Escape to a Caribbean paradise like no other – Curaçao. This idyllic island offers a wealth of attractions and activities that cater to all kinds of travelers. With a unique blend of Dutch and Caribbean cultures, Curaçao is a melting pot of flavors, colors, and traditions waiting to be explored.
Whether you're a nature lover, history buff, beach bum, or simply searching for a laid-back escape, this island paradise has something to offer. Get ready to dive into crystal-clear waters, explore vibrant streets, and indulge in local delicacies.
The 18 Best Things to Do in Curaçao
From exploring the island's historic capital city of Willemstad to snorkeling among the colorful coral reefs to indulging in delicious local cuisine, there is something for everyone on this idyllic island paradise. Whether you're a history buff, a beach lover, or an adventure seeker, here are the 18 best things to do in Curaçao:
1. Visit the Colorful and Historic Willemstad
Willemstad, the capital city of Curacao, is a must-visit destination for tourists who want to immerse themselves in the island's rich history and colorful culture. The city's pastel-colored buildings and charming architecture are a photographer's dream. Visitors can explore its vibrant streets on foot, taking in the unique blend of Dutch and Caribbean influences.
The city is divided into two districts, Punda and Otrobanda, connected by the Queen Emma Bridge. Tourists can shop for souvenirs, savor local cuisine, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the city. A visit to Willemstad is a perfect way to experience the unique culture of Curacao.
2. Take a Walk or Bike Ride Across the Queen Emma Bridge
The Queen Emma Bridge is a floating pontoon bridge that connects the two districts of Punda and Otrobanda in Willemstad. The bridge is over 500 feet long and a popular attraction for tourists and locals. It is also known as the “Swinging Old Lady” because it swings open to let boats pass through.
Visitors can take a leisurely stroll across the bridge or rent a bike to explore the city from a different perspective. The bridge is particularly beautiful at night when illuminated with colorful lights.
3. Go Snorkeling or Diving at One of Curacao's Many Stunning Beaches
Curacao is a paradise for water sports lovers, with many stunning beaches offering opportunities for snorkeling and diving. Two of the most popular beaches for these activities are Playa Kenepa Grandi and Playa Lagun. Playa Kenepa Grandi is located on the northwest coast of the island and boasts crystal-clear waters and soft, white sand. It's an excellent spot for snorkeling and diving, with abundant marine life to discover.
Playa Lagun is located on the west coast and is surrounded by coral reefs, providing an unforgettable underwater experience. Visitors can rent equipment and take guided tours with local experts, ensuring a safe and enjoyable snorkeling or diving experience.
Check out the best snorkeling and beach tours here.
4. Explore the Underwater World at the Curacao Sea Aquarium
The Curacao Sea Aquarium is an interactive aquarium that allows visitors to get up close and personal with the marine life of the Caribbean. Visitors can walk through a tunnel surrounded by fish, feed sharks and sea turtles, and even swim with dolphins.
The aquarium also has a touch tank where visitors can touch and learn about sea stars, sea urchins, and other sea creatures. The aquarium is a popular attraction for families with children and also offers educational programs and tours for visitors of all ages.
5. Take a Tour of the Hato Caves
Explore the Hato Caves, a fascinating underground network of limestone caverns on the island's northern side. Marvel at the stunning stalactites and stalagmites and other unique rock formations that have taken thousands of years to form.
Take a guided tour through the caves to see the ancient Indian petroglyphs and the underground lake. Witness the colony of long-nosed bats as they fly around in their natural habitat. The Hato Caves are a must-see attraction for visitors who are interested in nature and history.
Check out the best Hato Cave tours here.
6. Visit the Museum Kurá Hulanda
Visitors to the Museum Kurá Hulanda can explore a fascinating collection of exhibits dedicated to African history and culture. The museum showcases artifacts, art, and information about the transatlantic slave trade, the African diaspora, and the Caribbean's history.
Housed in restored 18th and 19th-century buildings that were once used to hold enslaved Africans, the museum provides a unique perspective on this dark period of history. The museum's mission is to promote understanding, tolerance, and education about the lasting impact of slavery on society today, making it a must-visit for anyone interested in African history and culture.
