Top 10 Reasons Why Curaçao Is One The Best Vacation Destinations To Visit
By: Juliska Cyntje
Paradise awaits! Curaçao, a true Caribbean hidden gem, is well-known for its colorful city, all-year-round summer and crystalline waters, but there is more! Let’s dive into my top reasons why it’s time to list Curaçao at the top of your bucket-list.
1. Direct flights to paradise
Over the years, as travelers’ interests peaked, we made sure to be directly accessible by major airlines and cruise lines. Non-stop flights with service to Curaçao depart from the United States, Canada, Europe, South America and the Caribbean including but not limited to airlines such as American Airlines departing from Miami, JetBlue departing from New York, United Airlines departing from Newark, Air Canada departing from Toronto, KLM departing from Amsterdam and Avianca departing from major cities of Colombia. The port of Curaçao welcomes you on major cruise lines such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Explore all cruise options and day itineraries HERE.
2. The best kept history and culture
We take pride in preserving our historic buildings and rich culture. Our charming monuments/country mansions are not just a sight see, but are accommodations, museums, retail shops, restaurants, party venues, yoga and health centers, and home to cultural and sustainable activities and markets. As a matter of fact, our city center and neighboring towns Pietermaai and Scharloo, for most part consist of these monumental buildings, such as the stunning Penha building that is more than 200 years old.
Our culture consists of our own music, dances, food and clothing, which we celebrate on numerous occasions throughout the year, then just on Flag Day and Curaçao Day. Fishermen and farmers are part of our identity and provide a great selection of fresh fish and produce daily to the local families, grocery stores and restaurants. You will be able to experience this process first-hand by visiting fishermen’s neighborhoods such as Westpunt (Playa Piskadó) and Boka Samí, herb gardens such as ‘Den Paradera’ from Dinah Veeris, the most famous medicinal herbalist on the island and diverse farms such as Hòfi Moringa. When we tell you it’s homemade, best believe it 100% is.
3. Land & sea adventures
Curaçao is nothing short of adventures on-land and at sea. Explore our rough terrains and picturesque nature parks by ATV’s, Jeep safari’s, mountain bikes, rock climbing or by hiking/walking. Want the views from up in the air? No problem, because Skydive Curaçao will take care of the adrenaline junkies.
We are a diver’s paradise, but that’s not the only way to explore the underwater life. Cruise the depths of the Curaçao waters with a self-propelled submersible scooter by Aquafari or rush your way down with a seabob/underwater Jet ski by the Bearded Butlers. All of which do not require any professional diving experience. For the deep-see superfans and an extraordinary experience, Substation Curaçao will take you up to a 1,000 ft beneath the sea with its one of a kind mini-submarine.
The many boat trips, in groups or private, big yachts/catamarans or small authentic boats, will take you for a sail to experience the most perfect sunrise, sunsets, scenic shorelines and hidden beach caves.
4. A culinary journey
Get ready to treat your taste buds to the flavorful and mouth-watering local dishes and delicacies. The cuisines are inspired by the local people, as Curaçao is home to more than 50 nationalities. This is reflected in the variety of cuisine choices; Asian, Mediterranean, Surinamese, Latin, Indonesian to name a few, all fused with the Caribbean flavors.
Whether you are looking to have a fine-dining, shared dining, toes-in-the sand, late-night food truck indulgence or a “in the backyard” experience, we’ve got it all! From our homestyle bread made in the brickoven to Michelin star restaurant experienced chefs’ delightful dishes.
Most meals are paired with our homemade lemonade, our famous fruit punch, or carefully selected wines. My personal favorite are the crafty cocktails made with the genuine Curaçao Liqueurs (I know you’ve had Blue Curaçao before, now you know where it’s authentically from 😊), produced and bottled in Curaçao. You can experience the making of the Curaçao Liquour at Landhuis Chobolobo (country mansion) and taste the complete flavors collection. Did you know we also make our own rum? The Tambú rum and AnnaBay rum are also produced and bottled in Curaçao.
For the best local meals, I invite you to visit our local food market Plasa Bieu in the city center, Marshe Barber on Sundays, Landhuis Dokterstuin and Shelterrock Paradise restaurant, all three located on the Western part of the island.
5. A sight to see
There’s a reason why Curaçao makes the top list of most colorful destinations. Your day can’t go wrong with a walk down the Handelskade, the city center’s historic waterfront, or in the vibrant Pietermaai District, with their brightly colored buildings. Willemstad, the city center is undoubtedly a creatives playground. Explore the artful murals of Scharloo or cross the Queen Emma pontoon bridge, an attraction by itself, and admire the inspiring murals and art pieces at Ser’i Otrabanda. There are many high viewpoints on the island, where you can admire the view of the city; from Riffort Village’s rooftop, the 360 degrees’ view from the Fort Nassau restaurant or from Ser’i Otrabanda to name a few.
