Located in the north of Venezuela, Curacao is a small yet beautiful island of the Dutch Caribbean. It’s a volcanic island, formed centuries back in the Caribbean right beneath the hurricane belt. Known for its exotic beaches and magical reefs, Curacao is most famous as a tourist destination for its beaches and diving spots. The island claims to have up to 38 most secluded and intimate beaches found along the northern and eastern coasts, some of these offer picnic facilities and charge a small admission but most are free.
Stretching some 40 miles from the southeast to the northwest, Curacao is a long flat arid island that spreads about 180 sq miles in area, making it one of the largest islands amongst the Netherlands Antilles group. With a coastline peppered with spectacular beaches, small inlets and bays located at the west end of the island, it is one of the most popular diving destinations for the tourists.
Curacao has a rich history that begins with the Arawaks who migrated some 6000 years ago from South America and discovered it. The subgroup of Arawaks called the Caiquetios were the ones who found this island first and so gave the island its name ‘Curacao’. The Spanish explorer and soldier Alonso de Ojeda and Italian Amerigo Vespucci voyaged through it as did the Dutch West India Company under the Dutch explorer Peter Stuyvesant and Jewish families from Amsterdam.
Curacao has remained as a strategic point many a times through its history, especially for the French and the English, who have had various struggles over it as a profitable trade route. It was after the WW II that Curacao joined the Caribbean independence clamor and became an entity within the Netherlands with Willemstad as the administrative center.
The temperatures stay generally warm and sunny throughout the year with casual strong winds. Curacao’s weather is generally dry and the yearly rainfall is only a 510 mm on average. The largest bays are found along the central-east and the east end of the island. Willemstad is the capital and the major port of Curacao and the island is spread as the grand historic town; with tempest northeast winds and wondrous limestone cliff formations and weather-beaten terrain. Almost 130,000 residents live in and around Curacao; however its northern coast remains less inhabited than the southern and you can find a spread of various small villages along with the famous landhuis (old plantation house structures) here as well.
Curacao’s west end has an expansive hilly terrain and a major portion of it is encompassed by the famous Christoffel Park, while the east side of the island has plenty of barren plains along with a few roads and settlements weaving through its coastal inlets.
With its wide spread of secluded beaches, sparkling ocean, and breathtaking coral reefs and diving spots, Curacao promises thrilling experiences and a memorable time for all.