So you’ve decided to head to the beautiful Caribbean island of Curacao for your next vacation? Whether you’re heading out on a solo vacation, a romantic retreat or a family holiday you’ll soon see that there is more to this island than just sun, sea and sand. We’ve put together a list of Curacao’s top activities and attractions so whether you’re up for an underwater adventure, looking to get acquainted with local Caribbean culture or on the prowl for activities to keep the kiddies entertained, you are sure to find something that ticks all the boxes.
Generally speaking, most of Curacao’s attractions are family-friendly. That said, there are some things that are just better suited for the adults and here they are:
The underwater wonderland which lies beneath the surface of the Curacao seas has often been said to be the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. Whether you are a pro-diver looking for your next adventure or a novice looking for a gentle introduction to a magical marine wonderland, Curacao’s wonderful range of dive spots will have you covered. Even children can be safely introduced to the ocean kingdom with a tailor made diving experience.
For those who aren’t quite ready to take to the depths of the deep blue sea, snorkeling opportunities closer to the ocean’s surface abound in Curacao. The famous Curacao Tugboat Wreck just next to the historic Director’s Bay is a perfect place to snorkel and view some colourful coral and sponges. Join an organised tour group or opt for a private snorkeling tour where you can explore the waters at your own pace - there are options to suit every budget and preference here.
There is no better way to get off the beaten track and view the hidden natural beauties of Curacao than from the seat of ATV. These hardy vehicles provide a fun way for adventurers to access parts of the island where most vacationers don’t go. Whether you are keen to discover the east or west sides of the island, tour options are numerous and Eric’s ATV Tours comes highly recommended. You’ll be in good hands!
Why not slow things down and explore Curacao’s rich biodiversity by hitting one of the island’s many hiking trails. The Jan Thiel Salt Pan, Sorsaka and of course, Christoffel National Park are incredible spots that are best explored on foot. Before you head out to the trails though be sure to take some basic safety precautions, Start early to make the most of your day and never hike alone. You’ll need to pack some essentials before heading out - plenty of snacks and water, not forgetting the ever-essential reef-safe sunscreen that can be purchased at Ocean Encounters.
Curacao’s Christoffel National Park is a must and deserves a mention of its very own. While tours are available for those looking to explore Christoffel’s at their own pace, you’ll need to hire a car which can be organised by guest services at LionsDive. Be sure to take the essentials - plenty of water, reef-safe sunscreen and some sturdy walking boots. Set off early so you can make the most of the day. Remember your entrance fee also includes Shete Boka so you’ll need ample time to explore. And the views are magnificent so whatever you do, don’t forget your camera.
No trip to Curacao is complete without enjoying some luscious cocktail on board a Caribbean sunset cruise. Take to the Spanish Waters, cruise along Curacao’s beautiful coastline and enjoy stunning views of Willemstad. Those wishing to push the boat out (quite literally!) can organise a private charter with Ocean Encounters for a unique and memorable experience. To learn more about all the available boat tours speak to the friendly staff at LionsDive guest services who’ll be more than happy to help.
For an underwater adventure with a difference why not give the CuraSub a try. Explore the ocean depths without actually getting wet. Aboard this submersible you can explore beautiful shipwrecks, fascinating reefs and view some of the most unique fish species safely well beyond recreational scuba diving limits down to a maximum depth of 1000 feet or 300 meters. Still a little apprehensive? Want to know more? The LionsDive guest services consultants will be only happy to assist with your queries.
Did you know that Curacao is said to be one of the best places in the world for a deep-sea fishing trip? It truly is an angler’s delight. Thanks to conservation efforts made by the local government the seas surrounding Curacao are full of fish so those who are keen to try their hand at a little bit of deep-sea fishing might be treated to a blue marlin or sailfish.
You can’t come all the way to Curacao and not engage with rich Caribbean culture. A city tour will provide you with a wonderful introduction into the history and culture of this idyllic island paradise. Whether it’s street art that tickles your fancy, history or maybe architecture, you’ll find plenty of different tailored tours that’ll teach you about Willemstad from every angle.
If horticulture is your vibe, visit Curacao’s Aloe Vera Plantation. There is no admission and the friendly staff are on hand to provide you with all the information you need about the products as well as the production process with a factory visit. Visitors are free to explore the plantation, test the aloe products or enjoy a coffee in a beautiful setting.
