The Island of Curaçao, one of the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao and also referred to as the Leeward Antilles), is a true gem of the Caribbean. If you are in search of mesmerizing beaches, fantastic hiking, a thriving art scene, and exciting nightlife with live music and entertainment, your visit to Curaçao will not disappoint. Rich in history and diversity in culture and language, Curaçao is a unique island just begging to be explored. And with a warm, tropical climate year-round, sun-worshippers in search of the perfect beach vacation will be richly rewarded.
Here are 10 fascinating facts about Curaçao:
- Curaçao boasts 35 gorgeous beaches, yet the long, generally flat island has an area of only about 180 square miles. Hugely popular with locals and tourists alike is Grote Knip Beach, where the sand is as white as sugar.
- The well-known, bright, colorful Dutch colonial buildings of downtown Willemstad are celebrated as they are now rightfully identified as a Unesco World Heritage site.
- Iguanas are plentiful on the island and beaches. Adventurous eaters enjoy iguanas in another way – a local delicacy, iguana stew. Iguana eggs and meat are considered not only delicious, but some believe they have aphrodisiac properties.
- National Park Shete Boka takes you to the rugged countryside and limestone bluffs of the island. A trek to Boka Tabla proves exhilarating to visitors as they sit directly on the edge of the mouth of a cavern and watch huge waves crash into it underground.
- Curaçao is located 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela and is classified as an autonomous country within The Netherlands, along with the sister islands of Bonaire and Aruba. The Netherlands claimed ownership of Curaçao in 1815, and the population is currently around 160,000.
- With average water temperatures reaching 81 degrees F, watersport activities are plentiful including snorkeling, jet ski excursions, coral reef dives, surfing, deep sea fishing, and kayaking in the mangroves.
- Art thrives on the island and can be enjoyed not only in museums, but on the streets of the capital, Willemstad. Murals painted by local artists can be found on buildings and walls as one leisurely strolls through the neighborhood.
- With diverse cultures represented, the four languages commonly spoken by Curaçaoans are Dutch, Spanish, Papiamento, and English.
- Curaçao is home to the famous Divi Divi tree which always points to the west. This leaning tree is bent due to being exposed to trade winds that blow from east to west.
- Blue Curaçao, the world-famous delicious liqueur made with the Laraha orange, can be sampled during a tour of Landhuis Chobolobo, a historic mansion, and distillery which still uses a century-old copper kettle.