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
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 1,121 reviews
We decided to visit Jan Thiel Beach on the spur of the moment one day and had one of our best beach days. When we arrived at the beach there were plenty of chairs and cabanas available for rent at a very reasonable price (I think we paid $10 or $12 USD for a cabana that comfortably accommodated four of us. In fact, there was a cabana sitting right at the waters edge, in front of every other chair and cabana that was available. We were able to walk five feet to the stairs to get into the ocean, and as soon as we got in with our snorkel masks, there were fish everywhere! My friends and I aren't expert snorkelers, so perhaps we are more easily impressed, but but based on all the fish and cool underwater creatures we saw, we wondered why anybody would pay for a snorkel boat ride or tour when this great snorkeling was available for the price of admission to the beach, which I think was $4.50 USD per person and worth every penny. We had two great servers who brought us all the food and drinks we desired to order right to our cabana. Being Americans, we weren't used to the laid back attitude and trust that existed. They didn't want a credit card to start a tab, they didn't ask for us to pay for anything up front. They just brought us everything with no hassle and trusted that we would pay our tab when we were done ... which of course we did, but most Americans know, that level of trust doesn't exist many places anymore. It was refreshing. Overall, I would highly recommend Jan thief Beach if you want a great day at the beach with easily accessible snorkeling, great service, good food & drinks and a friendly atmosphere.
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.
4.0 based on 712 reviews
Blue Bay is an excellent place to visit as part of your vacation. A quick trip from the cruise port ($30 UsD) - Blue Bay is a hidden gem. An excellent beach for the whole family. Great snorkeling for first timers or any others of the like. The underwater life seen varied from crabs to blue tangs to pencil fish to puffers. The Amenities are excellent as well. Lounge chairs, fresh water showers, and shade can all be had for the $8 entry fee, $4 for kids. There are a few restaurants and bars on premise and prices are reasonable with a very pleasant wait staff. Save your money and take a cab to Blue Bay vice the $100 plus per person cruise ship excursions. A better deal and you can spend all day here!
4.0 based on 478 reviews
This was a lovely beach. You need to arrive before 10am to get a good seat in the shade. We had to pay 5.00 for a beach chair. There were clean bathrooms which were free. A shower was I believe $0.50. Nice bar/restaurant. The snorkeling off to the right of the beach towards the rocks was amazing! Beautiful fish and so many different types of coral. It was amazing! No entry fee here. We enjoyed our time here very much
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