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.
Suggestions of things to 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.
1. Rif Fort
Walk out of the secure port area to your right-hand side and through the Rif Fort.
This unique structure was once the primary line of
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.
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.
There are raised platforms next to the Queen Emma Bridge to give you a better view or you can sit on a cafe terrace to take in the amazing panoramic views of the water and the historic buildings.
This district dates back to the 18th century and it’s evident in the Dutch Colonial architecture. Walk the streets and visit the unique shops that line the streets. To learn more about the unique history of the area, take a minute to read the plaque at the entrance of the bridge to get a brief history of the bridge.
Read the plaque at the entrance of the bridge to get a brief history of the bridge.
3. Queen Emma Bridge
Cross over the historic Queen Emma Bridge over to Punda. This hinged bridge that was built 1888, allows ships to pass through and pedestrians to make their way to the shops and restaurants.
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
Next, walk through a few of the streets and shop along the way.
End up at Wilhelmina Park (named after the Queen whose statue stands at the centre of the park). This park is not only beautiful,
Don’t forget, before you leave the park, pose and take photos of the famous DUSHI CURACAO sign.
5. Waterfort Arches
Check out the view from the Waterfort Arches. Originally built to store supplies like munitions, food and medical supplies, it also served as a watch point for allies to watch for Nazi submarines.
Snap a photo of your cruise ship from the ocean’s edge.
6. 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. The prices are inexpensive and the variety is plentiful.
7. Hit the Beach
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.
If you want to experience the beach like a local, you can stop by one of the most popular diving and snorkelling spots, Caracasbaai beach to relax or explore the underwater park if you are a snorkeler. The calm waters, this spot is popular with the
8. 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.
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!
Please check out our Caribbean archives for more itinerary suggestions for other cruise ports.
I hope this solves your “what to do in Curacao” question.
So tell me, what fabulousness did YOU see in Curacao in one day?
Looking for more Caribbean content?
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– A Walking Tour Itinerary for One Day in San Juan Puerto Rico