About Curacao : Sightseeing Curacao

 

Sightseeing Curacao

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Curacao is a perfect place for diving, but have so much more to offer. There are dozens of undiscovered Curacao attractions and adventures to be enjoyed. Treat yourself to heart-pounding water sports or marvel at 17th century architecture indulge in fun tennis and world-class cuisine. Play golf in a sunny climate or test your luck in one of the casinos. If you are looking for more than just a dive vacation Curacao is your spot to go


Willemstad

Is the capital city of Curacao. A much-debated question is when and for whom the city of Willemstad was named. According to one historian, Willemstad was named after Stadhouder (stadtholder) William II. But a second historian, who made a very deep study of Willemstad, thinks that the city was named after Stadhouder William III, who occupied this position in 1672 and in 1688, became King of England.

The naming of Willemstad could have been related to the fact that in 1674, the new West Indian Company was instituted. In 1675 Willemstad was declared a free port in the hope this would stimulate the economy. The free port needed a suitable name that would attract people’s attention. The first time the name Willemstad is mentioned in the archives was in 1680.

Willemstad, capital of Curaçao, is one of the world’s richest cities in culture and diversity. The city itself is actually divided in two sections — Punda and Otrobanda — connected by the Queen Emma pontoon bridge. Both sections provide visitors with duty-free shopping. Willemstad has a population of 135,000, comprising 55 nationalities.

Like Havana (Cuba) and San Juan (Puerto Rico), Willemstad is a typical port town. However, it is one without a hinterland -- focused on trade with the surrounding colonies, mainly the Spanish colonies on the South American continental coast, but also with French and English colonies.

According to a comprehensive survey by the government monument bureau, there are 750 historic buildings in Willemstad alone, which merit preservation. New scaffolding goes up almost every month. Progress has been astonishing in just 10 years and it is likely that, in the very near future, regions of Willemstad will have regained their former splendor


Atlantis Adventure

Explore Curacao's spectacular coral reefs on the SeaWorld Explorer, a state-of-the-art semi-submarine. Enjoy this unique, narrated excursion as a diverhand-feeds a multitude of fish right in front of your...


Captain Good life

Captain Goodlife operates a water taxi off the beach at Playa Santa Cruz under the name Let's Go Water sports. He can take you to nearby secluded spots for diving or snorkeling which you can only reach by boat. Among these spots are the Blue Cave, Playa Pretu (black beach), lovers' beach, Mushroom Forest and his father's ship which he sunk just off the coast.

Afterwards you can choose to have dinner at his restaurant where he serves freshly caught fish with home-made fries. Children are welcome and you, and they, are sure to have a fun-filled morning or afternoon.


Chichi Curacao / Serena's Art Factory

Visit Serena’s Art Factory and Souvenir Shop, a unique local art experience. Located near the Aloe (farm) Plantation and the Ostrich farm, two major tourist attractions on the east side of Curaçao, lies Serena’s Art Factory, founded by Serena Janet Israel.
You can treat yourself to a great variety of colorful, handmade Chichis® and souvenirs, sculptures, paintings, dresses, bags, hats or paint your own souvenir during a lively and pleasurable workshop. Visit the factory and art shop free of charge and experience how the famous and colorful Chichi®sculptures are made by craftsmen and painters from Curacao.


Christoffel Park

Christoffelpark is the largest national park of Curacao and a must see for everyone. The park has a rich variety of local flora and fauna. Nature lovers will find the park teeming with local birds and plants, including species, which are not easily seen elsewhere on the island. For example wild orchids, the Palabrua, the rare native barn owl. The Curacao White Tailed deer (of which there are only about 250 left) and much more.

Hiking trails and activities
There are eight hiking trails, allowing the visitor the choice between an easy stroll, or for instance, a challenging hike to the top of Mt. Christoffel (recommended for early morning).

Scenic car routes take you through underbush, around hills and across sea swept bluffs. The park also organizes special activities, including safaris, deer watching, animal presentations, cave excursions, a guided park tour and many special trips like occasional full moon walks and sunrise safari’s. Mountain bikes can be rented an the park.

Culture and history
Besides natural riches the park also offer much in the way of culture and history. Plantation Savonet is one of the earliest plantations to be set up on the island and is one of the most complete plantation complexes with structures including the plantation house, store houses, dams, wells and much more. It is currently under restoration to provide a glam home for the new Museum Savonet.

