There are a myriad of island vacation destinations in the Caribbean, but few compare to the cultural diversity and beauty, as does the little known island of Curacao.
Curacao is a Dutch colonized island country off the coast of Venezuela and sister isle to nearby Aruba. Rich in natural resources, mainly oil, salt and liqueur, this island gem is quite clean and modern for foreign visitors and enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean.
Although Dutch and Papiamentu are the main spoken language here, English is commonly used as well. Visitors have very little difficulty in communicating and navigating the busy shops and tourist haunts. With its rich European influence, it is easy to walk the streets at night imagining that you are Amsterdam.
Plenty of beach and water activity can be found throughout the island. Snorkeling and scuba diving can be quite interesting along the coastline as the ocean floor drops off sharp and deep within 200 feet of the shore. The color of the water shockingly transitions from turquoise to a deep cobalt blue in a real hurry. Wind surfing and paddle boarding are also found at most resorts. Some of the best deals can be found in Willemstad port, with some of the locals that hire out bus and beach tours. Irie Tours have colorfully painted, open window buses that accommodate tours of the island, as well as beach hopping, bar hopping and city tour shopping on Segways.
Other positive factors to consider in visiting Curacao are affordability, as well as the weather. From restaurants to souvenirs, the prices and exchange rate are quite reasonable. If you are planning a trip to Curacao or the neighboring isles, you will be pleased to know that this southern area of the Caribbean lies just outside the hurricane belt. Although not entirely immune to hurricane and tropical storm activity, it is far less likely to be affected if you are planning to head south for the fall or winter months.
Curacao is also known for its signature liqueur named after its country. Commonly sold in the U.S. as blue in color, it actually comes in several different colors and is made from the dried peels of a local citrus fruit called laraha.
And if that isn't enough to tempt you to this quaint secluded isla, try something really out of this world (literally). Starting in 2014, the Lynx Rocketplane is scheduled to commence it's suborbital space tourism program from it's spaceport on Curacao. Go from beach to space all in one day.
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