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Curacao sits in crystalline waters dotted with fish-rich dive sites. Choose from forty white sand beaches, browse bustling avenue markets or visit good-looking colonial-era districts. Holidays in Curacao aren’t complete without tasting the island’s eponymous liqueur.

Get your bearings

Curacao’s beaches span from ribbons of alabaster sands to small, intimate coves. On the south coast, calm waters lap the island’s most popular beach grasp-outs while the rolling surf of the rugged northern coast is just for the brave. Most of Curacao’s one hundred forty,000 Caribbean-Latino residents live within the east of the island where Willemstad, the cosmopolitan capital, sits on the leeward coast. Cross a bridge to enter Punda’s cobblestone streets trimmed with brightly coloured colonial buildings. Enterprise into Otrabanda (“the other facet”) to find Curacao’s extra modern character.

Dive, delve and discover

12 months-spherical dry climate and sunshine make Curacao a heart-pounding outdoor adventure, from sea kayaking forays into the shoreline’s coves to diving among the reefs and offshore wrecks. On dry land, choose from mountain bike trails, Jeep safaris, scooters or horseback to find Curacao’s caves, bushland and bluffs.

UNESCO buildings best resort in curacao bubble-gum hues

To wander around Curacao’s stone-built forts, protected port and ramparts is to delve right into a bygone era when the good European maritime powers battled for colonial rule. Because the historic nexus of the Dutch Antilles, Curacao is pleased with its indigenous heritage. Visit salt mines where African slaves once toiled or explore Punda’s UNESCO- preserved 16th-century streets. Gaze at monuments to the island’s sick-fated occupation by the British (1807-1816) and marvel on the sand-scattered ground of the Western Hemisphere’s oldest synagogue, consecrated in 1732.

Spices, tropical fruits and aphrodisiac soup

Curacao’s delicacies blends a myriad of culinary influences, from Africa’s salted goat meat and Caribbean seafood to Holland’s tasty Asian-European delights. In cosmopolitan capital Willemstad, the cultural hybrid is at its most vibrant. At the Old Market genuine dishes run from okra cooked with cinnamon, coconut, lime and mango to conch stews and sticky Dutch pancakes. Conventional cafés serve Afro-Caribbean soul food and Indonesian stir-fries. Try chicken cooked with gado gado (green beans and peanut sauce) or rijsttafel (blended rice dishes) or grab a beer at a waterfront restaurant earlier than trying iguana soup, which is said to have medicinal and aphrodisiac powers.

Duty free, markets and glitzy boutiques

Curacao’s fifty seven-acre Harbour Duty Free Zone is the Caribbean’s largest, although goods island-broad are often “duty- relaxed”. Go to Punda’s bustling floating market to haggle with Venezuelan traders aboard colourful barges loaded with tropical fruits and wares. The small artisans’ market on Plaza Jojo Correa is famed for its local crafts. Outlets within the capital’s industrial centre stock all the pieces from clothing to watches and souvenirs. Stoll along pedestrian-solely Heerenstraat and Madurostraat for one-off objects or be part of the throngs in Breedestraat and Roodeweg for low cost buys.