Christoffelpark is the largest national park on Curaçao and features a variety of local flora and fauna, including wild orchids, the Palabrua, the rare native barn owl and the Curaçao White Tailed deer. The park, which was officially handed made a national park in 1978, is home to eight hiking trails.
In a picturesque mansion located on the Waaigat inlet and dating to 1729, the Maritime Museum features an incredible collection of artifacts and stories about the island’s inextricable connection to the sea. Curacao was “discovered” in 1499 and has been an important shipping center throughout its history.
The Curacao Ostrich Farm may seem like one of the most random attractions on Curaçao, but it is actually one of the more interesting destinations on the island. Located on the road to Groot St. Joris in Santa Catharina, the farm is home to roughly 200 adult ostriches. Guests can take a tour of the grounds, feed an ostrich and even ride one. There is also a restaurant on site that serves up food made from ostrich meat. Of course, the gift shop sells souvenirs made from ostrich bones and eggs.
Dating to 1769, Fort Church is the oldest church on the island. The church’s associated museum features a number of historic artifacts chronicling the Dutch Protestant congregation that dates to 1635.
The Hato Caves were once located beneath the sea, but as the ocean levels lowered, they emerged from beneath the waves. The caves, made of marine coral limestone, are located on the northern coast of Curaçao. Caiquetio Indians are the first humans to inhabit the area, but they apparently did not venture too far inside the caves. Later, they served as a popular hiding spot for runaway slaves. Interestingly, the caves are hot caves, and the tempature inside is not cooler like many caves.
Though Klein Curaçao is uninhabited, it is one of the most popular destinations for travelers who visit the main island of Curaçao. Today, aside from a few huts on the beach, the only building on the island is an old lighthouse. There are two shipwrecks on the island, including the remains of the Maria Bianca Guidesman. The island is also the final resting place of slaves who did not survive the trip from Africa. Several charter companies offer excursions to the island. But, be warned: The water between Curaçao and Klein Curaçao is quite choppy and many people find themselves sea sick.
One might not expect to find a large Jewish population in the middle of a Caribbean paradise. But Curacao is home to the “oldest synagogue building in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere,” and the Mikve Israel Emanuel Synagogue & Jewish Museum chronicles the congregation’s history.
Slavery is a major part of Curacao’s history, and the Kura Hulanda Museum takes an in-depth look at how the institution shaped the island’s history.
From the days of bartering for goods and services to the issuing of its own Antillean currency, the Numismatic Museum takes a look at money on the island.
Since 1994, Shete Boka Nationa Park park has protected 200 hectares of land along the northern coast of Curaçao. The coast sees some of the roughest seas on the island. The park is home to more than 10 inlets (bokas), including Boka Kortalein, Boka Plate, Boka Mans Alina, Boka Djegu, Dos Boka and Boka Wandomi, which features a natural bridge. Boka Tabla is perhaps most famous inlet and features a cave that is accessible during lower tides. The inlets are also protected nesting areas for sea turtles. The park makes for a great place to watch the massive waves crash against the coastline.