Opening Hours
Mondays to Saturdays: 07.30 AM – 16.00 PM (No admittance after 14.30 PM)
Sundays: 06.00 AM – 15.00 PM (No admittance after 13.30 PM)


Curaçao Liqueur Factory

Enjoy the real blue curacao at landuis Chobolobo
Blue Curacao is definitely one of the most famous liqueurs in the world. But did you know that we produce this liqueur, in the traditional way, here on the island at Landhuis Chobolobo? A visit to the factory of The Genuine Curacao Liqueur is a journey through local history. Where you can experience the production process of the Genuine Curacao Liqueur and enjoy the taste such as it has been produced since 1896.

The history of the genuine Curacao liqueur
Shortly after the discovery of the island in 1499 the Spaniards planned for, amongst others, the agricultural development of Curacao. One of the plants they carried with care on their long sea voyages from Spain was the so-called “Valencia” orange. But the sizzling sun and arid climate were too much for the colorful sweet oranges, and the trees were left to whither in the wild as their fruit evolved into a bitter reflection of its former glory. And it was not till decades later that someone discovered that the peels of this orange, thoroughly dried by the sun, contained etheric oils with an extraordinary pleasing fragrance. By this time, the stepchild of the Valencia orange had received its own botanical name: “Citrus Aurantium Currassuviensis”, meaning “Golden Orange of Curacao”. In the local tongue simply named “Laraha”.

Landhuis Chobolobo
The family Senior & Co. produces its ancient old liqueur in the famous Landhuis Chobolobo. Landhuis Chobolobo was built in the early 1800's. It is located in the center of a piece of land which has an area of 10,500 m². (2 ½ acres). The property's history is rather sketchy, but we do know that in the early 1900's it belonged to the Family Jesurun. In 1947 the property was purchased by N.V. Senior & Co. and since then Landhuis Chobolobo is the home of the Genuine Curacao Liqueur.

The genuine Curacao liqueur
Until today the Genuine Curacao Liqueur is the only liqueur that is made of the peels of the “Laraha”. It’s produced in 5 different colors; the original clear liqueur, the famous Blue and Green, Red and Orange as well. And there are also the special tastes; Coffee, Chocolate and Rum Raisin. All with a special detail because the Genuine Curacao Liqueur is Kosher certified.

Free tours at landhuis Chobolobo
Landhuis Chobolobo is located centrally in Salina and it is one of the few free accessible country houses. Join the self-explanatory tour through our Visitor Center that includes a free tasting of one of our fine liqueurs. Hours are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

We are also open on holidays and weekends when there is a tourist ship in the harbor.


Curacao Sea Aquarium

In 1984, one of Curaçao’s finest assets, its underwater world, became accessible to everyone. The Curacao Sea Aquarium was developed directly on the oceanfront with a healthy coral reef only a stone’s throw from the entrance. This beautiful aquarium complex is one of the most unique in the world because of its ‘open-water-system’, which means that sea water is continuously pumped into the aquaria.During the feeding shows you can touch and learn about the animals. For some real fun you can snorkel or scuba dive and hand feed stingrays, sea turtles, sharks and many other colorful tropical fish. For those who do not want to get wet, they can watch the fun of the divers whilst seated in the Underwater Observatory Boat. After all that excitement you can relax in the coolness of our museum and theater.

The Aquarium
Many big and small aquaria teeming with Caribbean treasures, offer more than 400 specimens from around the waters of Curaçao. The Curaçao Sea Aquarium has one of the most extensive collections of Caribbean sea life and is still adding to it. In the aquarium hall there are lots of feeding shows. These shows involve flamingos, stingrays, sea turtles, sharks…and you! An experienced instructor invites visitors to help feed and pet the sharks without any danger. All these feeding shows will amaze and fascinate you!

  • A big Touch Tank where you can ‘touch’ the animals yourself…
  • At the Curaçao Sea Aquarium complex you will find an outside channel where lemon sharks and nurse sharks, sea turtles and a sea lion can be seen. As they are being fed during the day you can get a very close look at them.
  • Four times a day our sea lion, ‘ChiChi’, is fed and then she playfully demonstrates what she has learned from her trainer!
  • Discover the sensational secrets of the sea in the air-conditioned theater. Watch the 3- dimensional slide shows and video presentations from the comfort of your chair!
  • After the theater you can move on to visit our Shell Museum. There you can view one of the most extensive shell collection you can imagine

After your adventure you can enjoy a nice lunch or drink at the Balau Terrace with its open- air and seaside terrace. And of course you cannot leave the Curaçao Sea Aquarium without a visit to the souvenir shop, for a lasting memory.

