What makes Curacao special among Caribbean islands? Authenticity. For centuries, we have forged a vibrant and rich culture rooted in history and hospitality. Our heritage is both European and African – representing more than 50 nationalities. We speak Dutch, Spanish, and English – as well as a local language, Papiamentu, a colorful Creole dialect.
Exploring Undiscovered Curaçao
The best part of exploring Curacao is that it feels undiscovered, like an exclusive hideaway. One of the tiny “ABC Islands” – Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao – this secluded slice of paradise is the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. The Curacao tourism board wants to help you uncover its many wonders. There are no “tourist traps” here. Locals and visitors mingle in harmony throughout the island. Relax and unwind amidst Curacaoans working, playing, and enjoying life to its fullest – the same as they have done for generations. We love to socialize, so don’t be surprised if someone waves and tosses a friendly “Bon Bini!” (Welcome!) or “Kon ta bai?” (How’s it going?) your way.
Experience the beautiful jewel that is Willemstad, Curacao. This lively port is one of six UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Caribbean, joining the ranks of Old Havana, Old San Juan, and Colonial Santo Domingo.
The Punda District – once fortified and walled – along with its neighboring districts of Otrobanda, Pietermaai, Scharloo, preserve some 765 buildings as national monuments. Chief among these are Fort Amsterdam, the Governor’s Palace, Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue and the colorful Penha building on the waterfront.
After decades of preservation efforts, Willemstad is proud to be counted among the best of the best. Learn more about our historic and beautiful capital city.
Curaçao’s rich history comes alive in the stunning architecture to be seen all across the island — especially in its capital city, Willemstad. Visit the links below to learn more about our exquisite Curacao colonial architecture:
Dutch Colonial Influences
Historic Architecture Colors
Escape to the Caribbean’s hidden treasure. Fall in love with Curacao’s world-class diving and beaches, invigorating outdoor adventures with our many watersports and enjoy a round of golf on a beautiful waterfront golf course. Or, if you prefer, relax on one of our many beautiful beaches, get one a spa treatments or go shopping. Make your Curacao Caribbean travel arrangements today!
Carnival! The main marches, the product of weeks of enthusiastic preparation, take place in February or March. They feature hordes of fantastic floats, costumes, and characters, plus Carnival royalty elected during full-scale beauty contests.
There are two big parades, one on Sunday in the daytime — Curaçao’s Gran Marcha (“The Grand Parade”) — and the Marcha Despedida (“the Farewell March”) a couple of days later, usually on Tuesday evening. The latter has a special magic — floats are adorned with sparkling lights and at the finale of the parade at midnight, the Momo (a big straw-filled doll) is burned. Carnival celebrations usually last until the eve of Ash Wednesday.
Carnival Queen - Represents Mother Earth, the symbol for fertility and peace.
Carnival King (King Momo) - As symbol for infertility, sins and bad luck, this straw-filled king is burned in a spectacular ritual at the end of Carnival.
Prince and Pancho - Carnival's boisterous energy stands out next to these two "city leaders".
Tips for Visitors
The Carnival route varies from year to year, but always goes through Otrobanda. Arrive early to get a good spot, and ask your hotel concierge about special seating for tourists. If you want to dance and mingle with the locals, stick to the streets. The crowds are generally friendly and family-oriented. And if you get the chance to join the parade, definitely take it! It’s an experience of a lifetime. And most important of all — don’t forget your camera!