Destination Curacao - The Family Trip Your Kids Want You To Book Part 1 - Banda Ariba Side
Nestled in the Dutch Caribbean and with a population of 160.000 people lies the tropical and colorful island of Curaçao where it’s sunny year round. It’s where the beaches and palm trees are many, the turquoise water is inviting and filled with fishes of every color. It’s where you shouldn’t be surprised to see lizards and iguanas in all shapes and sizes, goats grazing at the side of the road, bright pink flamingoes at salt pans and pelicans diving for their next meal.
When it comes to planning your family vacation trip it’s very important to consider everyone's wishes. The last thing parents want is their kids to feel bored out of their minds, home sick and upset because their needs aren’t met. You’ll want to look for a destination that offers something for everyone and that’s worth your money. Curaçao can offer all of this.
The island is divided in the Banda Ariba and Banda Abou (airport) side. Because there is so much to offer, and unless you stay for a whole month, you won’t be able to experience all of them. So, I did my best to gather the ones that are my absolute faves and one you can book ahead of time. Below you’ll find a selection of the best family friendly restaurants, beaches, and both adventurous outdoor as well as indoor activities located at the Banda Ariba side of the island.
At night things get active on the Curaçao streets food wise. It’s then that the many food trucks, called truki pan and open seven days a week, offer a wide variety of grilled fast foods and attract big crowds looking to satisfy their late night appetite.
Here are the most popular ones:
Caracasbaaiweg: Tok Tok Grill, BBQ Express Caracasbaaiweg, Friday’s Baby Truck.
Salina: De Don Street Restaurant, The Griller, Clara Express and Midnight Curacao.
Schottegatweg-Oost: The oldest running food truck and best known for its burritos is Hot Pepper across from Promenade Shopping Center.
St. Rosaweg (near Suvek Ball Park): Koki Riba Bloki.
AIDB Willemstad is a brunch and lunchroom located in Pietermaai serving you all the comfort street food you desire, from Rotterdam to Willemstad. They have a big menu outside that will surely wet your appetite. (+5999) 788-4513. Nieuwestraat 46
At the Bapor Kibra area (Sea Aquarium Beach) you’ll find plenty of restaurants, like Hemingway Curaçao at Lion’s Dive Beach Hotel (reserve your table here)., and others can be found at the upper and beach level at Mambo Beach BLVD. Chill and Bonita are tailored to families with younger children. www.mambobeach.com
Brisa do Mar is a centrally located casual ocean view restaurant at Caracasbaai offering affordable creole cuisine, both seafood and meat dishes. (+5999) 747-6688
De Broeders is a combination of an eatery and restaurant in an urban graffiti setting. They offer a fusion of affordable street food and local cuisine. Reserve your table at (+5999) 691‑5268. Van Raderstraat 9‑11, Scharloo District (behind the movie theatre)
Ocean view restaurant De Heeren At Sea serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a small play area. Kaya Wilson (Papa) Godett 104, Pietermaai. (+5999) 465-2575.
Friethuis Caracasbaai is a small and casual fast food restaurant where you can get all your Dutch comfort foods for dine in or take-out for when you’re fresh of the beach and don’t want to go to a fancy restaurant. (+5999) 788-0091. www.friethuiscaracasbaai.com
Grill Restaurant Brakkeput Mei-Mei is located at a beautiful historical plantation house serving fish and meat specialties from the grill accompanied by delicious salads under the stars. Behind the restaurant is an 18-hole miniature golf course and playground. Call (+5999) 767-1500 or book your table here. Kaminda Brodernan di Brakepoti z/n
Il Forno offers the best of Italian cuisine. From Salads to Pasta, Lasagna and their specialty, the Pizza. They have a small play area. Call to reserve your table (+5999) 737‑2475, (+5999) 512‑5475. Caracasbaaiweg z/n and De Savaan.
Sea Side Terrace is a casual outdoor seafood restaurant near the beach serving local dishes, but also offers alternative meat and poultry dishes. To reserve your table call (+5999) 461-8361. Dr Martin Luther King Blvd, Marie Pampoen.
All of the below mentioned beaches are full service paid beaches offering a wide range of amenities. From an onsite dive shop, bikini shops, restaurants and beach bars, sun beds, cabanas, showers, restrooms, ample parking and easy access to the water.
Pay attention while strolling through downtown Punda and towards the Pietermaai District. Street art has been booming for a while due to community projects and have certainly colored the town. Opt to join a free guided walking tour with Free Walking Tours Curaçao to learn more.