Check out ticket prices to visit the Museum Kurá Hulanda here.
7. Take a Sunset Sail and Enjoy the Stunning Views of the Caribbean Sea
Travelers to Curacao can explore the breathtaking beauty of the Caribbean Sea on a sunset sail. This experience offers a memorable way to end the day as you relax and watch the sun set over the glistening waters. Several companies offer sunset sail excursions, including snacks, drinks, and live music, creating an ambiance of pure relaxation and enjoyment.
As you sail along the coast, you can admire the spectacular views and soak in the tranquility of the sea. A sunset sail is a must-do for anyone looking to experience the beauty and magic of Curacao.
Check out the best sunset cruises in Curaçao here.
8. Explore the Rugged Landscape of Christoffel National Park
Discover the wild beauty of Christoffel National Park on the western side of Curacao. Hike to the peak of Mt. Christoffel, the island's highest point, and take in breathtaking views of the area. With various hiking and mountain biking trails, visitors can immerse themselves in the rugged terrain and marvel at the diverse flora and fauna.
Guided jeep tours provide a unique way to experience the park, with knowledgeable guides leading visitors through the stunning landscapes and sharing insights about the park's natural history. A visit to Christoffel National Park promises an unforgettable adventure in nature.
Check out the best Christoffel National Park tours and excursions here.
9. GoWindsurfing or Kitesurfing at Lac Bay
Experience the thrill of windsurfing or kitesurfing at Lac Bay, located on the southeastern side of Bonaire. With its calm, shallow waters and steady trade winds, Lac Bay is a world-renowned destination for water sports enthusiasts.
Surrounded by mangrove forests, this picturesque bay is also part of the Bonaire National Marine Park, offering visitors a chance to explore the island's diverse marine life and natural beauty. Whether you're an experienced windsurfer or a beginner, Lac Bay provides an exhilarating and unforgettable experience on the water. Don't miss the chance to visit this stunning destination and discover the best of Bonaire.
10. Visit the Flamingo Sanctuary at Jan Kok
For bird lovers, visiting the Flamingo Sanctuary at Jan Kok is a must-see attraction in Curacao. Tourists can witness the breathtaking sight of hundreds of pink flamingos, one of the island's most iconic creatures. Observe the graceful birds from a safe distance and learn about their behavior and habitat from knowledgeable guides.
The sanctuary is also home to a variety of other bird species, including herons and egrets, making it a true paradise for bird enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the sanctuary and discover the fascinating world of Curacao's feathered residents.
11. Explore the Hato Caves and Learn About the Island's Geology and History
Discover the fascinating world of Curacao's geology and history at the Hato Caves, a breathtaking series of limestone caves on the island's northern side. Visitors can explore the caves and learn about the island's past, including the indigenous people who once called it home.
Along the way, you encounter a large population of bats, adding to the wonder and intrigue of this unique attraction. With stunning natural formations and a rich cultural legacy, the Hato Caves offer a one-of-a-kind adventure for curious travelers seeking to deepen their understanding of Curacao's history and natural wonders.
12. Take a Guided Tour of the Island's Plantations
Visitors to Curacao can explore the island's history of slavery and plantations through a guided tour of its historic plantations. These tours offer a glimpse into the daily lives of enslaved people who once lived on the island.
The guided tour typically includes visits to the plantation houses and slave quarters, allowing visitors to understand the harsh conditions and brutal treatment endured by the enslaved. By learning about the island's past, visitors can gain a greater appreciation for the resilience and strength of those who suffered under the system of slavery. The tour is a valuable experience that sheds light on the island's complex and challenging history.
13. Visit Kalki Beach and Enjoy the Clear Waters and White Sand
Embark on a journey to discover the natural beauty of Kalki Beach, one of the most stunning beaches in Curacao. This breathtaking destination offers visitors a chance to bask in the sun on the soft, white sand while immersing themselves in the crystal-clear waters surrounding the beach.
