Uncover the Best Things to Do in Curacao – From Pristine Beaches to Mouthwatering Cuisine
Curacao–pronounced “koo-ra-sow” with the stress on the second syllable, is one of the Caribbean’s southern islands located just off the coast of Venezuela, and part of the “ABC” island group– Aruba, Bonaire Curacao. It is a destination gem offering many activities and attractions for travelers looking for both relaxation and some adventure.
With its crystal clear waters, stunning beaches, rich culture, and diverse history, Curacao is a destination that appeals to travelers of all ages and interests–from snorkeling and scuba diving to exploring historical landmarks and indulging in local cuisine, there are endless things to do in Curacao that will leave a lasting impression.
Here are some of the best things to do:
- Explore the Historic City of Willemstad: Willemstad is Curacao’s capital and largest city. It is renowned for its colorful colonial architecture and charming cobblestone streets. The historic city center of Willemstad has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is a must-visit for anyone interested in history, culture, and architecture.
- Snorkeling and Diving: The waters surrounding the island are pristine and home to a diverse array of marine life, including colorful tropical fish, sea turtles, and vibrant coral reefs. It has some of the best snorkeling and diving sites in the Caribbean, such as the Mushroom Forest and Tugboat.
- Hato Caves: The Hato Caves are a system of limestone caves over 200,000 years old. They offer a fascinating glimpse into Curacao’s geological history and are home to various unique rock formations.
- Christoffel National Park: This park is located on the island’s western side and is home to various flora and fauna. Visitors can explore the park’s hiking trails, climb Mount Christoffel, and visit the museum.
- Beaches: The island boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Some famous beaches include Cas Abao Beach, Kenepa Beach, and Mambo Beach.
- Curacao Sea Aquarium: This is a great place to learn about marine life in the Caribbean. You can see dolphins, sea lions, sharks, and many other creatures up close.
- Try the local cuisine: A unique blend of African, European, and South American influences, its cuisine reflects this mix. Don’t miss out on dishes like stobá, keshi yena, and funchi.
- Go to the Curacao Ostrich Farm: This farm provides visitors with a chance to see these large birds up close and even ride them. (Adventure Girl asks that you hang with them, not ride them for everyone’s safety).
Did you know?
Curacao is that it is home to the oldest continuously operating synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. The Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, located in the capital city of Willemstad, was built in 1732 and is still in use today. The synagogue also houses a museum showcasing Jewish history in the Caribbean region.
A little history:
Curacao’s rich and diverse history dates back to the 1400s. The Arawak people initially inhabited the island, later replaced by the more aggressive Carib tribe. In 1499, the Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda discovered and claimed the island for Spain, but the Dutch later took it over in the 17th century.
Under Dutch rule, the island became an important center of trade and commerce in the Caribbean region. The Dutch West India Company established a colony on the island and developed it into a central hub for shipping and business.
In the 1800-1900s, the island continued to prosper as a center of trade and commerce. It was a significant oil and another natural resource supplier, and its port became a hub for international shipping.
These days, it is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with a diverse population and a thriving tourism industry.