The Best Things to Do in Curaçao
Collected by Lebawit Lily Girma , AFAR Local Expert
Curaçao draws divers, snorkelers, and swimmers with its coral reefs and picture-perfect beaches. The diminutive island is also packed with museums, art galleries, restaurants, and shops, all tucked into colorful Dutch Colonial architecture.
Kon. Emmabrug, Willemstad, Curaçao
No island getaway is complete without seeing gorgeous scenery you'd never, ever see at home—and Willemstad’s floating bridge delivers! Built in 1888, "Our Swinging Old Lady" is supported by 16 pontoon boats and two motors. When...
Otrobanda, Willemstad, Curaçao
Stroll through Otrobanda for more than five minutes and you'll immediately understand why locals call it the cultural heart of Willemstad. Located across the bay from Punda—Otrobanda literally means "other side"—the district is a...
Hanchi Snoa 1-5, Willemstad, Curaçao
Willemstad’s first colonial settlement started as a hub for Dutch slave traders. Now a World Heritage site, this modern city center has a distinct Euro-Caribbean atmosphere, its preserved colonial buildings housing fashion boutiques, art...
Klipstraat, Willemstad, Curaçao
The Caribbean's most comprehensive museum dedicated to the slave trade and the Middle Passage, Kurá Hulanda (meaning "Dutch courtyard" in Papiamento) is also the region's largest anthropological collection on Africa. Founded by Dutch...
Hanchi di Snoa 29, Punda, Willemstad, Curaçao
A block-long bright yellow building standing almost fortress-like above the surrounding streets in Willemstad, the Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue bears testament to the long history of Judaism in the Americas. Built in 1730, it is the oldest...
Bitterstraat, Willemstad, Curaçao
Cross Punda's Queen Wilhelmina Bridge, and bam! You're in Scharloo, Willemstad’s youngest colonial district. Known for baroque mansions once inhabited by the island’s wealthiest merchants, this historical neighborhood is also a hipster...
Landhuis Savonet, Weg Naar Westpunt, Curaçao
It gets so hot in Curaçao that you're not even allowed to hike the island’s highest peak—1,239-foot-high Mount Christoffel—after 11 a.m. But you can explore seven other walking paths in the surrounding park, or follow a marked trail to take in the...
Stretching across a rugged 10-kilometer coastline, Shete Boka's jagged landscape boasts seven accessible inlets. It's an easy hike to the first stop: Boka Tabla, where you can shimmy down into its cavernous opening to watch the massive waves blast...
playa forti, Sabana Westpunt, Curaçao
They say you haven’t really been to Curaçao until you've jumped off this 40-foot cliff on the Westpunt side of the island. Located near the edge of the Restaurant Playa Forti, this spectacular site has seen many a visitor perched for minutes...and...
Pletterijweg Willemstad, Parera Curaçao, Pletterijweg, Willemstad, Curaçao
Thriving marine life and crystal-clear water make Curaçao an unforgettable snorkeling destination. At Tugboat Beach, you can head 17 feet below the surface to explore a sunken vessel. Mushroom Forest is known for its hard corals and cute...
Saliña Ariba, Willemstad Elias R. A. Moreno Boulevard, Willemstad, Curaçao
The nation’s signature blue curaçao liqueur is made on this former plantation house (landhuis) turned distillery. The fragrant oils in the peels of the island's oranges—originally brought here by the Spaniards, and then...
Sha Caprileskade, Willemstad, Curaçao
Near the pontoon bridge in Handelskade in Willemstad, wooden boats from Venezuela dock alongside the canal, and vendors here sell just-caught fish and tropical fruits and vegetables (plantains, citrus, papayas, avocados) directly from the quay...
Weg Naar groot St. Joris z/n Willemstad, Curacao, Curaçao
If you’re looking to get away from the beautiful beaches for an afternoon, then be sure to include the Curacao Ostrich Farm in your travel plans. Originally started by expats from Namibia, today the Ostrich farm is one of the top tourist sites on...
N. van den Brandhofstraat 1, Willemstad, Curaçao
There’s a pretty neat little collection of seafaring artifacts there, along with scale models of old vessels, classic photos, charts and documents highlighting more than 500 years of the island’s maritime history, including, of course, the era of...
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