Located off the coast of Venezuela, Curacao is a tiny island nestled in crystal-blue waters. Once the center of Caribbean commerce, today Curacao still retains influences from its of French, Dutch, and Portuguese colonial past, as seen in its food, architecture, and culture.
Curacao shore excursions often explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Willemstad. Join a half-day motorcoach tour to visit the Curacao Museum, Hato Caves, Queen Emma Bridge, Queen Juliana Bridge, Rif Fort, and Chobolobo (where the famous blue Curacao liqueur is made). Meanwhile, water sports–based shore excursions include jet ski rentals or boat tours that offer the chance to snorkel or dive in the coral reefs in the surrounding Caribbean Sea. Nature lovers will enjoy a sightseeing tour through Shete Boka National Park and the Curacao Ostrich Farm.
Things to Know Before You Go
- It’s best to book organized shore excursions—especially those with multiple stops or components—in advance.
- The historic district of Punda, located near the cruise port, is great to see if you’re short on time.
- Shore excursions to Klein Curacao, a tiny uninhabited island 15 miles (24 kilometers) off Curacao’s coast, are full-day excursions. The water tends to be rough, so you may want to bring motion-sickness medication if you’re particularly sensitive.
How to Get Downtown from the Curacao Cruise Port
Most cruise ships visiting Curacao dock in Willemstad, the island’s cosmopolitan capital city. The area is divided into two districts connected by a floating pedestrian bridge, and the tourist-friendly city is full of storefronts and cafes that are easily accessible on foot or by taxi from the cruise port.
Although the Netherlands Antillean Florin is the official currency of Curacao, most shops and cafes near port accept US dollars (USD). ATMs and money-exchange offices are easy to find, and English, Dutch, and Spanish are widely spoken on the island.