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Best Things To Do In Curaçao, The Colourful Caribbean Island


by Antoinette Gross



Welcome to Curaçao, the beautifully vibrant Caribbean island that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Located in the southern Caribbean Sea, just off the coast of Venezuela, Curaçao is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and colorful colonial architecture, this island paradise has something to offer every type of traveler.


Curaçao is not your typical tourist destination. It is a place where you can truly immerse yourself in the local culture, explore hidden gems, and create unforgettable memories. The island’s rich history is evident in its capital, Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its pastel-colored buildings and charming streets. Wander through the cobbled alleys of Punda and Otrobanda, lined with boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants, and feel the vibrant energy that surrounds you.


But Curaçao is not just about history and architecture. It boasts some of the most breathtaking beaches in the Caribbean, offering powdery white sand, swaying palm trees, and warm tropical waters. Whether you’re looking for a secluded cove to relax and unwind or an energetic beach with water sports and activities, Curaçao has it all.


For the adventurous souls, Curaçao’s underwater world is a paradise for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. With its abundant coral reefs, colorful marine life, and visibility that stretches for miles, it’s no wonder that Curaçao is hailed as one of the top diving destinations in the world. Explore the depths and be amazed by the vibrant coral gardens, encounter majestic sea turtles and eagle rays, and discover hidden caves and shipwrecks.


But it’s not just nature that makes Curaçao special. The island is a melting pot of different cultures and traditions, influenced by its rich history of colonization and trade. From the flavors of the local cuisine to the rhythmic beats of traditional music, Curaçao is a cultural tapestry waiting to be unraveled.


As you explore the island, you’ll find a wide range of activities to indulge in. From water sports such as paddleboarding and kitesurfing to hiking trails that lead to panoramic vistas, Curaçao offers endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation. And when it comes to food, prepare your taste buds for a culinary journey that will leave you craving more. From fresh seafood delicacies to the famous “krioyo” dishes, Curaçao’s cuisine is a fusion of flavors that will excite your palate.


So whether you’re seeking sun-soaked beaches, cultural immersion, or thrilling adventures, Curaçao is the perfect destination to satisfy all your desires. Get ready to be captivated by the beauty of this enchanting island and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Discover the Historic Willemstad

Step into the vibrant past of Curaçao by exploring the historic city of Willemstad. This UNESCO World Heritage site is known for its iconic pastel-colored buildings that line the waterfront. As you stroll along the streets of Punda and Otrobanda, you’ll be transported back in time to the island’s colonial era.


Start your journey at the Queen Emma Bridge, also known as the “Swinging Old Lady.” This pontoon bridge connects Punda and Otrobanda and swings open to allow ships to pass through. Explore the vibrant Handelskade, a row of colorful buildings that reflect the Dutch influence on the island’s architecture.


Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Kura Hulanda Museum, housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century building. This museum provides a fascinating insight into the island’s history, including its role in the transatlantic slave trade and the cultural contributions of the African diaspora.


Take a trip to the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, the oldest continuously operating synagogue in the Americas. Marvel at its striking interior, adorned with sand-filled floors and beautiful chandeliers.


For art enthusiasts, the Curaçao Museum offers a glimpse into the island’s artistic heritage. Explore the galleries filled with paintings, sculptures, and artifacts that depict the local culture and history.


As you wander through the streets, you’ll encounter charming boutiques, local markets, and inviting cafes. Take the time to browse through unique handicrafts, local artwork, and souvenirs that celebrate the island’s vibrant culture.


No visit to Willemstad is complete without indulging in the local cuisine. Treat yourself to traditional dishes such as “keshi yena,” a hearty stuffed cheese dish, or “stoba,” a savory stew made with goat meat. Don’t forget to sample the island’s signature liqueur, Blue Curaçao, made from the peel of the island’s famous Laraha citrus fruit.


Immerse yourself in the captivating history of Willemstad, where every corner tells a story. With its unique blend of architectural beauty and cultural significance, this historic city is a must-visit for anyone seeking to delve into the rich heritage of Curaçao.


Explore the Stunning Beaches

When it comes to picturesque beaches, Curaçao is a true paradise. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, powdery white sand, and mesmerizing coastal landscapes, the island offers a wide range of scenic spots to satisfy any beach lover.


