This Dutch-Caribbean island is one of the few that hasn’t become
an over-crowded spring-break destination. Just a hop, skip and a
jump from Aruba, this Lesser Antilles island is consistently
blessed with golden sunshine and glorious temperatures.
Curaçao’s town of Willemstad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site,
and with good reason. Turquoise waves lap against the city’s
boardwalks, which are lined with leafy restaurant patios and
Dutch-style buildings painted in rainbow hues. The island also has
a fascinating multicultural history, with a unique cuisine and
language (a mix of Dutch, English and Spanish known as Papiamento)
as well as the oldest synagogue in the Western world, which makes
for an unusual contrast with the beach loungers and pristine sand
that surround it.
Boat out to the tiny island of Klein Curaçao to fully experience
the area’s beach culture. Scuba pros can use it as a jumping-off
point for exploring untouched coral reefs and caves, while just a
short snorkel is enough to spot sea turtles and polychrome schools
of fish. The main island is also a surprising hub for museums. Kura
Hulanda is the place to learn about the area’s slave-trade history,
while Landhuis Bloemhof is a coral-coloured hub for fine arts. Make
sure to check out the lovely gardens surrounding the old plantation
housing the museum once you’ve explored the inside.
Who to take with you
Curaçao should be done one of two ways; hit it up with your
significant other, or get a crew of pals together to take on the
island’s multiple beach clubs. Our favourite is Papagayo for a mai
tai and a late-night shimmy on the club’s white-sand beach.
When to go
Most likely to bump into…
Cameron Diaz hiding from the paparazzi.
Essentials to bring with you
Plenty of bikini options.