While you are in the area, make sure to cross the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge - also called the “Swinging Old Lady” - as it’s one of the most extraordinary landmarks of Curaçao with the famous and colorful “Handelskade” as a backdrop. The bridge is carried by 16 pontoon boats and is the longest pontoon bridge in the world with 170 meters.
Crystal Clear Canoe Curaçao owner Robert Kroon provides the best experience ever. Imagine sitting in a canoe paddling across the vibrant turquoise water while having an unobstructed view of the world beneath it. Book your experience at (+5999) 673-6907. firstname.lastname@example.org
Curaçao Sea Aquarium is a great place for families. The aquarium park offers lots of activities, among them dolphin demonstrations, touch tanks and the opportunity to feed flamingos as well as an Ocean Lens experience. Snorkel amongst schools of brightly colored fish, pet rays, and feed sea turtles and sharks with Animal Encounters Curaçao at the aquarium park.
Next door to Curaçao Sea Aquarium you’ll find the Dolphin Academy Curaçao where you can experience dolphins in their natural habitat. Meet, swim or dive with a dolphin in either their natural lagoon or the open sea.
Tugboat Beach is an eclectic public (free) beach at the end of Caracasbaai. They have a small onsite beach bar and offer snorkels for rent (cash only). Not far from the coast lies a sunken tug boat you can explore. Additionally you can book a driftwood painting workshop and other activities. www.tugboat-beach.com
In Need Of A Beach Break
Have a true barber experience. Retro barbershop Barber Willemstad located in Scharloo brings a modern twist to the classic art of barbering. Call (+5999) 681-4557 or book your own Bar.Ber experience here
The Curaçao Maritime Museum takes its visitors on a discovery tour of more than 500 years of history of Curaçao. The harbor tour will give you the unique experience to see Willemstad from a boat while sailing through the Saint Anna bay and Curaçao harbor. Reserve your tour at email@example.com (+5999) 465-2327. N. van den Brandhofstraat 1, Scharloo
“The Lost Journey” at Amazonia is a 45-60-minute guided tour that takes you on an adventure through ancient temples, ruins and jungle, as you will meet all different kinds of exotic animals. Book your tour here (+5999) 747-7421. Sta Catherinaweg 66
Behind the historic plantation house of Landhuis Brakkeput Mei Mei, an 18-hole miniature golf course meanders through a beautiful tropical garden. Access to the large playground is included in the entrance fee. Cool off with a drink from the bar overlooking the golf area and order a snack or simple meal when you are done. Call (+5999) 767-1500 or check out their website here. Kaminda Brodernan di Brakepoti z/n
At the Children’s Museum Curaçao kids can do all of the things they are not allowed to do at traditional museums. The museum features interactive exhibit zones that are designed for children and their developmental needs. This museum is suitable for ages 1 to 8 years old. (+5999) 737-5261. Book your experience here. Rooi Catootje 1
Make It An Aloe Vera Farm Curaçao & Curaçao Ostrich Farm Combo
At the Aloe Vera Farm Curaçao you can learn about the secrets of this healing and very hardy plant that dates back as far as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. The island’s aloe vera plant is a direct descendant of the North African aloe vera. While exploring the farm (self guided tour) and shop you can learn and inquire further information about the history and health benefits of the plant via the various sign posts. (+5999) 767-5577. www.curaloeworld.com. Groot Sint Joris West 9.
No need to go to Africa to see an ostrich. Curaçao has its own Ostrich Farm where you can go on a safari trip and actually get to feed them, hold and stand on an ostrich egg, perhaps see some babies. Afterwards you can enjoy their breakfast or lunch special and try out some ostrich meat at their zero waste restaurant Zambezi. (+5999) 747-2777. Groot St. Joris West z/n. Book your tour here.
Ever wanted to climb a mountain? Rock Climbing Curaçao guides people on a 3-hour hike and climb of the Table Mountain (Tafelberg). (+5999) 664-3134. Book at Rock Climbing Curaçao. Located on the right before the entrance of Santa Barbara Resort.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post and may my recommendations inspire you to visit our Dushi Korsou and add that extra something to your stay. I invite you to reach out to the locals for more inside information, and who, besides the local language of Papiamentu, all largely speak English and Spanish. Find out in part two which are my fave things to do at the Banda Abou part of the island.
Click here for part II of this wonderful article.
For more inside information, as things keep on growing and developing, you can follow me on Instagram melsblisscuracao
#FeelItForYourSelf #Curaçaotourismboard #Curaçao
xoxo Melanie Muskus