Personal Travel from CruisePlus Experts
I visited Curaçao in March 2018, and it’s always remained on my list of places I must return to. One of three ABC islands, Curaçao is known for it's stunning white sand beaches, vibrant Dutch-Caribbean culture, friendly locals and endless activities.
Unlike it’s more popular neighbour to the North, Aruba, Curaçao has been somewhat overshadowed in comparison. While large resort chains are still very prominent on Curaçao, many of the accommodations include smaller luxury boutique hotels lining the tropical shores, which can make for a more authentic and intimate experience. If you like fresh seafood fused with colourful Caribbean flair, your options will be endless in the many local restaurants, ranging from casual to fine dining and everything in between.
As I also visited Aruba on this same trip, I found Curaçao much quieter and more authentic of a destination. The beaches are stunning, although many are rocky, it’s not hard to find stunning white sand and turquoise water spots scattered in between. Renting a car was a great way to explore the hidden gems of the island, including private beaches with swimming pigs (Playa Porto Marie), salt flats (Jan Thiel), and a beautiful rocky coastal trail (Sheta Boka Park). Despite a few pockets of heavy traffic, driving on Curacao was comfortable, easy, and right-hand drive.
While Willemstad, the capital, wasn’t as bustling as you may find on other Caribbean island hot-spot islands, it was vibrant and unique. Old Town area boasted colourful colonial architecture, charming shops and restaurants, and the floating Queen Emma bridge, all walkable and safe.
Because Curaçao sits outside of the hurricane belt, it’s considered a perfect destination all year round. If you happen to visit sometime January through March, you’ll get to experience the Curaçao Carnival, where the whole island lights up in colourful celebrations, parties and parades. If you’re into a quieter experience, May to November is the off-peak season when accommodation and activity rates can be heavily discounted.