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Curaçao An Island of Paradise | Why You Should Visit

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

Bon Bini! Welcome

Let's start with the basics, which are correctly pronouncing Curaçao. It's Kur-uh-sow. I personally struggled with that pronunciation, and I shamelessly displayed my ignorance in my un-bagging video. Now let's move on...


On a good day, you can see the coast of Venezuela because it's about 40 miles from the southwest beaches of Curaçao. The "C" of the ABC islands, including Aruba and Bonaire, Curaçao, has an extensive history and distinct culture. Curacao is the biggest of the A-B-Cs.

Dushi Sign
Dushi Sign

Having returned from Curacao recently, I wanted to share some highlights of my experiences from the island as I traveled during the pandemic in September 2021. The island reopened to the world in January 2021. The island has taken steps to maintain low Coronavirus infections (click here for details); the island requires three steps before flying into Curaçao International Airport (CUR). An additional step to remain on the island is needed:


  1. Complete the Digital Immigration Card application before boarding the plane in your home state.

  2. Upload a negative COVID-19 PCR test not more than 72 hours before arriving on the island.

  3. Complete the Passenger Locator Card (PLC) form 48 hours before departure, print it out at home, and keep it with you the entire time you're on the island.

  4. Finally, after the 3rd day on the island, you'll have to take an Anti-gen test.

I was asked to show proof of all these documents before I boarded my plane at Washington Reagan Airport (DCA). So allow extra time at the airport to inspect all the additional papers and increase protocols.

Curacao International Airport
Curacao International Airport

I arrived at the CUR airport, a medium-sized airport, not technically advanced, except they had one of the fasted passport screening lines at an international airport. Once exiting the airport, I noticed all the tall and handsome saguaro cactus plants! I'd never seen such beauty, and I've traveled to five of the seven continents and many countries within those continents and never seen such greenery.



Getting Around


Accommodations outside of Punda, aka downtown Curacao at a hotel like the Renaissance Curacao Resort & Casino, which is where I stayed, you'll need a car. If you do not rent a car at the airport, which is most likely very busy, most hotels offer car rental services but plan for the cost accordingly. I didn't have a car because if you know me, then you know I'm NOT driving. I had the pleasure of a private guide (Berliza) and a driver with air-conditioned transportation (Satiah) who drove me from east to west on the island. In between excursions, I had more than enough things to do at my resort, like a beach massage (check out my blog "My Impression of The Spa Services at The Renaissance | Curacao") and even more to do within walking distance of my resort in Willemstad.


Tip: Download the Curacao map to access offline to avoid missing out on the beauty, culture, or adventure that the island offers.

Shete Boka National Park | Curacao
Shete Boka National Park | Curacao

What To See And Do?


Exploring Curaçao’s Shete Boka National Park, WoW! Unlike the greenery presented at the airport, Shete Boka is rugged and untamed. The area of Curaçao is very desert-like, nonetheless still spectacular. There is no shade, so wear sunscreen, hydrate well, and wear shoes with a firm bottom (not flip-flops)! Then get ready for a view where you can see an amazing volcanic landscape.


Fun Fact: Boka means seven inlets, and Shete Boka has coves carved out of limestones. This is also a place where turtles come here to nest.


Inside a Natural Cavern

At my own risk, I entered a dark space in which I descended, and as I progressed, I heard the sounds of the water sounding like thunder as it slammed against the rocks. Despite a tiny bit of fear, I continued to walk underground towards the water waves that could have swallowed my 5-foot 10-inch frame in seconds "because why?" It felt amazing to get so close to nature's unique rolling waves.


Shete Boka Overview Deck | Curacao
Shete Boka Overview Deck | Curacao

There's also a beach at the Shete Boka between the inlet if you walk down the limestone staircase. The beach is not huge, but you get a great view of the waves. The park's entry is about $5-9 USD; the parking lot is small, and you are not allowed to enter after 4 pm. There's a porta-potty for a bathroom break before exploring the park. Then you'll begin walking up a path lined with rocks and coral but lookout for tuna cacti and Iguanas!








Like previous visitors, I, too, left a rock tower.

My Shete Boka Rock Pyramid | Curacao
My Shete Boka Rock Pyramid | Curacao

Beaches

Playa Piskado Beach | Curacao
Playa Piskado Beach | Curacao

Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island, is known for its beaches tucked into coves and expansive coral beds with marine life. Playa Pikado (Playa Grandi) is a very different beach from all the others; it's the fishermen, boats, turtles, and snorkeling options. It's not a large beach, but definitely worth visiting, and this experience was completely free.


Grote Knip Beach | Curacao
Grote Knip Beach | Curacao

Grote Knip is a beach on the island's south side and the most beautiful beach in Curaçao. Grote Knip is an aquatic wonderland and the perfect opportunity to get lost in nature and relax. Once you parked your car, you must walk up to the lookout point. You will be amazed by the blueness of the ocean (a perfect photo moment!) before taking the steps down to the beach. To access the beach, it's free but to use the beach chairs; there's a $7 cost.


Finally,


Curacao exceeded my expectations, becoming my second (Cuba being number one) favorite island in the Caribbean. Curacao has maintained its authenticity and, combined with the Dutch and Caribbean flair, makes your vacation on the island unique, unlike many other islands. The largest ethnic group is of Black African descent. However, you can also find populations of Latin American, French, Dutch, Asian, Portuguese, and Levantine throughout Curacao.


There isn't a wrong time to visit the sunny island of Curacao but if you want to avoid light rain, plan your visit outside of October-December. The island is outside of the tropical hurricane zone. So there is less chance for a hurricane to interrupt your Caribbean getaway.


Curacao is a perfect destination for all kinds of travelers. Go and embrace the local lifestyle, like late dinners and direct communication, and marvel at the ethnic mix of cuisine (sushi).


Get more inspiration about a trip to Curaçao by following me on Instagram and reading my other blogs.


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