Unlike Curacao’s more popular colonial-era fortresses, like Rif Fort and Waterfort, Fort Beekenburg is largely abandoned. For many years it was inaccessible, sitting on private property owned by an oil company. But today it’s accessible, and free, to visitors any time. The fort was built in the early 1700s on the south end of the island, where it successfully repelled numerous invaders trying to land in Caracas Bay. Visitors can explore on their own throughout the fort, including the top of the tower, which still holds a handful of cannons and offers great views. But be prepared for a workout, as there are a number of stairs and ladders to climb along the way.
Fort Beekenburg is free and open to visit any time. It’s only about 15-minutes’ drive from the capital of Willemstad, making for an easy, short adventure. Head out in the morning, and you can take a brisk hike, explore colonial-era ruins, and photograph the panoramic views, while still making it back to town for lunch.