Fun things to do in Curaçao

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Curaçao

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    Fort Amsterdam and the Fort Church Museum

    by starship Updated Jan 12, 2010

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    UPDATE: This Fort Church museum has been totally renovated and expanded and was re-opened in September, 2007! The museum has also expanded the number and quality of its exhibits and everything is showcased in excellent and visually appealing displays. Particularly pleasing is the way in which the "color" of Curacao has been brought inside to this small gem of a museum.

    Built in 1634, Fort Amsterdam has guarded Curacao harbor against marauding pirates, and other enemies for centuries. The fort and the accompanying historic Fort Church surround an open quadrangle entered through a small archway. This building you see is the current seat of government and parliament for the Dutch Antilles which also includes Bonaire and St. Maarten (Aruba has its own seat of government). While in the outdoor quadrangle, look for the cannonball embedded high in the Fort Church outer wall.

    The Fort Church Museum is located in the back of the church and is said to contain a very fine collection of artifacts pertaining to the Church's Dutch Protestant congregation. The Protestant Fort Church, opened in 1769. On display are artifacts such as silver chalices and a mahogany baptismal font, with a collection of records of the congregation going back hundreds of years. Admission to the Fort Church Museum is about 3 NL Antillian Guilders or approximately US $1.70 (2003 price). Worth a look if you have the time.

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    Remarkable Imagination - Sea Sculptures

    by starship Updated Aug 26, 2009

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    Just near the cruise ship pier but within 10 minutes of "downtown" Punda, you will find a type of sculpture and artwork that you have probably not seen elsewhere. You will be surprised by the "people" sculptures there. Some imaginative souls have piled, leaned or otherwise fashioned people sculptures out of coral and other stone which look like a gathering of people welcoming people ashore to Curacao or looking as if they are having a day out by the shore. I found these sculptures fascinating and they ultimately became one of my strongest memories of Curacao eclipsed only by the architecture and colorfulness of Wilemstad.

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  • Must do on your trip

    by cwiggi1 Written Jun 26, 2006

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    1. Sunsplash Water Sports - 525-8545 - Wilco was the best. We went there for banana boat rides one day and quickly went back for a jet ski tour of Spanish Waters. It was awesome and a must see. The million dollar houses and yachts were beatiful and there is not better way to see them than by jet ski. The people were all great and I could not say enough. They also run the bar on the beach at Baya Beach Club which was a really fun place to hang out.

    2. Irie Tours - 526-3662 - Dennis was the man. This was by far our favorite day of the trip. They loaded up the van with a cooler of drinks and for the whole day we toured the west side of the island from Porto Mari to Westpunt. This side of the island is less developed but the beaches are the nicest beaches I have ever seen in the world. Dennis could not have been more helpful or friendlier. I can't stress enough IF YOU GO TO CURACAO YOU NEED TO DO THIS TOUR. You could do it with some other bigger companies but I guarantee you will not have as good of a time.

    3. Lets Go Watersports "Captain Goodlife" - Unfortunely I forget his phone number but this place was great. If you go on the Irie Tour of the westside you will probably stop here for lunch (it was the best of our trip). This place was a dive house, restaurant and house all by itself on Santa Cruz beach. If you scuba dive I dont think you will find a better deal on the island. It was $10 for a trip to the mushroom forest vs. about $70 at the resorts. This was really the most authentic "beach house" I have ever been to, it was right out of a movie. Captain Goodlife his wife and kids couldn't have been more hospitable. Definitely worth going to for the day or at least stopping by for lunch with Irie Tours. Oh, and if you like lobster bring a flash light he will take you out to pick them and then you can bring them back to his place and cook em up.

    I can't stress enough how great those three place and people were. They will make your trip.

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    Spend the day at the aquarium

    by kyoub Written Oct 17, 2005

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    The sea aquarium was definitly a hit with the little one in our group.
    We could have spent the whole day watching the animals there.
    All we really had time for was to see the sea lion show and then we had to leave for the airport.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Playa Porto Mari- beautiful beach

    by IngaRita Written May 12, 2007

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    Porto Mari is located on the west coast about halfway between Willemstad and Westpunt near St. Willibrordus (by car). This was my favorite beach on the island. It is a comparatively long beach with beautiful sand and clear water. There were nice lounge chairs and umbrellas for your use. At one of the beach is a bar area where you can buy drinks and I'm sure food although I didn't. I went on a week day and I think the weekend would be very crowded. I forget my wallet this day so I couldn't pay the entrance fee ($2), but they let me in anyways. There are also 2 reef systems for snorkeling and I did see divers around as well.

    To get there from Willemstad hop onto Weg Naar Westpunt and follow the signs.

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    Caracas Baai-best snorkeling

    by IngaRita Updated May 12, 2007

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    The proprietor of where I stayed recommended this as the best place to snorkel. I would have to agree. Caracas Baai is a series of long beaches separated by rocks. I drove all the way past the fort to the last beach. At the end is a scuba place. There is a nice snorkeling spot called the Tugboat where there is a sunken tugboat. The beach at this end is not the greatest but the snorkeling is very good. I also had my best meal here on the way to the beach. There is also an interesting small fort here that you can climb up and get a great view of the surrounding area.