One of the most popular beaches on the island is Cas Abao Beach. With its calm waters and vibrant coral reefs, it’s the perfect place for snorkeling and swimming. Relax on a beach chair or hammock under the shade of swaying palm trees, and soak up the sun while enjoying the breathtaking views.


If you’re looking for a more secluded and off-the-beaten-path beach experience, head to Playa Kalki. Located on the western side of the island, this hidden gem offers a tranquil escape surrounded by cliffs and rocky outcrops. Snorkelers will be delighted by the abundance of marine life that thrives in the clear waters.


For those seeking adventure and water sports, visit Jan Thiel Beach. This lively beach is home to a wide range of activities, from kayaking and paddleboarding to jet-skiing and sailing. After an exhilarating day on the water, unwind at one of the beachfront bars or restaurants and enjoy a refreshing drink.


If you’re a fan of wildlife, head to Playa Lagun, where you can often spot sea turtles gliding through the calm waters. This small, picturesque beach is also a favorite among snorkelers and divers due to its impressive underwater ecosystem.


Another beach worth exploring is Grote Knip, also known as Playa Kenepa. This long stretch of golden sand is framed by dramatic cliffs and offers breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters or simply relax on the beach and watch the waves roll in.


Whether you’re looking for a lively beach with water sports and amenities or a quiet spot to unwind and enjoy the natural beauty, Curaçao has it all. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore the stunning beaches and create unforgettable memories in this tropical paradise.


Dive into the Vibrant Underwater World

If you’re a diving or snorkeling enthusiast, Curaçao offers some of the most impressive underwater experiences in the Caribbean. With its clear, warm waters and diverse marine life, the island is a haven for underwater exploration.


One of the top dive sites in Curaçao is the Curaçao Sea Aquarium, where you can get up close and personal with a variety of marine creatures. Dive with dolphins, swim alongside sea turtles, and observe colorful tropical fish as you explore the vibrant coral gardens.


For those seeking more adventurous dive experiences, the Mushroom Forest is a must-visit. This unique dive site features a collection of mushroom-shaped coral formations that rise up from the ocean floor. Navigate through the forest of coral columns and witness the fascinating marine life that calls this area home.


Another popular spot for divers is the Superior Producer wreck. This sunken cargo ship lies at a depth of 30 meters and is teeming with marine life. Explore the exterior of the wreck and marvel at how nature has transformed it into an artificial reef.


Curaçao’s underwater world is not just for experienced divers. Snorkelers can also enjoy the beauty of the reefs and the abundance of marine life. Tugboat Beach is a favorite snorkeling spot, thanks to its clear waters and the wreck of a small tugboat just a short swim from the shore. Discover colorful fish, spot seahorses, and explore the vibrant coral formations.


If you want to take your underwater adventures to the next level, consider becoming a certified diver. Curaçao is home to numerous dive schools and centers that offer courses for all levels, from beginners to advanced divers. Under the guidance of experienced instructors, you can embark on a journey to discover even more hidden treasures beneath the surface.


Whether you choose to dive or snorkel, exploring the vibrant underwater world of Curaçao is an experience not to be missed. Immerse yourself in the clear waters, encounter colorful marine life, and witness the stunning beauty of the coral reefs that make this island a true Caribbean diving paradise.


Visit the Unique Hato Caves

Step into a mystical underground world by visiting the Hato Caves, a fascinating attraction that showcases the natural wonders of Curaçao. Located on the northern side of the island, these limestone caves are filled with stunning rock formations, sparkling pools, and ancient Indigenous petroglyphs.


As you venture into the depths of the cave, you’ll be guided by knowledgeable tour guides who will share the history, geology, and folklore associated with the caves. Marvel at the impressive stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over millions of years, creating intricate patterns and unique shapes that captivate the imagination.


One of the highlights of the Hato Caves is the Cathedral, a large cavern with high ceilings that is often used as a venue for weddings and concerts. The acoustics in this underground chamber are truly remarkable, providing a memorable setting for musical performances.


Another fascinating feature of the Hato Caves is the presence of Indigenous petroglyphs. These ancient rock carvings, created by the island’s original inhabitants, offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Curaçao. Listen as your guide tells the stories and legends associated with these mystical symbols.


Throughout the cave system, you’ll also encounter serene pools of water, formed by underground rivers that have carved their way through the limestone. The water’s clarity is astonishing, allowing you to peer into the depths and see the unique ecosystem that thrives within.


