What to do in Curaçao
Curaçao lies just above the coast of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean sea. You can pay with the Antillean Guilder (Ang) and is linked to the US Dollar. From Schiphol you have a perfect connection to the island. There are two airlines that fly frequently to Curaçao, that is KLM and TUI. We flew with KLM during the Easter holidays and the flights are direct. Curaçao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and around 150.000 people live on the Caribbean island. Below you will find seven fun things to do in Curaçao!
Swim with sea turtles
Swim with sea turtles in place one at Playa Grandi - Playa Piscado. If you go on a Sunday, you can eat tasty and cheap in the local restaurant. By the way, it is only open on Sundays. The local population will eat freshly caught fish there. You only have to go 2 meters into the sea to see turtles. They are attracted by the "waste" of the fish that the fishermen clean there and throw back into the sea. The turtles love it. At one point 7 turtles swam around me. It is a fantastic experience to be able to swim with those beautiful animals. Certainly do!
Video: Playa Grandi - Playa Piscado
Climb Christoffel mountain
The "mountain" is good to climb, but you have to start early enough. If you are staying on the other side of Curaçao, it is still an hour away. We assumed it our stay at Jan Thiel 2 times 1.5 you, because we were the first time too late to start the climb. Due to road works we were forced to drive. It is not allowed to go up the mountain later than 10u00, because then it gets too hot. We then went swimming at a beach nearby. The 2de times the road was still not open and we had to drive again 20 minus, but now we were on time.
Climbing & routes
We started the ascent at 10:00 am, but it is recommended to start earlier due to the heat. It is a long walk, but once at the top you will be rewarded with a beautiful view of the island. Take water with you because the whole walk takes about 3 hours. The prices and opening hours of the Sint-Christoffelberg park can be found via this link. Sint-Christoffelberg is named after the explorer Christopher Columbus, and the top of the mountain is the third highest point in the Kingdom of the Netherlands (372 meters). The park is 2000 ha and was opened in 1978. There are 8 walking routes and 4 car routes in the Christoffel National Park. You can visit the park under supervision or on your own.
Fauna & Flora Christoffelberg
4 wild orchids grow and you will find a large variety of trees and plants. The Brasia or paint tree and the Yaka or Pokhout are there. The wood was grated from the paint tree to make paint from, and glue was made from the fruits of the Pohhout tree. Rabbits, white-tailed deer (the biná), iguanas, lizards, hummingbirds, parakeets and many other birds live in the park.
The subspecies of the white-tailed deer, of which there are only about 200 more, is only found in Curaçao and is one of the rarest animals in the world. If you are lucky, you will only see them early in the morning or in the evening at dusk. It is not clear how the deer arrived on the island. Were they brought from Venezuela by Indians 3500 years ago or have they been on the island for longer? Nobody knows for sure! Goats are the biggest threat to deer because they eat the same food. After the park became a protected area, a fence was placed to keep the goats out of the park. Since then, the nature in the area has been doing much better.
After or before climbing the Christoffelberg you can possibly visit the associated museum. The museum, which only opened in 2010, is located in the Savonet country house at the main entrance of the Christoffel Park. On the Savonet estate, some of the remaining slave houses, which are rare in Curaçao, have been restored and can be viewed. If you have paid entrance for access to the Christoffelpark, then the entrance to the museum is free. If you only Savonet museum wish to visit, then it costs 5 ANG (3$) for adults and 3.5 ANG (2$) for children.
Playa Cas Abao
Playa Cas Abao is one of them the most beautiful beaches in Curaçao. It is very suitable for snorkeling and swimming, but I have not encountered turtles here. I have seen a stingray, colorful fish and a moray eel. Jessica also saw two yellowfin tuna of 2 meters long.
The sandy beach of Playa Cas Abao (google maps) is privately operated and is therefore paid. At the entrance you pay 10 Nafl per car and 5 Nafl per lounger. There is good park facilities and you can have a drink at the bar, rent kayaks and even have a massage done. There are also toilets and showers. Almost every day we went to a beach to snorkel and swim. There are many beautiful beaches on Curaçao. The best and most beautiful beaches are almost all in West Curaçao.
