Dreamlike Curaçao – Island in the Middle of the Caribbean

Aerial view of a beach on the island of Curaçao

Curaçao is an island that, together with Aruba and Bonaire, forms the “ABC Islands.” As the name suggests, the letter “C” stands for “Curaçao.” The autonomous country is located in the Caribbean Sea and, like Aruba and Bonaire, is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

However, the Caribbean island is best known for its fine sandy beaches, the turquoise sea, and the breathtaking underwater world. Perhaps you are also familiar with the liqueur “Blue Curaçao,” which is produced on the island and is known worldwide.

To give you a clear overview of the island, we have compiled all the relevant facts for you. This way, you can get an idea of what the island has to offer.

In addition to tips on recommended sights and promising excursions, we also provide you with further interesting information for your travel preparation.

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Sights in Curaçao: An Island Full of Possibilities

Curaçao has a variety of attractions to offer, which will particularly appeal to culture enthusiasts. A special highlight is Willemstad, the island’s capital. This was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

The city is primarily known for its pretty buildings, which have been influenced by Dutch and Caribbean architectural elements. This is most evident in the world-famous Handelskade, a colorful row of buildings right by the harbor.

Colorful row of houses with extraordinary architecture.
View of the Queen Emma Bridge on the island of Curaçao.

Also located in Willemstad is the Queen Emma Bridge. This is a popular landmark and connects the districts of Punda and Otrobanda. While Punda is mainly known for its unique architecture and hosts numerous sights, Otrobanda is especially known for its colorful street art.

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You’ll also find numerous museums in Curaçao. Whether you’re interested in the history of Curaçao, maritime navigation, or the island’s Jewish history, there are suitable museums for a variety of interests. Additionally, families vacationing with children will find the Children’s Museum Curaçao highly recommended.

Activities in Curaçao: An Island for Unique Experiences

For sports enthusiasts, especially divers and snorkelers, the island of Curaçao has much to offer. Around Curaçao, there are several reefs and underwater spots to explore. These include the Sponge Forest, the shipwreck at Tugboat Beach, the Blue Room Cave, and the Small Wall.

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For nature lovers, the island of Curaçao offers several attractions. You’ll find the Shete Boka National Park and the Christoffel National Park, which not only impress with a unique landscape but also invite to extensive hiking tours.

With a bit of luck, you may also encounter some native species, such as flamingos, iguanas, or parrots.

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Curaçao entices with over 30 beaches spread across the entire island, offering a diverse selection for beach lovers. Whether you’re looking for a beach for the whole family, a secluded and relaxing oasis of peace, or a place for snorkeling and diving, Curaçao provides the perfect beaches for your vacation.

Playa Lagun

Located in Curaçao, Playa Lagun is a picturesque, rather small beach. Surrounded by cliffs, the bay delights with crystal-clear water, making it an absolute paradise for snorkelers and divers.

The colorful corals, imposing sponges, and the variety of fish and seahorses adorn the breathtaking underwater world. With a bit of luck, you might even spot an adorable turtle.

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At this well-maintained beach, you have the opportunity to rent lounge chairs and use changing rooms and showers. Furthermore, at Playa Lagun, there’s a beach bar where you can purchase refreshing drinks and snacks.

Cas Abao Beach

One of the most popular beaches on the island of Curaçao ist Cas Abao Beach. Due to the fascinating reef located just a few meters from the shore, the beach is ideal for snorkeling and diving. If you don’t have your own equipment, you can conveniently rent it at the adjacent diving center.

View of the blue sea of Cas Abao Beach. On the left you can see a small hut on the beach on the island of Curaçao.
Driftwood sign at Cas Abao Beach.

But not only because of the breathtaking underwater world is the beach a popular excursion destination. The Cas Abao Beach is quite cheap with an admission price of $6.00 for four people. In return, you get an excellently equipped beach and even have the opportunity to book a massage on site. For a small hunger in between or a pleasant refreshment with a refreshing drink, you can visit the Cas Abao Beach Bar & Restaurant.

Mambo Beach

Mamo Beach is located southeast of the center of the island’s capital. The beach is particularly popular with tourists, who are offered a lot through the beach promenade. Numerous shops, bars, and restaurants are spread over two floors.

View of the blue sea at Mambo Beach on the island of Curaçao.

The beach itself scores with excellent facilities and, as a special highlight for families with children, offers a playground nearby.

Playa Porto Mari

Playa Port Mari is known for its animal inhabitants. Currently, six cute pigs named Willy, Woody, Wim, Meur, Max, and Lia live directly on the beach.

A pig bathes at Playa Porto Mari, the famous beach on the island of Curaçao.
View of the sea at Playa Porto Mari. This is a beach on the island of Curaçao.