After exploring the caves, take a moment to visit the adjacent Ostrich Farm, where you can learn about these fascinating birds and even have a close encounter with them. Feed the ostriches or try your hand at riding one for a truly unique experience.


Visiting the Hato Caves is like stepping into another world. The captivating beauty and ancient history make it a must-visit attraction for anyone seeking a deeper connection with the natural wonders of Curaçao.


Experience the Rich Cultural Heritage

Curaçao is a melting pot of cultures, and experiencing the island’s rich cultural heritage is a must for any visitor. From its unique blend of languages to its diverse culinary delights and vibrant music and dance traditions, Curaçao offers a captivating cultural journey.


Start your exploration in the heart of Willemstad, where you’ll find the Floating Market. Here, vendors from Venezuela sell fresh fruits, vegetables, and seafood from their colorful boats. Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere, interact with the vendors, and taste the flavors of the Caribbean.


Continue your cultural journey with a visit to the Museum Kura Hulanda, located in the historic district of Otrabanda. This remarkable museum tells the story of the African diaspora, highlighting the impact of the transatlantic slave trade and celebrating the resilience and contributions of African cultures to Curaçao’s heritage.


Delve deeper into the island’s past with a visit to Landhuis Bloemhof, a former plantation estate that now serves as an art gallery and cultural center. Explore the exhibitions that showcase the work of local artists and learn about the island’s colonial history.


Curaçao’s cultural heritage is also evident in its diverse culinary scene. Sample traditional “krioyo” dishes, a fusion of African, European, and Caribbean flavors. Try local delicacies such as “bollo di cashupete” (yam dumplings) and “sopi di yuana” (iguana soup), and savor the unique blend of spices and ingredients.


No cultural experience in Curaçao is complete without experiencing the island’s art and music. Visit the Nena Sanchez Gallery to admire the colorful and vibrant paintings of this renowned Curaçao-born artist. Attend a live performance of tumba or tambú music, traditional genres that have their roots in African rhythms and storytelling.


Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the lively traditional dance known as “Seú.” In this energetic performance, dancers adorned in vibrant costumes move to the beat of African drums and express stories and emotions through their movements.


Experience Curaçao’s rich cultural heritage by immersing yourself in its traditions, art, music, and flavors. Discover the island’s unique blend of cultures and understand the resilience and vibrancy that shaped this beautiful Caribbean destination.


Enjoy Water Sports and Activities

For adventure enthusiasts and those who want to make the most of Curaçao’s stunning coastline, the island offers a wide range of water sports and activities that are sure to get your adrenaline pumping.


One of the most popular activities is snorkeling, thanks to the crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs that surround the island. Grab your snorkel gear and explore the underwater world, encountering colorful tropical fish, graceful sea turtles, and a myriad of fascinating marine life.


If you’re looking for a more immersive experience, try scuba diving in Curaçao’s pristine dive sites. The island is renowned for its visibility, allowing divers to explore the depths and discover incredible underwater landscapes, fascinating shipwrecks, and diverse marine ecosystems.


For those who want to soar through the air while enjoying the stunning coastal views, kiteboarding and windsurfing are popular choices. Curaçao’s strong winds and calm waters make it an ideal destination for these exhilarating water sports.


Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is another enjoyable activity that allows you to explore the coastline at your own pace. Glide along the tranquil waters, admiring the beauty of Curaçao’s beaches from a unique perspective.


If you’re seeking a thrilling adventure on the water, consider jet-skiing or parasailing. Feel the rush as you zip across the waves or soar high above the turquoise waters, taking in the panoramic views of the island’s coastline.


For a more relaxed experience, take a leisurely boat tour or catamaran cruise. Discover hidden coves, enjoy snorkeling stops, and bask in the warm Caribbean sun as you sail along the picturesque shoreline.


Curaçao’s diverse coastline also offers fishing opportunities for those looking to catch their own dinner. Charter a fishing boat and try your luck at reeling in some of the island’s prized fish species.


Whether you’re a water sports enthusiast or someone looking to try something new, Curaçao’s array of water activities will not disappoint. Dive into the azure waters, feel the wind in your hair, and create unforgettable memories on this Caribbean island.


Indulge in Delicious Local Cuisine

One of the highlights of visiting Curaçao is undoubtedly the opportunity to indulge in the flavors of the island’s unique and diverse culinary scene. From seafood delicacies to traditional “krioyo” dishes, Curaçao offers a gastronomic adventure that will tantalize your taste buds.


