The Caribbean's Best Kept Secret
Get Swept Away in Curacao's Colorful Oasis
By Meghan Chalfant
If you are looking for a destination that is intimate and exotic, with many activities, you may want to consider Curaçao. Here you will find the Netherlands Antilles’ hidden gem â”€ the breathtaking island of Curaçao. With year-round sunshine in this tropical haven, rich history, beautiful beaches, and European architecture, honeymooners and travelers alike will journey miles to discover endless adventures and intimate settings in this colorful paradise.
A Little About Curaçao
Part of one of the six islands that make up the Dutch Antilles and part of the “ABC Islands,” Curaçao is located within 50 miles off of the Venezuela coast. Being 38 miles long and approximately nine miles wide, this southernmost locale is known for its pristine white beaches, azure blue water, and a unique UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) World Heritage trading capital. With a population of 135,000 consisting of 55 nationalities, it is no wonder that Willemstad is considered to be one of the world’s richest cities in culture and diversity. Willemstad is filled with friendly inhabitants, vibrant color, and 750 historic buildings. Curaçao’s tropical climate has year-round warm weather with only about 23 inches of rainfall during the year (mostly between May and October). During the summer, the northeast trade winds bring in a refreshing breeze, making the humidity relatively low.
Where to Stay
The Renaissance Curaçao Resort and Casino, located on Willemstad’s scenic historic waterfront, is the newest full-service resort, which opened in 2009. The resort is also connected to the 19th century landmark Rif Fort. With 237 rooms and 14 spacious suites, including two one-bedroom Majestic Suites, there is an accommodation for every type of guest. Guest rooms offer bathrobes, slippers, miniature refrigerators, in-room safes, high-speed Internet, and flat-screen televisions among much more.
Many dining options are available to guests at the Renaissance Curaçao Resort and Casino. There are 15 on-premise restaurants featuring local favorite dishes and international cuisines, including Indian, French, and Japanese. Also available exclusively to guests is the Infinity Beach Club â”€ an elevated beach experience overlooking the calming blue waters. Couples can enjoy the infinity pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea, spa cabanas, lounge chairs, and a beachside bar and grill. At the Fitness Center use the cardiovascular equipment or free weights, then head to the Aqua Spa to enjoy body treatments, a massage, or a manicure and pedicure.
Snorkeling, diving, cliff diving, swimming with dolphins, horseback riding, canoeing, and windsurfing are just a few of the many activities you can participate in. Known as a true diving paradise, the island has more than 60 dive sites, with underwater visibility up to 100 feet and mild currents truly making your dive experience extraordinary.
The open-air Renaissance Mall, located within the Rif Fort, offers shopping at upscale retailers like Gucci and Tiffany & Co. Whether you are relaxing under the sun or participating in one of the many water sports, your mind will be at peace enjoying all that Curaçao has to offer. At night, try your luck at the 15,000-square-foot Carnaval Casino, which features slot machines and game tables. Afterward catch one of the latest film releases at The Cinemas Curaçao or take a moonlight walk on the beach with the surf beneath your feet. With so much to do and see the choices are endless!
How to Get Here
The easiest and quickest way to get to Curaçao is by air. Approximately a four-hour flight from the New York and New Jersey areas, most major US air carriers (Continental Airlines, Delta Airlines, and American Airlines) will fly in to Curaçao International Airport. With pristine beaches and endless activities, you are sure to get swept away in Curaçao’s colorful oasis.
Photo Courtesy of Renaissance Curacao Resort and Casino