But the beach is not only a popular destination for animal lovers. Numerous divers also regularly make their way there to explore the impressive “Double Reef”. Of course, you can also simply spend a relaxed day at the beach, enjoy the sun, and cool off in the Caribbean Sea.

Klein Curaçao

Klein Curaçao, an uninhabited neighboring island with a beautiful beach, invites you to visit just like Curaçao. A boat tour is an ideal way to explore the island. Depending on the type of boat chosen, the journey takes about one to two hours. During this time, you have an impressive view of the vast sea.

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Upon arrival on the island, the pink lighthouse immediately catches the eye, a well-known landmark. The island also has a lot to offer for snorkelers and divers, including fascinating underwater caves and coral reefs that serve as habitat for numerous marine creatures.

Pure Enjoyment: The Culinary Scene of Curaçao

During your trip to Curaçao, it’s worth taking the opportunity to taste some of the traditional local delicacies that are part of the island’s cultural heritage.

Typical dishes include, for example, Kabritu Stoba (goat stew), Yuana (braised iguana), and Keshi Yená (cheese stuffed with meat). Also very popular are the so-called “Pastechi”. These are pastry pockets filled with vegetables, fish, or meat, which are fried golden brown in oil.

Symbolic image “Curaçao Island”: A woman eats a salad in a restaurant.

Another popular delicacy is Funchi, a preparation made from cornmeal, salt, and water. It is served in slices and is a satisfying alternative to, for example, bread. It is a typical side dish that is also served as an appetizer.

You can try these dishes and many more delicacies from various countries at one of the island’s numerous restaurants.

Helpful Facts at a Glance

Capital: Willemstad

Population: about 152.000

Time zone: UTC-4h

Official language: Papiamentu

Official languages: Papiamentu, English, Dutch

Currency: Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG), Dollar ($)

Average temperature: 82,4 °F

Area: 171.4 mi²

Important Information on Entering the Island

If you want to enter Curaçao as a US citizen, you initially do not need a visa. You can stay in Curaçao for 180 days at a time over a period of 365 days.

This means that you only need your passport to enter the country. However, there are still some things you should consider in advance. Also, be sure to check before traveling whether you have all the required vaccinations.

Best Time to Visit the Island of Curaçao

On the island of Curaçao, it is warm all year round. During the day, there is a tropical climate with temperatures between 84,2 °F and 89,6 °F. At night, temperatures range from 75,2 °F to 78,8 °F – often, a T-shirt or a thin blouse or jacket is still sufficient. For the ultimate Caribbean experience, you should plan your trip between March and June. With an average of three rainy days, this is the driest time on the island.

Symbolic image “Island of Curaçao”: climate table with information about the weather for each month, water temperature, hours of sunshine and rainy days

In November and December, however, rainy season prevails in Curaçao. During this time, you can expect ten to twelve rainy days per month. However, the rain showers are usually quite short and by no means as intense as on other Caribbean islands. Therefore, even in the winter months, you can expect beautiful weather on most days.

Beautiful Accommodations for Absolute Relaxation

Your personal preferences also play an important role when choosing the location of your accommodation. If you want to experience the hustle and bustle of the island’s bars, cafés and restaurants and be within walking distance of the most important sights, a stay in the center of Willemstad is ideal.

If, on the other hand, you prefer a quieter environment, accommodation in the west of the island is a good choice: it is quieter and more natural here.

However, the view of the white sand and turquoise sea more than makes up for the extra cost. Accommodation right on the beach offers you an authentic Caribbean experience, even if they are usually a little more expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Curaçao Island

Are you curious about the island of Curaçao as a vacation destination in the Caribbean? If the information provided so far about Curaçao has not been enough for you, we will answer the most frequently asked questions about the island below.

The duration of a flight to Curaçao depends on where you are departing from and whether there are layovers on the route. The fastest connection from US is typically from Miami. From there, there is a direct flight that will take you to Curaçao in 3 hours and 5 minutes. However, if you choose to have layovers, the flight time can be extended by several hours.

Many people wonder which country Curaçao is located in. In fact, Curaçao has been an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands since October 10, 2010, and is located in the Caribbean, off the coast of Venezuela.

In Curaçao, you can usually pay with two different currencies. The most common currency is the Netherlands Antillean Guilder, abbreviated as ANG, also known as Florin. However, in many cases, you also have the option to pay with US Dollars.

To avoid the hassle of exchanging cash, it is helpful to bring a travel credit card. This is accepted in most hotels, restaurants, cafes, and shops, providing more flexibility.

Your driver’s license is usually valid in Curaçao. You do not need an international driver’s license. However, if you plan to drive a rental car, you may need to meet a minimum age requirement or have a certain number of years of driving experience, depending on the car rental company.

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