The island of Curacao is located in the Southern Caribbean just off of the coast of Venezuela. Curacao was previously a colony of The Netherlands and was once a key Dutch strong hold to the new world of the Americas. Filled with historical sites, beautiful beaches and pristine scuba diving and snorkeling locations, Curacao makes a dream vacation spot, no matter what your interests are.
The capital city of Willemstad, which is where a tourist is most likely to fly into, is home to multiple historical sites, beautiful museums and a vibrant night life. Therefore, no matter what your final destination, you should make an effort to explore the city before getting on their way. Since the city was once the key port to the Dutch stronghold in the New World, slavery was an important aspect of the island in its early years.
Thus, the predominant museum of the city, Museum Kura Hulanda, focuses greatly on African history and the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The museum chronicles the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the island’s participation in it, with artifacts from the various periods. Additionally, the museum contains a large selection of African art, one of the largest of all Caribbean museums.
After visiting Willemstad, you should make an effort to visit one of the 38 stunning beaches on the island. Many resorts have private beaches so it is not difficult for tourists to experience the beauty of the white sands or deep blue waters. However, if you are looking for a beach experience that is more authentic, you should consider visiting a beach such as Blauwbaai. This beautiful beach is located just northwest of Willemstad, and is the island’s most popular beach. Since this beach is so popular, it is more commercialized. The beach requires a $3 entry fee and has a boardwalk with several shops and restaurants.
Although this may not fit the Caribbean beach fantasy of many people, the commercialization does not detract from the beauty of the beach, and is still a must visit when visiting Curacao.
Playa Santa Cruz is a much less popular beach that is used primarily by the locals. However, many people come to the beach to take the water taxi to the world famous snorkeling spots of Curacao. Visitors are in for a treat, as they not only get to visit the secluded beach and experience the beauty of the marine life, they also get to spend time with Captain Goodlife, a local celebrity who leaves tourists talking about him years after their vacation.
Finally, if a tourist is not too tired from visiting Willemstad or snorkeling off of Playa Santa Cruz, they should make an effort to visit Christoffel National Park, a 4,450 acre wild life reserve located on the western edge of Curacao. There are a variety of hiking trials that range in difficulty, making it possible for new and experienced hikers to enjoy the park. At the top of Mt. Chistoffel, the highest point of the island, it is possible to see Venezuela on a clear day.
If visitors do not want to hike, they can still enjoy the beauty of the park via horseback and jeep tours. There are also parks and ponds located within the park, making kayaking and picnicking a favorite among families. Additionally, the entrance to the park is located closer to larger towns and beaches, making it possible for visitors to enjoy the park for a full day or only a few hours.
For a small island, Curacao has so much to offer. With a deep historical history, beautiful beaches and parks and snorkeling spots, there truly is something for every kind of tourist to enjoy in Curacao.
Have you been to Curacao? Anything to add to our Itinerary Ideas for your Curacao Vacation?