The Animal Encounters
Bring your bathing suit and take part in a thrill-of-a-lifetime adventure called ‘Animal Encounters’. This is the only place in the world where you can hand feed sharks, sea turtles, stingrays and colorful tropical fish in one dive.The best thing about ‘Animal Encounters’ is that both divers and non- divers can participate in this exciting activity.

Sea Aquarium Beach
Within walking distance of the Curaçao Sea Aquarium you will discover a beautiful stretch of soft white sand, the Sea aquarium Beach. 400 meters of white sandy beach, tropically shaded by coconut and date palms, without doubt the most popular beach on the island. The Seaquarium Beach is the perfect way to relax after being thrilled by feeding the sharks!

Dolphin Academy
Our Dolphin Encounter Program offers you the rare opportunity to learn more about the Bottlenose Dolphin while standing waist deep in the water on a submerged platform. Prior to the activity, the dolphin trainers will give a brief explanation. Intimate group sizes are maintained in order to give you the best opportunity to examine and study the dolphin's physical characteristics. Children under the age of eight (8) must be accompanied by a paying parent or guardian.


Curacao Zoo & Nature Reserve

A small zoo, centrally located on the island of Curaçao in the district Cas Cora.

Popular by the local people, but mostly unknown for tourists!
Originally the park was a natural rainwater reservoir. During World War II, Dutch and American marines and soldiers used the area to do vehicle maintenance. There was always abundance of water in the area that’s why around the 1940’s trees and plants were cultivated and the park was known as "Plantentuin" (botanical garden). In the fifties in addition to the trees and plants, animals from different privately owned collections were exhibited. The area became a very popular site. The exotic/tropical animals became an attraction for the young and old. After years the area changed from botanical garden to a zoo. A zoo popularly called '"Parke Tropikal". Parke Tropikal is owned by the government of the island of Curacao. The government in 2000 installed a foundation with the sole function to manage the zoo. The foundation is called Fundashon Parke Tropikal .Starting in 2011 a new and dynamic team of young professionals took the foundation to a new era. The New name is CURACAO ZOO & NATURE RESERVE.

This new team set their goals and mission for the coming five years to make of our national zoo a great area with international standards, this all cannot be completed only on the government funding, that’s why they are giving every person that visits the zoo the chance to adopt an animal or even an entire project .Upon request they can give you a great tour. For nearly sixty years only four acres where used, but in fact the zoo has more than nineteen acres to be converted in to a great attraction, a former dam that has become a nature reserve is also part of this giant plan with more than sixty acres to add to the final plan.

Opening hours:
Monday – Sunday from 9.00 – 18.00 hrs


Curaloe Ecocity and Aloe Vera Plantage

Curacao is gifted with abundant natural Aloe Vera plants. This world famous plant with it's natural healing power has been in use for ages as a natural remedy for various diseases. The plantation produces Aloe Vera gels for our CurAloe products. With a perfect sense for nature and environment the plantation management creates a new standard for the development of natural Aloe products. Visitors are warmly welcomed to discover the natural healing power of Aloe Vera and enjoy an informal excursion in a relaxed atmosphere. Non of the tours is standard, during the explanation there's sufficient time for all kind of questions. All kinds of aspects will be elaborated; a general explanation about Aloe Vera and its history, a general explanation about the Plantation and Factory with a short tour on the plantation, a demonstration of harvesting and a demonstration of the natural use of the plant, sme detailed information about the plantation process, an explanation about the production in the factory and some explanation about the products.

Tours available Monday till Friday from 08.00 till 15.00, Saturday from 08.00 till 12.00. For larger groups other hours are possible on request.

All CurAloe products are available in the factory shop. In the shop general information about Aloe Vera and more specific information about the Plantation is available. Shop opening hours Monday till Friday from 08.00 till 16.00, Saturday from 08.00 till 12.00


Den Dunki National Park

This site is an excellent example of how numerous places on Curacao were used at different times for very different purposes. Presumably the first purpose of this place was an African slave camp in the late 17th century, established here by Dutch slave traders. During that period the site was used as a holding camp for slaves and a place to have the Africans regain their health after their importation from Africa and before being sold. For the second purpose, in the late 19th century, after emancipation of the African slaves, a recreational swan park was built by the wealthy Gorsira family as owners of Land house Zuurzak. This park consisted of numerous ornamental water fountains, additions to the large well, and building of the impressive entrance bridge.


