Curacao is a Caribbean island sprinkled with vibrantly coloured buildings and gorgeous beaches. Curacao is a part of the ABC islands along with Aruba and Bonaire. With a strong Dutch influence, Curacao boasts a flair of Europe while in the Caribbean. There are many free things to do in Curacao. Your options are endless with amazing beaches, rugged landscape and beautiful architecture. The following is a list to guide you in finding free things to do in Curacao.
visit Curacao’s Capital, Willemstad
Willemstad is the capital of Curacao and is home to many free attractions. Willemstad is a great place to walk around and take in some island culture. You’ll find plenty of colourful buildings, shops and restaurants in this area, but it is also nice for a walk by the water.
Walk across the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge
The Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge is a pedestrian bridge located in Willemstad. This bridge connects the districts of Punda and Otrobanda across the Sint Anna Bay. The unique thing about the Queen Emma, is that it rests on pontoon boats that frequently move the bridge to allow large ships to pass through. This bridge is fun to walk across but it’s even more fun to watch it move.
Watch Boats in Sint Anna Bay
Sint Anna Bay is a deep channel that is located right in the heart of Willemstad. This bay is very popular with boats of all sizes and they use the bay as a passageway. When the Queen Emma bridge starts to move, you’ll know that boats are soon going to pass through.
Look at colourful buildings
Curacao is an island sprinkled with buildings painted in the most dazzling colours, which adds to its charm. You can walk around most areas and see colourful buildings. Some of our favourite spots to see the colours of the rainbow were in Willemstad and in some of the little towns outside of the capital.
Drive across the Queen Julianna Bridge
The Queen Julianna Bridge is located in Willemstad and holds the title of the tallest bridge in the Caribbean. It is forbidden to walk across the bridge, but you can still get some amazing views of the island while driving over it. If you have the opportunity, a drive across this bridge is spectacular.
browse the Floating Market in Willemstad
The floating market in Willemstad is a great place to purchase fresh produce. Vendors have their shops set up in boats that float on the water and that are accessible by land. The boats and vegetables are vibrant and are worth strolling by even if you’re not interested in purchasing anything.
Visit an Abandoned Hotel
The abandoned hotel is a quirky little spot that we’d heard about and quickly became curious. There isn’t a whole lot happening here, but it’s nice for a quiet stroll by the water. Structurally the hotel appears to be intact, but it remains completely abandoned.
Stop by Santa Martha Bay Lookout Point
This lookout point is a little off the beaten path, but is totally worth it. We had little expectations coming to this lookout and were pleasantly surprised. There is a small clearing by the road that opens up and gives you an incredible view over Santa Martha Bay.
** The abandoned hotel and Santa Martha Bay Lookout Point are located fairly close together, so plan to visit both spots at the same time.
watch Flamingos in Sint Willibrordus
In Sint Willibrordus you will find the flamingos of Curacao gathering in the lagoon. These flamingos are wild and come and go as they please. Depending on the time of day, you might see the lagoon full of flamingos or it could be empty. The flamingos are visible from the road and you will see them as you drive by. If you choose to stop, there is a short path and viewing deck that allows you to have a better look at these majestic birds.
pose by the Williwood sign
The Williwood sign is a fun little play on the name of the town Sint Willibrordus. This sign resembles the world famous Hollywood sign and is located close to the flamingo lagoon. If you’re stopping to look at the flamingos, you might as well stop and have a look at the sign as well. There is a little platform to take pictures at if you’re interested.
Go for a Snorkel
**Free if you have your own snorkel gear**
If you have your own snorkel gear, I suggest bringing it with you to take advantage of the great snorkelling around the island. Curacao has crystal clear water perfect for snorkelling. Many of the beaches offer colourful fish, beautiful corral and sea turtles very close to shore. Snorkelling is free in Curacao if you have your own gear, but many places rent if you don’t.
If you’re interested in purchasing your own snorkel gear and would like some guidance, have a look at this review on some of the top snorkel equipment.
Spend a day at Daaibooibay
The beaches in Curacao are absolutely stunning, unfortunately not all of them are free, luckily, Daaibooibay is. Visiting Daaibooibay is like hitting the jackpot on free things to do in Curacao. This beach offers stunning water for snorkelling and swimming, powder sand for lounging on and a beautiful lookout point that you can reach by walking along the rugged cliffside.
Lounge on the beach at Groot Knip
Groot Knip is another one of Curacao’s amazing free beaches. The water here is the most inviting shade of aqua, that it almost looks fake. The entrance of the beach is equipped with a lookout point that allows you to take in all the beauty this beach has to offer. The beach is free to access but you will be required to pay for chair and umbrella rentals if you wish to use them.
Whether you’re looking to lounge on a beach, head off the beaten path or stroll through the city, there are many great free things to do in Curacao. If you want to add a few more attractions to you list of things to do in Curacao, check out my post on the best things to do in Curacao.
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