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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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Curacao

Curacao is a member of the Dutch Antilles, located about 56km north of the coast of Venezuela and is the "C" in the Dutch Caribbean "ABC" islands. It’s a very popular spot with tourists who love warm weather, duty-free shopping, lively casinos and water sports galore. It also has some of the grandest high-rise resort hotels in all of the Caribbean.  

The island is predominantly Dutch and is known for its ocean front pastel coloured buildings, classic Dutch-style windmills, and unique colourful architecture.  

Cruise ships make regular port stops here and there are two main docks, one of which is located just a few minutes walk from downtown Willemstad, the island’s capital city. Taxis are readily available, though they are not metered, so be sure to ask your driver for a rate card or a quote to get to your destination. He’ll gladly provide one. A bus service covers almost anywhere on the island. Rental cars are available, with rates ranging from $35 to $45 per day.

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Azura

Cruise Companies that sail to Curacao


Why visit Curacao ?


Curacao location iamge - CruiseDirection

Something for every member of the family

The "C" in the Dutch Caribbean "ABC" islands

There’s great duty-free shopping in Willemstad, as well as a wide choice of restaurants and bars. The Punda shopping district offers loads of bargains on items such as clothing, jewellery, perfumes, electronics, silver, liquor and various types of Caribbean art. Take some time out to just sit at an outdoor café and people watch, while enjoying your favourite libation, or sample the regional fare at one of the many outdoor restaurants dotting the main street. Try your luck in one of the island’s several casinos, where all manner of table games are offered, not to mention the slot machines.  

Most tourists, especially those arriving by cruise ship, rarely venture beyond Willemstad when visiting Aruba. They don’t know what they are missing, since there is much to see and do beyond the city centre. Visit Christoffel National Park, on the western shores of the island. Just a 45minute ride from Willemstad, this large park has various trails winding through stands of mahogany trees. Try hiking the trail that will take you to the summit of St. Chistoffelberg, the highest point in the Dutch Leeward Islands.  

Hato Caves were formed many millions of years ago and you can see a vast underground complex of pools, waterfalls, Ameridian petroglyphs and stalactites. Entry to the caves is by guided tour only.  

The oldest active Jewish synagogue in the Caribbean can also be found here. Few people know that Jewish families settled in Willemstad in the 1600’s and erected this synagogue in 1732. Built in the traditional Dutch form of architecture, it is definitely a site worth a visit while on the island. The Jewish Cultural Historical Museum is located right next door.  

There is no shortage of beaches on this island, many of which are lined with resorts and hotels offering a variety of amenities, including food and drink, as well as water sports rentals.  

If you enjoy snorkelling and diving pay a visit to Playa Porto Mari’s unique double coral reef.  

Caracas Bay Island is the place to head if you’re into nature, as the bird watching here is superb. Further down the Caracus Bay peninsula you’ll find options for more strenuous pursuits, such as mountain biking, horseback riding and hiking. Canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing and banana boat rides are also available. There is a full service dive shop located here and you can arrange a variety of interesting dives. Curacao is truly a place that offers something for every member of the family and is definitely worth a visit on your Caribbean holiday itinerary.

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