5 Reasons Why You Should Explore This Lesser Known Caribbean Destination  

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Located in the heart of the Caribbean, Curacao is having a moment right now.

It is soaring in popularity with global travelers but is still relatively underappreciated by American travelers.  

Downtown in Curacao

Curacao is a fascinating melting pot of cultures, boasts some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches, and has its own unique charm that makes it stand out from the crowd.  

Here are 5 reasons why you should explore this lesser-known Caribbean destination:  

An Authentic Caribbean Experience  

In 2023, Curacao welcomed record numbers of travelers with over 1.7 million arrivals in the country. That’s 17% more than 2023 and 18% more than the pre-pandemic high of 2019.  

However unlike many other Caribbean destinations that are dominated by American tourists only 20% of the visitors to Curacao last year were from the USA.  

view of coast of Curaçao in the Caribbean Sea with turquoise water, cliff, beach and beautiful coral reef over Tugboat Beach

As a result Curacao has a much less touristy feel than many of its Caribbean island neighbors and retains its authenticity.  

Like many other Caribbean islands Curacao has an incredible nightlife scene. You can enjoy live music, dancing in beach clubs, and street parties with the locals. It’s a classic Caribbean experience but with a personality all of its own.  

A Rich Cultural Heritage 

Willemstad is the capital of Curacao and downtown Willemstad is famous for its beautiful candy-colored Dutch colonial buildings.  

The whole of this downtown area has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and is an incredible spot for history buffs.  

Willemstad, Curacao Dutch Antilles. Colorful Buildings

Curaçao played a significant role in the Caribbean slave trade and there is a fascinating museum dedicated to this dark history in downtown Willemstad. The Museum Kura Hulanda is a must-visit attraction on the island.  

Other not-to-be-missed cultural attractions in Curacao include the colorful street murals in the Otrobanda and Pietermaai neighborhoods and the Gallery Alma Blou, which boasts an incredible collection of art by local artists.  

Beautiful Beaches  

Curacao is a small island but it’s big on beaches! There are 35 of them to be exact and if you’re a beach lover then they are well worth visiting the island for.  

Playa Cas Abao Curacao, Caribbean

Playa Knip is the most famous beach on the island, while the lesser-known spot of Playa Lagun regularly appears on the world’s best beach lists.  

The southeast side of Curacao is the most touristed, and it is here that you will find the island’s all-inclusive resorts.

But for the best beaches, you should hit the road and head to the west side of the island. This is more rugged and remote but it is also breathtakingly beautiful.  

Hawksbill Turtle swimming in the Caribbean ocean of Curaçao

Curacao is popular with divers, too, thanks to its crystal-clear waters and a wide array of incredible marine life.  

Easy To Reach 

Curacao is incredibly accessible for American travelers. JetBlue offers a daily nonstop service to the island from New York JFK.  

American Airlines is also offering a nonstop daily service from Charlotte this winter, and Delta is flying nonstop from Atlanta with the same frequency.  

According to the Curacao Chronicle, the strongest feeder cities for tourists from the U.S. to the island destination are for passengers from Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Philadelphia, New York JFK, Washington-National, Atlanta, Boston, and Orlando.  

Blue Playa Laguna Beach Curacao

Because it’s so easy and convenient to reach Curacao by nonstop airline, it is possible to visit the island for a long weekend if you’re short on time, though you will need much longer to explore everything this incredible destination has to offer.  

Safe And Secure  

Curacao’s strong political and economic stability makes it one of the safest islands in the Caribbean.

This means that it is a great spot for female travelers and solo travelers to explore without fear.  

Most crime rates in Curacao are very low, and aside from taking the usual safety precautions there are big concerns for travelers and tourists to worry about on the island. 

Curaçao Colourful Buildings attracting tourists from all over the world. Blue sky sunny day.

The U.S. Department of State has given Curacao a level 1 travel advisory rating which is the lowest and safest rating that can be awarded. A Level 1 travel advisory means that travelers should exercise normal precautions, while a Level 2 advisory means U.S. citizens should not travel to a destination.  

By contrast, Jamaica, which is a much more popular destination with American travelers, has a Level 3: Reconsider Travel rating. U.S. travelers are advised to reconsider travel to Jamaica due to crime levels in the island nation.  

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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