Temperatures are rising, which means it’s time to pack your bikinis and start planning your spring and summer getaways. There’s no better way to soak up the sun and take a break from everyday life than with a tropical Caribbean vacation. Curacao, in particular, is a lesser-known destination that deserves a spot on your to-do list.
There’s no one better to give us an overview of all you need to see and do on the island than traveler couple Bram and Manon, two Dutch world travelers and founders of the Flip Flop Wanderers blog. Flip Flop Wanderers is for long and slow travelers in constant pursuit of happiness, with the goal of helping their subscribers achieve their travel dreams. Of the many incredible destinations they have visited, Bram and Manon have chosen to make Curaçao their home base, which they continue to explore between trips.
“Curaçao is truly an island that you have to feel for yourself. You just have to experience the melting pot of cultures, the most beautiful beaches in the world, colorful architecture and impressive nature to get a sense of life on a Caribbean island,” the couple told UPROXX. “With these ingredients, we think it’s the perfect island for a holiday while still being fairly undiscovered. Just add it to your to-do list!
If that’s not enough to convince you to book your flight, keep reading their expert travel guide on where to stay, play, eat, party and relax in Curacao.
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We chose to live in Curacao because it truly feels like a home to us. We had been here a few times over the past 11 years, with 2011 being the first time Manon did an internship on the island. For Dutch people it is very easy to get there and many students spend time in Curaçao. Bram also came to visit Manon after 2.5 months and we immediately fell in love with the island!
The first thing we love about Curaçao is of course the climate. Every day it is around 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) and the sun is always shining. It is also a very beautiful island, with beaches as white as snow and incredibly blue water, but also a lot of nature to explore. Lastly, the people are also amazing with their colorful culture and delicious cuisine.
What is one thing every first-time visitor should see or do in Curacao?
Anyone coming here for the first time should take a road trip to Westpunt! Westpunt is where all the best beaches are and where you will also find the highest point of the island (Mount Christoffel) and some great national parks. For the rest, you should take a stroll through the historic city center of Punda. The famous pontoon bridge and the Handelskade are located here with all its colorful houses.
Where is the best place to get the best Keshi Yena in Curacao?
Curacao’s signature dish is definitely Keshi Yena. This dish is a stuffed cheese casserole and tastes amazing. The best place to try this unique dish on the island is Restaurant Gouverneur in Otrobanda. A plus for this restaurant is that it also has a breathtaking view of the Handelskade! Other restaurant recommendations in Curacao are beach restaurants like Zanzibar, Pop’s Place and Pirate Bay, or other boutique restaurants like Mosa, Number Ten or Kome. You should also try to have lunch at Marshe Bieu, a market with the best local dishes!
What is the party and nightlife like in Curacao?
The party and nightlife scene in Curacao is crazy! There is literally something for everyone. From beach clubs where you can dance with your feet in the sand, like Wet & Wild, Bonita and Zanzibar, to small, more intimate cafes, like Mundo Bizarro, Obaar and Netto Bar. We often like to mix the two which will give the best nightlife experience in Curacao.
What are the best outdoor adventure activities to do while visiting Curacao?
Outdoor activities are endless in Curacao. Of course, you can do many amazing water sports and excursions like diving, windsurfing, surfing and boat trips, but there are also more adventurous activities to do like buggy driving, boat driving. 4×4 on the Hatovlakte and ATV driving. Curaçao also lends itself perfectly to many hikes.
Our favorite hikes on the island are Mount Christoffel, Kabrieten Mountain and around some of the beautiful saliñas on the island. If you want to do something a little more relaxing, you can also paint a chi chi (which is a small statue of a typical West Indian woman) or take a guided walk to beautiful murals.
What is your go-to beach in Curacao?
While literally every beach on Curacao is equally stunning, we think you should definitely check out Grote Knip and Cas Abao. They are also the most popular and busiest beaches, but with good reason. The sand here is powdery white and the water is some of the bluest on the island!
What do you think is the coolest hotel or place to stay?
Curacao has a wide variety of places to stay. It all depends on what you want, but there are all-inclusive luxury hotels on some of the best beaches or more intimate boutique hotels in the center of Pietermaai. We ourselves loved our stay at the Avila Beach Hotel, which has its own private beach, as well as our stay at the Boho Boutique Hotel, which is perfect for great Instagram snaps.
Best time of year to visit?
Curaçao is a destination that can be visited all year round. Unlike other Caribbean islands, we don’t have hurricanes here. We have a rainy season (from October to December) but it is not enough to speak of a “real” rainy season. Rain showers are very short-lived and you will always get plenty of sunshine. The rest of the year the sun is almost always shining and it is always around 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit).