How Curaçao Became The Caribbean’s Latest Hot Spot
By Parker Diakite
Curaçao is the least known of the “ABC” islands and is often overlooked from those planning a vacation to the Caribbean.
Despite its lack of popularity, Curaçao is a hidden gem. The country’s layered history combined with its melting pot of cultures makes it one of the best vacations in the Caribbean.
1. Vibrant Architecture
Upon arrival in the country’s capital of Willemstad, one of the first things that will catch your eyes is the colorful architecture on the waterfront. The bright homes and businesses stem back to the 17th century that reflects Dutch colonial rule.
The Dutch established Curaçao as a trading settlement, and you will notice that the modern towns also reflect concepts from the Portuguese and other Caribbean islands, according to UNESCO.
Throughout the country’s history, Curaçao has been under the rule of many nations, so it’s not uncommon that most natives are multilingual. Many Curaçaoans speak four languages, including Papiamentu, Dutch, Spanish, and English.
With its blend of cultures, it should come to no surprise that Curaçao has quite a food scene.
Red snapper and Keshi Yena, or “stuffed cheese,” are signature dishes that are also loved by locals.
Other island specialties include Yuana Stoba, which translates in English to “Iguana Stew.” The iguana is known to be rich in flavor because it feeds on insects and leafy vegetables.
During your visit, be sure to head to Plasa Biue, also referred to as Old Market, to try a range of dishes from local vendors.
Curaçao is home to more than 35 beaches. Knip Beach is the island’s most famous beach with crystal-clear waters and beautiful surroundings. If you’re a good swimmer, the reef can be reached from the beach.
Lagun Beach, located near the village of Lagoon, is a smaller and intimate beach with a gorgeous sunset.
5. National Parks
Christoffelpark is the largest national park in Curaçao and features eight hiking trails perfect for nature lovers.
In Shete Boka National Park, which houses approximately ten pocket bays, various species of sea turtles are known to lay their eggs here.
There is no shortage of entertainment in Curaçao and on any given day, you can find live music bands playing in clubs and bars.