Things to do in Curacao: Attractions and places to visit

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Turquoise sea, white sandy beaches, palm trees and blue sky – Curaçao is pure Caribbean! In addition, there is a noticeable Dutch influence in many places. This originates from the long past colonial period and brings some advantages for holidaymakers from countries belonging to the European Union. From Germany you can enter with your identity card, the flight connections from the Netherlands are great and you don’t need to exchange money.

In addition, travellers to Curaçao will find many familiar items for their daily needs from home – and, on top of that, a good European standard in most hotels. The official language is Dutch, but English and Spanish are also very good. The island has 145,000 inhabitants of 50 different nationalities. Over time, a diverse and colourful culture has developed that is unique in the world.

The icing on the cake is that the nearly 450 square kilometres large Antilles island lies due to its proximity to the Venezuelan mainland far outside the hurricane area. This makes the island – as well as the sister islands of Aruba and Bonaire – a worthwhile destination all year round. By the way, the three islands – although not belonging together – are often referred to as ABC islands.

Below we present you the most exciting tours, the most beautiful attractions and the best sights on Curaçao.

Playa Kenapa Kiki (Public Domain | Pixabay)  Public Domain 
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Strand auf Curacao (Public Domain | Pixabay)  Public Domain 
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Beach Life auf Curacao (Public Domain | Pixabay)  Public Domain 
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1. Capital Willemstad

With its colourful houses and paved squares, Willemstadt is reminiscent of the Dutch capital Amsterdam. In many places, the influence of the former colonial power is openly revealed. To the west of the port city is the Otrobanda quarter, to the east is Punta. Both parts of the town are separated by St. Anna’s Bay, but are connected by a bridge.

The eastern part is characterised by narrow but straight streets, while Otrabanda resembles a labyrinth of winding streets. In many places, on both sides of the bay, one comes across lovingly restored villas from the colonial period and other sights. It is also a great experience to simply stroll along the busy promenade along the sea shore.

2. Queen Emma Bridge

The Queen Emma Bridge mentioned above is one of the most popular and most photographed sights of Curaçao, next to the fantastic picture book beaches. It was built in 1888 by the architect Leonard Burlington Smith. The construction, popularly known as the “floating old lady”, is supported by 16 pontoon boats. Especially worth seeing is the bridge after sunset!

It is magnificently illuminated together with the surrounding houses. Then the whole environment shines in all colors of the rainbow and offers an incomparable sight. From another bridge in Willemstad, the Queen Juliana Bridge, you have a fantastic panoramic view over large parts of the city. With a height of 56 metres, it is considered to be one of the tallest bridges in the world.

3. Forts from the colonial period

There are many places on the island where holidaymakers can find evidence of the colonial era. The most conspicuous ones, besides some magnificent villas, are certainly the old forts. Eight of these defensive structures, which were built in the 17th century, have survived to this day. The best preserved is Fort Amsterdam, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was built in 1635 in the harbour area of Punda.

Today it is the residence of the governor and the location of government and administrative offices. Built in 1797, Fort Nassau regulated the opening and closing of the Queen Emma Bridge for many years and has remained in its original state. It is therefore one of the most important sightseeings on Curaçao and today is home to a restaurant, among other things.

4. Tour through the Hato Caves

You should not miss a trip to the Hato Caves on Curaçao. The caves formed several million years ago below the sea surface extend over almost 5,000 square metres. In addition to great limestone formations, you will find waterfalls and bats.

Also a famous Madonna statue is resident here. Guided tours through the cave system usually last 45 to 60 minutes and are offered in either Dutch or English. At the end of each tour, every light in the cave is turned off for a short time – an exciting and great experience!

5. Pure nature in Cristoffel Park

For those who are tired of lazing around on the beach, the Cristoffel National Park is an ideal destination. The area in the northwest of the island surrounds the highest mountain of the island, the 375 metre high Christoffelberg. This makes the region an excellent place for hiking.

The park also offers wonderful views over the island world. In addition, 150 bird species and more than 500 different plants can be admired. Such a colourful splendour will never be forgotten! Particularly worth seeing are the flamingos, which live off the beaten track and regularly show themselves to tourists.

6. Dream Beach Seaquarium Beach

The most famous – and for many the most beautiful – beach of Curaçao is the Seaquarium Beach. Between the palm trees that gently wave in the wind, bathers can relax wonderfully and enjoy life. Families with children and young people love to come to Seaquarium Beach because the infrastructure is very good. There are numerous water sports such as jet skiing, diving, water skiing and the like. In addition, beach bars, shops and restaurants line the dream beach.

There is always something going on here and you can spend the whole day at Seaquarium Beach without any problems. In addition, there are regular film evenings and concerts on the beach, so that even after sunset there is still a long way to go. With a tasty “Blue Curaçao” or another cocktail, there is hardly another place that offers such a genuine Caribbean feeling as here.

7. Paradisiacally beautiful: Playa Lagun

The small Playa Lagun is a real insider tip among the bays on Curaçao and is also one of the most popular sights of the island. Here it can happen that iguanas and chickens stroll along the sea. In the crystal clear water countless colourful fish species cavort.

Besides sunbathing and swimming, a snorkeling tour is also worthwhile. Because there are some rocky sections in the sea off the coast, there is always something to see under water. After the dive you can relax on the white sandy beach. The visit to Playa Lagun is completely free of charge.

8. Sunset at Playa Forti

There is another recommendation for Playa Forti. The small bay is surrounded by huge rock faces, from which the daring can take the plunge into the sea. At the top of the cliffs there are some restaurants offering local food.

So it is no problem to spend the whole day at this beautiful beach, to enjoy delicious food and a cocktail and to relax your soul. On top of that there is one of the most beautiful natural sights on Curaçao: the sunsets over the sea at Playa Forti are legendary!

9. Pork Beach Playa Porto Mari

A very special gem among the beaches of the island Curaçao is the Playa Porto Mari. In the natural bay you will not only find the finest and whitest sand you can imagine, but also your own offshore reef that invites you to snorkel and dive.

The underwater world is especially species-rich and the visibility is almost always good. The unique thing about this place, however, is that there are two pigs here that are extremely trusting. With a bit of luck they are taking a bath and going to the diving station with the holidaymakers. There is only such a thing on a small island of the Bahamas – and on the Playa Porto Mari in Curaçao!

10. Small Curaçao

Only a few miles off the southwest coast of the main island lies the lonely, completely uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao. It is a real gem among the sightseeings, as it has the longest and probably also whitest sandy beach of the whole Caribbean ready. You can also see a lighthouse, several stranded ships and abandoned huts of fishermen who once lived here and moved on.

The only inhabitants today are water turtles, with which you can usually snorkel. Thus, the side island radiates an incomparable charm that one can hardly find anywhere else. Occasionally, events such as cooking shows or parties take place on Klein Curaçao. But most of the time holidaymakers, who can be translated with a boat, enjoy a carefree time and heavenly peace.

More things to do and activities for your Curaçao holiday

Best time to visit Curaçao

We recommend the following months as best time to travel for exploring the attractions and acivities of Curaçao:

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September

You can find more information about the weather, including all climate data, on our climate page for Curaçao.

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