It is no secret that Curaçao has beautiful beaches. The pictures alone – white sandy beaches in combination with azure blue water – make you dream away. The internet is full of lists about the most beautiful beaches on Curacao (yup, we also have such a list on Reishonger!). However, you can do much more on Curaçao, and it is this combination that makes the island so popular. That’s why today on Reishonger: 6 reasons to get off the beach on Curaçao.
#1 Climb the Christoffelberg
For active people, the climb of the Christoffelberg is the absolute number one on Curaçao. At 372 meters, the Christoffelberg is the highest point on the Caribbean island. The path up is adventurous; the last meters you clamber over the rocks with your hands and feet. Once at the top, you not only look out over a sea of greenery, but also the real sea in the distance. An amazing view! You immediately understand why they call this mountain ‘the crown of Curaçao’. Good to know: you must start this hike before 10:00 in the morning. In the afternoon you still have enough time to relax on the beaches! On the way back, for example, drive past Grote Knip or Kleine Knip.
Practical: Entrance 25,- Antillean Guilder per person / 3 hours return / bring at least 1 liter of water per person / mountain boots are not necessary, but do wear closed shoes.
#2 Get a breath of fresh air at Shete Boka
A visit to Shete Boka is always a good idea. I’ve been there several times and the power of the waves continues to impress. The waves hit the rocks here with great force. That’s because Shete Boka is located on the north side of Curaçao; an area known for high winds. You will not find relaxed beaches here, but you experience the sea in a completely different way. There are two trails: Boka Pistol and Boka Wandomi. These take you to viewpoints where the water splashes up many meters.
Is there just too much wind to relax on the beach? Or are the waves just a bit too high for swimming? Then this is the right day to visit Shete Boka. Because the more wind, the more impressive the natural spectacle.
Practical: Entrance 17.50,- Antillean Guilder per person / Provide good sun protection (due to the strong wind you quickly underestimate the power of the sun).
#3 Unknown Curaçao: the Caracas Bay
The Caracas Bay is a special part of Curaçao. I discovered during a guided mountain bike tour that it is also a place with a history. I cycled past the quarantine building (where sailors used to be quarantined before they were allowed ashore) and Fort Beekenburg from 1703 (where the cannons are still on the walls). And although the Caracas Bay does not have beautiful beaches, you can do something really fun here under water. Put on your flippers, don your snorkel and swim 50 meters offshore from the Tugboat Beach Bar. Just behind 3 large steel buoys in the sea, a sunken tugboat lies at a depth of 5 meters. The wreck is covered with coral and teeming with tropical fish. Beautiful to see!
Practical: Free parking at Tugboat Beach Bar / Be sure to have a drink here afterwards, the bar is nicely set up / Bring your own snorkeling equipment / You can take a look inside Fort Beekenburg and the Quarantine building for free (everything is within walking distance).
#4 Iguanas and turtles at Playa Lagun
One of my favorite things to do in Curacao is snorkeling with turtles. A well-known place for this is Playa Piskado (also called Playa Grandi). Local fishermen process their catch here and throw the fish waste into the sea. That’s why you almost always find turtles there. That’s no secret though, so there are often a lot of people in the water. That’s why I prefer to go to Playa Lagun. This is a tiny beach, surrounded by high rock walls and lots of greenery. Here you need a bit more luck to spot turtles, but you have to share them with far fewer people. Moreover, there is a nice restaurant on top of the rocks: Bahia Beach Bar. The view, the many iguanas on the terrace and the good menu make this my favorite lunch spot on Curaçao.
Practical: Free parking / One of the best snorkeling spots on Curaçao, but bring your own equipment.
#5 Spotting Street Art in Otrabanda
to be fair, Willemstad has several neighborhoods with beautiful street art. You will find impressive murals in Punda, Scharloo, Pietermaai and Otrabanda. You will also find brightly colored houses everywhere (see also tip #6). However, Otrabanda is my favorite neighborhood to spot street art in Curaçao, because the works here feel a bit more original and raw. Of all the neighborhoods in the capital of Curaçao, this neighborhood is also the best for just ‘losing’ through the streets. You will pass many interesting houses.
Practical: Do you want to make sure that you see beautiful street art during your walk through Otrabanda? Then put Frederikstraat, IJzerstraat, Willemstraat, Quintastraat and Keizershof on your list.
#6 Looking at colored houses in Willemstad
Does seeing colored houses equal a holiday feeling for you? Then you will be served at your beck and call in Willemstad! Even if you have never been to Curaçao, you have probably seen a photo of the beautiful Handelskade. But actually I think all the colored houses in the Scharloo and Pietermaai districts are just as beautiful. You will see many (old) mansions here, complete with cast iron balconies, in beautiful pastel colors. My favorite street is the Bargestraat in the Scharloo district. Here the colors of the houses blend together as if the street is one big brick rainbow. My lunch tip is Scuba Lodge in Pietermaai. You can recognize this restaurant by the row of bright yellow, candy pink and baby blue houses. The restaurant is set in the garden, overlooking the sea.
Practical: Free parking at the parking lot on Waaigat, at Cinema De Movies. From here you can walk to Scharloo or Pietermaai in five minutes.
Still looking for the beaches of Curaçao? These are our tips!
Of course you also want to enjoy the beaches on Curaçao. For snorkelling, Playa Lagun is my favorite, but I also like Grote Knip, Kleine Knip (both without facilities), Cas Abou and Mambo Beach (both with facilities). Also check out our top 10 beaches on Curaçao.
In the pictures I am wearing my Zipp2Go zip-off pants. These days it comes standard in my suitcase, so I would like to share this tip. For me, zip-off pants are ideal for switching from day to evening outfit (Hello covered legs at dinners on the beach, goodbye mosquitoes!). I also find it useful for the last day of travel. No hassle with changing at the airport, just zip on the trouser legs before boarding. I discovered Zipp2Go thanks to the choice of prints; much nicer than the ‘100 shades of khaki’ of standard zip-off trousers. Because of this I often wear the pants as shorts. Nice detail: founder Roxanne came up with the concept for Zipp2Go while she was traveling around the world herself.
Are you a real beach goer or would you rather combine the beaches of Curaçao with activities?