The temperatures are on the rise, which means it’s time to pack your bikini and start planning your spring and summer travel holidays. There is no better way to soak up the sun and take a break from everyday life than on a tropical vacation in the Caribbean. Curacao, specifically, is a lesser known destination that deserves a spot on your wish list.
No one gives us a rundown of everything you need to see and do on the island from travel couple Bram and Manon, pair of Dutch world travelers and founders of the Flip Flop Wanderers blog. Flip Flop Wanderers are geared towards slow, long-term travelers in a constant pursuit of happiness, with the goal of helping their followers realize their travel dreams. Among the many amazing destinations they have traveled to, Bram and Manon have chosen to make Curacao their home, where they continue their exploration in between trips.
“Curacao 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 feel of what life on a Caribbean island is like,” the couple told UPROXX. “With these ingredients, we feel it is the perfect island for a vacation while still being somewhat undiscovered. You just have to add it to your wishlist!”
If that’s not enough to convince you to book your flight, keep reading their travel guide on where to stay, play, eat, party and relax in Curacao.
We chose to live in Curacao because it really feels like home to us. We’ve been here a few times already over the past 11 years, and 2011 was the first time Manon did an internship on the island. For the Dutch it is very easy to go here and a lot of students spend time in Curacao. Bram came to visit Manon after two and a half months too and we both instantly fell in love with the island!
The number one thing we like about Curacao is of course the climate. The daily temperature is around 30°C (86°F) and the sun is always shining. It’s also a very beautiful island, with snow-white beaches and incredibly blue waters, but there’s also plenty of nature to explore. Finally, people are also amazing with their colorful culture and delicious food.
What is the one thing every first time visitor must see or do in Curacao?
Everyone coming here for the first time should take a road trip to Westpunt! Westpunt is where the most beautiful beaches are, where you’ll also find the highest point on the island (Mount Christoffel) and some amazing national parks. For the rest, you have to walk through the historic center of Bunda. Here is the famous pontoon bridge and Handelskade with all its colorful houses.
Where is the best place to get the best Keshi Yena ever in Curacao?
Curacao’s signature dish is definitely Keshi Yena. This dish is a stuffed cheese casserole and it tastes amazing. The best place to try this unique dish on the island is Gouverneur Restaurant in Otrobanda. A plus of this restaurant is that it also has a great view of Handelskade! Other restaurant recommendations in Curacao are beach eateries like Zanzibar, Pop’s Place, and Pirate Bay, or more boutique restaurants like Mosa, Number Ten, or Kome. You should also try lunch at Marshe Bieu, a market that serves the best local dishes!
What is the party and nightlife like in Curacao?
The party scene and nightlife of 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 more intimate little cafés, like Mundo Bizarro, Obaar and Netto Bar. We often prefer to mix the two, which will give you the best experience of how to experience Curacao nightlife.
What are the best outdoor adventure activities to do while visiting Curacao?
Outdoor activities are endless in Curacao. Of course, you can do many water sports and amazing tours like diving, surfing, windsurfing and boat tours, but there are also more adventurous activities to do like buggy driving, Hatovlakte four wheel drive and ATV driving. Curacao is also ideally suited to many hiking trips.
Our favorite hikes on the island are Mount Christoffel, Mount Kabrieten, 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 (a small statue of a typical Antilles woman) or take a guided walk to some great murals.
What is the first beach you should visit in Curacao?
While every beach in Curacao is absolutely stunning, we think you should absolutely visit Grote Knip and Cas Abao. These are also the most popular and crowded beaches but for good reason. The sand here is powdery white and the water is the bluest on the island!
What is the coolest hotel or place to stay?
Curacao has a large variety of places to stay. It all depends on what you want but there are luxury all-inclusive hotels on some of the most beautiful beaches or more intimate boutique hotels in the center of Pietermaai. We ourselves loved our stay at Avila Beach, which has its own private beach, as well as our stay at the Boho Boutique Hotel, perfect for taking amazing Instagram photos.
Best time of year to visit?
Curacao is a destination that can be visited all year round. Unlike other Caribbean islands, we don’t experience any hurricanes here. We have a rainy season (October to December) but it’s not enough to talk about a “real” rainy season. Showers only last a very short time and you will still get plenty of sunshine. For the rest of the year, the sun almost always rises and is always around 30 °C (86 °F).