From its 40+ beaches, several dive and snorkeling sites, the cultural and cosmopolitan charms of Willemstad’s many districts, and a lovely colorful culture with an origin full of interesting mixes. Curacao may not deserve its lack of attention, but its underratedness makes it even more appealing.
What Is Curacao Best Known for?
It’s hard to pinpoint one thing to determine what Curacao is best known for apart from its stunning natural beauty, which seems to be the common theme among the gifted Caribbean islands. However, the one thing that Curacao is known for is the perfect combination of natural beauty, myriads of activities, mixed culture, and weather, yes, the weather.
Like the rest of the Caribbean, Curacao is European-influenced, with a rich history of European occupations and control. First, the Spanish, the British, and the Dutch have become its longest-standing influence. Its colorful history has made the island and its people exquisitely special.
You can see how far the Dutch influence go if you head on to Willemstad, the island’s capital and center of culture and history. You can marvel at the colorful colonial houses and the Dutch-style buildings that looked like they’re straight out of Amsterdam. This has made the city hailed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its historic importance and beauty.
You’ll also find that Willemstad and other historical areas of metropolitan Curacao have other interesting quirks as well that make the island stand out. The multilingualism of the locals, the incredible fusion in their cuisine, and the incredible general vibe of the city are enough to become the island’s best draws.
History and culture aside, the island’s 30 to 40+ beaches are just a few of the island’s claim-to-fame, and each one offers different experiences, from the crowded to the seemingly private ones, you can surely find solace in any of them under the famous Caribbean sun. Some of the most famous ones are Kenepa Beach, Playa PortoMari, and Mambo Beach.
And yes, when you say beaches, it will eventually lead you under the pristine waters of Curacao, and the island has plenty of reason for people to go under. Curacao has some of the best dive sites globally, and many of them are perfect for beginners. You can head on to Cas Abao, and Porto Mari right off the Playa Porto Mari. For beginners, they can marvel at the Booby Trap in the south.
It’s also worth noting, that the island doesn’t get hurricanes like the rest of the Caribbean. This is because the island lies in the southern Caribbean, a few miles off the edges of the infamous Hurricane Belt. The island’s distance from the hurricane belt allows it to have sunny and warm days all year round, except for some little rain on certain months.
What Are Two Things Curacao Is Famous for?
Curacao is famous for its aquatic wonder, especially for scuba divers, snorkelers, and beach bums. As stated, there are plenty of beaches to choose from and lounge on in Curacao, each one offers a different flavor under the same Caribbean sun. Dive sites may not be as numerous as the beaches but they offer unforgettable experiences for everybody, from beginners to the professional.
When you say Curacao, a lot of previous visitors will point you to the famous Handelskade. A waterfront strip teeming in colors splashed on several Dutch-style buildings in Punda, Willemstad. Famous for its picturesque beauty on a backdrop of a beautiful bay, and lovely blue skies, Handelskade is a must-visit in Willemstad.
What Is There to Do in Curacao Today?
When you get to Curacao the best thing to do is explore as much and do as much as you can. This may be the largest island among the ABC, but it certainly is small in comparison to, let’s say the Dominican Republic or Jamaica.
Upon arrival at the airport, head down to historical Willemstad and you can start your Curacao adventure from there. It’s not as cosmopolitan as any other European capital, to which it is inspired, but it is more historical with a tinge of the Caribbean.
Head down to the city’s different quirky districts like the Pietermaai, Punda, Scharloo, and many more for their distinct flavors and enjoy the little charms these areas provide. Pietermaai often touted as the most happening and pulsating part of the city, has the best restaurants, clubs, and bars.
Punda has the famous Handelskade, and the district itself is known for its Euro-Caribbean atmosphere, colonial buildings, and great dining and shopping. Scharloo is colorful as they come, you can’t only admire the colorful houses but the creative and colorful street art as well.
After you’ve marveled at the heart of Curacao, it’s time to head down to its beaches and other natural wonders. In Curacao, you have 30 to 40+ beaches to choose from, and some of the best ones are Mambo Beach, Kenepa, and Grote Knip.
Rent out a car in Willemstad and explore nature further by visiting the islands’ natural parks like the Christoffel National Park. With an expanse of 2,300 hectares by the west, Christoffel Park offers tons of things to nature-loving tourists. You can hike around and see the lush greenery of the island and check out the famous kadushi cactus, white-tailed deer, and the green iguana.
