One Week in Curaçao: Ultimate 7 Day Itinerary

My first trip to Curaçao made me fall in love with the island, and as a travel agent, I meticulously planned my itinerary. Recognizing that 7 days would be a tight timeframe to explore all the sights, restaurants and beaches, I carefully mapped out each day’s activities.

My one week itinerary was indeed jam-packed, and as a result, I had to exclude some of the best things to do.

Having lived in Curaçao for nearly five years as a local, I’ve explored everything the island has to offer, and I would approach planning a one week stay quite differently.

Not only am I now aware of distances between several locations, I also know which sights and beaches are a must-visit for first-time visitors, for the ultimate Curaçao experience.

7 day itinerary one week in Curaçao - Fort Nassau - Juliana Bridge

One week in Curaçao: 7 Day itinerary

To simplify your planning, I’ll share my carefully crafted and enhanced Curaçao 7 day itinerary, so you can make the most of your trip without falling prey to rookie mistakes.

This one week itinerary is subjective and curated from my own experiences and recommendations.

To follow this itinerary, you must have a rental car at your disposal for 7 days. Curaçao is not a walkable island and its bus system is not designed for tourist transportation. Booking Tours or renting a car will be your best options to get around.

Also read: Why Do You Need A Car In Curaçao? 

One week in Curaçao itinerary Willemstad Handelskade Curaçao Cruise Port

Day 1: Explore Willemstad 

Visit the city center of the capital Willemstad to get acquainted with Curaçao’s colorful culture and architecture. It is in my opinion the best way to get a glimpse of what the island is really about.

Be sure to check out the Sint Anna Bay, the flowing vain of the downtown area that connects the districts of Punda and Otrobanda.

The cotton-candy-colored Handelskade and the Queen Emma Pontoon bridge, also known as the Swinging Old Lady, will be the centerpiece of your navigation through the lively streets of the Caribbean scene

Insider tip: The Renaissance Mall in Otrobanda has a free parking garage. It’s only a 10-minute walk from the shopping mall to the Queen Emma Bridge.

Wander through Otrobanda and soak in the inspiring murals, snap social-media-worthy photos at the famous Dushi Curaçao sign on Wilhelminaplein, or dive into the vibrant everyday scene of the Floating Market.

In Punda, cozy streets are lined with shops, art galleries, and lively outdoor seating areas. Treat yourself to a refreshing smoothie or try our local favorite, ‘Awa Di Lamunchi,’ served cold and perfect for enjoying as you take in the relaxing atmosphere of the area.


When education is highlighted on your itinerary, I will recommend visiting the Kura Hulanda Museum in Otrobanda. It’s an eye-opening museum, shedding light on Curaçao’s role as a crucial transit point for slave labor to the Americas.

For further educational experiences, consider exploring the Maritime Museum, or the Curaçao Museum. They’re both great options for discovering island history in this part of town.

Curaçao Rif Mangrove Park 

If nature is your thing, you’ve got to check out the Curaçao Rif Mangrove Park. I describe it as a hidden gem oasis right in the city center, offering a peaceful escape into the mangrove forest.

Stroll along the wooden paths and bridges to soak in the local subtropical flora and fauna. If you’re feeling adventurous, hop on a kayak and explore the mangrove forest up close. Bird lovers are in for a treat as you can climb the watch tower overlooking the forest and the Caribbean sea.

Places to have lunch:  

  • La Bohéme 
  • Plein Café Wilhelmina 
  • Iguana Café

 Places to dine: 

  • Kome 
  • De Gouverneur 
  • Perla del Mar

Plasa Bieu

For an authentic taste of Curaçao, you can’t go wrong with lunch at Plasa Bieu. Inside this covered market hall, you’ll find six open kitchens dishing out a variety of local specialties.

The friendly restaurant owners are more than happy to guide you through the flavors of Curaçao cuisine.

It’s one of my top picks for a delicious and budget-friendly homemade meal that truly represents the island’s flavors. That’s why it deserves a highlighted spot in my itinerary.

Insider tip: Go to Zus di Plaza for their famous Arepa di Pampuna (pumpkin pancakes)

Mambo Beach and Seaquarium Curaçao

Day 2: Mambo Beach and the Sea Aquarium 

Mambo Beach is the largest commercial beach in Curaçao. There is plenty to do and experience for all ages.

Lounging in beachfront cabanas, dining in worldly-oriëntated restaurants, or visiting the happy hours in the afternoon are a few of the things Mambo Beach has to offer. Its variety of activities make Mambo Beach more than just a beach – it’s a whole scene.