Take a dip in the turquoise blue sea, enjoy some refreshing snorkeling, or simply relax and admire the stunning views of the surrounding coastline. With its tranquil atmosphere and gorgeous surroundings, Kalki Beach is the perfect getaway for those looking to unwind and soak up the island's natural wonders. Immerse yourself in Curacao's beauty and discover Kalki Beach's magic.
14. Take a Tour of the Curacao Sea Aquarium and Learn about the Island's Marine Life
Marvel at the diverse array of marine species that call the aquarium home, including sharks, sea turtles, and a kaleidoscope of colorful tropical fish. The aquarium offers visitors an immersive educational experience, with knowledgeable guides providing valuable insights into the complex marine ecosystem of the island.
Learn about the various species of fish, their behaviors, and their habitats, and discover the unique challenges that face marine life today. Immerse yourself in the wonder of Curacao's marine life and gain a deeper appreciation for the conservation efforts underway to protect these precious creatures. The Curacao Sea Aquarium is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the natural wonders of the sea.
15. Go on a Fishing Excursion and Try Your Luck at Catching Some of the Local Fish Species
If you're a fishing enthusiast, Curacao is the perfect destination to explore. With its diverse range of fish species, including tuna, marlin, and barracuda, visitors can book a fishing excursion with one of the local charters and try their luck at catching these fascinating creatures. It's an experience not to be missed, where you can enjoy the thrill of the catch and the beauty of the surrounding waters.
Apart from the fishing, you can enjoy the island's vibrant culture, explore the pristine beaches, and indulge in local cuisine. Curacao offers a unique blend of adventure and relaxation, making it an ideal vacation spot for anyone looking to explore a new place and make unforgettable memories.
16. Visit the Curacao Ostrich Farm
A visit to the Curacao Ostrich Farm is an excellent opportunity to explore and learn about these majestic birds. This farm is home to a vast population of ostriches, and visitors can take a guided tour that provides a fascinating insight into the life cycle of these creatures. The tour takes you through the breeding pens, incubator, and nursery, where you can witness the entire process of ostrich breeding and raising up close.
During the tour, you'll get to learn about the unique features and behaviors of these birds, as well as their natural habitat and the challenges they face in the wild. With knowledgeable guides and a friendly atmosphere, a visit to the Curacao Ostrich Farm is an experience that you won't want to miss.
17. Visit Santa Martha Bay and Enjoy the Beautiful Scenery
Santa Martha Bay, nestled on the north side of the island, is a serene and picturesque destination that offers visitors a plethora of exploration opportunities. The bay's tranquil waters make it a perfect spot for swimming and sunbathing, while the spectacular views of the coast's rugged cliffs and stunning rock formations are a feast for the eyes.
Beyond its natural beauty, visitors can also discover the bay's charming and secluded surroundings, which offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether one seeks to unwind on the sandy shores or to hike the nearby trails, Santa Martha Bay is an ideal location for a peaceful and rejuvenating getaway.
Find the best Santa Martha Bay tours and excursions here.
18. Visit the Landhuis Chobolobo and Learn About the Island's Famous Blue Curacao Liqueur
The Landhuis Chobolobo is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Curaçao's rich cultural history and unique gastronomy. This historic plantation house, located in Willemstad, is home to the Senior family, who have been producing the world-renowned Blue Curacao liqueur for over a century.
Tourists to the Landhuis Chobolobo can take a guided tour of the house, where they will learn about the fascinating history and intricate production process of the liqueur. They can also sample some of the delicious Blue Curacao liqueur, which is made from the peel of the island's famous Laraha citrus fruit. A trip to the Landhuis Chobolobo is a truly immersive experience that offers a glimpse into the island's rich cultural heritage and unique culinary traditions.
Check out the best tours for the Blue Curacao liqueur here.
Best Things to do in Curaçao
With so many exciting things to do and see in Curaçao, you'll never run out of options. Whether you choose to soak up the sun on one of the island's many stunning beaches or explore the rich history and culture of Willemstad, this Caribbean gem promises to be an unforgettable vacation destination. Don't miss out on the chance to experience the best that Curaçao has to offer!