I want to keep Curaçao my very own best kept secret, it's the version of Aruba that is not over run by tourists. What especially stands out about the island it's dedication to sustainability, especially seen through the local artists. Here is my ultimate 3-day, 4 night itinerary for Curaçao.
Walk the streets and explore the floating market. If you prefer not to walk, here's an awesome tuk tuk tour. There is so much to see in Willemsted! You can check out all the killer street art decorating the walls of the city. Make sure to stop by the floating Venezuelan fruit market. Willemsted is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the colorful buildings are totally Instagrammable!
Lunch at Fleur de Marie
Fleur de Marie Eatery is both a restaurant and boutique and is newly opened. It's a artsy space featuring local and seasonal, farm fresh food. I had the Beef stew a la Fleur, which was delicious!
After lunch, jump on some bikes and take a tour of the Otrobanda district of Curacao. Artist Avantia Damberg will take you on his personal guided tour of the city. This tour promotes local artists, the architecture of the city, and local entrepreneurs.
Dinner at Caña Kitchen & Bar
Caña Kitchen & Bar features the hip up cycled architecture of the Pietermaai district of Curacao. There are many small plates to be shared with Asian, Caribbean, and Mexican influences. Enjoy baos, tacos, ceviche, and more!
Suggested Hotel - Scuba Lodge Boutique Hotel & Ocean Suites
Located right in the heart of Pietermaai, one of the trendiest areas of Willemstad, this pastel-colored hotel features a friendly staff and gorgeous views at extremely reasonable prices.
Breakfast at Scuba Lodge
I recommend the Scuba Lodge Breakfast Basket, it's plenty of food for 2, 3, or even 4 people! Also make sure to try out the Curacao pumpkin pancakes with raisins along with your stunning ocean views at breakfast. Check out the breakfast menu.
Take a relaxing painting workshop with local article Omar Sling. Omar Sling specializes in working with ceramics and makes a concentrated effort to work with recycled materials. Koko Yokos are his own creations, made of plaster. At this workshop, you'll be painting on your very own Koko Yoko to take home as a souvenir.
Lunch at Landhuis Daniel
Dine outdoors at this French-Mediterranean restaurant which also features Caribbean and Asian influences. Its located in the middle of the island and is surrounded by tropical birds, plants, and animals. The restaurant used to be a plantation house and features Dutch colonial design.
I ordered the plantation lunch which featured a sample platter of salad, beef croquette, egg salad, bouillbaise creole, and plenty bread.
There was also a hungry little kitty that we fed for the entire lunch, she even ate bread!
Relax at Playa Porto Mari
Stop by the famous Playa Porto Mari beach which is home to two huge bigs Willy and Woody who just had five babies! This gorgeous beach was featured most recently in media in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
it's a white sand beach and features a one-of-a-kind 'double reef" which makes for a killer snorkel and diving site. There are also three stunning nature hiking trails that start from the parking lot. They are also accessible for mountain biking!
Dinner at Koraal
Koraal is the on-site restaurant for the Coral Estate hotel and it's located on the west side. Make sure to grab a drink from the cocktail bar and for a juice to enjoy with your meal, the passionfruit smoothies is on-point!
Tropical inspired sushi topped with fruit is featured on the weekends and dinner features delicious tapas. Recommended dishes: beef carpaccio, watermelon "pizza", cheese balls, bitterballen (dutch fried meat balls), and fish of the day.
Recommended Hotel: Oasis Coral Estate Beach, Dive & Wellness Resort
This 350 acre property offers prime beachfront views and the accommodations are European style villas. Also featured on-site are an infinity pool, dive center, restaurants, rooftop bar. Don't forget to check out the 8 the Experience Spa and the world famous dive site located right in front: the St Marie Rif.
Breakfast at the Oasis Coral Estate
There are a couple of breakfast options at the Oasis Coral Estate. For a quick bite and cooked to order pastries, head to Bread and More. For a more formal, sit-down breakfast, head to the beach side Restaurant Karakter.
Chichi Doll Workshop
Start off the morning with another painting workshop, I really recommend these for vacations, they are very meditative and relaxing! Here we'll visit with Serena Janet Israel, creator of the Chichi® doll, a hand molded and painted and sustainable souvenir. This warm and familial doll is meant to offset the negative history of colonization on the island and breed love and unity.
Lunch at Zambezi
You must try Zambezi's ostrich burgers, they are quite delicious and deeply flavorful but not gamey. This is an open-air restaurant and don't be surprised if there are chickens, peacocks, or other birds wandering up to say hello during your meal.
Ostriches are everywhere on this Ostrich Safari Tour. The tour starts out with a tour guide showing you the ostrich eggs, to baby ostriches, all the way to adults. Afterwards, you'll jump onto the safari truck and tour the grounds and also see some pot bellied pigs, squirrel monkeys, birds of all kinds and west nile crocodiles!
Dinner at Karakter
Enjoy dinner on the sand at Karakter. Afterwards, relaxing and enjoy cocktails in the lounge chairs and hammocks. This is a gorgeous Caribbean beach bar with stunning views and delicious food.
Also recommend the beef tartare here and the ceviche. I recommend the catch of the day or the 'Trio of the Sea' for a complete entree sampler featuring: grilled Mahi Mahi , red snapper, and fried shrimp.