The Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao is the largest of the former Netherlands Antilles islands and is a unique and somewhat undiscovered jewel of the region.
The island boasts a captivating countryside, full of historical and cultural treasures, but its beaches are the main appeal for tourists. Travelers also visit Curaçao for its great low-import duty shopping.
The romantic ambiance of Curaçao's beaches creates the perfect getaway for honeymooners and couples. Most of the island's beaches are small and secluded, hidden away from the prying crowds that are associated with many other popular beach destinations in the Caribbean. As one of the region's well-kept secrets, the sands along Curaçao's shores are generally uncrowded. Not only are there very few crowds, especially during the week, but the approximately 38 beaches here are absolutely stunning.
There are beaches on both the Atlantic Ocean side of the island, as well on the side facing the Caribbean. The waters of the Caribbean tend to be calmer than those on the Atlantic side, though this should not deter you from visiting spots like Knip Beach. Vacationers will find that nearly all of the beaches on Curaçao are postcard-perfect, with picturesque landscapes like gigantic rock cliffs, tropical plant life, and sapphire blue waters.
You will discover an abundance of beaches to consider on the island. Regardless of whether you prefer people watching, or you enjoy relaxing in a secluded area, you can find a beach that fits your preferences. You can click on the beach names to get additional information concerning that individual beach.
If you love snorkeling, a location where that is an option is Cas Abao Beach. A pristine beach that is well loved by families with young children and watersports enthusiasts alike, this beach is often noted as one of the best on the island.
Another good choice for those who enjoy snorkeling is Playa Porto Mari. Renowned for its unique double reef off shore, the hills and cliffs along the western coast create come stunning scenery on shore, and the multitude of shady spots make for a perfectly relaxing day on the beach. The water here is incredible clear and the sand is almost entirely rock free.
Jan Thiel Beach: Although the beach is free for guests of the Jan Thiel Resort, admission for all others is $3.50(USD) per person. With this fee comes access to a a full service beach which features chairs and umbrellas, stands for renting out watersports equipment, and bars and restaurants.
These examples are just a sample of what's available. To find out about other beaches available, use this link.
...tour the island's liquor distillery...
Curaçao is rich in history and culture, and several museums commemorate the island's heritage. The entire city of Willemstad has been listed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Take a tour of the city, taking note of the pastel colored buildings, red-roofs, and glimmering natural harbor, which hearken back to the time when Dutch settlers built the city from the ground up.
Other historical and cultural landmarks on the island include forts, statues, and bridges. One of the country's most popular exports is its Curaçao liqueur, which is made from the peel of a particular orange that is only found on the island. Vacationers can tour the island's liquor distillery and perhaps sample some of its products.
Many travelers choose to visit Curacao Maritime Museum. It is located within downtown Willemstad. The history of the island is featured in this museum, along with antique nautical charts, models of ships and other artifacts that offer a glimpse back in time. Take a guided tour and walk through the harbor with a guide detailing it's history.
Curacao Museum: Hours Monday through Friday are 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM, Sunday from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Saturdays they are closed.
Kura Hulanda Museum: Focusing on the predominant cultures of Curacao, the exhibits chronicle the Origin of Man, the African Slave Trade, West African Empires, Pre-Colombian Gold, Mesopotamian Relics and Antillean Art. When you first enter the museum, the receptionist will greet you with a map of the museum and general information.
These examples are just a few of the available choices. To read our detailed page about other sites worth visiting on Curacao, go to this page.
Curacao Marine Park is one of the more frequently visited natural attractions. <p>Stretching from the Breezes Hotel to the eastern tip of the island is this unofficially protected area. Currently, the law does not make it a designated marine preserve, but they are working towards that goal and continue to remain vigilant in keeping the area pristine.</p>
Curacao Sea Aquarium is another site that's popular with visitors. <p>As an island, it is easy to understand why marine life is such an important subject. The Curacao Sea Aquarium is more than your typical aquarium. In fact,it is one of the only aquariums in the world that uses an open-water-system, which means that seawater is continuously pumped in.</p>
Luckily, there are other natural attractions. To visit our guide to natural attractions on Curacao, see this page.
In the mood for some action? Travelers interested in testing their luck on the slots can find lots of venues where they can do so on the island.
Curacao Casino, which is on the premises of Hilton Curaçao, is located in the vicinity of Willemstad, Curacao. Connected to the lobby of the Hilton Curacao by a bridge, the Curacao Casino is a rainbow of color, with electronic games lighting up the floor, and lightly colored tiled flooring set in place strategically to reflect the colorful atmosphere.
Sunscape Casino, a part of Sunscape Curacao, is found within the vicinity of Willemstad, Curacao. Take a break from the sun and the sand by spending an evening in -- at the Sunscape Casino. This clean, cool, and brightly lit facility is inviting and thrilling, allowing guests to escape from their daily worries and dream of winning big.
Carnaval Casino provides a collection of games for guests to enjoy, including Blackjack and Roulette. Carnival opens daily at 10:00 a.m., and doesn't close until 4:00 the next morning.
Fortunately, you can find plenty of additional choices too. Click on this link to view our page regarding gaming on Curacao.
Whether it's swimming, sunbathing, or sightseeing, Curaçao has plenty to see and do for all kinds of vacationers.
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