Curacao tours are available to help you explore the varied attractions and enjoy all of the things to do on the island. From Blue Curacao Distillery tours and tours of the innovative aquarium on Sea Aquarium Beach, to tours that focus on the island’s history in downtown Willemstad, there is something for everyone.
Perhaps it is Jeep tours in Curacao that are so unexpected and surprising to many. This is, after all, a Caribbean island. Most people come to sunbathe on pristine beaches and enjoy some of the best scuba diving in the Western Hemisphere. But this island is not lush and tropical. It is located only 12 degrees above the equator and 45 miles from the coast of Venezuela, and its northern half is arid and filled with cactus and dry climate wildlife. Jeep tours in Curacao are very popular here in rugged Christoffel National Park.
The park is comprised of four former plantations, and your Curacao tours here will explore the old mansions providing a glimpse into the island’s slave-era history. There is rock climbing and hiking where you will see unique flora (including extremely rare orchids) and wildlife such as wild donkeys, white-tailed deer, iguanas, and more. The Jeep tours in Curacao here are usually in four-wheel drive vehicles, and these are even available as car rentals should you want to explore on your own. You can also enjoy horseback riding and mountain biking. Many of the resorts in the area will assist their guests with renting these vehicles for an excursion or with booking organized tours.
Other Curacao tours concentrate on the capital city of Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting an extraordinarily well-preserved ensemble of Dutch colonial architecture. Many of the buildings that contribute to the ensemble today house stylish boutiques, jewelry stores, and other shops that make this one of the best shopping destinations in the Caribbean. Here is Fort Amsterdam, dating to 1635 and the oldest of the eight forts the Kingdom of the Netherlands built on the island, and the Mikve Emanuel Synagogue, the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere.
Blue Curacao Distillery tours give you insight into the national liqueur that holds the same honored place that tequila holds in Mexico. After you are done shopping around Fort Amsterdam, you will find the distillery just a few blocks away in one of the old plantation mansions (called Lanhis Chobolobo) that once dotted the island. It was built in the early nineteenth century, and was one of the island’s most popular nightclubs during the years just after World War II. Today, it still is a source of the island’s nightlife, with a popular happy hour on Fridays and often live local music. It has been producing the legendary liqueur distilled from the dried peel of the laraha citrus fruit (a relative of the orange brought by the Spanish in the sixteenth century) since 1962. Blue Curacao Distillery tours allow you to tour the historic old mansion, see how the liqueur is distilled, enjoy a taste, and buy a bottle to take home. Entrance is free.
Image: Curacao Tourist Board