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Things to do in Curaçao

Delve into Curaçao's seafaring history at the Maritime Museum or visit Curaçao Museum in a fine Dutch-built 19th-century mansion house. An extensive collection of African artefacts and slave trade items are on display at the Kurá Hulanda Museum. Resplendent Christoffel National Park's wild beauty offers hiking, swimming, fishing and diving in a landscape of cactus plants, bromeliads and orchids.

Handelskade, Curaçao. Courtesy of Curaçao Tourism Board
Jewish Cultural Historical Museum, Curaçao. Photo by Paul McClure
1

Jewish Cultural Historical Museum

History and culture explored

Housed in two fine Willemstad buildings built in 1728, this former Rabbi's residence and mikvah bathhouse houses a display of ritual, ceremonial and cultural objects. The Jewish Cultural Historical Museum and neighbouring synagogue are both open to visitors dressed appropriately.



Cost

US$5 (museum and synagogue); under-15s free

Opening Hours

Mon-Sat 9am-11.45am & 2.45pm-4.45pm; Sun 9am-12pm

Address

29, Hanchi Snoa, Willemstad Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9 461 1633

The Curaçao Museum, Curaçao. © R.C. (Randy) Pietersz
2

The Curaçao Museum

Antiques and indigenous art

This collection of antiques and art is housed in a former military hospital, built in 1853. Carefully restored in 1946-1948, the Willemstad Curaçao Museum also contains artefacts from the indigenous Caiquetio tribes. A garden pavilion plays host to regular musical events.



Cost

US$3; under-13s US$1.75

Opening Hours

Mon-Fri 8.30am-4.30pm; Sun 10am-4pm

Address

Van Leeuwenhoekstraat, Willemstad Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9 462 3873

Transport

Taxi

Website

Curaçao Museum Website

Country House Museum, Curaçao. Photo by Charlie Slang
3

Country House Museum

Rural yesteryear

This small-scale restoration of a thatched 19th-century Willemstad manor house contains agricultural and fishing equipment and antiques. Other Country House Museum displays depict bygone rural life with paintings and tapestries of country scenes.



Cost

US$2

Opening Hours

Mon-Fri 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun 9am-6pm

Address

27, Dokterstuin, Willemstad Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9 864 2497

Transport

Taxi (19km west of Wilemstad)

Maritime Museum, Curaçao. Photo by Paul McClure
4

Maritime Museum

Tales of the sea

Housed in an 18th-century Willemstad mansion close to St Anna Bay harbour, the Maritime Museum contains 40 displays representing Curaçao's origins in 600BC and its role as the Caribbean's largest slave depot to sea-faring items from the modern day.



Cost

US$15; 12-16s US$7.50; under 12s free

Opening Hours

Tue-Sat 9am-4pm, closed Sun (unless a cruise ship docks)

Address

7, Van De Brandhof Straat, Willemstad Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9 465 2327

The Kurá Hulanda Museum, Curaçao. Courtesy of Diamond PR
5

The Kurá Hulanda Museum

Slave heritage

This unusual Willemstad museum is the life's work of Dr Jacob Gelt Dekker, a devoted collector of African artefacts. The Kurá Hulanda Museum exhibits include a full-size reconstruction of a slave ship. Other artefacts range from fossils and fertility dolls to drums and masks.



Cost

US$9; children US$6

Opening Hours

Tue-Sat 10am-5pm

Address

9, Kipstraat, Willemstad Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9 434 7765

Transport

Taxi

Website

Kura Hulanda Website

Shete Boka National Park, Curaçao. Photo by Paul McClure
6

Shete Boka National Park

Caverns, coral and marine life

The tiny nature reserve of Shete Boka National Park offers views of Curaçao's rugged north coast, 2km from Christoffel National Park. Explore a scenic network of walking trails to limestone grottoes and fossilised caves where sea turtles breed in the protected waters below.



Cost

US$2

Opening Hours

Daily 9am-5pm

Address

Boca Tabla Z/N, Willemstad Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9 864 0444

Transport

Bus to Westpunt from Otrabanda

Website

Shete Boka National Park

Curaçao Liqueur Distillery, Curaçao. Courtesy of Curaçao Liqueur Distillery
7

Curaçao Liqueur Distillery

Taste of Curaçao

The famed Curaçao liqueur has been made, using dried peel from the Curaçao "Laraha" orange, at this Willemstad distillery to an original Senior family recipe since 1886. Guided tours offer a chance to witness production with tastings in the 17th-century Chobolobo Mansion.



Cost

Free, includes complimentary liqueur tasting

Opening Hours

Weekdays, 8am-12pm and 1pm-5pm

Address

Senior's Distillery, Schottegatweg Oost 129, Willemstad Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9 461 3526

Transport

Car or tour operator

Website

Curaçao Liqueur Distillery Website

Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue, Curaçao. Courtesy of Curaçao Tourist Board
8

Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue

Over 350 years of worship

The oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere, Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue was consecrated on the eve of Passover in 1732. This fine Dutch colonial building spans an entire Willemstad block with a Spanish-style walled courtyard, raised balustrades and mahogany detailing.



