The Best Things To Do In Curacao
written by Fiona Tapp – October 24, 2019
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The sparkling clear waters of Curacao, just like the more famous nearby Aruba, are an excellent place to scuba dive, snorkel and swim. Along with Bonaire, they make up the Dutch-owned ABC islands and enjoy balmy temperatures outside of the hurricane belt.
Along with idyllic, secluded beaches and luxurious hotels, Curacao is also home to many different must-see attractions that give it a distinctly European flair underneath the Caribbean sun.
Here are the best hotels to explore on Carucao:
Tour Willemstad Historic Buildings
Curacao’s capital city, Willemstad, is full of Dutch colonial architecture and fascinating buildings, including The Fortchurch.
This beautiful sunny yellow structure is the oldest church on the island and dates back to 1769. Look inside to see the original pulpit and Governors bench, made from solid mahogany, and take the opportunity to tour the small collection of exhibits from life on the island in the 1600s and beyond.
The Fortchurch living monument is just a short minute walk from the uber-trendy Bijblauw Boutique Hotel, restaurant and concept store.
All of Willemstad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s easy to see why, among the candy-colored buildings lining the water where the Queen Emma floating pontoon bridge swings open and closed each day.
Don’t worry if you miss a crossing just wait a little while and “the old lady,” as she is known, will soon swing back into place allowing pedestrians to cross the water.
Built in 1888, the bridge connects the neighborhoods of Punda and Otrobanda. From here you are just a short drive from The Avila Beach Hotel, a beautiful oceanfront property.
See the Colorful Handelskade
This waterfront strip of colorful buildings in Punda is one of the most photographed places in Curacao and speaks to the Dutch heritage of the island.
See it in the daylight to capture all those pretty pastels and then come back for another look at nighttime when the cafes and restaurants are illuminated by the twinkling lights on the Queen Emma pontoon bridge.
Then head to the beach by jumping in a taxi for a short drive to the LionsDive Beach Resort Curacao.
Find a Secluded Beach
Curacao has more than enough beaches to find a secluded spot. For some of the most picturesque locations be sure to visit Blue Bay, Kokomo, Kalki, Kenepa and Jan Thiel. For true seclusion, charter a boat or jump on a prearranged tour to Klein Beach, which is an uninhabited island off the mainland and the longest beach in Curacao.
If you prefer your beaches busy with shops, restaurants and cafes check out the Seaquarium beach, right next to the aquarium. From this fun beach you’re just a four-minute walk to the family-friendly Sunscape Curacao Resort Spa & Casino with its four swimming pools and entertaining kids’ club.
Curacao is known as a fantastic place to scuba dive and snorkel. From airplane wrecks to Hell’s Corner to the Mushroom Forest, there’s so much to discover underwater in Curacao. You can expect to see a huge array of marine and coral life including brain corals, tube sponges, schooling jacks, lobsters, green morays, barracudas and sea turtles.
Stay at The Scuba Lodge Boutique Hotel and Ocean Suites in Willemstad and you’ll be able to take advantage of their stay-and-dive packages.
Close to the airport, the Hato Cavesare 300,000 years old and the biggest caves on the island. Step inside the cool cave chamber to escape the heat of the day and learn more about the stalactites and stalagmites formations and how stories sprung up around their appearance, which some say resemble a tortoise and a sleeping giant. There is also a cactus garden and interpretive walk to explore.
The Kura Hulanda Village & Spais just a short drive from Hato Caves and features beautifully restored colonial buildings.
Iguana meat is offered on menus across Curacao and is often barbecued and served with a wink—as it’s thought to be an aphrodisiac.
Try it at The Blueview Sunset Terrace with sensational views across Knip beach. If you want to stay in this area you won’t have far to travel as The Blueview has its own apartments available to rent just minutes from the beach.
Nature enthusiasts will be enthralled by the rocky north coast of Curacao’s national park, the bays of which are nesting grounds for three different types of sea turtles. Boka Pistol and Boka Wandomi are two hiking trails which offer panoramic views across the ocean and the limestone rocks.
After a day of exploring drive back down the island for just under 30 minutes until you reach the Oasis Coral Estate Beach, Dive & Wellness Resort on Karakter Beach. Rest those weary legs at their wellness center—or just laze in the sun like an iguana.