Solo Trip to Curaçao
Arts & Culture
Digital Nomad Travel
Food & Wine
An island part of the Dutch Kingdom, off the coast of Venezuela, this country is known for its colorful buildings, turquoise water, beautiful beaches, some of the best scuba diving, and a mix of cultures. A nonstop 5 hour flight from NYC, this island is a mix of cultures and languages. Everyone I met was so kind and spoke four different languages: Dutch, English, Spanish, and Papiamentu (the local language which is a mix of Dutch, English, Spanish and Portuguese). Curaçao is the perfect place for a solo trip - the ultimate way to recharge with a mix of beach days, friendly locals, and a thriving cultural city.
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Where to stay in Curaçao
Kura Botanica Hotel
Spread over an eight-block area, this Curaçao property is set in 18th-century homes, offering a unique luxury experience in a botanical and tranquil retreat.
Scuba Lodge & Ocean Suites
Ocean-front boutique hotel in Curaçao with laid-back rooms, a seafront restaurant and an outdoor pool.
Avila Beach Hotel
Island Curaçao style meets contemporary chic at this three-wing, beachfront hotel.
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Things to do in Curaçao
Relax on the beach: There are so many beautiful beaches in Curaçao. If you are staying in Pietermaai, I recommend getting a day pass to the private beaches at Avila Beach Hotel. Its quiet, waters are clear and calm - it's the perfect place to sit on a beach chair, read a book and take a swim. If you get hungry, order some bitterballen from the Pool bar - so delicious! Other beaches you can drive to include Mambo Beach, Jan Thiel, and Grote Knip.
Day Trip to Klein Curaçao: Klein Curaçao is a beautiful uninhabited island located about 15 miles from Curaçao. There are many tours that your hotel can arrange where you will be picked up and dropped off at your hotel. The trip takes 1.5 - 2 hours by boat each way. Spend the day relaxing on the beach and exploring the ruins. Really amazing experience.
Walk around Punda in Willemstad: The colorful Dutch style buildings line Punda. Walk around this area for some cute shopping, grab a shake at one of the many stands, and check out the murals. It's a wonderful spot to wander in the the morning or afternoon.
Check out the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge: This pontoon bridge connects Punda and Otrobanda neighborhoods in Willemstad. Its really cool to see how the bridge moves to the side every time there is a boat coming through. It does happen quite often so it's likely you'll get stuck on one side or another if you cross over.
Take a walking tour of Otrobanda: Take a walking tour of this colorful neighborhood with Dundu Tours. You’ll learn all about the history of the neighborhood - why the buildings are so colorful, why there are so many beautiful murals, the colonization of the island, the architecture, and why the locals speak so many languages.
Visit the Kura Hulanda Museum: Located in Kura Hulanda Village, this museum is home to the vast collection of Jacob Gelt Dekker, a Dutch serial entrepreneur and philanthropist who founded the museum. He renovated the buildings that are now the Kura Hulanda Village.
The museum details the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade from slave capture in Africa through Middle Passage and the relocation in the Carribbean and Americas. You’ll also learn how different African cultures have influenced Curacaoan society. Highly recommend requesting a wonderful guide to take you through the whole museum to explain the history.
Take a yoga class or schedule a massage at the Space: The Space is a holistic wellness center in Otrobanda. It is such a welcoming and inviting space. They offer all different types of yoga classes (yin, nidra, hatha, restorative, vinyasa, etc) and pilates. And because its a holistic wellness studio, they also offer other services such as reiki, massage, family constellations, ayurveda, traditional chinese medicine and more. After every class, they provide free tea and a snack (usually a date with almonds) for everyone to enjoy in the lobby. It was such a wonderful way to end the class, and so cool to meet other yogis.
If you feel comfortable, I recommend renting a car in Curaçao. The island is hot year around, and is quite spread out so if you want to go to different beaches all around the island or head to different restaurants that aren’t walking distance from where you are staying a car is your best bet. Taxis are accessible but do cost $20 each way no matter where you are headed. As a solo traveler, I opted not to rent a car, so I stayed in Pietermaai for a couple nights and then in Otrobanda. It gave me a different feel for the island and I felt comfortable walking around each area.
Places to eat & drink in Curaçao
Mosa Cana: A wonderful tapas spot in Pietermaai! One of my favorite things to do as a solo traveler is sit at the bar for dinner.. This is such a fun restaurant to do so - the staff are from all over the world, and are so fun, kind, and welcoming. I had a blast! Also recommend making a reservation ahead of time on Whatsapp
Caleo Crudos y Parrilla: The sister restaurant of Mosa Cana in Kura Hulanda Village in Otrobanda, this is also a must! It’s a relatively new restaurant with delicious seafood, meats, and really unique cocktails. Also highly recommend sitting at the bar during dinner, especially if you’re solo. Such a fun vibe and the staff is also really fun!
Lionfish: Another fun spot in Kura Hulanda Village! Lionfish is perfect for lunch or a snack - they are only open in the middle of the day. Lionfish is a traditional dish in Curaçao and can be eaten in so many different ways. Order the Lionfish Tasting to try the lionfish tacos, dumplings, ceviche and the fish & chips. So yummy!
Maira’s Kitchen: I loved this colorful restaurant in Otrobanda! Most of the dishes are Mediterranean inspired and fresh. You won’t be disappointed! It's open for every meal, so grab breakfast, coffee and a snack or dinner - I had all three and loved every experience. You feel like you are in someone’s home!
Fort Nassau: Lovely fine dining restaurant in a fort overlooking the island! Make a reservation for dinner during sunset for some epic views of the sun setting overlooking the city of Willemstad. It's all delicious - you can’t go wrong!
De Heeren @ Sea: Another great spot to watch the sunset - this time right in Pietermaai. This restaurant is located on the beach in the Scuba Lodge. Great seafood options!
La Reina Coffee, Food and Lifestyle: Head to this wonderful coffee shop and boutique for a wonderful cup of coffee, and delicious breakfast.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Awilda Rivera’s guide, The Best Hotels, Restaurants & Things to Do in Curaçao.
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