for a few hours on Sunday and holidays as well.

Good buys include French perfumes, Dutch Delft blue china, Italian silks, Japanese and German cameras, jewelry, watches, linens, leather goods, and liquor, especially Curaçao liqueur. The island is famous for its 2.2-kilogram (5-lb.) wheels of Gouda and Edam cheeses, and you'll also see decorative wooden shoes, lacework, woodcarvings, and paintings from Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Every garment at Bamali, Breedestraat 2 (tel. 599/9-461-2258), is designed and, in many cases, crafted by the store owners. Based on Indonesian patterns, the airy women's clothing includes V-neck cotton pullovers and linen shifts.

Boolchand's, Breedestraat 50 (tel. 599/9-461-6233; www.boolchand.com), sells cameras and camera accessories as well as other electronics and watches.

Curaçao Creations, Schrijnwerkerstraat 14, off Breedestraat (tel. 599/9-462-4516), showcases authentic handicrafts made at the on-site workshop.

Fine watches from nearly every maker plus a wide selection of jewelry can be found at any of Freeport's seven locations: Handelskade 9, Heerenstraat 25-27 (tel. 599/9-461-3764); Handelskade 23 (tel. 599/9-461-2399); Heerenstraat 8 (tel. 599/9-461-5361); and Heerenstraat 13 (tel. 599/9-461-2399); and Zarosky Boutique (crystal only) in the Renaissance Mall (tel. 599/9-461-2856).

Little Holland, Breedestraat 37 (tel. 599/9-461-1768), reputedly changed hands, but still specializes in silk neckties, Panama hats, Nautica shorts and shirts, Swiss Army knives, and, most important, a sophisticated array of cigars. Crafted in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Brazil, they include some of the most prestigious names in smoke, including Montecristos, Cohiba, and Churchills. Remember: It's still illegal to bring Cuban cigars into the United States; smoke them here.

As the name implies, Mr. Tablecloth, Handelskade 3, on the waterfront (tel. 599/9-462-9588), is where the finest linens on the island can be found.

Gandelman Jewelers, Breedestraat 35, Punda (tel. 599/9-461-1854), is the island's best and most reliable source for diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and other gemstones. You'll also find watches and leather goods at Baba's Jewelers, Breedestraat Punda 39 (tel. 599/9-465-7161).

For some truly unique nature-inspired jewelry and artistic prints, head over to the boutique called Maravia (tel. 599/9-461-9866; www.maraviagallery.com) at Handelskade 1 in Punda near the swing bridge.

Penha & Sons, Heerenstraat 1 (tel. 599/9-461-2266), is known for perfumes, cosmetics, and designer clothing for men and women.

The Art of Nena Sanchez, Wendstraat 15 (tel. 599/9-461-2882; www.nenasanchez.com) displays the artist's vibrant Caribbean still lifes and striking portraits as well as affordable prints.

Benetton, Schottegatweg-Oost 148 Salinas (tel. 599/9-461-4619), has invaded Curaçao with all its many colors. Some items are marked down by about 20% below U.S. prices (this is done to get rid of surplus stock from the previous season); in-season clothing is available as well.

Wulfsen & Wulfsen, Gomezplein 7, at the Promenade Shopping Center (tel. 599/9-461-2302), sells fashionable ladies' clothing from Germany and Holland and men's shirts in every color of the rainbow.

Zylo, Wilhelminaplein 25 (tel. 599/9-461-5500), sells jewelry, perfume, sunglasses, pens, and cosmetics.

In Otrobanda, there are a slew of high-end shops in Rif Fort Village next to the new Renaissance including Brietling, Tiffany, and a Little Switzerland.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.