Curacao sits in crystalline waters dotted with fish-rich dive sites. Choose from forty white sand beaches, browse bustling road markets or visit good-looking colonial-era districts. Holidays in Curacao aren’t full without tasting the island’s eponymous liqueur.
Get your bearings
Curacao’s beaches span from ribbons of alabaster sands to small, intimate coves. On the south coast, calm waters lap the island’s most popular beach grasp-outs while the rolling surf of the rugged northern coast is just for the brave. Most of Curacao’s 140,000 Caribbean-Latino residents live within the east of the island the place Willemstad, the cosmopolitan capital, sits on the leeward coast. Cross a bridge to enter Punda’s cobblestone streets trimmed with brightly coloured colonial buildings. Venture into Otrabanda (“the opposite facet”) to discover Curacao’s extra modern character.
Dive, delve and discover
Year-spherical dry climate and sunshine make Curacao a coronary heart-pounding out of doors journey, from sea kayaking forays into the shoreline’s coves to diving among the many reefs and offshore wrecks. On dry land, choose from mountain bike trails, Jeep safaris, scooters or horseback to find Curacao’s caves, bushland and bluffs.
UNESCO buildings in bubble-gum hues
To wander around Curacao’s stone-constructed forts, protected port and ramparts is to delve into a bygone period when the great European maritime powers battled for colonial rule. As the historical nexus of the Dutch Antilles, Curacao is pleased with its indigenous heritage. Go to salt mines the place African slaves as soon as toiled or explore Punda’s UNESCO- preserved sixteenth-century streets. Gaze at monuments to the island’s ill-fated occupation by the British (1807-1816) and marvel at the sand-scattered floor of the Western Hemisphere’s oldest synagogue, consecrated in 1732.
Spices, tropical fruits and aphrodisiac soup
Villa Royale Curacao’s delicacies blends a myriad of culinary influences, from Africa’s salted goat meat and Caribbean seafood to Holland’s tasty Asian-European delights. In cosmopolitan capital Willemstad, the cultural hybrid is at its most vibrant. On the Old Market authentic dishes run from okra cooked with cinnamon, coconut, lime and mango to conch stews and sticky Dutch pancakes. Traditional cafés serve Afro-Caribbean soul meals and Indonesian stir-fries. Attempt chicken cooked with gado gado (green beans and peanut sauce) or rijsttafel (mixed rice dishes) or seize a beer at a waterfront restaurant earlier than trying iguana soup, which is said to have medicinal and aphrodisiac powers.
Duty free, markets and glitzy boutiques
Curacao’s 57-acre Harbour Duty Free Zone is the Caribbean’s largest, though goods island-wide are often “duty- relaxed”. Go to Punda’s bustling floating market to haggle with Venezuelan traders aboard colourful barges loaded with tropical fruits and wares. The small artisans’ market on Plaza Jojo Correa is famed for its native crafts. Outlets in the capital’s business centre stock every thing from clothing to watches and souvenirs. Stoll along pedestrian-solely Heerenstraat and Madurostraat for one-off items or join the throngs in Breedestraat and Roodeweg for low cost buys.