With all that adventuring you’re sure to have worked up an appetite. Don’t despair as Curacao boats a range of dining experiences that are sure to satiate even the most voracious of appetites. At LionsDive Beach Resort, whether you’re lounging at the beach, relaxing at 1 of 2 pools, enjoying a sunset cocktail or appreciating the healthy and delicious flavours at one of the 4 open air restaurants, you can indulge yourself in wonderful decadence from sunrise till well beyond sunset. If it is a fine dining experience you are after head to Nultwintig or Chantarelle Bistro for a bit of French cuisine. You’ll find an eclectic range of international offerings at the Mambo Boulevard and what’s more it's a kid-friendly venue too. And if you are looking for a good time, head to Hemingway Beach Bar and Restaurant and Chill Beach Bar and Grill for happy hour. It’s a great spot to let your hair down.
Visiting the island with the kids in tow? Don’t stress Curacao’s a haven for little people and you won’t struggle to keep the kids entertained here. Whether it is an animal encounter, a day by the ocean or fun afternoon of arts and crafts, there is plenty of fun to be had here:
The kids will love getting up-close-and-personal with these giant feathered friends. Take a safari truck tour around the ostrich farm to get some great insights into these birds and have a glimpse of the ostrich feedings. After purchasing some cool ostrich themed souvenirs to take home to their friends, the kids along with their parents can enjoy lunch at the Zambezi restaurant where they can even sample ostrich meat if they dare.
Amazonia: The Lost Land of Dreams is Curacao’s theme park and provides a fantastic family-fun day out for kids of all ages. Enjoy water slides galore or take a tour to meet some critters from the animal kingdom. Take the Amazonia Tour to discover lost worlds and try your hand at feeding the naughty monkeys. Top it all off with a great BBQ meal under the Caribbean sun.
Children love getting their hands dirty and Serena’s Art Factory allows them to do just that through art. The adults can spend some time appreciating the stunning collections housed in the gallery itself while the kids keep themselves entertained by painting their own Chichi, which is a great souvenir to take home to remind them of their time in Curacao
The premier location for marine life exploration, Curacao’s Sea Aquarium is a must. Here visitors can enjoy the wonders of the sea and a wealth of underwater creatures without getting wet. Be sure to pop down to the Ocean Lens which a 17-foot deep chamber with a window that allows visitors to gaze out into the sea. Relax on the plush cushion and watch the underwater world go by. It truly is a sight to behold.
Visit Curacao’s Children’s Museums where the little ones are encouraged to learn about various subjects through the power of play. This non-profit museum is a treasure trove for kids where they are free to explore and connect with the world through a variety of multi-sensory exhibits.
When parents are busy running their errands at the mall, the children should not miss out on having a bit of fun at the KIDI’s Park at Sambil. This fully air-conditioned indoor kid’s space full of climbing frames and slides. It’s perfect for kids aged up to 8.
Another Sambil attraction worth visiting is the Xtreme Zone Trampoline Park which is the first of its kind in Curacao. An awesome experience that combines fitness and fun for both children and adults. Get a feel for weightlessness as you bounce around on trampolines of all sizes, try your hand at dodgeball or have fun leaping into a pool full of foam cubes.
Visit the Caribbean Research and Management of Biodiversity (CARMABI) Marine Education Center to learn about the sea life in the oceans surrounding Curacao. It’s tailored for children and provides a truly fantastic day out that’ll really add another depth to their island experience.
Naturally, being on a Caribbean island the whole family will want to spend some time exploring Curacao’s famous beaches. LionsDive Beach is a great place to start for those who aren’t keen to stray too far from their accommodation. Holidaymakers looking to venture further afield along the west coast should check out Grote and Klein Knip for the crystal clear waters. Cas Abao is another beautiful spot with breathtaking views. Then there is Playa Forti, Jeremi and Porto Marie Beaches which are all worth a visit, providing you have time.
And finally for one of the island’s best-loved attractions - Curacao Zoo. Located in Willemstad, Here visitors of all ages can interact with a wide variety of creatures including flamingos and sea turtles. The petting zoo is particular highlight for the little ones and horseback riding is another great experience on offer.
There you have it - the ultimate to-do list for any Curacao vacation. With so much to see and do, it's wise to sit down and prioritise the attractions and activities that appeal most to you and your family. But with a wide variety of pursuits on offer - from diving and snorkeling to historic city tours and wildlife encounters - one thing is for certain; there won’t be a dull moment on your Curacao holiday.