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Curaçao: Eight Activities to Help You Enjoy Island Time By Danielle Bauter

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blend of European and African heritages, the island of Curaçao is part of the chain of ABC islands with Ar uba and Bonaire as its counterparts. Located in the South Caribbean, this is a region of the world that is still untouched, and the island boasts exclusive beaches, stellar dive sites, and u n i q u e a r c h i t e c t u r e , w h i c h m a ke f o r a n unforgettable experience. Willemstad, the capital of Curaçao, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I had the opportunity to visit the island, my first time in the Caribbean, and the variety of activities that are available amazed me.

Swim With Sea Turtles at Playa Piskado At the picturesque beach of Playa Piskado, you can take a journey on an underwater scooter called Sea Bob. It has the power to cruise the depths of the ocean with just the press of a button. Navigate a Sea Bob through the water, and your adrenaline will surge as I sea turtles swim beside you and schools of colorful fish glide by. Have lunch nearby at Blue View Sunset Terrace, which rests on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Don’t forget to enjoy a rum punch as you watch gutsy cliff jumpers step off the ledge and fall effortlessly into the waters below.

Attend the North Sea Jazz Festival

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This festival occurs every year in the summer, and contrary to its name, it features a variety of artists from different musical genres. This year’s lineup included such diverse headliners as Earth, Wind & Fire, Maroon 5, Black Eyed Peas, Gladys Knight, and Pitbull. The venue is in the heart of Willemstad and has three stages including one right by the beach. Around the venue’s perimeter are food stands where you can dine on tempura-fried shrimp, ramen noodles, or chicken satay. Be sure to accompany your meal with a glass of wine, beer, or a cocktail.

Stroll Around the Island’s Capital, Willemstad A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Willemstad is easily recognizable with its colorful buildings, and the Dutch influence is evident in the island’s architecture. It’s easy to convince yourself that you’re in Amsterdam or another Dutch city as you stroll by charming street cafes, galleries, and shops. Hop onto the floating bridge for a photo op at sunset, and if you get a chance to observe the bridge opening and closing as ships pass by, it’s a sight to see. There are also several museums in the area, including the Jewish Cultural-Historical Museum and the Museum Kura Hulanda which documents the brutal history of slavery in the New World.

Dine & Dance With the Locals at Mood Beach With a welcoming vibe and comfortable ambiance, this upscale beach club is the place to take a date or for singles to get their groove on. Step out to their tented outdoor area which sits right on the beach and settle into a seat that overlooks the dance floor. Their menu features plates that appeal to any palate. Highlights are their Truffle Linguini and Tom Kha Kai Soup. After 10 pm, the DJ starts spinning beats, and as the music gets louder, the crowd starts to swell, filling with locals. Order one of their cleverly captioned cocktails, such as a Lady Marmalade or a Honey I’m Home, and you’ll be dancing in no time.

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