Start your culinary journey by sampling the island’s fresh seafood. From succulent shrimp and grilled fish to the exotic flavors of conch and lobster, Curaçao’s coastal location ensures that you’ll enjoy the finest and freshest seafood dishes imaginable.


For a truly authentic taste of Curaçao, try the traditional “krioyo” cuisine. This fusion of African, European, and Caribbean flavors combines ingredients such as plantains, yams, beans, and hearty stews. Savor dishes like “keshi yena” (stuffed cheese), “stoba” (a meat stew), and “funchi” (cornmeal) that showcase the island’s culinary heritage.


Curaçao is also known for its unique liqueur, Blue Curaçao, made from the peels of the island’s famous Laraha citrus fruit. Enjoy it on its own or mixed into a refreshing cocktail to add a vibrant burst of citrus flavor.


Don’t miss the chance to visit the local “snèks,” small casual bars that serve up a variety of local dishes and snacks. Try “pastechi,” a savory pastry filled with meat or cheese, or “bolo pretu,” a rich and delicious fruitcake that is a traditional dessert during special occasions.


To truly immerse yourself in the local food culture, visit the floating food market in Punda. Here, you’ll find stalls selling fresh fruits, vegetables, and flavorful spices. Engage with the vendors, discover new ingredients, and learn about the island’s culinary traditions.


As you explore the island, keep an eye out for food festivals and street food vendors that pop up throughout the year. These events offer a chance to taste a wide variety of dishes, from traditional to international cuisines, all while enjoying the vibrant and lively atmosphere.


Whether you’re a food lover or simply someone who appreciates the pleasure of a good meal, Curaçao’s culinary delights are not to be missed. Immerse yourself in the flavors, aromas, and history of the island’s cuisine and discover why Curaçao is a true food lover’s paradise.


Take a Scenic Drive along the Coastline

One of the best ways to appreciate the natural beauty of Curaçao is by taking a scenic drive along its picturesque coastline. With its stunning landscapes, dramatic cliffs, and panoramic vistas, the island offers a wealth of breathtaking sights to explore by car.


Start your journey in Willemstad and head towards the western part of the island, where you’ll find the serene Christoffel National Park. As you drive through this expansive nature reserve, you’ll be surrounded by lush vegetation and the iconic Mount Christoffel in the distance. Take a break from the road and embark on a hike to the summit of the mountain for a rewarding panoramic view of the island.


Continue your drive along the western coastline, passing by beautiful bays and secluded coves. Stop at scenic lookout points along the way and be captivated by the rugged cliffs and crashing waves. Admire the stunning turquoise waters of Playa Kenepa and Playa Lagun, and feel the cool sea breeze on your face.


As you make your way towards the eastern part of the island, you’ll encounter hidden gems such as the Shete Boka National Park. Witness the power of the ocean as it crashes against the rocky shores and forms natural blowholes at places like Boka Tabla. Take a moment to walk along the coastal trails and soak in the peacefulness of this untouched natural beauty.


Continue your drive towards the south, and you’ll pass by the vibrant salt flats of Jan Kok. These salt pans are not only a sight to behold but also serve as a home to a variety of bird species, including flamingos. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the stunning pink hues of these majestic creatures against the backdrop of the salt pans.


As your scenic drive comes to an end, make your way back to Willemstad and appreciate the iconic Pontoon Bridge as it swings open to allow boats to pass. Take a moment to stroll through the colorful streets of Punda and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of this historic part of the city.


A scenic drive along the coastline of Curaçao will leave you awestruck by the diversity of landscapes and natural wonders that this island paradise has to offer. So buckle up, roll down the windows, and let the breathtaking views unfold as you embark on this unforgettable journey.


Shop for Local Handicrafts and Souvenirs

No trip to Curaçao is complete without bringing home a piece of the island’s vibrant culture and unique craftsmanship. From handmade souvenirs to locally produced goods, Curaçao offers a wide range of options for shopping and discovering one-of-a-kind treasures.


Start your shopping adventure in Willemstad, where you’ll find charming boutiques and markets filled with local handicrafts. Explore the streets of Punda and Otrobanda, and browse through shops that showcase the creativity and talent of local artisans.


