Curacao
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Things to do in Curacao

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.

Top 15 attractions in Curacao

Kenepa Beach

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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. While it’s possible to snorkel directly offshore above the sandy bottom, strong swimmers and advanced snorkelers can venture out to the reef. Here, it’s possible to find everything from sea turtles to manta rays accompanying the colorful reef fish, and you can refuel later back on shore at the small, laidback snack bar. Climb the trail to the lookout point on the cliff above the two beaches, or simply relax beneath the shade of a pergola right on the sand. And, since Kenepa Beach is a popular spot with visitors as well as locals, there’s a festive atmosphere up on Curacao’s northwestern coast.More

Cas Abao Beach

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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.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 of Curacao may be best known for the alcohol that bears its name. Blue Curacao is a signature—and colorful—liqueur that is steeped in the island’s history, and you can visit the home of the original Blue Curacao at the Curacao Liqueur Distillery. The Triple Sec-style liqueur is made from the peels of the Laraha fruit. Though Laraha evolved from Valencia oranges brought to the island in 1499 by Spanish settlers, this bitter orange is now unique to Curacao because it adapted to the island’s desert like climate, making it inedible when fresh. However, used as a flavoring steeped in the alcohol it releases fragrant oils that create the signature flavor.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

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

Scharloo

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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.More

Plantation House Jan Kock (Landhuis Jan Kok)

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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.More

Queen Emma Bridge

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The Queen Emma Bridge is a floating pontoon bridge that connects the waterfronts of Willemstad’s historic neighborhoods Punda and Otrobanda. Nicknamed the “Swinging Old Lady,” the Queen Emma Bridge is hinged with two diesel-driven propellers so that it can swing parallel to the shore to allow boat traffic in and out of St. Anna Bay. Built in 1888, the pedestrian-only bridge is a unique and popular attraction on Curacao, with upwards of 15,000 people walking across it every day. On both the Punda and Otrobanda sides of the bridge, you can find cafés and restaurants lining the waterfront, and the bridge area is a popular and picturesque gathering spot at night when the bridge is lit up with twinkling lights.More

Punda

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The eastern part of Willemstad’s downtown historic district is called Punda, which comes from the Dutch word for “point” because this part of the city sits at the end of a promontory at the mouth of St. Anna Bay. First settled in 1634, the area is a picturesque port area packed with pastel-colored colonial architectural. One of the main attractions here is Fort Amsterdam, built in 1635 as a garrison to protect the city, which is used today as the governor’s palace. Another historic site is the Mikve Israel-Emanuel synagogue, which was built in 1732, making it the oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere. Throughout Punda, you’ll find great shopping, art galleries and restaurants, and you can also take a walk across the Queen Emma Bridge, a floating pontoon bridge called the “Swinging Old Lady,” to explore the Otrabanda side of the historic downtown area.More

Otrobanda

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Across the mouth of St. Anna Bay from Willemstad’s Punda area is the other of the city’s historic downtown, Otrobanda, which literally means “the other side.” While Punda was settled in 1635, Otrabanda was built about a century later. If you walk from Punda across the Queen Emma Bridge, Otrabanda offers a great view of the iconic and colorful Punda waterfront. One of Otrobanda’s most popular attractions is Riff Fort, which was built in 1828 to help defend the city. Today the fort is a shopping mall where you can buy souvenirs or have a meal at one of the fine dining restaurants with wonderful views of the waterfront. In this area of the city, you’ll also find the Curacao Museum, which exhibits the works of local artists, antique furniture and the cockpit of the SNIP, the Dutch airline KLM’s first airplane to fly from Holland to Curacao.More

Fort Beekenburg

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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.More

Queen Juliana Bridge

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The Queen Juliana Bridge crosses St. Anna Bay in the Curacao capital of Willemstad. The original structure collapsed in 1967, killing four people, and has since been replaced with the current bridge, which opened on Queen’s Day in 1974. The bridge is a minimalist structure that spans 500 meters in length and stands at over 55 meters at its highest point. It’s the tallest bridge in the Caribbean.As you cross this four-lane structure, unparalleled views from its apex stretch across Punda, Otrobanda, and the Schottegat, making it one of the most scenic viewpoints on the island. If a ship passes through while you cross the bridge, all the better. Many visitors to Curacao also claim that the views are particularly impressive – if not better – at night.More

Playa Kalki

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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.Those keen to explore the underwater world surrounding Playa Kalki can hire snorkel and dive equipment from the dive shop located nearby. A large reef nicknamed Alice in Wonderland can be accessed from the beach here, and for those not indulging there’s also a small restaurant serving snacks and drinks.More

Christoffel National Park

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Curacao’s largest nature reserve is Christoffel National Park, the ideal place to see the rare Curacao white-tailed deer, native barn owl, and wild orchids. The best way to explore is by the park’s eight hiking trails, graded from easy to challenging, including a hike to the top of Christoffel mountain. Scenic driving routes also wind through the park.More

Top activities in Curacao

Boat Trip to Klein Curacao

Boat Trip to Klein Curacao

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US$119.00
Curacao Beach and Hato Caves Tour

Curacao Beach and Hato Caves Tour

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US$66.67
Snorkel and Beach Adventure Tour
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Klein Curacao Adventure Day Trip

Klein Curacao Adventure Day Trip

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US$120.00
Curacao TukTuk City Tour

Curacao TukTuk City Tour

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US$25.65
Full Day Catamaran Trip to Klein Curacao with Lunch
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The Curacao Full Day Private Tour Experience
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Curacao Half Day ATV East Adventure Tour

Curacao Half Day ATV East Adventure Tour

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per group
Perfect Day Tour - Small Group!
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Perfect Day Tour - Small Group!

