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The 8 Best Things to Do in Curaçao

By Tracy E. Hopkins afar.com


Reach beyond the beach and soak up local food, art, culture, and more.

Welcome to Curaçao—or, as local residents say, “Bon Bini.” On this southern Caribbean island, sunny skies and azure blue waters abound, and as one of these western-most islands of the Leeward Antilles, Curaçao offers balmy temperatures year-round and very few hurricanes

But there’s more to experience in Curaçao than satisfying weather—from taking a deeper dive into history rooted in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, to sampling local food while roaming the captivating capital city, Willemstad. From art and culture to outdoor activities, here are the best things to do in Curaçao to experience all it has to offer.

1. Take a stroll on Queen Emma Bridge, overlooking Handelskade

Named in 1888 after a Dutch queen and affectionately called the “Swinging Old Lady,” the floating Queen Emma Bridge swings open to let ships into the St. Anna Bay, and connects Willemstad’s two districts, Punda and Otrobanda (“other side”). On the Punda side, you are greeted by Handelskadea row of historic buildings on the waterfront painted in vibrant colors. 

2. See how rural Afro-Curaçaoan people once lived and break bread at Kas di Pal’I Maishi

Curaçao is a multi-ethnic Dutch colony with a population of about 150,000 people who speak Papiamento, a Creole language that blends Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, and English, as well as dialects from Africa and the Arawak indigeneous people. Most Curaçaoans, however, are the descendants of enslaved Africans, and that often overlooked legacy is preserved at Kas di Pal’I Maishi, a traditional adobe house that typifies how Black people lived in rural Curaçao until 1950.

This arid, cacti-lined area is especially hot, so wear sunscreen and protective clothing. A guide explains how slavery shaped the island and gives a tour of the small house, transformed into a museum displaying common household artifacts, such as dolls, clothing, and cooking utensils. For an even more immersive experience, sign up for a workshop to make Pan Sera, a round bread that Afro-Curaçaoans have baked for generations in an outdoor stone oven long before there was a bakery on the island. 

3. Discover street art with Art Now Tours 

Take an urban art-filled excursion in Willemstad with Art Now Tours, founded by local artist Avantia Damberg. On the popular two-hour Punda Art Walk tour (Saturdays, 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm; $10 per adult), you will meet local artists and designers, get the inside scoop on the neighborhood’s eye-catching street art—the Punda Wings mural is a favorite—and peruse the haggle-friendly shops for jewelry, crafts, and other locally made products. Additional tours explore the art scene in ..Click here for the rest of the article: