The lively capital of Curacao is a welcoming, upbeat destination with two distinct historic districts divided by the lovely St. Anna Bay. Punda, site of neat, narrow streets, is crammed with shops and museums. Otrobanda, or "The Other Side," is a maze of twisting residential streets, contrasting with the organized grid across the bay. Willemstad's colorful colonial architecture has won it UNESCO Heritage site designations. Diving and swimming with dolphins are popular activities in the bay.
Restaurants in Willemstad
5.0 based on 68 reviews
Everyone who comes to Curaçao MUST do this tour. It is exhilarating and beautiful. Pascal knows the island better than anyone! He guides you through parts of the island that no one else will take you to. Go on this tour if you want to swim with turtles, have a private BBQ, drive off-road and have the time of your life! :-)
5.0 based on 1 reviews
4.5 based on 2,311 reviews
The Shete Boka National Park contains several viewing areas with different attractions. My two personal favourites were the cave near the entrance - you can see huge waves coming directly towards you (though they always break before they hit the platform) and the Boka Pistol, a nook in a cliff where waves collide and spray upwards. There were even a small herd of goats following me around at one point! Be sure to wear shoes with thick soles - my shoes had fairly thin soles and the path to the Pistol has a lot of thorns on the floor and... yeah, that was painful. The Christoffel National Park is only a 5 min drive away and you can do both in one day if you're quick to move. Do Christoffel in the
4.5 based on 3,918 reviews
Inlet on the less-developed western side of the island.
It is one of the top rated beaches in the Caribbean for a reason. Just a note. Because of the mix of cultures and languages, many of the beaches have more than one name. There are two Kenepa beaches, the larger is Playa Kenepa Grandi or Grote Knip and the smaller more rustic beach is Playa Kenepa Chiki or Klein Knip. Grote Knip is a relatively large, nice sandy beach with great snorkeling and cliff jumping. Although the cliff jumping at Playa Forti is probably better. At least for cliff jumping. Admission is free, and lounge chairs, umbrellas, snorkeling equipment, kayaks and paddleboards are available for rent. Overall, we enjoyed Play Porto Mari more, but this is an amazing beach, as well.
4.5 based on 548 reviews
This was a wonderful beach day trip! The water is very clear and felt amazing. Bring water shoes as it is rocky. We forgot ours but were fine. Also, if you can bring your own snorkel equipment you should. They rent it at the beach for $15/day. We rented two chairs and umbrella for $30, i think (not more than that). I believe they close up at 5, we left right before then so not certain. I saw plenty people snorkeling but we did not have any equipment and chose not to rent any. I could still see some fish looking down into the water. We drove over from the Pietermaai district and it took about 40 minutes. We used the maps.me app which navigates even if you are not online (download ahead of time). There is another beach right near this one but we did not visit. There is a small stand selling drinks and food but we brought our own. There are also some tables with benches if you want to have a meal. There was a mixture of locals and tourists but it was not very crowded, we visited on a Saturday afternoon. I would definitely return!
4.0 based on 1,689 reviews
Old coral reefs exposed when the sea receded.
We had a vert and educational Sunday morning in the Hato caves, which are rather located up (a plateau) than down (under the ground). Our guide was a very nice guy and thought us more about the history of Curaçao that lead to the forming of the caves (including some awesome stalactites and stalagmites). Also, slaves from the Hato plantation fled and hid in the caves, until they where caught and recaptured while steeling food. You can still see the soot of their fires on the caves roof. Furthermore, you can expect bats and the occasional cockroach. But no other creepy crawlies. We brought our one year old and the first thing we wanted to know is: can you visit with a small child? The answer is yes! We parked our buggy at the bar (which was closed due to Covid-19) and carried him in (you do have to navigate 49 steps up and down. And although the inside of the cave is paved, there are still some steps. Alternative option would be a baby sling). And finally, there were appropriate social distancing measures and group size was very small (we were with one other family of three and a solo man).
4.0 based on 1,708 reviews
The Curaçao Sea Aquarium belongs to one of the most unique aquaria in the world. The reason being that, from the very beginning of the aquarium in 1984, the Sea Aquarium managed to create natural habitats for all its marine creatures without using sophisticated technical equipment. Due to an open-watersystem all the aquaria are in immediate contact with the open sea. It is this advanced pump system that continuously pumps fresh seawater directly in all the aquaria. Openings in the roof allow natural sunlight to fall directly on the aquaria, so there is no need to use artificial light sources. The combination of the open-watersystem and the natural sunlight create the natural circumstances that are needed to replicate the underwater world outside the aquarium. Everything in the aquaria, from the fish and corals to the sand on the bottom of the exhibition tanks, originates from the seas surrounding the island of Curaçao. Nothing in the displays is artificial, everything is 100% real. The same conditions apply to the lagoons in which the dolphins, sealions, sharks, rays and turtles are kept. The only thing that separates these lagoons from the open ocean are breakwaters built out of big rock boulders and an occasional fence, allowing fresh seawater to freely flow through all the lagoons. The Curaçao Sea Aquarium operates according to the principle that all animals need to be kept in circumstances that as much as possible mimic their natural living conditions. This goal is accomplished by employing all the available natural sources and resources surrounding the aquarium.
We enjoyed this experience in Curacao on a cloudy day. We enjoyed the dry land dolphin experience, feeding sharks, dolphin show, flamingo feeding, sea lion show, etc. Seeing animals in ocean habitats was fantastic.
4.0 based on 353 reviews
Small, pretty beach with decent wade-in snorkeling. No services - so bring blanket and food/water. Very clear water. Snorkel alongside either cliff face.
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