Updated: Mar 31
Curaçao is a beautiful island that sits in the Southern Caribbean between Aruba and Bonarie. It is the "C" of the ABC Islands. The local language is Papiamento, but the majority of the population speaks very good English. It is very rare to ever have an issue with language barrier.
Curacao is a beautiful island that is an amazing place to vacation that has a lot to offer. It is the perfect place to get some much needed R&R in a beautiful Caribbean setting with perfect weather (which is mid-80s and Sunny nearly every day with a breeze to keep the mid-day heat at bay). For, those who want to do a family trip, a couples trip, or a trip with friends, it can easily accommodate all of the above! The fishing in Curacao can be fantastic, there is plenty to explore on the island, scuba diving is excellent, some great golfing options, and some great places to hike for the adventurer. With so many great restaurant options, beautiful resorts, great rental homes, spas, and gorgeous beaches with crystal clear blue water, it truly has something for anyone looking for a Winter getaway.
First things first. Getting There:
The Airport code for Curacao International Airport is CUR.
Immigration: Fill this form out before your flight, screenshot the QR code/confirmation page: https://dicardcuracao.com/dicard
This will make your entry into Curacao upon arrival even easier than the already easy process.
Places to Stay:
There are some amazing AirBnB and VRBO options throughout the island. Something to not is that there is a bit more "going on" from the Spanish Waters area up to the Pound area and everything in between. You can easily get anything you need as far as groceries, great restaurants, and more as this is the main part of the island. If you are looking to get away from the "chaos" then you want to be more towards the Northwest of the island. I will mention here places I recommend staying starting from the South and working our way North.
Sandals Resort - Located at the mouth of Spanish Waters, it is an impressive property and probably one of if not the nicest Sandals there is.
Papagayo Beach Resort and Hotel - beautiful resort located on Jan Thiel Beach which is one of the most popular beach spots in Curacao due to all of the amenities available on site from beach games to bars and restaurants. They offer hotel rooms and also plenty of great villa options at a very fair price. If you stay here you really don't have much need to go anywhere else as you have everything you need right in this area.
Livingstone Jan Thiel Resort - a less expensive and simple yet nice option for a place to stay in Jan Thiel
Lion’s Dive Beach Resort - located right in the heart of Mambo Beach. Plenty to do here - and not do if you just want to chill on the beach, soak up the sun, and have cocktails.
Royal Sea Aquarium Resort - located on Mambo Beach as well - similar option to Lion’s Dive. Directly on the Caribbean Seafront
KonTiki Beach Resort - also located on Mambo beach. Very Very nice but pricy!
Petermaai and Punda:
Baoase Luxury Resort - very high end luxury resort located between Mambo Beach and Petermaai. They have so much to offer on site. PRICY and one of the most expensive resorts on the island, but truly first class.
Avila Beach Hotel - located on the beach. Very nice and easy option with a restaurant on site, numerous different kinds of room options, and is walking distance to downtown restaurants, bars, and shops. Very pretty beach on site and with great sunsets over your Caribbean Sea View.
Saint Tropez Ocean Club - Another nice resort on the Caribbean Seafront. Great location like Avila and walking distance to downtown.
Scuba Lodge Boutique Hotel - Nice boutique hotel with multiple types of room options on the water in the middle of downtown. Small restaurant on site and great sunsets. Quite a few room options on up to multi room apartment style options.
Marriot Curacao - For those looking to use their points, or even those just looking for a very nice hotel options with a name they recognize, this is a great location and beautiful hotel.
Klein Curacao (Little Curacao) - only accessed by boat (there are many charter boats that do day trips there) once you get there swim to the beach and take a walk to the lighthouse, and walk around the uninhibated island, amazing sea life over there and a gorgeous place to hang for the day. Bluefinn Charters really seems to have the trip to and from Little Curacao on the daily dialed in.
Jan Thiel Beach: one of our favorite spots as there is so much to do there, and not do if you just want to chill. Head to Koko’s and grab a lounge bed, they will service you lunch/drinks while you soak up the sun!
Mambo Beach: some cute shops but overall very crowded and touristy- if you do go, grab a frozen mojito at Hemmingways!
Cas Abou: this beach is further to the west side of the island, beautiful waters and good snorkeling
Old Quarry Golf Course - located right next to the Sandals, this is an absolutely breathtaking golf course with some amazing views at nearly every hole. It ends at the "19th hole" where there is a restaurant called Boca 19 where you can end your round of golf with a cocktail and some food while overlooking the cut into Spanish Waters.
Blue Bay Golf Course - another great 18 hole option. While I favor Old Quarry, this is still a great course to play on with some amazing views over the Caribbean Sea as well.
8 The Experience - while there are plenty of spa options throughout this beautiful island, 8 The Experience is just absolutely amazing! Located at the beautiful Coral Estates, it is such a gorgeous and well setup Spa. If you are going to do a morning hike up at Mount Cristoffel it would be a great place to stop after for some relaxation, grab some breakfast or lunch.
Note: You get a half day pass with most services, the private back pool area is amazing for lunch/drinks! It is a bit quiter than Koraal or Karakter (the other restaurants on the beach in Coral Estate)
Mount Christoffel - this is a somewhat challenging climb, but so worth it! Go early and bring lots of water. They will not allow you to hike Mount Christoffel anytime after 10am. Christoffel Park also has a lot of other hikes that are less strenuous and scenic as well.
Our favorite and more local spot to “hike” with some amazing views is Seru Kabritu Summit- there are a ton of different paths. You can also get to some of the beaches here and relax on the beach and even snorkel at some of them. The beaches in this area are a bit rocky. From one of the beaches (names Tug Boat Beach) there is a tug boat just a very short swim away that is a really cool spot to snorkel and is usually loaded with fish.
Just a note: we recommend you make reservations for dinner whenever you plan to go out.
Pop's Place - located on Caracas Baii this is a simple open air restaurant on the water that has some good food and drink.
Zest - located on Jan Thiel Beach, Zest has a restaurant and a beach cafe, both of which are great outdoor dining options. Downtown Dining Options:
Mosa Caña - shared plates, amazing craft cocktails 12/10
Serafina - Italian, homemade pastas 10/10 great fresh food
BijBlauw - really good coffees if you are there during the day (they also have a really cute concept store), at night it is so nice for some drinks, and amazing place to catch the susnet before heading to dinner downtown.
St Tropez - the ocean club is a great spot for lunch if you are downtown to shop/explore.
Mundo Bizarro- Salsa nights on Thursday (after 8p) is a so fun if you’re in the mood for some good people watching and a cultural experience...
Hot tip- if you put Mundo Bizzao in google maps and follow that from Bij Blauw (walk on Nieuwestraat NOT Pietermeii as there will be much more to see) you will be on the right street to walk and bar hop around// take in the sights- you know you are in the right place if you see all colorful buildings and open air bars.