The small Caribbean island of Curaçao is just 172 square miles (444 km2) and it is near Aruba and Venezuela. 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. Curacao has an amazing weather all year round which allows visitors to enjoy its beautiful turquoise waters, beautiful beaches and its rich history.
What to do in 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.
The best things to visit in Curaçao Driving Map:
Off The Beaten Path Things To Do In Curaçao:
Explore the 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.
Explore Boka Tabla At Shete Boka
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.
Hours: 09:00am – 5:00pm everyday
Entrance Fee: 4.64 ANG ($2.50 USD) per person
Make sure to visit the Watamula Hole
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.
Swim at the 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.
Go Cliff Jumping at Klein Knip
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. It is amazing to go snorkeling and to cliff jump. When going cliff jumping just be careful of the big rocks in the water. Do not climb back up the cliff but instead swim to the shore and take the stairs.
➳ Tip: Because there is a quiter beach there is only a bar open during the weekend. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks.
Sunbath at Playa Lagun
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!
Take a stroll along Playa PortoMari
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.
Enjoy the white sands and turquoise water of Cas Abao Beach
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. It is a great spot if you want to go snorkeling. However the better facilities come with a cost. From Monday to Saturday it is 10 ANG ($6) per car up to 4 people; Sunday and Holidays it is 12.50 ANG ($7) and any additional person needs to pay an extra fee of 2.50 ANG ($1.40).
Hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Access: Car Only, parking lot on site.
Go Flamingo Watching at the Flamingo Sanctuary
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!
Visit the Hato Caves
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.
Entrance Fee: $8 for adults and $6 for children.
Learn about aloe at the CurALoe Plantation
The CurAloe Plantation has 10 acres with more than 100,000 aloe plants, a factory, and a shop. You are able to visit the aloe fields, watch an informative video about the ale production process and visit their shop
Hours: 9:00am – 4:30pm every day.
Entrance Fee: It is free to the public.
Visit The Curaçao Ostrich Farm
If you are in Curacao you must take a safari tour of the Curaçao Ostrich Farm. The farm opened in 1995 with the idea of exporting ostrich eggs and meat to South America. It was actually later when they started offering tours and dining experiences. At the tour you will learn about the African Ostrich and the Emu. You will also have the opportunity to feed and ride an ostrich, how cool is that?
Get the best panoramic picture of Curacao at the Fort Beekenburg
➳ Tip: Clim to the top of the round tower for the best panoramic 360 degree view of Curacao.
Entrance Fee: It is free to the public.
Relax at Mambo Beach
Mambo Beach is a 900 meter long beach that ends with an Aquarium, where you can swim with dolphins. Along the beach there is a two story mall, with restaurants and bars.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday.
Entrance Fee: 8 ANG (about $4.50 USD) per person
Curaçao Liquor Distillery
The Curaçao Liquor Distillery is most famous for its Blue Curaçao Liquor. There is a short tour with the history of the company along with an in depth look at the distilling process, followed by a tasting of three different flavors of liquor. There is also a small gift shop and bar for mixed drinks if you want to purchase some drinks to keep the good times going.
Drive through Panoramic Views
After the distillery we drove through Jan Thiel neighborhood, one of the richer areas of the island with beautiful mansions and upscale resorts. It also has some of the greatest overlooks on the Spanish Waters, Table Hill and the entire Southeastern side of the island. We stopped atop what they referred to as “Chill Hill” to get some amazing panoramic photos.
Curacao is also know for its underwater world. Diving in Curacao is a must if you are a nature lover. In this article you will find the best dive sites in Curacao.
Save this article for later ⇟