Whether your idea of the ultimate vacation is lying on the beach from sunrise to sunset or counting cracks in every sidewalk in your mission to feel like a native you will not tire of seeing, doing and being in Curaçao.
Visit the Museum Kura Hulanda to learn about the history of the slave trade and its influence on Curaçao. Meticulously curated, the exhibits show the visitor what occurred, how it came to pass and describes how the slaves were brought to the new world. Tel: 5999 434 7765
The Curaçao Museum, housed in a colonial building in the Western part of Otrobanda, is worth a visit to see how people used to live in colonial times. This museum paints the picture with a substantial collection of period furniture and artifacts.
Address: Tel: 5999 462 3873
The Jewish Museum, housed in the Mikve Israel-Emmanuel Synagogue depicts the lifestyle, customs and tradition of the Sephardic Jews who came to the island seeking religious freedom. The building itself is a monument to marvel at. Tel: 599-9-4611067
Landhuizen and Architecture
Landhuizen are the plantation houses of the 18th and 19th centuries. Dating back to colonial times many of these structures remain as private homes while others have been reborn as restaurants and hotels. By the turn of the 20th century, there were about 100 landhuizen on the island but half of these were reduced to ruins and engulfed in fire during the English invasion of 1804.
These historical homes were built on hills affording them an overall view of the estate and surroundings as well as a clear view of the other landhuizen. Some landhuizen you might want to visit: Jan Kok, Ascencion, Chobolobo, Savonet, Knip, and Habaai.
Curaçao Actief is one of the many tour operators who excel at guiding you to these stately mansions and providing detailed information about them. Pay attention to the construction in downtown Willemstad particularly the buildings in Punda, Scharloo, and Otrobanda which are colorful representations of how the Dutch adapted their building style to the tropical climate.
Walking tours are the best way to put you in the shoes of a citizen of Curacao. Anko van der Woude’s walking tour of Otrobanda brings the area alive for you. With every step you’ll learn about the development of the downtown area and the kinds of people living there. At tour’s end you almost feel like a native yourself.
Exciting Exploration on Curaçao
Eco Touring: Experience Curacao’s panoramic views, spectacular mini-desert, caves, the rough northern coastline and turquoise waters through eco touring. Rev up your senses. Curaçao’s rough, arid terrain, hold countless “hidden” treasures to behold.
Christoffel National Park: Christoffel National Park covers the island’s protected northwestern tip. If you’re an adventure seeker then you’ll want to ‘climb the Christoffel’, as the locals refer to it. If you’re passionate about hiking all you have to do is pick a trail. During the rainy season, the park is transformed. Wild orchids are in full bloom and the arid landscape becomes lush. Monthly moonlight walks are organized by the park for anyone to participate in and Thursday night is deer spotting expedition night.
Extreme Island Adventures
WannaBike has all kinds of biking tours for all levels. Biking, mountain biking in particular has become increasingly popular in Curaçao. Its ballooning popularity is easily explained because the terrain lends itself perfectly to the sport making it great fun to explore those off-the-beaten-path sites.
If you’d rather tour without cycling up a sweat then drive your own vehicle while guided by X-treme ATV Tours and tour the rugged northern coast of the island or take advantage of the many bluffs on the island. Or, to really get your adrenaline going, why not jump off a cliff and do some rappelling with Vertical Fun? If that’s not for you try an aerial view of Curaçao with Pelican Air Helicopters for the ultimate in thrills and photo opportunity.
Splash into Water Sports
Seasoned divers will find countless dive sites to scratch their itch and novice divers can pop into any of the numerous dive shops on the island to arrange PADI certification and get going.
Windsurfing Curaçao at Spanish Water will provide you with top-notch equipment and instruction if you want to try your hand at windsurfing but if that doesn’t blow you away head to Sint Joris Bay, a calm oasis on the rough northern coast, excellent for kite boarding, the island’s latest craze. Curaçao Kiteboarding, affiliated with the IKO has what you need to make this an unforgettable experience.
Curacao boasts over 35 beaches to choose from so if you’re here for more than a day or two don’t get beached by settling on one only. Move around, drive along the southwestern coast, stop at the smaller beaches for tranquility and look out for the many coves neatly nestled within the rugged limestone and volcanic cliffs or hang out at the more popular beaches. Each beach is a different experience.
Off the southeastern tip of Curaçao, is the small island of Klein Curaçao. Framed by beautiful, sandy beaches, this perfect piece of paradise is a definite must-see and Bounty Adventures can take you there for the day on their catamaran (includes diving, scuba equipment and barbeque lunch).
There are so many activities to do on the island. Unleash your inner explorer and experience all that this idyllic island has to offer.