Each beach club along the shoreline has its own unique charm. Their distinctive aesthetics create an inviting atmosphere for a day of leisure and relaxation, and their colorful cocktails are certainly worthy of an Instagram post!

Mambo Beach is a 15-minute drive from Willemstad. Parking is free of charge. 

Mambo Beach Boulevard

Cabana Beach, MOOD Beach and Madero Ocean club are popular beach clubs where you can relax and swim the whole day. At Madero Ocean Club you have access to the beach, as well as a swimming pool. 

The Happy Hours at Mambo Beach take place on Friday and Sunday afternoons. When the sun goes down you can buy half price drinks and dance the night away at the beach. The Madero Beach Club happy hour is one of the best parties of the week. 

Read our latest blog, Mambo Beach: The Best Boulevard in Curaçao, for extensive information about this hotspot.  


On the east side of Mambo Beach you can find the Curaçao Sea Aquarium. 

Here you can meet tropical fish, sharks, dolphins, flamingos, stingrays, and many more ocean creatures. during the day you can follow a program in which you learn more about marine life including feeding times with some animals. 

Places to have lunch: 

  • Hemmingway 
  • Bliss the Berry 
  • Bonita Beach Club 

Places to dine: 

  • MOOD Beach 
  • Pizza Mare 
  • The Green House 
Grote Knip Beach Westpunt

Day 3: Shete Boka National Park – Turtle Beach – Grote Knip – Playa Lagun 

Today, we’re heading to Westpunt, a lovely small village in the island’s westernmost corner. It’s best to start the day early to make the most of it. Getting an early start allows you to enjoy several activities before the heat sets in.

Westpunt is about a 50-minute drive from Willemstad.  

Follow the Weg Naar Westpunt and make your first stop at Shete Boka National Park. There’s just one main road leading to this side of the island, and you’ll easily spot the park thanks to the road signs along the way.

Shete Boka National park 

Meet Curaçao’s rugged landscape at Shete Boka National Park. Feel the rush as wild waves crash against the northern shore’s rock formations. Several viewpoints can be visited by car and several walking routes will lead you through the lunar-like scene.

Insider tip: Don’t visit this park on flip-flops or slippers because sharp rock will pierce through the sole. That was my biggest rookie mistake.

You don’t need an SUV to enter the park. A regular rental will do, but always ask your rental company if you are allowed to take the car to Shete Boka or Christoffelpark.

Swimming with Sea Turtles 

After visiting Shete Boka, drive to Playa Piskado, where you can swim with dozens of sea turtles around you. It is a well-known attraction, so expect it to be crowded. It is advisable to bring water shoes and snorkeling gear, but you can also rent them on the spot.

Important reminder: Please refrain from touching, interfering with, or chasing the turtles. Their shells are sensitive, and touching them can cause harm. Additionally, be sure to use reef-safe sunscreen to protect our delicate marine environment.

In our latest blog you can read more detailed information about swimming with turtles in Curaçao 

Grote Knip Beach 

It’s time to head to the next beach, and trust me, it’s not just any beach – it’s Curaçao’s most famous one! You’ll instantly recognize the breathtaking view from the top of the cliff, just like you’ve seen in countless travel books and blogs. I’m talking about Grote Knip Beach.

Grote Knip is all about pearly white sands that flow seamlessly into clear turquoise waters. It’s the perfect spot to unwind on the beach, go snorkeling, or take a refreshing swim. And here’s a tip: make sure to stay until sunset. You won’t want to miss this magical moment!

Check our blog about Grote Knip to read more about this precious sandy beach.

Playa Lagun

One of the beaches that holds a special place in my heart is Playa Lagun. Is it the oasis green-blue water in this cove? The excellent snorkeling along the cliff edges? Or just a simple reminder that life can be beautiful when your toes touch the warm sand.

Playa Lagun is very accessible: There’s no entrance fee, you can rent a beach chair or lay down a towel on the sand. Locals bring their coolers and barbecues. It’s a public beach where everyone can enjoy themselves for the day.

Insider tip: Make sure to stop by the Bahia Beach Bar for a drink with a view like no other. Sip on one of their famous rainbow-colored cocktails as you take in the stunning scenery.

Places to lunch: 

  • Jaanchies (Don’t if you follow this tight itinerary)
  • Playa Forti Restaurant 
  • Blue View Sunset Terrace 

Places to have dinner: 

  • De Buurvrouw 
  • Bali Grote Berg 
  • Bahia Beach bar  
Fort Beekenburg Caracasbay

Day 4: Tugboat Beach – Fort Beekenburg – Jan Thiel Beach 

Today’s adventure keeps you closer to Willemstad as you explore the East side of Curaçao. Your first destination? Tugboat Beach.

