Things to do in Curacao

Things to do in  Curacao

Happiness comes in waves

Curacao is a boisterous blend of culture. Restaurants serve local conch and fresh-caught red snapper from candy-colored Dutch colonial buildings. You’ll find stacks of syrupy cookies called stroopwafel in shops, and paper cones of fries are a popular street food. The European vibes are belied by Curacao’s sandy beaches and clear blue water, as well as its welcome tropical warmth. A snorkeling tour should top your list of things to do in Curacao, followed by a day of eating your way through the historic sector of Willemstad.

Top 15 attractions in Curacao

Cas Abao Beach

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Powdery white sand, clear water, and plentiful sea life make Cas Abao one of Curacao’s most stunning beaches. Located on the western side of the island, this small beach offers opportunities for snorkeling, swimming, and lounging in the shade of a palm tree. Make sure to wander over to the restaurant for a cold beer or a basket of fries.More

Shete Boka National Park

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Curacao’s Shete Boka National Park offers rocky coastal views and wind-lashed landscapes bordering Christoffel National Park. There are beaches tucked away on the limestone coast, where three species of sea turtles lay their eggs. Scenic hiking trails wind across the cliff tops, offering sweeping coastal views. Boka means inlet in Papiamento, with Shete Boka standing for “seven inlets.”More

Scharloo

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Peaceful Scharloo started life as one of the many plantations in Curacao, but today, the region is home to villas and vibrant street art. Wander the quiet streets and admire the elaborate, baroque-style mansions that have earned the neighborhood a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.More

Kenepa Beach

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Escape the bustle of Willemstad and head to one of Curacao’s prettiest stretches of coastline—with clear water, sandy shores, and a vibrant reef, it's the perfect place to while away the day. Kenepa Beach is composed of two beaches separated by a mile of rocky headland, which offers a great lookout spot. You can hop between the beaches or simply pick your favorite and settle down in the sun.More

Hato Caves

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Curacao’s limestone Hato Caves were used by indigenous Arawaks for shelter and by runaway slaves as a hideaway during colonial times. Today long-nose fruit bats call the cave home, while dramatic lighting illuminates its cave paintings, waterfalls, pools, Madonna statue, and formations with names such as the Pirate's Head and the Sea Tortoise.More

Curacao Liqueur Distillery

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The island nation of Curacao has become synonymous with the liqueur it produces—as blue as the surrounding Caribbean waters. The distillery is equally colorful. Housed in a 19th-century mansion named Landhuis Chobolobo, its yellow walls and cheerful white trim stand out against the clear blue sky, making it a perfect spot to spend an afternoon.More

Queen Juliana Bridge

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Soaring over the mouth of St. Anna Bay, Curacao’s Queen Juliana Bridge offers unparalleled views of the colorful capital city of Willemstad and the blue Caribbean Sea. Opened in 1974, the bridge is known for its panoramic views of Willemstad’s historic neighborhoods and is a landmark of the island nation. You’ll see ships from around the world passing under the bridge.More

Queen Emma Bridge

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As you explore Willemstad, you’ll cross the Queen Emma Bridge, which connects the colorful neighborhoods of Punda and Otrobanda. It offers views of the candy-colored buildings lining the waterfront, where you can find quaint cafes with outdoor seating. Don’t forget to strike a pose—this pedestrian-only swing bridge is the perfect spot to capture memories.More

Plantation House Jan Kock (Landhuis Jan Kok)

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The white walls of Landhuis Jan Kok stand starkly against the vibrant blue of the Curacao sky. The house’s past reflects the contrast as the residence of infamously cruel slave owner Jan Kok and its current usage as a gallery space for local artist Nena Sanchez. The 18th-century house is one of the oldest Landhuizen (plantation houses) on the island.More

Fort Beekenburg

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Perched on Curacao's Caribbean coast, Fort Beekenburg looks like it could have come from a Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Its weathered stone ramparts are speckled with moss and lichen, and the area is surrounded by scrubby bushes, which lend it a slightly desolate feel. A visit to this 18th-century Dutch fort offers insight into Curacao's eventful history.More

Punda

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Colorful Punda is in downtown Willemstad, where narrow colonial houses are painted in sweet candy shades. The historic district is an ideal spot to wander and see the sights and sounds of the island. From the street food vendors of the Old Market to the Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue (the oldest surviving synagogue in the Americas), the neighborhood is full of culture.More

Otrobanda

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Otrobanda is full of vibrant colors and is the perfect blend of busyness and laid-back island vibes. In the historic quarter of Curacao’s Willemstad, the neighborhood overlooks the mouth of St. Anna Bay. Here, colonial-era buildings are decked out in tropical shades, and locals and visitors relax on the waterfront and enjoy the ocean view.More

Playa Lagun

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A protected beach within a deep cove and flanked on both sides by sheer cliffs, Playa Lagun is near the northern end of the island, far enough from Willemstad to avoid the cruise crowds. This off-the-beaten-path strand is known as one of the best spots for diving and snorkeling from the Curacao shore.More

