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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.

Pelican on rock

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.


Truki Pan

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.

The colorful Dutch Treat is located in the hip and happening Pietermaai District and offers all the fast food snacks and drinks to fill your belly. Nieuwestraat 46, Pietermaai.

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.

Jan Thiel Beach offers a wide variety of places to dine at, but the ones that are perfect for families are Zanzibar and the casual walk-in restaurant Zest On The Beach. www.janthielbeach.com.

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.

Sweet Tooth Lovers. Check out Bliss the Berry at Mambo Beach BLVD, De Dames at Promenade Shopping Center and Number Ten at Landhuis Bloemhof for delicious pancakes, waffles and more.


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.

Cabana Beach is a beautiful large bohemian inspired beach and shares the same entrance as Mood Beach. www.cabanabeachcuracao.com, Bapor Kibra Z/N

Hemingway Beach Curaçao is a small beach and part of the Lion’s Dive Beach Hotel. Book your dinner reservation here  

Mambo Beach BLVD is a multifaceted two story boulevard strip with multiple beach areas. www.mambobeach.com

Zanzibar is one of the largest beaches at Jan Thiel Beach and offers delicious stone oven pizzas, organic whole grilled chicken, cocktails and more. www.janthielbeach.com

Zest is a laid back beach and part of Jan Thiel Beach offering a delicious Mediterranean menu and easy access to the water. www.janthielbeach.com

Free Activities

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.

Water Activities

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. crystalclearcuracao@crystalclearcuracao.com

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.

Dolphin Academy Curaçao

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.

Curaçao Sea Aquarium and Dolphin Academy are both located at Bapor Kibra z/n Willemstad, (+5999) 461-6666

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

SUP Curacao offers different Stand Up Paddle Boarding tours for different experience levels and all are designed to go downwind. Each tour features an experienced guide who will tell you about the unique environment you'll be visiting. Sup Curaçao


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 info@curacaomaritime.com (+5999) 465-2327. N. van den Brandhofstraat 1, Scharloo

Rainy day or just want to escape the heat? Why not go watch a movie at The Movies Curacao. They recently added an IMAX screen. (+5999) 724-9002 The Movies Curaçao Plaza Mundo Merced z/n

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

Have breakfast, brunch or lunch with the family at the first eco farm-to table restaurant on the island, The Eatery located at Hofi Cas Cora where you can take a tour of the farm and greet the animals after you are done. Book your table and farm tour here.

Gelati Bella Italia

Zuikertuin Mall is a small mall located at the Zuikertuintjeweg offering fashion shops, a candy, book and toy store as well as the authentic Italian ice cream salon Gelati Bella Italia where you can enjoy freshly made gelato, pizza, espresso and more. 




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.

Adventure with Adrenaline tours, Curacao Activities, Erik’s ATV Adventures, Irie Tours,  Scooby (Buggy) Tours (+5999) 525-2885 / 461-0010 and Xventure Curacao.

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