Your Guide to the Best of Curaçao

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Tucked between Aruba and Bonaire, Curaçao is a lesser Antilles Island country in the southern Caribbean Sea. With great restaurants,  luxurious all-inclusive resorts , expansive beaches, a historic downtown, and of course, genuine Blue Curaçao liqueur, Curaçao is your kind of place if you like variety.

Whether it’s holding a baby ostrich or delighting in a royal high tea at a UNESCO listed monument, Curaçao has something or everyone.

No matter what brings you to Curaçao, now that the island nation has reopened to many parts of the world, you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied and tons of bests—from a welcoming community and cultural activities to unique island treasures, good eats, can’t-miss sites, and more!

Playa PortoMari

Playa PortoMari is great for outdoor (and underwater) enthusiasts. With a rehabilitated double reef and on-site snorkel and scuba diving rentals, undersea exploration beckons here. There are also three nature trails, perfect for the running and biking segments of the area’s annual October Off Road Triathlon. After hiking or biking, be sure to hit up the beach bar and restaurant which offers scrumptious Indonesian and Dutch fare and an ideal spot to view the breathtaking sunset.

Unique Treasures

Days tours in Curaçao are plentiful and stunning beaches are a given, but did you know one of the island’s many treasures involves ostriches? Visit an ostrich farm where you can spend time with baby ostriches and go on a safari. The Curaçao Ostrich Farm houses more than 600 birds and offers guided tours. See the birds at every stage of their development, plus, you might even get to hold one of the babies in your hand!

Signature, hand-painted Delft Blue pottery pieces are among some of the most unique treasures you can actually take home. Bookshelf and coffee table worthy, these make for some of the best souvenirs, and they are an important part of the island’s history.

Swimming with Sea Turtles

Sea turtles are believed to have been on earth for more than 100 million years. The female sea turtle will lay anywhere from 70 to 200 eggs about 60 cm deep into the sand. Usually, the hatchlings can clamber out on their own. If you want something different from the typical shore excursions in Curaçao, you can opt to get close to these majestic creatures and snorkel with the sea turtles in the crystal-clear waterscape—one of the best underwater experiences both kids and adults can enjoy. Tours generally include round trip private transfer, personal guide, photographer, photos, and the use of snorkeling equipment.

Local Color

Reminiscent of the famous canals in Amsterdam, the colorful houses of Punda illuminate day and night. Handelskade is a sight to behold and its waterfront strip in Punda is lined with colorful houses and 18th century style buildings. Handelskade, a major tourist attraction, is loved for its outdoor cafes and relaxed vibe. Boat watch, walk along the pier, café hop, or just sit and take in the fresh air and festive sights.

Don't Miss

The top excursions in Curaçao are obvious. For a bit of lesser-known fun encounters, head to the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge at dusk—just in time to catch a glimpse of the colorful Dutch architecture and enjoy the lights on the water minutes later. Also, don’t miss savoring a royal experience at the historical 18th century Huize Batavia great house. The mansion features antique items and art, and a legendary high tea.

What would a trip to this Dutch island be without taking home some cheese? Given its history, Curaçao is one of the best places to sample and purchase authentic Dutch cheese in the Caribbean. Try Keshi Yená—which translates to “stuffed cheese”—a signature island dish with several gourmet variations. Finally, you can’t leave this island without trying out one of the many Truk’i Pans, the original food trucks, stationed throughout the island and serving late-night comfort foods like barbecue dishes with fries or bread.

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