Playa Kalki

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Found at the northern tip of Curacao, the beach of Playa Kalki is known for its mushroom-shaped coral formations. The reef is nicknamed "Alice in Wonderland" for its underwater charm. With clear turquoise water and a sandy beach bordered by craggy cliffs, Playa Kalki is an amazing spot for sunbathers and snorkelers.More
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Curacao (Willemstad) Cruise Port

Curacao (Willemstad) Cruise Port

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Located off the coast of Venezuela, Curacao is a tiny island nestled in crystal-blue waters and Curacao (Willemstad) Cruise Port serves as its gateway. Once the center of Caribbean commerce, Curacao retains influences from its of French, Dutch, and Portuguese colonial past, by way of its food, architecture, and culture.More

Top activities in Curacao

Curacao: Swimming with Sea Turtles and Grote Knip Beach Tour
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Boat Trip to Klein Curacao

Boat Trip to Klein Curacao

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$129.00
Jet Ski Adventure Tour Curacao

Jet Ski Adventure Tour Curacao

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$62.50
Klein Curacao Adventure Day Trip

Klein Curacao Adventure Day Trip

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$120.00
Willemstad Shore Excursion:

Willemstad Shore Excursion:

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$35.00
Curacao TukTuk City Tour

Curacao TukTuk City Tour

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$25.65
Aquafari Tour in Curaçao

Aquafari Tour in Curaçao

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$139.00
Curacao Half Day ATV East Adventure Tour

Curacao Half Day ATV East Adventure Tour

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$118.00
per group
Happy Hour Sunset Cruise

Happy Hour Sunset Cruise

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$75.00
Snorkel with Sea Turtles - The Best way to spend a day in Curacao!
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All West Beach Hopping Tour

All West Beach Hopping Tour

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$85.00
Curaçao Seabob Tour (by Bearded Butlers Curaçao)
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Curacao Complete Island Tour

Curacao Complete Island Tour

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$69.24
Perfect Day Tour - Small Group!
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Perfect Day Tour - Small Group!

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All about Curacao

When to visit

The temperature stays warm all year round in Curaçao, but certain times of year are better to visit than others. The island country is busiest from December to April, as travelers from much chillier destinations seek more pleasant climes. October to December tends to have the most rain, so skip those months to make the most of your time on this idyllic island. For an unmissable experience, visit during Curaçao Carnival, which runs from mid-February to mid-March, and sees the island filled with parties, festivals, and music.

Getting around

The public bus service in Curaçao is affordable but infrequent, so cars are the easiest way to see the island. Many hotels offer shuttles and tours for your convenience, but taxis are easy to find; ensure you agree on a rate beforehand, as they can become expensive. Otherwise, rent a car and enjoy the freedom and flexibility to explore the island at your own pace.

Traveler tips

For classic Curaçaoan flavors, head to Willemstad’s Old Market, a popular place for locals and visitors. Among the options on display, you can sample fresh conch, goat stew, and grilled fish. The indoor market has a central area for eating—a nice respite from the island’s heat.

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People Also Ask

What is Curacao best known for?

You might recognize Curacao as a cocktail ingredient rather than a Caribbean island. The nation’s popular export—an orange-flavored liqueur—appears in classic concoctions like the Blue Hawaiian. Made using the peels of the island's Laraha orange, the original liqueur is clear but can be dyed blue, green, red, and orange.

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What is there to do in Curacao?

Curacao offers both land and sea adventures. Travelers can explore the candy-colored waterfront architecture of the island’s capital Willemstad, as well as the Queen Emma Bridge and Shete Boka National Park. As snorkeling and diving sites are easily accessible from the island’s shore, Curacao is a popular destination for underwater excursions.

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How many days do you need in Curacao?

Most travelers spend three to four days in Curacao, especially if you plan to go scuba diving. The island serves as a popular stop for cruise ships, so it is possible to see Curacao in one day. But it’s best enjoyed as a long weekend or part of an island-hopping vacation.

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Do they speak English in Curacao?

Yes. Residents usually speak English, Dutch, Spanish, and Papiamentu, which is the island’s official language, a form of creole based on Portuguese. Due to the recent influx of Brazilian visitors, Portuguese has also become a prominent spoken language. English is widely used among staff in hotels and restaurants.

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What can you do for free in Curacao?

Wander around Willemstad to see the colorful buildings and street art. Swing by Queen Emma Bridge (a wooden pontoon bridge). Visit the Curacao Liqueur Distillery at Landhuis Chobolobo—it's free to roam (or pay for a guided tour). And view local artist Nena Sanchez's work at the historic plantation building Landhuis Jan Kok.

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Is Curacao expensive to visit?

Yes. Like many island destinations, accommodations are limited on Curacao, meaning there are fewer budget-friendly options, and meals tend to be pricey because supplies are imported onto the island. But if you stick with local restaurants serving island specialties like keshi yena (which means "stuffed cheese"), you can save money.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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