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US$119.00
Aquafari Tour in Curaçao
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Aquafari Tour in Curaçao

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The Curacao Private Beach Hopping / Snorkeling Tour
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All West Beach Hopping Tour

All West Beach Hopping Tour

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US$75.00
Curacao Complete Island Tour

Curacao Complete Island Tour

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US$65.65
Hato Caves, Turtles & Beach

Hato Caves, Turtles & Beach

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US$75.00
Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Curacao

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Mike was Great!
Indiana_C, Aug 2022
Curacao Complete Island Tour
Learned fun facts about the island and got to see most of it in a nutshell.
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Don't Hesitate - book with Lee
Meredith_S, Aug 2022
The Curacao Full Day Private Tour Experience
Thank you Lee, we will for sure be back to visit your beautiful country.
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Talisha was right on time...
Michael_L, Aug 2022
PRIVATE CUSTOM TOUR Best way to get to know Curacao!
We had several sites that we wanted to see and a very short time.
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Best Tour Guides in Curacao
Claudia_G, Nov 2022
Swimming with sea turtles & Grote Knip Beach - Best island excursion
Patrick was great with the turtles and you get to see so many.
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Great, unique, beautiful, fun, informative
Daysi_P, Oct 2022
Swimming with sea turtles & Grote Knip Beach - Best island excursion
They pick us up from our airbnb and drive us to see the flamingos 🦩.
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The best way to experience this beautiful island
Melissa_D, Aug 2022
The Curacao Full Day Private Tour Experience
We even got to see some divers jump in and sea turtles.
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Great experience to get to know Willemstad and the history with highlights where to go.
Edith_K, Aug 2022
2-Hour TukTuk Rental with an Experienced Guide and Driver
If u want to see and hear a lot about the history of Willemstad/Curacao then this is a great excursion.
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Private tour with Chen. friendly and fun Guide.
Rajal_H, Jun 2022
Beach Hopping Curacao; UTV/Buggy All Inclusive Semi Private Tour
that was the most crowded beach and even though it was super cool to see the turtles, the water was murky from all the chum the fishermen were throwing in the water.
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Sevi, Patrick and...
Kenny_G, May 2022
Perfect Day Tour - Small Group!
We got to see flamingos, had beach time and went to beautiful picturesque places.
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No Better Way To See Curacao
Bayly_E, May 2022
PRIVATE CUSTOM TOUR Best way to get to know Curacao!
Don't hesitate - this was a great way to see some of the best the island had to offer.
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Beautiful
Dolores_T, Feb 2022
Happy Hour Sunset Sail
Curacao is an amazing island and Irie Tours is a great way to see it.
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The walking tour was...
Andrew_K, Feb 2022
The best walking tour Willemstad
We could tell Jacqueline was passionate about her community and it was nice to see the real streets of Curacao.
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Awesome trip with nice crew
Julio, Feb 2021
Full Day Catamaran Trip to Klein Curacao with Lunch
You need to visit it.
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Amazing Experience
Tristan_K, Mar 2020
Curacao Complete Island Tour
This was a great tour and we got to see everything that Curacao had to offer.
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Wonderful
Judy_R, Oct 2018
Breath of Curacao and Shete Boka Natural Park Outback Safari
Can't wait to visit Curacao again.
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Awesome tour guide. Super...
Howie_H, Apr 2018
Curacao Beach and Hato Caves Tour
Got to see lots of Curacao and had a great time.
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Super excursion! We got to see a...
Sally H, Mar 2018
Curacao Beach and Hato Caves Tour
We got to see a little bit of everything with an amazing tour guide named Jude who happened to be a Bishop in the Catholic church, as fate would have it.
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We really enjoyed our outing with...
federfeitel.lisa, Jan 2016
Breath of Curacao and Shete Boka Natural Park Outback Safari
Please thank him personally from the Feitels and the Sudocks--we hope to see him again when we return!
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Elmer, our guide, was simply...
Adam L, Mar 2016
Shete Boka National Park and Playa Lagun Snorkel Adventure in Curacao
His knowledge of all that is Curacao was impressive, and we were fortunate to see some wonderful sights while learning all about he history of the island.
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Amazing
Rajaun_E, Jun 2022
The Curacao Full Day Private Tour Experience
What we appreciated the most is that he really tries to individualize the experience and cater it to what you want to see specifically.
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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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What are the top things to do in Curacao?
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What are the top activities in Curacao?
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What are the top things to do near Curacao?
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Check out things to do near Curacao: