top of page
  • Writer's pictureElif Adali

How to Experience the Best of Curaçao: A Complete Travel Guide

Curaçao has been on my bucketlist for quite a while and we were finally taking the trip to visit this beautiful Caribbean Island. Curaçao is part of the Netherlands Antilles aka ABC Islands (Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire) and is located very close to Venezualas coast.

Let me take you along and show you the best things to do in Curaçao

How to get to Curaçao?

The easiest and fastest way to get to Curaçao from Europe is with KLM. They operate daily direct flights out of Amsterdam and the journey takes about 9.5 hours. Read all about our experience with KLM here. From the USA there are a few options from major cities like NYC or Miami flying directly to Curaçao.

When is the best time to visit Curaçao?

One major plus of Curaçao and the other ABC Islands is that they lie outside the hurricane belt and also receive not much rainfall. The temperatures are steady and it is a great destination to visit all year around. However, of course it is perfect to escape the European Winter. Thats why we chose to visit in mid February and the weather was a delight.

Where to stay in Curaçao?

Curaçao is quite big and it is definitely an island that offers opportunities to explore. You can stay in or around the capital Willemstad. We stayed at Coral Estate Luxury Resort which is located in the Western part of the island and close to some of the most beautiful beaches. Willemstad was a 30 minute drive away. If you are looking to stay at a beachfront resort, there are some options towards close to Willemstad and Mambo Beach.

Best beaches in Curaçao?

Curaçao is a real paradise when it comes to tropical beaches. There many options. Some are untouched coves and some beaches offer fun beach clubs. Here is a list of beaches you have to visit when in Curaçao.

Jan Thiel Beach - probably the most famous beach in Curaçao. You have a few beach clubs lined up here. The area is home to many luxury villas and rentals. We spent the day at Zanzibar Beach club. I loved the water here, but personally I found the beach clubs a bit cramped.

Mambo Beach - Another very popular beach in Curaçao. Mambo Beach Boulevard is sort of an outdoor mall with shops and restaurants at the beach. In front there a some beach clubs and the beach is beautiful. We spent the day at Chill Beach Bar and had lunch here. The vibe was really relaxed. For dinner and sunset we visited Hemingways, another popular restaurant at Mambo beach.

In terms of beach clubs I really loved Cabana Beach and Mood Beach. Both reminded me of Tulum, Mexico.

Mambo Beach gets really crowded on weekends so if you can, visit during the week.

If you are looking for less crowded and less commercial beaches, this list is for you.

🌴 Karakter Beach - Part of Coral Luxury Estate this beach is also open for outside guests. The water is beautiful and it is also a popular diving spot. You can grab Lunch or drinks at Karakter Beach or Koral Rooftop Bar

🌴 Grote Knip

🌴 Cas Abao

🌴 Port Marie

🌴 Playa Lagun

🌴 Pkaya Kalki

🌴 Daaibooi

🌴 Playa Forti

Do I need a car in Curaçao?

Unless you plan to stay at a resort and not leave it I would strongly recommend renting a car to explore the island. Taxis are rare and very expensive. We rented a car from Alamo and it costed about 60€ per day. Parking is available at all beaches and in Willemstad we used the free parking garage at Renaissance Mall

Where to eat in Curaçao?

Most of the time we drove to Willemstad for dinner. Here are some restaurants and cafes you should definitely checkout. Reservation is advised for most restaurants.

  • Gouverneur de Rouville

  • Caloe Crudos y Parrilla

  • Flores

  • Curacao Island Roasters

  • Mundo Bizarro

  • La Reina Coffee

  • De Heeren

  • Esty's Brasserie

  • Kome

  • MosaCana

  • Blues Restaurant

  • Fish & Joy

  • De Visserij If you are looking for a major casual and local vibe check out the Old Market Hall in Willemstad or Pasawa Box Eatery for some street food

What to do in Willemstad?

  • Kula Hulanda Village - This was one of my favorites in Willemstad. The historical Kula Hulanda Village has been beautifully restored and now houses some great restaurants and a museum. Definitely a must visit

  • Pietermaii - I loved this colorful neighborhood. Especially great to do some bar hopping at night

  • Renaissance Mall and Rif Fort - Mainly targeted for cruise passengers this area provides shopping and dining opportunities

  • Punda and Scharloo, two neighbourhoods where you will find many murals.

  • Last but not least you have to walk across the iconic Queen Emma Bridge, which is a 167 m long floating bridge that connects Punda and Otrobanda. It rotates laterally when ships cross.


bottom of page