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A mix of Dutch and Portuguese architecture distinguishes the capital, Willemstad, whose downtown has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Book a walking tour with a government-approved “sworn tourist guide” like Maja Atalita, and she’ll take you through Fort Amsterdam, explaining how the island fell under the Netherlands territory and its Spanish and Portuguese influence prior to that. For the best view of the famed row of houses lining Punda, walk across St. Anna Bay via the Floating Bridge—yes, it literally floats—and shoot back at the town from Otrobanda, the other side of the channel. Before you head back to downtown by way of the free ferry, which offers yet another perspective of Willemstad, be sure and climb to the top level of Rif Fort for sweeping views of your surroundings.
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Willemstad, Curaçao