Dolphin Academy

At the Dolphin Academy Curaçao visitors get the opportunity to meet dolphins and swim, snorkel or even dive with these special animals in 6 different programs. There are suiting programs for everybody!

  • For a first meeting there is the Dolphin Encounter, a program for all ages. In this program visitors get to know the dolphin up close and personal while they are standing on a platform in the water about waist deep. The trainer will tell all about the dolphin, who off course will thank the visitors for al their attention and petting with a big kiss and a hug.
  • For the ultimate experience there is the Dolphin Swim. This program offers a unique experience where the dolphin will come swimming next to the participant so he/her can pet it. The swimmers will also give signals to the dolphins, who will start singing, spinning, waving and much more. Highlight of the Dolphin Swim is the Dorsal Ride where two dolphins will pick up the swimmers and give her or him a ride by holding on to their dorsal fins.
  • For those who want to submerge themselves in the world of dolphins there are the Dolphin Snorkel and even a Dolphin Open Water Dive in which participants will dive on a beautiful coral reef together with the dolphins. For the real fanatics Dolphin Academy offers the chance to become a dolphin trainer.


In two courses, one for children and one for adults, the students, apart from learning about the dolphins, will also get the first principles of dolphin training. The courses consist of 2 levels, spread over 2 or 3 days.


Curious? Let yourself be surprised by the mammal behind the myth and enjoy the experience of a lifetime at the Dolphin Academy

 

Folkloristic Costumes

Curaçao Culture Services (CCS) is located in one of the most historic and unique forts of the Caribbean. Through its services and related products, Curaçao Culture Services wants to get visitors as well as locals acquainted with Curaçao’s history, traditions and rich culture. There’s no better keepsake of your holidays than unique photos. Our well-trained and motivated staff, with the utilization of modern state of the art equipment, will supply you photo’s within minutes of you and your family and/or friends dressed in typical folkloric costumes, accompanying accessories and other apparel. The costumes are worn over your regular clothes and the changing will only take seconds. We supply high quality printed photos as keepsake of your holiday in Curaçao. Make extra copies and share the joyous and memorable moments of your stay in Curaçao with family members and friends.

Your holiday photos are a visual record of special moments of your life. They should be taken by well-trained photographers and printed by a high quality photo printing service. Spread cheer with unique photos taken at Curaçao Folkloric Costumes


Hato Caves

Open seven days a week. Tours are on the hour starting at 10.00 to 16.00. The Hato Caves were formed below the sea level millions of years ago. With the Ice Ages the water level dropped down and Curacao was born. The Hato cave covers an area of 4900 m2, and is the home to the beautiful limestone formations, romantic pools, waterfall and our famous Madonna statue. Also inside the Cave is a colony of Seldom seen long nose fruit bats


Marco's Fish farm

Marco's Fish-Farm, the only Tilapia hatchery in Curacao, takes pleasure in showing a beautiful plantation to nature lovers. This unique guided tour (available in several languages) on the plantation with many fruit trees, magnificent aquarium fish, water-lilies, aquatic plants and herbs is a small walk in paradise: the "kunuku", the local word for country side. Different kinds of birds, lizards, iguanas, peacocks, geese and chicken come directly to you.

The "coconut quest" is an educational tour (available in Dutch and English) for kids (6 years and older, or the younger ones with an adult). We walk around on the plantation with a clipboard and answer the questions about the peacocks, the windmill, the fish, the plants etc. One of the questions they really have to think about: do we use the windmill to pump up water and oil.... or maybe we need water to wash the dishes? The Answers/comments are many times surprising and creative! The winning group comes back to the fish-farm for an hour free Tilapia fishing.

The workshops for kids are for the real artists! They use materials found on the "hoffi", the word for plantation in Papiamento, the local language. No plastic culture!

Opening hours: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 09:00 till 13:00 hrs.
Monday, Tuesday and afternoons on request only.
Guided tour (approx. 1/2 hr) for adults: Ant. Guilders 7,50 children 5,00.
Package: incl. fishing in the Tilapia ponds, swimming in the splash pool, guided tour, read/relax in the shade under the trees, kids may draw, paint and use the playing-field (bring your own bike, kite etc.) Ant. Guilders 10,50 (adults and children)


Midden Seinpost Hill

Midden Seinpost Hill at Rooi Santu,is a lookout point with a spectacular view of Curacao.

