The Weekender: Curacao
Spend a long, leisurely weekend diving into Cerulean blue waters
Written by Kate Dingwall
Tourists have flocked to the azure waters of the ever-popular island of Aruba for decades. But, to dodge the tourist strips and flocks of cruise ship passengers, we suggest you head to the under-the-radar destination of Curacao. The Dutch island holds all the promises of a sun-laden island vacation featuring white sand beaches, tropical drinks, and perpetual sunshine, but with fewer crowds and a cool European mentality.
Curacao makes up one of the three ABC islands –the others being Aruba and Bonaire –in the lesser Antilles, just north of Venezuela. While the island falls under Dutch rule, Curacao is home to a vibrant, unique culture and art scene: spend days strolling the multi-colored streets through floating markets, picking up home goods made by Dutch artisans and homemade arepas as you go. Snorkeling is a must here–the island’s sharp drop off means rainbows of coral reefs can be reached without a boat. Nights are best spent cutting loose to local bands or more notable ones: the annual jazz festival (late August) brings in artists like Maroon 5, Grace Jones, Pitbull, Sam Cooke, and Enrique Iglesias.
Renting a car on the island is recommended to catch as many of the must-see sights as possible. If that’s not in the books, base yourself in Willemstad: there are always sights to see sans-car in the bustling capital. Wherever you lay your head, below is a treasure trail to spending the perfect long weekend in Curacao.
Where to Stay:
The West and the East sides of the island offer travelers very different experiences. Head west to find a quieter way of life: while this area isn’t a far drive from the Willemstad party scene, folks head here to immerse themselves in nature. Oasis Coral Estates is the perfect haven for honeymooners and people looking to unplug. There are stellar restaurants and beach bars that heat up at night, but the real draw at this secluded beachside property is the incredible diving and snorkeling. An on-site restaurant and beach bar means you don’t have to stray from the property for a good time.
Those with a quicker pulse should stay in Willemstad. There are white sand beaches aplenty in the island’s capital, so you won’t sleep on snorkeling and scuba-ing and the LionsDive Beach Resort is the epicenter of the Click here to read the rest of the article;