Curacao through the eyes of travel blogger Lois
Curacao is the perfect destination for a well-deserved holiday. It’s not only a tropical island with amazing white sandy beaches and palm trees. It’s a destination that offers so much more. After spending two weeks on the island we want to share all our best-kept secrets and recommendations. Let’s show you Curacao through the eyes of the Dutch travel platform Travander.
The starting point of our holiday was the luxurious LionsDive Beach Resort. This great eco-friendly resort is very centrally yet peacefully located at the end of Mambo Beach. It features a 50-meter swimming pool with stunning views over the Caribbean Sea. We started each day with a morning swim in the pool. Isn’t that the best way to wake up?
We stayed in an Ocean View room with a balcony that had a fantastic view. We would definitely recommend to stay here.
Beach hopping on the island of Curacao
Around the island you can find many beautiful beaches. To explore those, we would recommend to hire a rental car and to consult the Curaçao Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Guide. Not all roads are very well maintained but in general, it’s easy to drive around the island.
The most popular beach is without doubt Cas Abao. This beach offers great options for water sports like snorkeling, kayaking and scuba diving. Moreover, it is the perfect spot to relax and have a drink or bite at the on-site bar.
Other popular beaches are Grote Knip, Kleine Knip, Porto Marie (known for the wild pigs on the beach) and Kokomo Beach. All four are natural wonders with sandy beaches, sheltered coves and stunning blue ocean views. They are definitely worth a visit.
Although most of the beaches are commonly visited by tourists, there are some hidden gems on the island of Curacao. Our number one is Rif Sint Marie and Karakter which is located inside the Oasis Coral Estate Beach, Dive and Wellness Resort. Here you can enjoy the crystal clear water, infinity pool and great international cuisine.
Another great beach to visit is Santa Barbara Beach. At the moment the Santa Barbara Beach Resort is closed due to covid-19 and because of this the beach is nearly empty. You can still spend your day here and soak up the sun. Enjoy the tranquility and have a delicious lunch at Boca 19.
If you are looking for beaches that are most popular with locals and if you would like to spend your day away from the crowds, you should visit one of the following beaches: Playa Daaibooi, Playa Jeremi or Playa San Juan.
Best places to have lunch or dinner in Curacao
Curacao has lots of restaurants for every taste and budget. Either from fine dining to small places selling incredible fresh fish. The local cuisine reflects Dutch heritage combined with of course Caribbean and some Indonesian flavors. A typical local dish is Iguana Stew. Unfortunately, we haven’t tried it, but you might want to give it a try!
Best places to have lunch:
- La Bohema – a rustic twist to urban dishes
- De Gouverneur – specializes in both local and international cuisines while always adding their own Caribbean twist
- Chill Beach Bar & Grill – indulge yourself at this beach-side hotspot where you will find the absolute best of Curaçao.
- MOOD Beach – offers an escape from the ordinary in a way you’ve never experienced before.
Best places to have dinner:
- Fort Nassau – is unique restaurant with 360º view over Curacao
- Mosa – promotes a shared dining experience for friends and family
- De Visserij – from a seaside picnic table at De Visserij (‘the fishery’ in Dutch), you can sip you favorite beverage and watch as the fisherman bring in their fresh catch of the day
- De Heeren at Sea – enjoy a delicious cocktail, authentic cuisine and a breathtaking sunset
Visiting Klein Curacao
Klein Curacao is just like you would imagine: a tiny, uninhabited, and tropical island. It is the perfect spot for day trip. The island is two-sided, and it couldn’t be more different. One half is a rocky and rugged coastline with spectacular features and iconic shipwrecks. The other half is like a perfect dream. Smooth white sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters.
Most of your day will be spent on the beach and in the clear blue waters. But you should definitely visit the other side of the island. In the middle of the island you can find the old lighthouse built in 1877. The lighthouse is one of the main attractions on Klein Curacao and can be easily reached by foot. Follow the paved path, visit the lighthouse, and make sure you climb into the tower for a panoramic view. Continue on the path behind the lighthouse. It will take you to the rough coastline. Walk along the coast and discover the old shipwrecks. Tip: explore the island in the morning to beat the heat!
Depending on the water and weather conditions, it takes about 1-2 hours to reach Klein Curacao. To visit the island you need to book a tour, charter a boat or take your own boat (if you have one). There are a lot of companies specialized in tours to Klein Curacao. Many tours and packages seem similar, including transportation, lunch and snorkel gear. All great, but be sure to check the amenities the companies offer. If you book with Mermaid Boat trips or Miss Ann you can enjoy their facilities on the island.
Scuba Diving in Curacao with Ocean Encounters
With over 70 dive sites around the island scuba diving is quite popular in Curacao. Curacao has also been named a Best Overall Caribbean and Atlantic Dive Destination for 2021, and that’s definitely for a reason!
For us, this was a great excuse to get certified. As we already had been in contact with Jeremiah from Ocean Encounters we pre-booked a ‘Discover Scuba Dive’ in advance. Together with Pol, the scuba diving instructor, we entered the Caribbean Sea at LionsDive Beach Resort to complete some diving skills underwater and before we knew we were at depth of 12 meters. The day after we started with our SSI Open Water course given by Karen-Maike and two days later, we were able call ourselves Open Water Divers.
Climbing the Christoffelberg
Curacao differs from other Caribbean islands when it comes to the landscape. As you would expect, you will definitely experience the tropical island vibes here. But at the same time, it’s also an island with lots of cacti and arid vegetation. Because of this unique landscape there is plenty to do for tourists and visitors who travel to Curacao looking for more than just sun and sea.
Not everyone is aware that Curacao has more to offer than white sanded beaches, brightly painted houses in Willemstad and a great party scene. For those who love to travel, explore in nature and like to work out, Curacao offers great opportunities. Our favorite, yet most challenging activity, was climbing the Christoffelberg. Once you reach the top you will not only be at the highest point of Curacao, you will also be treated with stunning panoramic views over the island.
There are eight hiking trails, allowing the visitor the choice between an easy stroll, or for instance, a challenging hike to the top of the Christoffel mountain (recommended for early morning).
Special thanks to Lois and Naomi, the faces behind Travander! For more than 8 years, they have been traveling and discovering new hotspots. On behalf of Dive Curacao and Dive Travel Curacao, it has been a sincere pleasure to collaborate with Travander and be able to share this wonderful and inspiring blog about Curaçao.