At a certain point in time, Midden Seinpost Hill was used as a meeting place for Indian tribes living on the island. History recounts that once a year the tribe chief would use the hill as a meeting place to discuss and mediate on many different aspects of the tribe's concern. Because the Indian considered the hill sacred they'd only visited it once a year. The lookout point has some nice benches for its visitors.


Ostrich and Game Farm

Come and visit the Curaçao Ostrich Farm and take the opportunity to meet these fascinating birds up-close and personal. You can touch them, feed them even ride them (for real daredevils only). Every hour a safari truck will take you on a remarkable tour through the farm corals where the ostriches live. All you have to do is announce yourself at Restaurant Zambezi.

After an exciting tour you can have lunch or dinner in the relaxing African atmosphere of Zambezi Restaurant. And afterwards you can shop for special handmade souvenirs in the Art of Africa Shop. There is never a dull moment on the Curaçao Ostrich Farm. Just drop by and enjoy the ultimate.

The farm is open every day from 8.00 to 17.00


Pos di Pia

Pos di Pia was built at the time of Fort Nassau was built in 1796. The well Water was meant for the military of Fort Nassau, and the water was also sold to ships that called at Curacao the Curacao Port. Johan Rudolf Lauffer Director of the West Indian Trading Company ordered the construction. He was born November 7, 1752 and died on February 14, 1795.

The “Pos di Pia” is built with bricks and coral blocks sand and is one of best keep monuments of Curacao and one of few wells of this kind that still exist on the Island. The origin name of the “Pos di Pia”: This type of well was made so that people and animals could easily get access to water, they could walk to the well and get water The “Pos di Pia” at Fort Nassau was built with stairs, people had to go down the stairs to get water


Shete Boka National Park

Area with more than 10 beautiful boca's where 3 kind of turtle species breed.

Boca Table Cave, Natural Bridge,Blow Hole / Boca Pistol
Open from 9.00 - 17.00


Substation Curaçao

On the Caribbean island of Curaçao anyone can now discover the sea at a depth of 1.000 feet (320meters).

Substation Curaçao launches Curasub, the world's most spectacular certified minisubmarine for tourists.
The Curasub descends four times a day from Bapor Kibra to unreachable depths for divers. Onboard, submarine passengers make a memorable journey to places where very few people have ever been. The colorful fish, corals and old shipwrecks are perfectly visible in the crystal clear waters that surround the island of Curaçao. From inside the Curasub passengers have a clear view with visibility of over 60 feet (30m).

The design of the Curasub is based on the well proven 30 year old Aquarius submarine, which today is still operational. All systems have been certified by Germanischer Lloyd’s, meeting and exceeding the highest safety standards. Unlike SCUBA-diving, submarine-diving has no effects of pressure change on the body. This means that people who are unfit to dive because of medical reasons are almost always allowed to dive with the submarine. People with ear-problems, cardiac disease, lung problems etc. Are all allowed to dive in the submarine. Because the Curasub travels at greater depths than divers can reach, the submarine is also used for scientific marine research. The bottom of the ocean is a vast and greatly unknown frontier that in the future will contribute to the research and development of bio chemical structures and substances and marine-biology.

A tour with the Curasub takes approx one hour and fifteen minutes. This price also includes a customized engraved USB-stick with all underwater photos taken of the adventure and a free Substation t-shirt. In cooperation with Curaçao Dolphin Academy, Substation is training for a new featured product where we will be diving with dolphins. Please check our programs page for more information.


Trolley Train Tour

Experience the beauty of Curacao on a tour that takes you through historic Willemstad. You will visit Fort Amsterdam, see the Mikve Israel Emmanuel Synagogue, the oldest in continuous use in the western hemisphere. Along the way you will see the famous "Wedding Cake House", the Floating Market on Sha Caprilleskade and many other interesting sights brought to life by expert narration. Your tour begins at Fort Amsterdam, then its off to Scharloo, a former residential neighborhood lined with picturesque homes built by Curacao's wealth merchants during the 1880s. You will stop at Bolo di Bruit, known as the "wedding cake" house and the city's most photographed building. Don't forget your camera! It is now the site of the Central Historical Archives. Leaving Scharloo, you pass Pietermaai Cathedral, the largest and most impressive on the island. Your train continues by many interesting sights, including the Floating Market on Sha Caprilleskade, where Venezuelan merchants sell fish and vegetables from their boats, the Mikve Israel Emmanuel Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere. In addition, you see Queen Wilhelmina Park.

 

 

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