And if you’re an animal lover, you’ll enjoy checking out Wild Flamingos sat Jan Kok, outside of Willemstad. Head on to the salt lakes in Jan Kok where hundreds of flamingos converge. You can also check out the Curacao Ostrich Farm, which houses more than 600 birds.
Can You Swim With Dolphins in Curacao?
You can swim with dolphins in two ways in Curacao, which is swimming in the natural lagoon with them via tours and companies that offer you encounters with our magnificent aquatic friends and to encounter them where they truly belong, in the open sea.
The Dolphin Academy Curacao lets you encounter them both in the natural lagoon and the open sea. From swimming, free diving, dolphin training courses, to scuba diving with them under the open sea. Prices can cost around 75 to 549 USD, depending on your chosen activity.
How Many Days Do You Need in Curacao?
With the island’s plethora of available activities, day to night, and an abundance of places to explore, and marvel upon, three to five days in Curacao would suffice. A week’s worth would let you experience, and live your best days on the island where it always has something new for you to experience.
With the island’s 30 to 40+ beaches, a plethora of fun and interesting cultural sites, quirky districts, and thousands of people to meet Curacao has everything you’ll ever need for a lovely time in the Dutch Caribbean. Rest assured, that no matter when you’ll visit, you’ll never catch a hurricane there.
What Is the Best Area to Stay in Curacao?
If you prefer a more cultural, entertaining, and convenient area to stay in Curacao, it’s best to stay around the different districts Willemstad, however, you might need a bit of a bigger budget for that. However, if you choose to stay on budget, then staying in places outside of the city center might be the most ideal for you.
For young adult travelers, the area by Jan Thiel and Mambo Beach is the most entertaining and has budget-friendly activities and accommodations. If you prefer a bit of nightlife, by the beach, you can stay in Piscadera for the best entertainment for night owls.
But Jan Thiel isn’t only for the younger crowds, it’s also ideal for families, as it can be cheaper not only for friend groups but for families as well. Not to mention, the plethora of exciting activities available in the area is perfect for adventure-seeking families as well.
Sint Michiel is known to be one of the most budget-friendly areas on the island. This area is perfect for the outdoorsy types, and those looking for cheaper activities. It is a mellow town outside the capital with a view of the lovely western coast.
Where Should I Stay in Curacao?
It depends on who you’re traveling with, the experience you’re looking to have, and the budget you have. The most common places to stay are in Willemstad, and its different districts, like Punda and Pietermaai, Jan Thiel for younger crowds and families, while Mambo Beach, Piscadera, and Sint Michiel are for those looking for cheaper activities without breaking the bank.
As a family, Puna, Otrobanda, and Riffort Village are the places to be in Willemstad. These districts offer the right mix of historical, cultural, and a tinge of cosmopolitanism because of the shops you can find there. Not to mention, some of the best food places can be found in Puna, as well.
Is There a Sandals Resort in Curacao?
Sandals Resort Curacao is situated at the Spanish Water Bay near Willemstad, with a sprawling 3,000 acres and 44 sweeping oceanfront expanses. Currently, undergoing renovation, this incredible oceanfront estate is set to exhibit expansive pools and plenty of new suites, including more dining options and a golf course.
The resort offers 350 rooms, 38,000 sq. feet of indoor and outdoor space, which is the largest on the island, and 2 onsite marinas. Sandals Resort aims to provide the best upscale Curacaoan experience.
Are There All-Inclusive Resorts in Curacao?
Curacao is also home to several All-Inclusive Resorts for people looking for a well-organized and laid-back stay on the island. One of them is the famous Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino, situated at the city center, and just a walking distance from the Renaissance Shopping Mall and Rif Fort.
Baoase Luxury Resort is best for romantic couples looking to have that ideal getaway in Curacao. Offering all-inclusive specials for couples, you can enjoy any upscale luxury experience with a splash of romance under the Caribbean sun. With 23 plus rooms, suites, and villas the resort is at best defines top-notch luxury.
A famous brand making its own big splashes around the Caribbean, Curacao Marriott Beach Resort, with an expensive view of the southern Caribbean in the property’s 6 acres of oceanfront expanse. This resort just sits near Willemstad and is thus accessible. The resort also premieres Yoga, Pilates, jogging, and walking trails, with a large pool that’s just a few steps away from the beach.
