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Things to do in  Curacao

Welcome to Curacao

European-influenced Curaçao dazzles with Dutch-Caribbean architecture, hidden beaches, and spectacular snorkeling and diving just offshore. The candy-colored waterfront architecture of Willemstad, the capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and other sights—such as the floating Queen Emma Bridge and the rocky coastline at Shete Boka National Park—are well worth your while, too. But many argue that the island’s best scenery lies beneath the surface of its azure waves. Snorkeling and diving sites (including more than 65 individual dive sites around the island) are easily accessible from the shore, and boat tours out to top sites make it easy to plumb the water’s depths. Snorkel near a sunken tugboat or coral-encrusted pillars, where—if you’re lucky—you might catch a glimpse of a sea horse. You can even dip into the lagoon at the Curacao Sea Aquarium on a tour (snorkeling equipment and aquarium entry fee included) for the chance to swim among stingrays and tropical fish. If you’d rather remain on dry land, off-road tours in dune buggies or ATVs are a popular way to conquer the undeveloped western shore, which is home to historic fishing villages and challenging, hilly terrain. From Willemstad, nearby Klein Curaçao is a popular day trip—reachable by boat, the pristine, uninhabited island is ideal for a day of snorkeling and exploring.

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Top 10 attractions in Curacao

Playa Lagun
#1

Playa Lagun

If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten track beach on Curacao, but don’t want sacrifice on amenities, try Playa Lagun. This protected beach within a deep cove flanked on either side by sheer cliffs is near the northern end of the island, far enough from Willemstad that you can avoid the cruise crowds, and with a small beachfront restaurant that does double duty as a dive shop. Playa Lagun is also well known as one of the best spots for diving and snorkeling from the shore, and you can get scuba tanks or snorkel gear from the dive shop to explore the nearby reefs. And there are plenty of picnic tables where you can relax and have lunch after a morning of swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing....
Cas Abao Beach
#2

Cas Abao Beach

Hit the beach at one of Curacao’s most idyllic sandy shores. Cas Abao Beach is a protected escape on the island’s west side, where you can enjoy the crystal-blue water and gleaming white sand among a convenient collection of amenities. The private beach has plenty of parking, and once you’ve paid the entry fee, you can rent whatever you need on-site, from beach chairs and umbrellas to paddle boats and snorkeling gear. At lunch time, you can get burgers, sandwiches and frozen drinks at the Beach Bar & Restaurant, and if you’re looking for even more relaxation, book a massage at the open-air hut on the beach. The beach also has bathrooms with showers and lifeguards to keep everyone safe as you swim or snorkel....
Curacao Ostrich Farm
#3

Curacao Ostrich Farm

Get a taste of Africa in the Caribbean at the Curacao Ostrich Farm. Originally opened in 1995 as a working farm to supply ostrich products to South America, the farm quickly became a popular spot for visitors, and now it’s home to about 400 ostriches—about half of which are newborn chicks. When you visit you can take a safari tour in a truck to see ostriches of all ages, from eggs to full grown adults. The farm is also home to emus, potbellied pigs and Nile crocodiles. And if you’re looking for a little more adventure, you can join a quad tour to go four-wheeling across Curacao’s desert island landscape before grabbing a meal at the on-site Zambezi Restaurant, which serves ostrich steaks, burgers and omelets....
Playa Kalki
#4

Playa Kalki

Playa Kalki is a small and sandy cove set against a backdrop of limestone cliffs in the peaceful area of Westpunt on the Caribbean island of Curacao. It’s a secluded little spot that’s popular among divers and snorkelers due to its rocky shallows and abundance of coral and other marine life....
Tugboat Beach
#5

Tugboat Beach

Tugboat Wreck refers to the site of a tugboat that sank just off Curacao years ago and has since become one of the island’s most popular dive sites. The wreck can be found just five meters beneath the surface of the water and can be easily swam out to from the shore near Caracas Bay. The water is clear, the currents mild, and the wreck itself is in good condition and still well intact. It sits upright with coral and marine sponges growing from it and many species of fish swimming all around it....
Plantation House Jan Kock (Landhuis Jan Kok)
#6

Plantation House Jan Kock (Landhuis Jan Kok)

If you’re taking a drive to explore Curacao, plan a stop in Jan Kok, an area along the west coast, about midway between Willemstad and Westpunt. Here you can birdwatch along old salt pans, large shallow ponds used to evaporate salt from seawater, that have become a popular gathering point for pink flamingos as the travel between nearby Bonaire and South America. The birds wade in the warm shallow water grazing on small creatures that live in the water. Also nearby is Landhuis Jan Kok, a former salt plantation from the late 18th century that is now used as a gallery by a local artist....
Shete Boka National Park
#7

Shete Boka National Park

Shete Boke National park offers rocky coastal views and wild wind-lashed landscapes bordering Christoffel National Park. There are beaches tucked away on the rocky limestone coast, where three species of sea turtles lay their eggs. At Boka Tabla, wild waves wash into an undersea cavern. Find a sheltered nook at the entrance to the cavern for a bird’s-eye view of the crashing sea. Scenic one-hour hiking trails wind across the cliff tops for spectacular coastal views....
Kenepa Beach
#8

Kenepa Beach

Kenepa Beach is one of those places that’s worth the drive to get there. Located 50 minutes from Willamsted on the northwestern corner of the island, the white sand beach and turquoise water create a Caribbean tableau that ends up on Curacao postcards. Broken up into two beaches that are separated by rocky cliffs, Kenepa Beach is a popular spot for cliff diving, sunbathing, and snorkeling....
Scharloo
#9

Scharloo

Just inland from Willemstad’s city center, Punda, is a historical section of the city called Scharloo, which is included on the UNESCO World Heritage list, along with the Punda, Otrabanda and Pietermaai neighborhoods. Scharloo served and something of a colonial-era suburb, and today you can still stroll the streets to marvel at the abundance of beautifully restored mansions that sit within easy walking distance of what was the central business district of colonial Willemstad. Some of these restored homes have been converted to hotels and guesthouses....
Fort Beekenburg
#10

Fort Beekenburg

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....

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