There is perhaps nothing I love more than discovering a destination before it becomes mainstream. And after spending the past few days on the island of Curacao, located in the southern Caribbean near Aruba and just north of Venezuela, I discovered why NOW is the time to head to Curacao – while the island’s charm, culture and charmingly undeveloped character remains.
Read on to discover all the glorious beaches to explore on Curacao – along with the best place to stay in Curacao with kids; Baoase Luxury Resort.
Of course the main reason to head to Curacao is to relax on the beach and play in the warm Caribbean waters. The island of Curacao is split into two sides, the East and the Western sides of the island. The East side is home to all the hotels and resorts, marinas and the main city/urban area of Willemstad. The Western side is open, wild, rugged and only sparsely populated.
You’ll quickly notice the dry landscape, dotted with cactus and acacia trees. Getting to this side of the island is an absolute must. Aside from visiting a local restaurant to sample the traditional Iguana stew (tastes like chicken) and standing on the dramatic most Western tip of the island (you can hear the island “breathe” as air and water filter through the porous limestone), here you’ll find the most glorious natural beaches on all the island.
While the resorts have man-made beaches, including protected coves, here on the Western side of the island the beaches are natural. And amazing. The government has prohibited development on these beaches, so at least for now this is the way they will remain.
You’ll find tourists and locals alike lounging on the beach with a cooler and some snorkel gear for the entire day. There is nothing fancy about these beaches, and that’s what I loved about it! Super laid back and perfect for families with young kids Head here by car, or by boat charter (returning by car) for a fun, full day adventure.
Snorkeling in Curacao
I found the snorkeling in Curacao to be fantastic! I’ve spent a fair amount of time underwater in the Caribbean and never have I seen so much diversity in one view. There were SO many different species of fish, a living aquarium. Some of the beaches have coral walls that extend down and towards the center of a crescent-shaped beach – so you stay close to the coral wall and can really get up close to the fish.
The only place to stay in Curacao
Without question, Baoase Luxury Resort is the only place to stay on the island. This boutique hotel offers a wide range of room types, from the super romantic suites (massive comfortable bed, private plunge pool, outdoor shower) to villas around a pool with complete kitchens.
Designed with European sensibility, including lots of clean, modern lines punctuated with natural stone features and plenty of woods and lush landscaping, it is a visually stunning property.
Here the beach is picture perfect, a protected lagoon that is super safe for kids to swim and also a wonderful place to hang out in one of the floats or snorkel around (the resort has a beach shack full of all the toys). Each meal we had, created by a team in a lovely, large kitchen complete with massive stainless steel prep areas and plenty of space to create some amazing seafood dishes. Always a treat.
Expect lots of fresh fish and produce, alongside traditional Dutch bread and cheeses. The main restaurant is a perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal with your toes in the sand, but I often opted for breakfast in my suite’s large outdoor dining area.
Curacao is a wonderful place to relax in luxury while exploring and island with a totally unique culture and experience this special place before large scale development changes this sleepy country.
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