Cultural Activities in Curacao

History and Heritage, with a Splash of Color

One of the most historic cities in the Caribbean is also one of the most contemporary and cosmopolitan. Curaçao's capital city of Willemstad dates back to the early 1600s, and much of the historic downtown is preserved as a World Heritage site. But this is no museum. Pastel-painted row houses on pedestrian-only streets house eclectic galleries, boutiques and cafes. Artists, chefs and performers from around the Caribbean and beyond have made this district home, and visitors will discover a vibrant creative scene that honors the past while also setting new trends. A guided walking tour provides an ideal introduction to the island's historic and contemporary cultures.

Highlights

  • Best for: Everyone, solos, couples and families looking for watersports and adventures from soft to rugged
  • Best season to visit: Year-round, as it's below the hurricane belt
  • Weather: Steady easterly trade winds, sunny and dry in the winter with temperature in the 70s. Summer sees mid 80s in the daytime, with occasional evening showers

Things to Do

Curaçao Information

Cultural Activities in Curaçao Overview

In the heart of Curaçao's capital city of Willemstad, a pair of historic districts overlook St. Anna Bay. Neighborhoods with cobblestone streets and colonial-era architecture date back more than 300 years, and are now designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites. The city center also hosts a thriving arts community.

Cultural Activities in Curaçao Tips

Don't hesitate to ask directions or just strike up a conversation with the locals. The people of Curaçao are among the friendliest in the Caribbean. They take pride in their island's culture and history, and will often take the time to share their stories with visitors who show an interest.

Best Places for Cultural Activities in Curaçao

The Punda District is one of the oldest European settlements in the Caribbean, and Mikve Israel-Emanuel is the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere. The Museum Kura Hulanda focuses on the slave trade, while the Maritime Museum recounts the island's nautical traditions. Embedded in the southwest wall of Fort Amsterdam is a cannonball fired by Captain Bligh's ship.

What to Pack for Cultural Activities in Curaçao

Bring a spare shopping bag, as the streets of the Punda district, are filled with unique shops. Save space for some fresh fruit at the floating market, where island sloops loaded with fresh produce tie up at the town wharf. Tasteful beachwear is acceptable, but you might want to add something a bit nicer for the evenings.

Specials

Cultural Activities

Curacao

Sunscape Curacao Resort, Spa & Casino

MAMBO BEACH - CARADONNA RECOMMENDS PACKAGE includes 7 night gardenview accommodations, Bonito Curacao cultural tour; Duration approx 4.5 hours, animal encounters snorkel, Jan Thiel Mountain Bike Adventure includes a guided caravan style adventurous experience. Off roading the Jan Thiel trail, salt flats, old slave walls, swim stop, Caracas Bay Peninsula Island, Fort Brekenburg. (dur 3 hrs; start time 9:30am), ATV Eastern Island Off Road Adventure Tour including helmet, goggles, drinks and a CD with pictures. Duration approximately 3.5 hours; daily departures at 9am or 2pm, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, snacks, and beverages including alcohol, $200 per room resort coupons, scheduled entertainment and activities, non-motorized watersports, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 8/26/17-10/27/17 Add $15 per person for travel 10/28/17-11/20/17 & 11/26/17-12/22/17. Book by 8/21/17.
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From $1,307 per person double diver

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Cultural Activities

Curacao

Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club-All Inclusive

WESTPUNT - SUMMER SPECIAL + CULTURAL TOURS PACKAGE includes 7 night Garden View accommodations, Fiesta Eastern City Tour, This is Willemstad Cultural Tour, West Tour, Bonito Curacao Cultural Tour, welcome drink, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily including soft drinks, coffee, juice and house brand alcohol, use of snorkeling equipment, scheduled entertainment, free WiFi in public areas, complimentary shuttle to town, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 12/22/17. Book by 8/30/17.
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From $1,295 per person double occupancy

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Cultural Activities

Curacao

Floris Suite Hotel

CURACAO - 5 NIGHT PRIDE PACKAGE 35% OFF includes 5 night gardenview accommodations, LGBTQAI Pride Events including Beach parties, live band and DJ performances, some require admission fee, free WiFi, daily happy hour with 2 free drinks, free shuttle to Willemstad, hotel tax and service charges. 9/27/17-10/2/17 book by 8/31/17
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From $342 per person double occupancy

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Resorts

Cultural Activities

Curacao

Lions Dive and Beach Resort

Lions Dive is named one of the top 10 Caribbean dive resorts. Located on a beautiful white sandy beach, featuring Ocean Encounters, a PADI Five-Star IDC, and near historic downtown Willemstad. Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curacao has recent upgrades, renovations and a friendly, charming and sporty demeanor.
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Cultural Activities

Curacao

All West Apartments & Diving

WESTPUNT - All West is surrounded by the tropical hills, and is ideal for catching spectacular sunsets and gazing at the fantastic star filled skies. All West has twelve fully equipped apartments with ocean views, and the beach below the apartments is great for swimming, snorkeling and shore diving.
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Cultural Activities