One popular item to bring back from Curaçao is the colorful and beautifully hand-painted ceramics. From plates and bowls to tiles and decorative pieces, these ceramics feature vibrant designs inspired by the island’s natural beauty and cultural heritage.


Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase a piece of traditional African-inspired art known as “bambú di papiamentu.” These handcrafted sculptures are made from twisted wires and beads, often depicting figures in traditional dress or animals native to the island.


If you’re a fan of fashion and accessories, Curaçao offers unique options that reflect the island’s vibrant style. Look for locally designed clothing, jewelry, and accessories made from materials such as Larimar, a rare blue stone found only in the Dominican Republic.


For a tasty souvenir, bring home some local specialties such as the famous Curaçao liqueur or locally produced hot sauces and spices. These flavorful delights will not only remind you of your time in Curaçao but also add a touch of Caribbean flair to your culinary adventures back home.


Curaçao is also known for its vibrant and colorful fabrics. Look for tablecloths, pillowcases, and clothing made from these vibrant textiles, which are often adorned with intricate patterns and designs inspired by the island’s rich cultural heritage.


As you explore the island, keep an eye out for local markets and fairs that showcase the creations of local artisans. These events provide an opportunity to engage directly with the makers, learn about their craft, and support the local economy.


Shopping for local handicrafts and souvenirs in Curaçao is not just about acquiring tangible items, but also about preserving the island’s cultural heritage and supporting the local community. So take the time to explore the shops, discover hidden treasures, and bring home a piece of this vibrant Caribbean destination.


Relax and Unwind at Luxurious Resorts

When it’s time to unwind and pamper yourself in paradise, Curaçao offers an array of luxurious resorts that will exceed your expectations. From stunning beachfront properties to tranquil escapes nestled amidst nature, these resorts provide the perfect backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation.


Immerse yourself in five-star luxury at the top resorts in Curaçao, where impeccable service, elegant accommodations, and world-class amenities await. Whether you prefer a sleek, modern retreat or a charming colonial-style property, there’s a resort to suit every taste and preference.


Many of the resorts in Curaçao boast pristine beaches with crystal-clear waters just steps away from your accommodation. Take in the breathtaking views as you lounge on a private cabana, or indulge in a refreshing swim in the infinity pools that seem to merge seamlessly with the ocean.


Unwind with a soothing spa treatment, where skilled therapists will pamper you with a range of massages, facials, and body treatments using locally sourced ingredients. Let the stress melt away as you rejuvenate your body and mind in a serene atmosphere.


For those who seek adventure as well as relaxation, the resorts in Curaçao offer a range of activities to keep you entertained. From snorkeling and diving excursions to kayaking and windsurfing, there’s something for every outdoor enthusiast.


Indulge in delectable cuisine at the resort’s fine dining restaurants, where talented chefs create culinary masterpieces using locally sourced ingredients. Savor the flavors of the Caribbean, complemented by fine wines and impeccable service.


As you unwind in the luxurious surroundings of the resort, take the time to explore the beautiful grounds and discover hidden gems such as lush gardens, secluded lounging areas, and picturesque hammocks overlooking the ocean. Immerse yourself in the tranquility and let the stress of the outside world fade away.


The luxurious resorts in Curaçao provide the ultimate escape, offering an unparalleled blend of relaxation, natural beauty, and world-class hospitality. Whether you seek a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo retreat, these resorts will ensure that your stay in Curaçao is nothing short of extraordinary.



Curaçao is a destination that captivates travelers with its vibrant culture, stunning beaches, rich history, and diverse array of activities. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a blend of both, this Caribbean gem has something for everyone.


From the historic streets of Willemstad to the depths of the underwater world, Curaçao offers a plethora of experiences that will leave you enchanted. Explore the pastel-colored buildings of the capital, discover hidden coves and vibrant coral reefs, and immerse yourself in the island’s rich cultural heritage.


Indulge in the mouthwatering flavors of the local cuisine, from fresh seafood to traditional “krioyo” dishes. Shop for unique handicrafts and souvenirs that celebrate the island’s creativity and talent. And when it’s time to unwind, let Curaçao’s luxurious resorts envelop you in a world of relaxation and indulgence.


Curaçao is more than just a tropical paradise; it’s an invitation to experience the beauty, history, and diverse offerings of this vibrant Caribbean island. So pack your bags, embark on an adventure, and create memories that will last a lifetime in this enchanting destination.