One Long Weekend Escape to Curacao
Curacao is a vibrant Caribbean island filled with lots of flavor and beautiful candy color houses. We spent 3 days in Curacao, exploring the capital city and the islands beaches.
I recommend 3-5 days in Curacao. There’s a lot to see, do, an eat on the island.
We flew from Chicago to Miami on a 3-hour flight then on to Curacao from Miami via American Airlines. If you haven’t booked flights yet, set an alert to be notified when deals occur.
Getting through customs in Curacao was a breeze. We filled out the embarkation card before we arrived and we were able to get through customs and into our rental car within 45 minutes.
The Curacao airport is located 30 minutes from Willemstad where we stayed. The transportation is limited in Curacao so I would encourage anyone who visits the island to rent a car.
We stayed at the Curacao Suites, an affordable boutique hotel with not a lot of frills but a lot of character. The staff was super friendly and helpful during the entire trip. The room offered a balcony, access to a rooftop, and free breakfast.
Once we checked in and changed clothes, we were ready to explore Willemstad.
Visit the Queen Emma Bridge
Queen Emma Bridge is a pontoon bridge that connects the Punda and Otrobanda quarters in Willemstad. If you’re wondering why this bridge is unique, its acutally a floating bridge. When boats come through, the entire bridge floats to the other side. If you happen to catch the bridge while it’s open, two ferries will be around to take you across the water.
Check out the Mikve Israel-Emanuel synagogue
You don’t have to be religious to enjoy the Mikve Israel-Emanuel synagogue. The Mikve Israel-Emanuel synagogue is the oldest synagogue in continuous use.
Do some shopping
Willemstad is filled with great shopping. Check out some of the souvenir shops in the area or visit some of the well-known retailers. There is something here for everyone.
Have dinner at Gouveneur de Rouville.
There are a few top rated resturants in the area such as Zoya and Iguana Cafe, however, we enjoyed dinner at the highly rated Gouveneur de Rouville.
Party At Mambo Beach
After dinner we decided to go out and do some partying at Mambo Beach.
There were about three or four different clubs to choose from at Mambo Beach. All of the clubs we visited had free entry so we decided to party hop.
After we partied we partied the night away at Mambo Beach, we were hungry so we decided to stop at the late night food truck Hot Pepper, a food truck located in a parking lot in Willemstad for some late night burritos and tacos (Curacao style).
Stay: Curacao Suites Hotel
Curacao Suites Hotel is laidback affordable hotel located the heart of the city at Otrobanda. The hotel is in walking distance of many bars and restaurants. It features large rooms with kitchenettes and a rooftop with great views of the city. For the budget conscious traveler, Curacao Suites Hotel is a great hotel choice for Curacao!
book: booking.com || read reviews: tripadvisor
Go on the Hato Caves Tour.
While we didn’t get to do this, I thought it would be great to include since it was on our itinerary. According to the reviews, its best to visit the Hato Caves early in the morning before noon because it can get really hot in the caves. We had a late start that morning so we weren’t able to make it however it is on the way to Playa Forti.
Cliff Jump at Playa Forti
Playa Forti isn’t the best beach in Curacao, however, its boasts a designated spot for cliff jumping. Situated 45 minutes from the city outside of a restaurant, there is a spot where you can make a 33-foot jump from the cliff to the sea.
Let’s be clear there are many great beaches in Curacao. On our way back to Willemstad, we decided to check out a few beaches on our way back to the city. While some people may say, a beach is a beach is a beach, all of the beaches offered something different.
Here are a few great beaches that you’ll pass on your way to the city:
On your way back, if you get hungry visit Karakter for lunch on the beach.
Have brunch at BijBlauw
Located right on the water, BijBlauw restaurant has one of the best dining views on the island. The atmosphere is fairly laid back with a hint of luxury. We were lucky enough to grab a seat close by the water where we could feel the waves splashing and could see sea creatures crawling about from our seats. We enjoyed the risotto and a few drinks all while taking in the view.
Become a beach bum at Jan Thiel Beach
Sun, sand, and entertainment… Jan Thiel has it all.
Jan Thiel is one of the more developed beaches on the island. Located just south of Curacao, Jan Thiel offers four restaurants, nightlife events, shopping, and water sports.
We spent most of our last day on the island here. Jan Thiel offers cabanas and loungers for visiting guests where you can order drinks and eats from your seat. We reserved two loungers, order a seafood platter and a few drinks, and enjoyed frolicking at the beach.