curacao

Where?

Curaçao, Caribbean.

Why now?

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.

Don’t miss…

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

March to September. The temperature in Curaçao is quite stable thanks to its proximity to the equator, but you’ll avoid the winter holiday crowds during these months.

Most likely to bump into…

Cameron Diaz hiding from the paparazzi.

Essentials to bring with you

Plenty of bikini options.

How to get there

Fly into Curaçao International Airport in Willemstad – there are multiple direct flights between here and Amsterdam, while others stop off in Miami, Aruba and Bonaire.

Destination Inspiration

Valencia, Spain

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