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Your guide to Curaçao
All About Curaçao
Nestled between Aruba and the northern Venezuelan coast is the Caribbean country of Curaçao. It’s known the world over for its expansive reefs that are teeming with wildlife and its capital city of Willemstad, the thriving cultural center of the island.
The city is divided into two halves, Punda and Otrobanda, which are connected across the St. Anna Bay by a floating pedestrian bridge. Downtown Willemstad is a UNESCO World Heritage site with pastel architecture, vibrant street art, and cuisine that blends the region’s Caribbean and South American roots.
Outside of Willemstad, you can take in the wide-ranging flora and fauna of the island’s ecosystem in one of the many nature reserves open to the public. And when you want to hit the water, you can swim, snorkel, or sunbathe on one of the country’s many pristine beaches.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Curaçao?
Curaçao’s proximity to the equator ensures that the weather is close to perfect nearly year-round. What’s more, despite its location in the Caribbean, the country manages almost to avoid the impact of hurricane season altogether. With that said, if you are looking for villas or vacation rentals in Curacao, consider booking between December and May, when most of the island’s festivals, events, and public activities will be taking place. For example, the famous Carnival festival hosts costumed dancers, performers, and musicians for days of celebration before culminating in a street parade at the end of March. One of the more exciting events unique to the island is a “plein air” festival held every other year, when international and local artists flock to Willemstad to spend the day painting in the streets, with the pieces eventually being exhibited or sold at auction.
What are the top things to do in Curaçao?
Expansive reefs teeming with wildlife provide some of the best scuba diving conditions found anywhere. You can find coral gardens complete with dolphins, turtles, stingrays, and shipwrecks surrounding most of the island. Also, be sure to check out the Star Coral formations in the underwater Mushroom Forest on the northwestern side of the island.
Christoffel National Park
The Christoffel National Park is home to more than 450 species of plants and a host of native animal populations, including the Curaçao white-tailed deer. Driving tours, mountain bike trails, and guided hikes are some of the many options for exploring the park’s beautiful and rugged mountain terrain.
The Hato Caves are an extensive network of formerly underwater tunnels opened to the public in 1991. Learn about the fascinating history behind the stalactites, stalagmites, and ancient coral exposed when the ocean waters receded thousands of years ago. The cultural significance of these caves is highlighted by the many cave drawings and petroglyphs left behind by the Amerindian Arawaks people some 1500 years ago.