I'm recently back from the beautiful island of Curacao and am so excited to share a travel guide to this spot! Curacao is a colorful Dutch island in the Caribbean, located off the shore of Venezuela. The island has over 35 beaches and it's a popular spot for diving and snorkeling. Year round perfect weather, crystal clear water and an interesting capital make Curacao a perfect spot for your next tropical trip. If you're planning a visit to this dushi (a local word meaning "sweet!") island, here's a guide to help make the most of your time!

Curacao is part of the Dutch Antilles islands and the largest of "the ABCs"- Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. It's located in the southern Caribbean Sea, situated about 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela. It's also close to the equator, just 12 degrees north, and sees temperatures in the mid-80s with dry, sunny weather all year. A major plus to this island is that it sits right outside of the hurricane belt, so it's a safe spot to visit during the Caribbean's typical stormy season.

Curacao's capital city, Willemstad, is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for its iconic colorful buildings. Willemstad is full of shops, museums and restaurants and makes a fun night out after a day of exploring the island's beaches, coves and underwater life. 

If you're worried that a tropical getaway to the Caribbean is out of your budget, you'll be happy to learn that Curacao is consistently ranked as one of the most affordable islands. The generally low prices coupled with near perfect weather 365 days of the year makes this island an ideal getaway. Also, since it's situated outside of the hurricane belt if you want to get away to warmer temperatures in the fall (the typical hurricane season), this is your spot!

Curacao is an easy flight from the US, about 2.5 hours from Miami and 4.5 from New York. There are also frequent flights from Holland that clock in at 9 hours. Once on the island it's a good idea to rent a car. Curacao isn't huge, it takes just under two hours to get from one end to the other, but you'll definitely want to explore. Public transportation isn't that reliable and taxis can be pricey, so having your own wheels is important.

There are a variety of accommodations on Curacao, ranging from hotels, Airbnbs, inns and condos. You're sure to find the right property for your needs! I stayed in a villa at Blue Bay, a golf and beach resort to the north west of Willemstad. Blue Bay is a large community with villas, apartments, bungalows and a traditional hotel. It's situated on a beautiful (and massive!) piece of land with beach access, pools and multiple bars and restaurants. It's a great place to stay for a family. While you don't need to leave Blue Bay (everything's there!), it's situated in a pretty central location on the island making trips to Willemstad and beaches up north an easy drive.

Curacao is a diverse island full of things to do; from swimming in the ocean, to hiking, to visiting one of its many casinos, there's something for everyone! The island has a unique landscape to explore much of it being desert-like, but there are gorgeous and dramatic limestone cliffs up north and rolling hills in the middle. Of course the major highlight here are the 35 beaches that scatter the coast, and they are magnificent!

Dive and Snorkel- Not only will you find powder white sand and turquoise water surrounding Curacao, but the island is also surrounded by a coral reef. Underwater aficionados flock here for world class diving and snorkeling. It's a great place to get SCUBA certified, with many affordable outfitters. It's also just as exciting to stay above the surface and watch the marine life with a snorkel! It's important to note that all the beaches are different on the island. Some of the beaches had a lot of coral and rocks, so bring water shoes if you have sensitive feet.

Explore Willemstad- The island's capital is such a lively, colorful, cultural town to explore. It was established in 1634 when the Dutch took the island from the Spanish, and has many historic landmarks including the oldest synagogue in the Americas! Willemstad is split by an inlet in two sections Ortabanda and Punda, connected by a floating bridge. Much of the nightlife centers around this inlet with outdoor restaurants scattered along the water. One of my favorite areas to walk around in the capital was Pietermaal, a neighborhood chock full of pretty pastel colored homes and businesses.

Beach Hop- Curacao is home to 35 beaches, and if you have a rental car hopping from one to the other is a great activity. Every beach we visited seemed to have something different. Kokomo beach had a younger "party" vibe with an awesome local band and an Instagram worthy water swing. Cas Abao was my favorite beach on the island, it's long with silky soft sand and it seemed more "natural" than some of the other beaches closer to town. Jan Thiel beach is closer to Willemstad and has every amenity you could imagine- multiple bars, restaurants, lounge chairs, cabanas, even a stunning infinity pool!

Fishalicious- An amazing seafood spot with incredibly fresh bites
Gouverneur- This bi-level restaurant has a lively bar scene and a beautiful courtyard
Sunset- Sunset Bar and Grill is located in the Blue Bay Resort. It's situated right on the water and has the most stunning sunset views 


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