Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island, is known for its beaches tucked into coves and its expansive coral reefs rich with marine life. The capital, Willemstad, has pastel-colored colonial architecture, floating Queen Emma Bridge and the sand-floored, 17th-century Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue. It’s also a gateway to western beaches like Blue Bay, a popular diving site.
Sint Michiel Liber
3★+ Accommodation Starting At:
(Per Room, Per Night)
Atlandis Top 3 'Things to Do'
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.
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.
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.
'Things To Do' information provided by Viator and TripAdvisor. Contact Atlandis Vacations for the best prices.