It’s hard to imagine that a place as idyllic as Curacao has more to offer than it’s iconic sparkling coastline and exceptional beaches, but it absolutely does. The entire Caribbean, for that matter, is much more than long luxurious stretches of sand. Not that we don’t love the sun, sand, and sea, but we want to shed some light on what else Curacao has to offer.
Where to begin? How about with six of our favorite things to explore and discover on the island, aside from the beaches. Though there are far more than six, these are a great starting point for anyone planning their first trip to Curacao!
6 Reasons to Visit Curacao
1. Colorful Architecture
You may recognize this photo of Curacao’s colorful capital, even if you didn’t know it was Curacao at the time. There are colorfully painted buildings strewn throughout the island, but the row of vibrant buildings facing the water in the capital is the most photographed spot. It’s easy to see why it’s just so striking and lovely. The architecture style dates back to when the island was an active hub in the West India Trading Company. Today you can stroll around town taking in the beautiful sites and savoring the food, drinks, and culture.
2. Everyone’s Second Favorite Reason: The Food
We say everyone’s second favorite reason, for two reasons. 1. The first best reason to visit the island is the beaches and 2. Though we can’t speak for everyone, we are fairly confident everyone would agree with this statement, given a chance. The food is just so delicious. Small the island may be, but diverse its food offerings are. Which makes sense if you consider the island has had a long history of other nations and cultures owning or influencing the island. Today Curacao is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. You can go from biting into a delectable Bitterballen to sipping on iguana stew, all in one meal. For a guide to all the things to try, visit here.
Say what? It may seem silly to go all the way to Curacao for a museum, but you wouldn’t be going for just one. Curacao is home to an impressive array of museums covering every topic from the slave trade to maritime history. For those of you who love a vacation with a side learning, Curacao will pleasantly surprise you.
4. Oldest Synagogue in The Western Hemisphere
That’s right; Curacao has a synagogue; one of the oldest in the world and the actual oldest still in use in the western hemisphere. One of its most unique features is the sand-covered floors. The floors are covered to pay homage to the earliest Jewish settlers, who had to muffle the sounds of their footsteps and prayers while meeting in secret during the Spanish Inquisition before they escaped to Curacao. The synagogue is still actively used by the small, yet enthusiastic Jewish community on the island. It is open for visitors!
5. Enticing Events
Though the island is indeed a tranquil escape, it still has its fair share of enticing festivals and events from time to time. Many people enjoy visiting to experience a bit of relaxation and entertainment, which can be easily done by planning a trip during one of the large festivals and events. The most notable ones include Fuikdag, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and Carnival.
6. Fascinating People + Plenty of Island Quirks
Did you know Curacao has an ostrich farm? Yes, the island is home to a farm filled with Ostriches that you can visit, feed, and learn all about. Additionally, the island is also home to an incredibly beautiful healing garden, filled with unique herbal medicines, lovingly cultivated by local icon Dinah Veeris. You can also visit her garden. Those are just two examples but trust us; you’ll come across plenty of the islands fascinating people and unique quirks when you visit!
Of course, you can visits as many spectacular white sand beaches as your heart desires, and in between, perhaps you will enjoy exploring these other aspects of Curacao! For the ultimate island relaxation, book your stay at Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort. At the resort, you’ll have access to acres upon acres of paradise, as well as a team of local Curacaons who are happy to tell you even more about their island.