Is Dreams Curacao All Inclusive?
One of the many luxury resorts that speckle the coasts of Curacao, Dreams Curacao is an all-inclusive resort. This premier accommodation aims to provide an unlimited luxury experience, with its resort amenities, spa, and casino.
The property also boasts seven dining options, and four bars, right in Piscadera Bay with two on-site white-sand beaches. All-inclusive packages also include a PADI dive course and allow you to explore the seas of Curacao.
What Do You Wear in Curacao?
Curacao can feel a bit bigger than its smaller sister, Aruba, and Bonaire, but the city and the island itself aren’t different from the rest of the Caribbean when it comes to the atmosphere and the necessary street style. Curacao’s vibes are relaxed and laid-back.
Needless to say, with the island’s relative lack of hurricanes, and little rain, Curacao can be hot. However, you have the trade winds from the east to thank for when it comes to regulating the searing heat. To stay cool, make sure you wear shorts, thin, or flowy dresses during the day for ladies and maxi dresses for evenings. A simple, thin basic shirt and shorts can do too. Finish your look with comfortable sandals, or flip flops.
As for the men, thin, and light button-downs can work well for the day, even tank tops, and light-colored basic t-shirts will do. Pair it up with shorts, denim or otherwise, good sandals, or flip flops.
When you like to lounge on the beach, or the poolside, make sure you have coverups with your favorite bikinis and swimwear. Make sure you also have sunglasses, and hats to protect your eyes and face if you like sunbathing.
What Should I Pack for Curacao?
Apart from the essentials like medicine kits, and toiletries, make sure to bring other things for outdoor activities as well. Other than your fashionable items, bring a light sweater for the night, it may be warm during the day, but it can get chilly at night, especially if you’re staying by the beach or coast.
Curacao is best for outdoor activities, apart from the famous underwater ones. If you’re the hiking/trekking type, make sure to pack the necessary wear, like comfortable hiking shoes, a small backpack, and a purse. And, if you’re staying in waterfront accommodations make sure you have mosquito repellent if you’re not staying in air-conditioned rooms.
What Kind of Plugs Are Used in Curacao?
Power plugs and sockets that are used in Curacao are types A, F, and B. If you’re from Canada, the USA, Mexico, and other Central American countries, chances are you don’t have to bother buying adapters.
These countries typically use the Type A plug outlet and socket, the same goes for Japan and China. Type B plugs have extra prongs for grounding; however, they can still be used in type A sockets.
Do I Need an Adapter in Curacao?
It depends on what country you’re from and which country you bought your electronics from, like phone, and laptop chargers, and other things. If you have types C, and E plug and sockets, you have to bring an adapter with you.
On the other hand, if you’re from North, and Central America, China, Japan, and different certain countries in Asia, you might not need an adapter, as these countries use the Type A plug and socket like Curacao.
Why Is Curacao Called the Best Kept Secret?
Despite its fame, and tourist-hailing beauty, Curacao can be overshadowed by bigger names and islands across the Caribbean like Jamaica, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Belize, and even Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The draws in these locales compete with each other, vying for the top spot.
Curacao’s underrated beauty lies in its charms, cultural quirks, and a plethora of sites and spots that offer myriad experiences for the right kind of adventurer. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially those who tasted the best of other different places. But to those who come looking for its quirks, charms, and magic Curacao is ready to give it.
40+ beaches, an abundance of dive sites suitable for the inexperienced and the expert, beautiful, historic, and cultural districts with the right blend of modernity, multilingual warm, loving people, and a plethora of opportunities for an amazing experience, Curacao deserves all the attention it could get, only if we dare to look at it more often.
Why Should I Visit Curacao?
It has everything you will need for an ideal tropical getaway. The island’s natural beauty has given us a plethora of places and sites to explore. From its several dive and snorkeling sites, seemingly unlimited beaches to lounge on, each one offering something different, a national park, and interesting wildlife, you’ll never run out of anything worth being curious about.
Apart from its natural quirks, Curacao also has the most underrated cosmopolitan element. Willemstad is packed with gorgeous districts depicting its colorful culture, and mixed origins. The city’s many districts themselves will give you a never-ending list of what to do.
All these are what make Curacao worth a visit, it may be small but the island packs a punch. Plus, the noticeable absence of hurricanes doesn’t hurt either.