Other sights include the many charming plantation homes around the island, on top of Fort Beekenburg for a beautiful view of the Caracasbay area, Playa Forti’s viewpoint to admire the Westpunt beaches where the fishermen’s boats are elegantly anchored while enjoying an unobstructed view of the sunset, and not to forget the different easy and rewarding walking/hiking trails to diverse vegetation and scenic views of the hills, caves and turquoise waters. Wander the lush garden of Hòfi Mango with a huge amount of the biggest mango trees you’ve ever seen and a “stairway to heaven” for the best view of Curaçao’s highest mountain, St. Christoffel. Go for a relaxing (guided) walk at the Rif Mangrove Park or kayak your way through the mangroves forest.
6. The warm personal touch
This is by far my personal favorite characteristic of the Curaçao experience. We still believe that human interaction and personal touch is very important for anyone trying to understand our history, lifestyle and culture. This has led to not only having a product or service to sell, but a genuine story to tell. Businesses have been passed on from one generation to the next, while conserving its authenticity. The young and dynamic tourism industry entrepreneurs have curated experiences to guarantee you’ll have the best of times; like having breakfast in private coves, farm-to-table workshops and dinner, personalized island tours to the most beautiful hidden beaches and much more. We warmly welcome you with a beautiful smile and lots of excitement, so you can feel at home.
7. Pristine beaches
I don’t mean to brag, but a picture or video taken of the Curaçao beaches will need no filter or editing whatsoever, below pictures speaks for themselves. With over 35 beaches to choose from, many find this to be Curaçao’s best kept secret. Laidback secluded beaches, small hidden cave beaches, full-service bar & restaurant beach clubs, free local stretched white sand beaches…the choice is yours, really. So, make your choice HERE.
8. Hidden gems on this Caribbean hidden gem
Curaçao, a hidden gem by itself, is also full of its own hidden gems; experiences you otherwise won’t find by simply searching ‘things to do in Curaçao’, but I’m here to spill the tea.
For the beach lovers & explorers
Head for a private beach day & picnic day at Landhuis San Nicolas, this family is ready to welcome you in their home and take care of all your personal wishes.
Have you had breakfast or lunch in a natural beach cave before? The local young men at Caribbean Locals can make that happen.
Another recently added experience are the eco-friendly water bikes at Water Bikes Curaçao, fun and relaxing at the same time in our calm open waters.
Someone who’s really going to make your visit unforgettable, is Remy from Remyx Tours. This young man will safely take you off the beaten track to discover hidden, secluded and virgin beaches and coves above and below, including memories of the amazing day you’ve had; pictures and videos including drone and GoPro shots. A personal tour guide, photographer and videographer at the same? It can’t get any better than this.
As one of the very few in the Caribbean, we just met our very own unsinkable amphibious bus, a tour bus and boat at the same time, touring the city and its historic buildings and splashing into the Spanish Water Bay after without leaving the vehicle. I’d say count me in!
Eat the food, hear the story
Let me let you in on a local tradition; Sunday mornings are for tasteful soups with our homemade bread straight out of the brick-oven. Experience the making of this bread at ‘Museo di Tambú Shon Cola’, a museum of our local drum (music genre and dance). Attend a short tour of the museum, admire the process, have a free local herb tea while you wait to be delighted.
You can’t miss Vittle Art’s farm-to-table dinner or workshop experience. Chef Chris will walk you through his story, from the chair you’re sitting on to every organic ingredient used to prepare your meal, or better yet; learn to make it yourself during a workshop.
The best historic and artful city walking tours, are the ones combined with local food tasting in our humble and lovely local homes. The energetic and cheerful ms. Jacqueline from Dundu Tours will make you see it, hear it and definitely taste it!
9. Festival and events
There’s always something happening throughout the year. Starting the year’s festivities with our biggest festival and parades; the Tumba Festival (our local music genre singing competition) and the colorful and enchanting Carnival Parades. This is definitely a time you’ll want to be in Curaçao. As I mentioned before, we celebrate our culture often; another big cultural festival and parade is the ‘Kantadó Mayó’ singing competition and its Harvest Parade. Not to forget the many food festivals and culinary events, our Pride month and Curaçao’s biggest street food, music and art party, ‘Kaya Kaya’ Festival in the historic city center.
10. Your temporary home away from home
I’ll take a sunny beachfront office day over gray skies out the window any day! Curaçao easily fits the definition of a balanced work-life for remote workers. With plenty of co-working spaces and cozy lounges on the island, good connectivity and an easy application process…oh and good coffee, your home away from home belongs here. Visit our website for more information.
I’ve covered so much, and probably got your adrenaline rushing. But… Relax, you’re on island time! Come feel it for yourself.