Curacao sits in crystalline waters dotted with fish-wealthy dive sites. Choose from 40 white sand beaches, browse bustling road markets or visit handsome colonial-era districts. Holidays in Curacao aren’t full with out tasting the island’s eponymous liqueur.
Get your bearings
Curacao’s beaches span from ribbons of alabaster sands to small, intimate coves. On the south coast, calm waters lap the island’s hottest beach dangle-outs whereas the rolling surf of the rugged northern coast is just for the brave. Most of Curacao’s 140,000 Caribbean-Latino residents live in the east of the island where Willemstad, the cosmopolitan capital, sits on the leeward coast. Cross a bridge to enter Punda’s cobblestone streets trimmed with brightly coloured colonial buildings. Venture into Otrabanda (“the opposite facet”) to discover curacao resorts’s extra up to date character.
Dive, delve and discover
12 months-spherical dry weather and sunshine make Curacao a coronary heart-pounding outside adventure, from sea kayaking forays into the shoreline’s coves to diving among the many reefs and offshore wrecks. On dry land, choose from mountain bike trails, Jeep safaris, scooters or horseback to find Curacao’s caves, bushland and bluffs.
UNESCO buildings in bubble-gum hues
To wander around Curacao’s stone-constructed forts, protected port and ramparts is to delve right into a bygone era when the nice European maritime powers battled for colonial rule. Because the historic nexus of the Dutch Antilles, Curacao is proud of its indigenous heritage. Visit salt mines where African slaves once toiled or discover Punda’s UNESCO- preserved sixteenth-century streets. Stare upon monuments to the island’s unwell-fated occupation by the British (1807-1816) and marvel on the sand-scattered ground of the Western Hemisphere’s oldest synagogue, consecrated in 1732.
Spices, tropical fruits and aphrodisiac soup
Curacao’s cuisine blends a myriad of culinary influences, from Africa’s salted goat meat and Caribbean seafood to Holland’s tasty Asian-European delights. In cosmopolitan capital Willemstad, the cultural hybrid is at its most vibrant. At the Old Market genuine dishes run from okra cooked with cinnamon, coconut, lime and mango to conch stews and sticky Dutch pancakes. Conventional cafés serve Afro-Caribbean soul food and Indonesian stir-fries. Try hen cooked with gado gado (green beans and peanut sauce) or rijsttafel (blended rice dishes) or seize a beer at a waterfront restaurant before making an attempt iguana soup, which is alleged to have medicinal and aphrodisiac powers.
Duty free, markets and glitzy boutiques
Curacao’s fifty seven-acre Harbour Duty Free Zone is the Caribbean’s largest, although items island-extensive are sometimes “duty- relaxed”. Visit Punda’s bustling floating market to haggle with Venezuelan traders aboard colourful barges loaded with tropical fruits and wares. The small artisans’ market on Plaza Jojo Correa is famed for its local crafts. Outlets in the capital’s commercial centre stock the whole lot from clothes to watches and souvenirs. Stoll alongside pedestrian-only Heerenstraat and Madurostraat for one-off gadgets or join the throngs in Breedestraat and Roodeweg for discount buys.