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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

#1
Hato Caves

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
#2
Kenepa Beach

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
#3
Curacao Liqueur Distillery

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
#4
Cas Abao Beach

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
#5
Shete Boka National Park

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
#6
Playa Lagun

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
#7
Plantation House Jan Kock (Landhuis Jan Kok)

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
#8
Punda

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
#9
Scharloo

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
#10
Queen Emma Bridge

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
#11
Otrobanda

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
#12
Fort Beekenburg

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
#13
Christoffel National Park

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
#14
Queen Juliana Bridge

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
#15
Curacao Sea Aquarium

Curacao Sea Aquarium

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Explore the Caribbean’s underwater world at the Curacao Sea Aquarium in Willemstad. Set in an old naval vessel, the aquarium lets you embark on a unique marine adventure featuring natural habitats that are continuously filled with fresh seawater. Ocean- and coral reef-related research projects are also conducted on site.More

Top activities in Curacao

Klein Curacao Adventure Day Trip

Klein Curacao Adventure Day Trip

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$120.00
Curacao Beach and Hato Caves Tour
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Boat Trip to Klein Curacao
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Boat Trip to Klein Curacao

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$119.00
Swimming with sea turtles incl. professional pictures. Pefect for Instagram & FB
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Full Day Catamaran Trip to Klein Curacao with Lunch
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Hato Caves, Turtles & Beach

Hato Caves, Turtles & Beach

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27
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$60.00
Aquafari Tour in Curaçao

Aquafari Tour in Curaçao

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378
From
$125.33
Curacao Half Day ATV Adventure Tour

Curacao Half Day ATV Adventure Tour

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151
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$99.00
per group
PRIVATE CUSTOM TOUR Best way to get to know Curacao!
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Happy Hour Sunset Sail

Happy Hour Sunset Sail

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57
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$69.00
Klein Curacao Powerboat Adventure
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Curacao Complete Island Tour

Curacao Complete Island Tour

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47
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$65.65
All West Beach Hopping Tour

All West Beach Hopping Tour

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159
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$75.00

Recent reviews from experiences in Curacao

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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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Most wonderful tour ever!
Sadhna_J, Mar 2022
Klein Curacao Adventure Day Trip
Make sure you walk around the island to see the lighthouse and old ship wreck.
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Intimate and Active Trip in Curacao
Anonymous, Mar 2022
Nature Lovers Tour
It is crowded, but we found our way in and were able to see lots of turtles.
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Best tour guide we could imagine
Brent_L, Jan 2022
Rent a Guide in Willemstad - Customize your Private Tour
He knew so much about the island and worked with us to put together an itinerary that combined amazing locations and activities that were away from all the other tourists.
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Wonderful day exploring Curacao
Michael_C, Jan 2022
PRIVATE BEACH-HOP TOUR Most relaxed Tour on Curacao!
The title "beach hop" doesn't really highlight the ability to see so much in a day of really anything you want to do.
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Beautiful island of Curacao w/ an amazing Tour Guide Sendy❤️
John_J, Dec 2021
PRIVATE CUSTOM TOUR Best way to get to know Curacao!
We visited Curacao via Cruise Ship and are very thankful to have Sendy for our private Tour Guide to see the beautiful highlights of Curacao.
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Unique and unparalleled experience!
Erdi_S, Dec 2021
Curaçao Seabob Tour (by Bearded Butlers Curaçao)
This is also one of the first things I will recommend when an acquaintance of mine is going to visit Curacao.
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Immaculate tour
Shelby_S, Jun 2021
3 Bays in Half a Day
Definitely worth doing this tour to see some of Curacao's beautiful waters and marine life, meet other travelers, and have some fun!
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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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Private tour
frankreerslev, Jan 2020
The Curacao Full Day Private Tour Experience
I can recommend the experience as a good way to see Curacao, without having to be stuffed into a bus.
star-5
Wonderful
Judy_R, Oct 2018
Breath of Curacao and Shete Boka Natural Park Outback Safari
Can't wait to visit Curacao again.
star-5
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.
star-5
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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I highly recommend this tour as our...
Jazsmine D, Dec 2017
The Curacao Full Day Private Tour Experience
This tour enables you to see all the sites around Curacao.
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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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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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THE. BEST. TOUR. PERIOD!
andrewoK1415PC, Dec 2019
Swimming with sea turtles & Grote Knip Beach - Best island excursion
I would highly recommend booking this tour if you are fortunate enough to visit.
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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