Willemstad and the Pontjesbrug
Also visit Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao. Take a walk along the beautifully colored colonial houses with its typical Dutch facades in the neighborhood Punda and go over the Pontjesbrug or Emmabrug to Otrobanda.
Otrobanda lies on the other side of the water of the Anna Bay and can be reached via the bridge. The bridge used to be a toll bridge and people who didn't wear shoes were allowed to cross for free. 15.000 people use the bridge every day. Occasionally the bridge opens to allow large boats to pass through. A part of Willemstad has been on the world list of UNESCO since 1997. The city has a special architecture.
Did you know: At the start of the XNUM century, the governor of Curaçao was bothered by his eyes. According to his doctor, that was because of the white painted houses in Willemstad. Governor Kikkert had all the facades around the harbor painted over in the pastel shades that still determine the street scene of Willemstad today. It is told that Kikkert was the owner of the only paint factory in Curaçao.
and visited Museum Kura Hulanda
After we made it through the ferry bridge and visited Museum Kura Hulanda in Otrobanda (Klipstraat), we walked back to our rental car along the old market. In the museum you can see all kinds of attributes from that time and learn more about the history of the slave trade. The slaves were traded in the courtyard of the building. We found the entrance to be a bit expensive and in my opinion children should have free access. Price museum: Adults 17,80 ANG & Children up to 13 years 12,50 ANG
The floating market
The Floating Market is located on the Sha Caprileskade. As the name suggests, it is not a floating market like you see in Thailand, but just a fruit and vegetable market with stalls. The street is around the corner and adjacent to the colorful Handelskade in the Punda district.
Kayaking on the Spanish Water
You can rent kayaks on various beaches, such as Playa Cas Abao. There are also organized trips or you can simply rent a kayak yourself. We made a kayak trip on it Spanish Water and departed from the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Hotel (temporarily closed due to Corona). The Spanish Water is located in the eastern part of Curaçao and is known for water sports. This part of the island is called Bandariba, the top and it is here that the most beautiful villas of the island can be found. There is plenty to do on Spanish water.
Villa districts are still being built around and to the north of the Spanish Water, because this part is not in the stinking wind that is blown out of the Schottegat oil refinery. The smell is for the poorer neighborhoods on the west side of the oil company.
You pay a small amount at the entrance of the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Hotel. With the bracelet the man or woman gives you, you can enter the chic hotel. Almost all facilities may be used, including the beach and the rental desk for kayaks and paddle boards. We have been to the hotel 2 times and were allowed to use the pool, but that is not normally included in the price.
Serena's Art Factory
If you are staying or are in the area of Willemstad or Jan Thiel, pay a visit to the local art workshop "Serena's Art Factory". All kinds of baked colorful Chichi dolls are sold, made by local artists. Each work of art has a number. On the basis of that number you can look up who made it. Here you can view the website. Not far from the studio, in the same street is the Ecocity Aloe Vera plantation. You can visit them and buy all kinds of Aloe Vera products. The prices here are much lower than at the airport. We stayed in it mini-resort “Home Sweet Home” and Seren's Art Factory is only 10 km away.
Country house Ascension and Boca Ascension
Once a month you can visit the house for free, on the first Sunday of the month between 10u00 and 14u00 there is an open house. Reservations are not necessary. Here you can find all info. In the neighborhood there is a bay that you can reach on foot from the mansion. It is also possible to travel a bit by car and make a small walk from the parking lot to Boca Ascencion on the coast. In the bay, many turtles shelter from the sharks in the open sea. The sharks do not get so close and the turtles stay there until they are big enough not to be eaten. This side of the island looks completely different, much rougher than the west side.
Things to do in Curaçao: Map
Holidays in Curaçao
- 1 January (New Year)
- February / March (Carnival Monday)
- March / April (Good Friday)
- March / April (Easter - on Sunday)
- March / April (Easter Monday-Seú)
- 27 April (King's Day)
- 1 May (Labor Day)
- May (Ascension Day)
- 2 July (Day of the flag)
- 10 October (Day of Curaçao)
- 25 December (Christmas Day)
- 26 December (2de Christmas Day)
Banks and all government services on Curaçao are closed on public holidays.
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