    Related to:
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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    Knip Beach

    by Valeggua Updated Nov 1, 2007

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    Curacao beaches are paradise beaches.
    One of the biggest beach (wich is not very big) is Knip Beach (see picture)

    If you don't like crowded beaches, you might want to avoid Sundays, when the locals come here to have a day full of fun and barbeque!

    Related to:
    • Beaches

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    The architecturally-elegant district of Punda

    by dlytle Written Jan 12, 2004

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    The Dutch have left their lasting mark on Curacao in many areas, but perhaps none as striking as the architecture. Nowhere else in the world outside of the Netherlands are there so many exquisite 17th and 18th Century Dutch colonial buildings.

    The city of Willemstad dates from the Dutch capture of Curacao by victory over the Spanish in 1634. While the Spaniards had been content to erect simple stone dwellings, the Dutch began to fortify the island. Willemstad is divided in two by Santa Anna Bay. The oldest part, Punda ("The Point") is east of the harbor mouth.

    Early settlers brought with them all their traditions, including their architecture and their notion of what made a proper home. In time, styles were modified to fit the realities of a dry and breezy climate by incorporating Caribbean influences such as verandas, porches, fretwork and shutters -- and by adopting a palette of Caribbean colors undreamed of in Amsterdam.

    Along what are now Columbusstraat, Madurostraat and Handelskade ("Commerce Street") the up-and-coming Dutch Protestant merchants built their combined offices, warehouses, stores and living quarters. The basic layout of this area, with its narrow perpendicular streets, hasn't changed over the centuries.

    Especially beautiful are the restored mansions of Scharloo and Pietermaai, dating from the 1700's. These neighborhoods, along with the historic city center in Willemstad, have been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, commemorating their unique value to the world's cultural and natural heritage. Along with Schottegat Harbor, the largest in the Caribbean, they have joined the ranks of the extraordinary: the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, the Acropolis, and Vatican City are also on the UNESCO list.

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Family Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    Visit Riffort (an old Fort) in Otrobanda, Curacao

    by dlytle Written Jan 13, 2004

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    Riffort was built in 1828, on the Otrobanda side of the harbor entrance, to compliment the Waterfort or Fort Amsterdam (on the Punda side) and defend the outer section of Otrobanda. These two forts have guarded Curacaos harbor against pirates and enemies for centuries. Riffort was constructed to store the chain with which the harbor could be locked up. The chain could be transported from Otrobanda to Punda with an unsinkable raft. The Riffort had its own barracks, canon, powder magazine and rainwater storage tanks. It was considered completely bombproof.

    During World War II a steel net was stretched across the bay between Waterfort and Riffort to prevent enemy ships, especially submarines from entering the harbor. In the course of time the Riffort has housed the Authority, Public Works, the police and even Boy Scouts have found shelter here.

    Nowadays it houses a modern shopping mall and a restaurant whose terrace overlooks the harbor.

    Related to:
    • Cruise
    • Family Travel
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    Take a Walk on the "Punda" Side

    by starship Updated Dec 16, 2003

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    The architecture in Willemstad is fascinating. It would be normal to see this style of architecture in western Europe, but it is quite unique seeing it in the Caribbean. The fact that buildings and houses in both the Punda and Otrobanda parts of Willemstad are painted such vibrant colors adds greatly to the attraction of the island and makes for some great photos.

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    Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church

    by starship Updated Jan 7, 2004

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    On our trolley tour we stopped at this beautiful church, known as the "Cathedral of Pietermaai" or Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. Built in 1870, the outside is bathed in a golden ochre color and may appear alittle austere but the inside beautifully designed, airy and light.

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    Museums and Parks

    by starship Updated Jun 22, 2003

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    There were several museums and parks in Curacao which we were not able to see due to the shortness of our visit. One museum recommended was the Kura Hulanda which offered exhibits such as the Lands of Abraham, the Black Holocaust, Pre-Columbian Gold, and Contemporary Art among others.

    Of note would be the museum's exhibit on Anne Frank. Many of Curacao's early settlers were Jewish (Sephardic) and an important part of local history .

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    Local History

    by starship Updated Jun 22, 2003

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    This building was formerly the "Temple Emanu-el". Constructed in 1865, it was consecrated in 1867. This temple was in use until 1964. A sign erected now at this site states that the island's two Sephardic Jewish communities merged and became Milkve Israel - Emanuel. This building is no longer used as a house of worship.

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    Dutch Architecture

    by starship Updated Jul 2, 2003

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    The ornate "Dutch" architecture is a special feature of Willemstad. These types of houses belonged to wealthy families, mostly merchants. Houses made of sea sand, coral, rock or other native materials suffer from leaching of the salt through the wall material causing houses and buildings to have to be painted every 9 months or so. The upkeep is so expensive that many families abandoned these buildings. Now the government is restoring ones such as this "Wedding Cake" house.

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    Hato Caves

    by spartan Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The remarkable carvings dating back as far as 1,500 years, make the Hato Caves in itself a very interesting site to visit. Add the knowledge that the caves were the place where runaway slaves used to hide, and the fact that is still known as a popular meeting place to perform ancient religious ceremonies, and you know it is place you ought to have seen before you leave Curaçao. The Caves are open Tuesday through Sunday; multi-lingual tours are given on the hour from 10 am to 5 pm.; admission is $6.25 for adults, and $4.75 for children under 13.

    Related to:
    • Eco-Tourism

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