Cost

US$5 (includes admission to Jewish Cultural Museum)

Opening Hours

Mon-Sat 9am-4.45pm; Sun 9am-12pm (closed to visitors if a cruise ship has docked in town)

Address

29, Hanechi di Snoa, Willemstad Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9 461 1067

Seaquarium, Curaçao. Photo by Lucian Hanga
9

Seaquarium

Underwater wonders

There are over 400 species of fish, crab, anemone, sponge and coral with attractions that include sea-lion and dolphin encounters, at the Willemstad Seaquarium. Diving, snorkeling, swimming and interacting with lots of marine life are all on the menu.



Cost

US$18.50; 5-12s US$9.50

Opening Hours

Daily 8am-5.30pm (last admission 4.30pm)

Address

Bapor Kibra z/n (off Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard), Willemstad Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9 461 6666

Transport

Car or taxi

Website

Curaçao Seaquarium Website

Christoffel National Park, Curaçao. Photo by Paul McClure
10

Christoffel National Park

Trails, beaches, caves and wildlife

A cactus-flanked dirt track weaves through bromeliads, orchids and arid scrub below the towering peaks of St. Christoffelberg to Christoffel National Park in Westpunt. Marvel at a landscape dotted with goats, iguana, deer and numerous birds as well as caves and beaches and miles of leafy trails.



Cost

US$10 (including museum entrance)

Opening Hours

Mon-Sat 8am-4pm; Sun 6am-3pm

Address

Westpunt Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9 864 0170

Transport

Westpunt bus from Otrabanda

Website

Christoffel National Park Website

Handelskade, Curaçao. Courtesy of Curaçao Tourism Board
11

Handelskade

Waterfront pastel-coloured houses

An iconic 300-year-old anchor sits at the heart of the charming harbourfront street of Handelskade. Pastel-coloured buildings look out on St Anna Bay, a waterside stretch said to resemble Amsterdam. Look out for the handsome former merchant's house, Penha House.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily all day

Address

St Anna Bay, Punda, Willemstad Curaçao

Transport

Bus to Punda terminal

Seaworld Explorer, Curaçao. Courtesy of Atlantis Adventures Curaçao
12

Seaworld Explorer

Submarine adventures

The semi-submersible Seaworld Explorer submarine at the Willemstad Seaquarium takes passengers on a magnificent hour-long underwater journey, through offshore wrecks and coral reefs teeming with rainbow-hued tropical fish. Wide glass windows allow views of sponge gardens and marine life.



Cost

US$39; under-12s US$35

Opening Hours

Daily (times vary)

Address

Hilton Hotel , Piscadera Bay, Willemstad Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9 461 0011

Transport

Car or taxi

Website

Atlantis Adventures Website

Willemstad Walking Tour, Curaçao. Courtesy of Curaçao Tourism Board
13

Willemstad Walking Tour

Journey through time

A Willemstad Walking Tour takes visitors around Willemstad's UNESCO-heritage historical zone through colourful Colonial streets and leafy plazas. Learn about early construction techniques from local architect Anko van der Woude and of social history from historian Jopie Hart.



Cost

From US$15

Opening Hours

Daily

Address

Queen Wilhelmina Bridge, Willemstad Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9 461 3554 or 767 3798

Transport

Taxi to Queen Wilhelmina Bridge

Willemstad Trolley Tour, Curaçao. Courtesy of Atlantis Adventures Curaçao
14

Willemstad Trolley Tour

Historic journey

An hour-long narrated Willemstad trolley tour by open-sided 'locomotive' begins at Fort Amsterdam near the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge. Journey through downtown Willemstad's pretty pastel-coloured, red-roofed Colonial streets, a UNESCO-listed historic centre edged by the island's natural harbour, Schottegat.



Cost

US$25; 2-12s US$20

Opening Hours

Daily 10am-11am (on request)

Address

Fort Amsterdam, Willemstad Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9 628 986 (booking essential)

Transport

Taxi to Fort Amsterdam

Website

Willemstad Trolley Tour Website

Blue Bay Golf Club, Curaçao. Courtesy of Blue Bay Golf & Beach Resort
15

Blue Bay Golf Club

Lake-filled course

Hazardous sea breezes make the par-72, 18-hole Blue Bay Golf Club course a true test of golf. Several small lakes, lagoons and a sheer drop into the sea make retrieving errant balls tricky, and the signature fifth hole is stunning - it plays out over a cliff.



Cost

From US$50 for 9 holes

Opening Hours

Daily 7am-7pm; tee-times vary

Address

Blue Bay Golf & Beach Resort Curaçao, Landhuis Blauw z/n, Willemstad Curaçao

Telephone

+599 9868 1755

Transport

Car or taxi

Website

Blue Bay Golf Course Website

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