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The Perfect Week on Curacao

The ABC islands, part of the greater Dutch Antilles, hover just above South America on a sunny stretch of the Caribbean miraculously outside the region’s Hurricane belt.

They are composed of Aruba, the most popular (and populous) island, Bonaire, and Curacao—an unspoiled gem that boasts world-class diving, pristine natural beaches, and colorful, UNESCO-listed Dutch colonial architecture. Despite its cosmopolitan hotels, secluded beaches, and exotic food—which range from traditional Dutch street fare to haute Afro-Cuban fusion—Curacao still remains somewhat of a secret to even the travel-savvy set. That’s about to change, however, as JetBlue recently unveiled direct flights from JFK to Curacao. In just four hours, tired and weary city-dwellers can find themselves snorkeling in the vibrant blue waves of the Playa Knip or enjoying palm frites as they stroll down the historic district of Willemstad.

With so many options on the island to choose from, we’ve culled together a list below of the perfect week (with a little delicious slice of everything).

Unfortunately for now JetBlue only flies to Curacao on Saturdays and Tuesdays, so we recommend leaving on a Saturday for a no-stress, weekend-maximizing arrival.

If you’re on a romantic retreat, we recommend the Papagayo Hotel and Resort—one of the island’s newest (and chicest) resorts. With several suites overlooking the water, and both a private beach and infinity pool within walking distance, Papagayo is the perfect place to unwind. If you’re traveling with family you can also rent a full luxury villa. At night be sure to check out one of the hotel’s many restaurants for fine dining, drinks, and maybe even a little dancing. Of the several spots that line the resort, our favorites included Zest, a Mediterranean-style bar and grill with open air walls, and the Papagayo Specialty Restaurant (on premises) for an upscale fine dining experience.

Read the full story, originally published on September 9, 2015, on Luxury Travel Magazine.