Venture to the Dutch island of Curaçao, an enchanting destination in the Caribbean that offers pristine diving conditions, picturesque coves and a thriving nightlife scene. Hike exotic nature trails, spend the day shopping in colorful Willemstad and learn about the work of local artists at regional museums and galleries.
Curaçao blends European architecture with a relaxed island atmosphere and a rich Caribbean history. This cultural blend is easily evidenced by the mixture of languages you’ll hear on the island, with Dutch, English and Papiamentu, a Portuguese-based Creole language, all frequently spoken.
The UNESCO-listed capital of Willemstad is a popular shopping destination, but even if you had no interest in hitting the stores, there is lots to keep you entertained here. Inspect the European-style architecture, watch ships pass under the grand Queen Emma Bridge and browse exhibits on the island’s tumultuous past at the Museum Kura Hulanda.
Curaçao’s beaches range from busy tourist and watersports destinations to hidden quiet coves, perfect for a romantic getaway. Go snorkeling and diving at Caracasbaai to explore the underwater park, or watch the local fishing boats bob up and down in the waves at Boka St. Michiel. Kenepa in the north of the island offers sparkling blue water, sandy beaches and beautiful views of the hills in the background.
Most visitors arrive by cruise ship into Curaçao. If you are coming by air, you’ll most likely fly into Hato International Airport on the northern coast. Daily non-stop services run from the U.S, and it’s easy to find a connecting flight to destinations across Europe and the Caribbean.
If you plan on venturing outside the resort, rent a car and buy a local map. Public buses are also available, but run with limited schedules. Large buses, known as konvooi, travel long distances, while smaller cars and vans carry passengers within the towns and cities.
Visit Curaçao to discover a land of unspoiled natural beauty. Be sure to stop by the smaller villages to observe island communities that remain relatively uninfluenced by major tourist activity.