The small Caribbean island of Curaçao is just 172 square miles (444 km2). Therefore, the best way to see the whole island of Curaçao is to rent a car. Depending on how long you would like to spend at each attraction or beach we suggest renting a car for one to three days.
Curaçao Travel Video:
Most importantly, never leave anything in the car, the island has many break-ins especially if anything is visible. The roads on the island are in relatively good condition, just watch out for the occasional pot holes. Signs to attractions and beaches are normally present, but not always.
Note: This travel guide does not include the capital city of Willemstad, which is covered under a separate walking guide.
Curaçao Driving Map
Top attractions in Curaçao
Just South of the airport is Hato Caves a 240 meter long cave, formed in coral limestone by karst processes. The above ground caves are accessible by a 45 minute guided tour and tickets cost $8 for adults and $6 for children.
Christoffel National Park
The Christoffel National Park is the largest on the island and rich in flora, fauna, culture and history. It is home to the highest peak, Christoffel Mountain and one of the earliest plantation houses on the island, turned into a museum.
Shete Boka National Park is famous for its rugged limestone bluffs, which creates huge waves that shoot high into the air. From the main entrance there are three different areas to explore. While the whole park is walkable, the strong sun and limited shade might have you wanting to take advantage of the driving roads.
- Boka Tabla: In front of the main parking lot is Boka Tabla and a small cave.
- Boka Pistol: To the right is a 30 minute walk to Boka Pistol, passing by Boka Kalki. There is also a full loop which takes two hours to complete.
- Boka Wandomi: To the left is a 30 minute walk to Boka Wandomi and a natural bridge formation.
The entrance fee is $5.50 per person.
Also known as the “Breath of the Island,” the Watamula Hole is an interesting place to explore in the Northwestern tip of the island. The splashing waves and sounds of the water hole will leave you mesmerized.
Grote Knip (Kenepa Grandi Beach)
Our favorite beach has to be Grote Knip, with its bright white sand and crystal blue waters. Get your bathing suit on and get ready to chill. There is also some areas to go snorkeling along the rocks on either side of the beach.
The Klein Knip beach is one of the smaller and calmer beaches we visited on the island. With an older crowd, it provides a more relaxing atmosphere to sit back and relax.
Playa Lagun is one of the most recommended beaches by locals on the island. The small and relaxing beach is not overflowing with tourists giving it a nice atmosphere. Also, at the entrance is the most delicious fruit smoothies to cool off in the sun!
If you are looking for a more comfortable beach, with more beach chairs to rent and nicer facilities look no further than Playa PortoMari. If you just want to relax on the beach or enjoy a meal at the restaurant, entrance is free. However, if you wish to go swimming it costs $3 per person.
Playa Cas Abao
If you want a beach with a bar, restaurant, lockers, massage facility and dive shop, Playa Cas Abao is for you. It has crystal clear waters and a raft moored off the beach. However the better facilities come with a cost. From Monday to Saturday it is $6 per car; Sunday and Holidays it is $7.
Driving back towards Willemstad make sure not to miss the Flamingos sanctuary. It only has a small sign along a pull off, so keep your eyes open for the entrance. Walk out to a small lookout platform in the water for a closer view of the Flamingos. If you have a telephoto lens, now is your time to use it!