You’re in Curacao, and you’ve got one day to do it ALL.

Okay, maybe not ALL because it’s impossible to see everything in Curacao in one day!

But you do want to do a lot and see the most that you can given the limited time frame. I’m not talking 24 hours…I’m talking 8 hours, the clock is ticking, and you need a plan of attack for that special Curacao Day!

What are the best things to see in Curacao?

What are the best things to do in Curacao?

Where should we go in Curacao?

Read on for your perfect day trip itinerary…

This is the fourth part in a series of articles on Curacao.

I encourage you to read the previous three articles for detailed travel information and history for the sites mentioned below.

Part one: Curacao – The Meaning of Dushi
Part two: Curacao Beaches – Sun, Surf and Sand
Part three: Curacao – Restaurants with a View

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Here’s my quick rundown of what you should see and do when planning a Curacao itinerary.

Most people that are in the “one day” scenario are arriving via cruise ship, so my little tour here starts at the Mega Pier cruise port where you cruise ship will likely be docked. If you wish to make this day trip and you aren’t on a cruise ship – start at the Rif Fort.

You can zoom in and out and plan your route on the map above courtesy of Travelabulous!

1. Rif Fort

A One Day Itinerary for Curacao Calculated Traveller Rif Fort
Walk out of the secure port area to your right hand side and through the Rif Fort.
The Rif Fort has this fantastic-looking infinity pool that looks like it is going right into the ocean.

You are on a mission now so don’t dawdle!

We’re going to tour the Rif Fort later on our return back to the ship.

2. Otrobanda

A One Day Itinerary for Curacao Calculated Traveller

You are in Otrobanda now, quickly browse the vendors on the west side of Emma Bay and take some photos of the beautiful coloured buildings across the Bay.

There are raised platforms next to the Queen Emma Bridge to give you a better view.

Read the plaque at the entrance of the bridge to get a brief history of the bridge.

3. Queen Emma Bridge

A One Day Itinerary for Curacao Calculated Traveller Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge
Cross over the historic Queen Emma Bridge over to Punda.

If the bridge is open, don’t worry you can take the free ferry across the water.

Once on the other side check out the various patio cafés, restaurants and bars and plan where to dine later in the day.

4. Wilhelmina Park

Walk through a few of the streets and shop along the way.

A One Day Itinerary for Curacao Calculated Traveller Shopping

End up at Wilhelmina Park (named after the Queen whose statue stands at the centre of the park). 
A One Day Itinerary for Curacao Calculated Traveller Queen Wilhelmina Park

Pose and take photos of the famous DUSHI CURACAO sign. 
A One Day Itinerary for Curacao Calculated Traveller Curacao Sign

5. Waterfort Arches

Check out the view from the Waterfort Arches.

Snap a photo of your cruise ship from the ocean’s edge.

A One Day Itinerary for Curacao Calculated Traveller

6. Floating Market

A One Day Itinerary for Curacao Calculated Traveller Floating Market

Walk north now through the side streets and shop/browse and visit the floating fruit markets and the local indoor market (large round building). The best time to visit the indoor market is early in the day when the local vendors are still operating.

7. Hit the Beach

A One Day Itinerary for Curacao Calculated Traveller Cabana Beach Curacao

Grab a cab or take the local bus and head to one of the beautiful beaches such as Cabana Beach or Curacao Sea Aquarium and perhaps swim with the dolphins.

8. Kura Hulanda

One day Itinerary for Curacao by Calculated Traveller Kura Hulanda

If the beach is not your cup of tea, visit some of the many museums. Curacao has 16 museums in town, so there is plenty to see. Personally, I would head back to the Queen Emma Bridge and visit the Unesco site Kura Hulanda Museum if I wasn’t planning a trip to the beach. Built on the location of a former slave yard and merchant’s home, Kura Hulanda Museum contains the most extensive collection of African art and history in the Caribbean.

A One Day Itinerary for Curacao water front restaurants

9. Time to Chill

End up back at the waterfront patio to people watch, rest up from your busy day.

Chill with a drink and snack and then head back over the bridge to the Rif Fort on your way back to the ship!

Curacao in One Day. An itinerary to maximize a short visit by Calculated Traveller
Please check out our Caribbean archives for more itinerary suggestions for other cruise ports.

So…I hope this solves your “what to do in Curacao” question. So tell me, what fabulousness did YOU see in Curacao in one day? I’d love to hear about it…