Located in the Leeward Antilles, Curaçao is a popular Caribbean island destination. This magnificent island has an ethnic cultural mix of people form the Caribbean, Africa, South American and European nations. There are many things to do here including beach and water sports, places of historical significance and fabulous Curaçaoan cuisine If this is your first trip to this southern island paradise, here is a list of eight things you must do in Curaçao.
Things You Must Do In Curaçao
See the View of Handelskade from Queen Emma Bridge
Take a walk on the ‘Swinging Old Lady” named after a Dutch queen. This floating bridge was named in 1888 after Queen Emma. This bridge swings open to let ships into St. Anna Bay and connects the Willemstad’s districts of Punda and Otrobanda. When you are on the Punda side of the bridge, you will see an awesome view of the colorful historic buildings of Handelskade.
View Amazing Street Art
Take a tour of the remarkable street art of Willemstad with Art Now Tours. On the very popular Punda Art Walk tour on Saturdays, you will also get a chance to meet some of the local artists and designers behind the art. The guides provide a lot of inside information about the local art scene. Before or after your art tour, you can browse and purchase local made jewelry, crafts and other locally made products from the shops in the area.
Learn About African-Caribbean History
See the largest collection of African artifacts in the Caribbean at Kura Hulanda Museum. Here you can enjoy the outdoor sculpture garden and see the comprehensive history and artifacts of many West African nations. The museum also offers guided tours in many languages that guests can make by appointment. Kura Hulanda Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 AM to 4 PM.
Pay Homage at The Tula Monument
This monument is dedicated to a local hero, Tula. In 1795, a black man led a revolution against the inhumane treatment of blacks by Dutch slave owners. The bloody battle lasted for over a month and as a result, thousands of slaves were liberated. The Tula Monument is in Otrobanda on the south coast of the island and commemorates this brave freedom fighter.
Try Local Cuisine at Marshe Bieu
Come and visit Marshe Bieu, the Old Market to sample delicious Curaçaoan cuisine. In this outdoor food court, You can sample and purchase fresh fish or chicken served with vegetables and large portions of rice, plantains, and salad. This outstanding food is served by local vendors with affordable prices as well. The market also has many tables for al fresco dining, or you can take your scrumptious food to go.
See Rural Life at Kas di Pal’I Maishi
For those that love to taste the local culture on their vacations, in Curaçao you must visit Kas di Pal’I Maishi. The island of Curaçao is a Dutch colony with multiple ethnicities. There is a local population on the island of approximately 150,000 people that speak Papiamento. This Creole language contains a mixture of many other languages including English, Arawak, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, plus some African dialects.
On your visit to Kas di Pal’I Maishi, you will see how blacks had lived in rural Curaçao until the mid-20thcentury. This adobe house preserves the underrated legacy of the enslaved Africans that lived here many years ago.
Get A Natural Remedy from Curaçao’s Herb Lady
Locals and tourists alike race to the Dinah Veeris Herb Garden for their holistic health needs. On your visit, you can explore her gardens and see the 300 plus species of plants. At the garden, guests can purchase a wide variety of immunity boosting teas and tonics grown locally. Proprietor Dina Veeris calls her garden Den Paradera, meaning (“the place where you feel at home”). This name comes from the local Parguiri Indians, who in the past had grown these herbs on the east side of the island.
Purchase Wonderful Gifts and Souvenirs at Serena’s Art Factory
Pick up a chichi, a curvy and colorful Caribbean queen figurine. In Serena’s Art Factory, you can purchase your own chichi figurine to commemorate your visit to Curaçao. This unique sculpture was created by Serena Israel, owner of the art factory. The figurines come in various sizes and patterns, or you can take a workshop and design your very own chichi. Serena’s Art Factory is the place where love comes in all colors!
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com