What to Do in Curaçao: 5 Unique Local Experiences to Have

Memories are created when simple moments touch your heart. In the years that I lived on the island and the other years where I missed Curaçao, I came to pinpoint those beautiful moments that make this island steal mine and many people’s heart. I often get the question of what to do in Curaçao. So, what to do in Curaçao? This is what you should do.


Sunny beach of Playa Forti on Curaçao. Perfect place to start beach-hopping.

Number one on the list of what to do in Curaçao is beach-hopping. One of the coolest activities I do with visitors from abroad is going beach-hopping. I place a cooler in my trunk with ice and refreshing beers, some munchies for on the road, and a happy playlist to set us in the mood. Geared up with our swim shoes and snorkel we travel along the west coast, starting at Westpunt, and take a plunge at every accessible free beach we find on the way. This way we get to experience every beach and my visitors get a brief introduction to what every beach offers.

Sunset Dinner

One of the great things about Curaçao, aside from the beaches, is the fact that you can experience a beautiful sunrise and sunset. Choose a restaurant on the West coast with a clear sight on the horizon. Our favorite is Koraal Rooftop or Karakter. Not only do they offer delicious food and cocktail, but they the sunset provides the perfect backdrop to end your day on a tropical island. If you don’t want to drive all the way to the other side of the island, then Jan Thiel will also provide the beautiful sight with the same good food.

Barbecue at the Beach

Perhaps my favorite thing to do, but barbecuing at the beach is the ultimate tropical local experience. On weekend many local families will go to the beach and set up their barbecue for a good grill. An abundant of the best and food and snacks—often made according to a family recipe—work their magic to calm the beach appetite, while the drinks go around a la minute. It’s a tradition that will give you the ultimate island-pleasure. Even if you can’t get your hand on a big barbecue, many supermarkets sell little disposable barbecues that you can use. Buy a small cooler, fill it with ice (you can buy small or half bags of ice at every minimarket), and your favorite beer/drink. Go to a free beach early in the morning and set up your barbecue somewhere safe. Many supermarkets even sell ready-made meat and salad for grilling. All you must do it grill it and enjoy.

Local Beats & ‘Ambiente’

This one is a less common activity and not your first thought when one thinks about what to do in Curaçao, but that’s exactly what makes it special. ‘Ambiente’ is the local word for conviviality. One thing that is very popular on Curaçao is to have live entertainment at restaurants or cafes. You will see young and old moving their way to the dancefloor to dance a song or two. It’s a party to watch, and if you can swing your hips from left to right then you’re always welcome to join. Our favorite spot is Saturday nights at Riffort. The entertainment and the ‘ambiente’ is always top-notch and a pleasure for locals and tourists. No one get left behind and you’ll kids dancing around, visitors moving their hips to the wrong beat, or the shy ones bobbing their heads up and down. But, in the end, everyone had a good time.

Hiking the uncommon paths

Wildlife on Curaçao when hiking at Boka Acension

You wouldn’t think that Curaçao is great to hike, but you’ll be surprised by the trails that this island offers. Away from the hustle and bustle of the day to day life, you can experience the nature of the island in its purest form. Places that mankind has not yet touched, and hopefully never will. There are many people that offer hiking tours or you can do it by yourself. You can check the facebook page of Stichting Uniek Curacao, the ones responsible for the trail. They also offer really great tours and at the same time, you’ll be able to help the foundation.

This is how I and many other locals spend their days on Curaçao. So if you’re looking for good advice on what do to do on Curaçao . . . then this is it.

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