When you think about the Caribbean, islands like Jamaica, the Bahamas and Cuba usually pop to mind. Those are just some of the popular islands that travellers frequent every year, but there’s also the island of Curaçao that offers many options for the South African traveller.
Curaçao, a Dutch Caribbean island, is home to hidden beaches, watersport and natural sites.
The island, the location for the 9th season of the Tropika Island of Treasure, is positioned 64 kilometres off the coast of Venezuela and 12 degrees north of the Equator. Once a bustling trade hub for merchants in the Dutch West India Company, the destination is now filled with colourful houses and luxury beach resorts that were once Dutch colonial buildings.
Travellers would be right to assume that you can spend a relaxed holiday in Curaçao. However, there’s so much to do that there is very little time to laze around the pool. Curaçao boasts around 35 palm-lined beaches, 65 dive sites to explore and picturesque spots. One of the most popular beaches is Playa Knip, a paradise for travellers hoping to catch a suntan or swim in the clear waters. There’s Playa Lagun for people who want some quiet time and sink their feet in the golden sand.
Mari Beach sits on the pier, offering social media travellers the perfect Insta-worthy image. Porto Mari is ideal for divers, while the man-made coast at Jan Thiel Bay and Papagayo Beach offers a dose of luxury. The diverse destination represents over 55 cultures and offers delightful cuisine. Make sure you try its signature dish Keshi Yena or tuck into Bitterballen, a traditional Dutch bar snack.
South Africans do not require a visa to visit. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines offers regular flights from South Africa to the island. If you have a few days to spare, visit Amsterdam for a few days. The country does require a visa but is worth it.