Be enchanted by Curaçao, one of USA Today’s 10 Best Caribbean destinations. Only two and a half hours from Miami by plane, the island has more than 35 beaches, 55 different cultures, and a European feel, with Willemstad, the island’s capital, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The island welcomes all tropical seekers with serene weather, exciting events, and new experiences.
Wine lovers, Curaçao welcomes its first winery and vinery with more than 2,000 plants on two acres of land, which will eventually expand to 25 acres. Though the wine will not be ready to bottle and sell for next year, guests can enjoy tastings and special events, including a happy hour on Fridays, at Curaçao Winery.
The island’s five-star upscale property, Baoase Luxury Resort, revealed its 10 new villa-style suites with private infinity pools, a garden with spectacular views of Caribbean Sea, and direct access to a private beach or the resort’s beach. The property’s philosophy of barefoot elegance mingles with a romantic Asian style to create a private, luxury getaway that washes away all your cares and worries, like the water trays located at the guest room entrances wash away the sand from guests’ feet.
Though the Curaçao Sea Aquarium has been open for 30 years, it is a unique aquarium due to its natural marine habitats, created with non-sophisticated technical equipment. The open-water system allows fresh sea water to be pumped into the aquarium directly, and with the open roof, sunlight blankets the habitats without the need of artificial light sources. The lagoons with dolphins, sea lions, sharks, rays, and turtles are also natural, and all of the exhibitions are created with elements in or around Curaçao. Guests at Acoya Hotel Suites and Villas now receive entry at no additional charge.
The International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) recently awarded the Curaçao Tourist Board with the prestigious “Destination Pioneer” award for its efforts to develop the island into an all-welcoming destination for travelers. Curaçao boasts 17 proud members of IGLTA, the largest membership in the Caribbean, and it believes in a “live and let live” atmosphere, which courts all travelers to its beautiful beaches.
Check out gayCuraçao.com for a list of gay-friendly hotspots on the island, like the Rainbow Lounge with its Friday, “Spoil Me” Happy Hour and Mambo Beach for its lively Saturday evenings. And of course, Curaçao Pride celebrates LBGT culture with a five-day festival, from Sept. 30 through Oct. 4. There are dinners and cabarets, pride parties, happy hours, and even a sea parade!
Curaçao loves its music festivals. The island just enjoyed its inaugural International BlueSeas Festival (the second week of May), and later this month, Willemstad will enjoy the Viva la Musica Latina (Latin Music Festival), including the biggest names in the industry. Jorge Celedón, Alberto Barros, Gilberto Santa Rosa, and more, will perform on May 29 and 30.
Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival returns to Willemstad Sept. 3-5, luring internationally renowned talents like John Legend, Enrique Iglesias, the Pointer Sisters, Lionel Richie, Wyclef Jean, Randy Newman, and more. Three stages — two outdoor — offer great views of the artists, and beyond the music, you can also enjoy the vibrant neighborhoods and historic architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage city.
The island will also host its second annual KLM Curaçao Marathon in Willemstad on Nov. 29. The event includes both a marathon and half marathon and takes runners along Curaçao’s stunning waterfront, across the famous Queen Emma pontoon bridge, as well as over one of the highest bridges in the world, the Juliana Bridge, at 185 feet above sea level!
Curaçao welcomes all travelers to its sandy coves and cultured cities. Now is the time to book while the Caribbean heats up with great deals and awesome activities, don’t forget to download Curaçao’s app with a zoomable map, links to points of interest, and a listing of various events and hot spots!
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