Iguanas are a big deal in Curacao . They look like little versions on some sort dinosaurs, kind of cute lizards. You see them taking a relaxing walk along the roads, sitting on the trees, lying on the rocks; they will accompany you every step you take, even sunbathing on the beach. There are souvenirs with iguanas, like cups, towels, t-shirts, key-rings, postcards, etc, bars named Iguana, and you can even eat iguana! Yes, you can have a real meal made of these animals and I assure you, you’re gonna like it.
For the best iguana experience we recommend to come all the way to the Westpunt. The road itself is very interesting, at some points turning into real adventures. There are hills so high that it literally feels like going on roller coaster, when you are on top of it and have to go down with a high speed. We even laughed and screamed a little. Besides that you are going to pass few villages/towns, where you won’t really find tourists, only locals. There are few nice beaches in the area, we visited some of them, but stayed at one only: Playa Kalki. We definitely recommend that one. But the post about our favorite beaches is going to come soon, I promise.
So once you’re in Westpunt you’ll find there quite easily (if you follow the main road) the Jaanchie’s Restaurant. It’s an old place, but it has its charm and atmosphere. Decorated in retro marine style, with lots of fishes in tanks, vintage maps, some art pieces on the walls. From the moment you enter you’re in good hands of the owner of the place, who will give you information and his recommendation about what iguana dishes they serve and what you should definitely try. He also warned us about the effect it may cause: heart running faster and unbearable libido, he even asked if we got good, strong bed in our hotel 😉
We got soup and stew made of those exotic animals, plus some fish and goat meat, with fries, rice and grilled bananas on the side. Everything was extremely delicious, we filled up our bellies until the limit and it didn’t kill our wallet. In fact it was one of the cheapest meals we ate on Curacao. But how tastes the iguana? I would say it’s very similar to chicken meat with an interesting hint of something exotic. My husband said it tasted like rabbit for him. But then again, most of people on the island says it tastes like chicken. What’s important is that it was very tasty, so much that we actually came back for the soup few days after our first try. We liked it that much.
Being on Curacao and not trying this dish is ridiculous. You just have to give it a try. It is a must do on this island. We saw on internet that there is some other place in Willemstad to eat iguanas, but we didn’t go there, we weren’t sure they actually serve it. From practical point of view, driving all the way to the Jaanchie’s will take you around 30 minutes from Willemstad, and if you take the right road you may even see adorable flamingos on the way! There is a parking opposite of the restaurant, so you can easily leave your car there. The restaurant is open from noon till 5 pm, so only for lunch. And as I mentioned before there are beaches around, so you can just explore after or before you take this culinary adventure.