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'll find a large selection of beaches to enjoy on the island. Regardless of whether you prefer people watching, or you prefer a more secluded spot, you can find a beach that appeals to you. Click on the name of the beach for detailed information about that section of the coast.
If you want to go snorkeling, a location with that 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. Tourists flock to this beach, and for good reason. Diving and snorkeling are great here, and there is an on-location dive equipment shop available.
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.
Curacao has quite a few other beach choices. You can find more details by following 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.
One popular destination is Curacao Maritime Museum. It is located within downtown Willemstad. The museum is open from 9am to 4pm Tuesday through Saturday.
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: This privately funded cultural museum has a vast quantity of African artifacts. Anthropology is the focus of this museum and the collections catalog the origins of man in great detail, with a lot of focus on the slave trade era.
These examples are merely a few of the places worth checking out For more details about other sites worth visiting on Curacao, read this page.
Curacao Marine Park is one of the better known outdoor tourist attractions. 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.
A second attraction you might want to consider is Curacao Sea Aquarium. 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.
Curacao has additional choices. Follow this link to view our page concerning natural attractions on Curacao.
Ready for some action? Those wanting to try their luck will find lots of places to do so on the island.
Curacao Casino, part of Hilton Curaçao, is found within 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, which is on the premises of Sunscape Curacao, is located in the vicinity of Willemstad, Curacao. Sunscape houses four American Roulette tables, four Black Jack tables, and two Caribbean Stud Poker tables as well as 300 slot machines.
Carnaval Casino has a selection of games for patrons to play, including Blackjack and Roulette. With 25 table games and 400 slot machines, Carnaval is one of the largest casinos on the island.
Fortunately, there will be a full range options too. Click here to visit our guide to 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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