Curacao

Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club-All Inclusive

WESTPUNT - Breathtaking Coral Cliffs surrounded by white coral beach created the ideal setting for Curacao’s most luxurious resort - the Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club, order GHL Hotels. This peaceful, tropical getaway offers the tranquility of a secluded island hideaway coupled with a relaxing and alluring beachfront retreat located on the Island’s West End. Located only 30 minutes from Curacao’s international airport, this beachfront haven offers spacious suites and guestrooms, all elegantly appointed, featuring balconies or patios with stunning panoramic views of the ocean, pool or gardens and exquisite patio furnishing.
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Cultural Activities

Curacao

Sunscape Curacao Resort, Spa & Casino

MAMBO BEACH - Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino located just 10 miles from the Curaçao International Airport - Hato and 2 miles from the culturally diverse capital city Willemstad – a UNESCO World Heritage site – with its distinctive architecture, museums, monuments and world-class shopping. This beautiful 1,500 ft. beach front Resort, with 341 spacious guest rooms and suites is right in front of the National Underwater Park and situated at one of the most developed tourist beach sites and has the most popular Casino onsite.
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Passport and/or Visa Requirements

Entry Requirements: A valid passport is required for U.S. Citizens with at least one blank page for passport entry stamp. No visa is required for entry.

Exit Requirements: There is a departure tax of $39(US) per person, which should be included in your International Airline Ticket taxes. If you are travelling to another island from Curaçao, inter-island domestic departure taxes apply and should be included in your airline ticket

Immunizations

Vaccinations are not required for entry into Curaçao. Check with your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel at www.cdc.gov.

 

Culture and Customs

Blessed as one of the best natural harbors in the southern Caribbean, Curaçao has long been a regional crossroads not only for goods but also for people. This has resulted in a cultural fusion that includes more than 40 ethnic groups, each enriching the mix. Though Dutch is the official language, English is widely spoken and many islanders converse in Papiamentu, a dialect created from mixing of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, and several African languages. The capital city of Willemstad is one of the oldest settlements in the Caribbean, dating back to the Dutch capture of the island from the Spanish in the early 17th century. Thanks to the well-protected harbor of St. Anna Bay, the town quickly grew into a busy trading port, and the seat of government for the Netherland Antilles. Today, most of the original colonial-era architecture survives and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The oldest part of the city, known as the Punda district, has always been Willemstad’s main shopping area. Here, pedestrian-only streets and narrow alleys create a picturesque atmosphere, full of life and color. Unique boutiques offer a diverse selection of European clothing, French perfumes, Japanese electronics, Irish crystal, English china, fine Italian leathers and Chinese embroidery, while sidewalk cafes serve up a tasty mix of island favorites and international flavors. Noteworthy landmarks include Fort Amsterdam, the Mikve Israel- Emanuel synagogue, which is the oldest in the western hemisphere and the Queen Emma floating bridge, a pontoon bridge. The Museum Kura Hulanda focuses on the slave trade, while the Maritime Museum recounts the island's nautical traditions. No visit is complete without a stop off at the floating market, where a colorful array of fruits and vegetables make their way from the nearby shores of Venezuela aboard small island trading vessels.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

Electricity in Curaçao is 127/120 volts at 50 cycles and they use 2 prong plugs, so most appliances made in the USA will work well and should not require an adapter.

Curaçao's country code is 5999 with a 7 digit local phone number following the country code. UTS and CT are a few of the local companies providing phone and internet service. Check with your provider to see what plans are available or you will be subject to roaming charges. Many hotels and restaurants offer WiFi.

Water Quality

The water quality from the tap is safe to drink according to the ADC (Analytic Diagnostic Center). Bottled water is also readily available for purchase.

Language & Currency

Dutch is the official language, while Papiamentu is the most commonly spoken language. English and Spanish are all widely spoken and understood. Papiamentu is a form of Creole indigenous particularly to Bonaire, Curaçao, and Aruba, where it is considered the national language. You'll sound like a pro if you say 'Bon Dia' (Good Morning) or "Danki" (Thank you) to the locals.

The local currency is the Antillean guilder, abbreviated as Nafl. or ANG (also called the florin.) The exchange rate is set at ANG 1.79 to USD $1. Credit cards are often accepted, so exchanging money is not necessary. ATM's are available for withdrawals in USD or local currency

Time

Curaçao is on Atlantic Standard Time (AST) and does not observe Daylight Savings Time. Curaçao is 4 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-4 GMT).

Location, Size and Population

Curaçao is an island located in the Southern Caribbean Sea. Curaçao is 42 miles east of Aruba, 30 miles west of Bonaire and approximately 40 miles north of South America. The island of Curaçao is 37 miles long and 8 miles wide with an area of 171 square miles. The population of Curaçao is 158,635 (2016).