Tugboat Beach 

At this beach, you can snorkel around a sunken tugboat nestled in a shallow bay just off the coast. Over time, corals and tropical fish have turned the shipwreck into their very own underwater paradise. It’s a fun and unforgettable experience suitable for all ages.

Insider tip: Don’t skip the pier on the right side of the beach. There’s lots of marine life around the pilars!

Tugboat Beach is one of my favorite spots for underwater exploring. That’s why I wrote an extensive guide about snorkeling at the Tugboat Wreck. 

Fort Beekenburg 

Fort Beekenburg is conveniently located within walking distance of Tugboat Beach. Built in 1703 to safeguard the Spanish Water, this historic fort now offers visitors the chance to explore its remnants and climb its tower. From the viewpoint on top, you’ll be treated to a picturesque scene overlooking Caracas Bay.

Snorkeling the wreck and a visit to Fort Beekenburg are free activities. 

Jan Thiel Beach 

About a 10-minute drive from Tugboat Beach you can find Jan Thiel Beach, home to one of the island’s most beloved commercial beaches. Comparable to Mambo Beach but on a slightly smaller scale, Jan Thiel Beach offers a similar vibe.

Here, you can swim, unwind, or savor a drink while watching the sunset. With several beachfront restaurants, you can even enjoy dinner under the stars.

Insider tip: Visit Van den Tweel in Jan Thiel (Dutch style supermarket) for delicacies like (Gouda) cheese, Stroopwafels, Chocolate, Licorice, and more.

Places to lunch: 

  • Brisa do Mar 

Places to have dinner: 

  • Pasawa Box Eatery
  • Zanzibar Beach club & Restaurant 
  • Zest Restaurant & Beach Café 
Klein Curaçao lighthouse

Day 5: Excursion to Klein Curaçao 

Many tourists call an excursion to Klein Curaçao the highlight of their holiday. Imagine yourself as Robinson Crusoe on a deserted Caribbean Island, with the whitest sand and bluest water you can imagine.

The Klein Curaçao excursion starts in the morning. After a one-and-a-half-hour boat tip, you will arrive to the island. There’s plenty of time to explore Klein Curaçao, relax on the beach or perhaps snorkel with turtles. Barbecue lunch and drinks are included. 

You can visit Klein Curaçao through various tour organizations. Most tourists select their excursion based on the type of vessel and the facilities the companies offer. 

For more information about boat trips to Klein Curaçao you can visit our Tours & Excursions page. 

Places to dinner: 

  • Equus (local favorite!) 
  • Il Forno Caracasbaai 
  • El Gaucho 
Cathedral of thorns Landhuis Bloemhof Santa Rosa

Day 6: Cathedral of Thorns – Aloe Plantation – Landhuis Chobolobo 

Today’s itinerary takes you to the North-East side of Willemstad. Your first destination: the Cathedral of Thorns.

Cathedral of Thorns 

The Cathedral of Thorns is a work of art made by Herman van Bergen. It is a full building-sized illuminated labyrinth in which several artworks are exhibited. 

The Cathedral of Thorns is located on the grounds of Landhuis Bloemhof. Amidst the captivating area, you’ll discover more intricate still life pieces. Each detail offers a fresh interpretation, inviting you to let your thoughts flow and take in the quiet atmosphere.

Whenever I visit this place, I always discover something new that catches my eye. It’s the kind of place where I can wander freely, letting my imagination roam as I seek inspiration for writing new blogs and stories.

Aloe plantation 

After our first stop, it’s time to head to the Curaçao Aloe Vera Plantation. This is where the Curaçao made and worldly distributed Curaloe products are made.

During your visit, a knowledgeable guide will lead you through the Aloe fields and the factory, sharing fascinating insights into the Aloe plant. You’ll have the exclusive opportunity to witness the production process firsthand, from plant to bottle.

Curaloe products are truly exceptional because of their rich concentration of Aloe vera. Personally, I’m a big fan of their all-purpose cream for its fantastic moisturizing benefits. It makes dry patches on my skin smooth and soft.

Landhuis Chobolobo – Curaçao Liqueur Distillery 

At the Curaçao Liqueur Distillery in Landhuis Chobolobo, visitors are treated to a journey through the history and production of genuine Curaçao liqueur. It’s a place I’ve personally found fascinating, and I highly recommend it to anyone curious about the traditional art of brewing this iconic island drink.

You can join a tour where you learn everything about the rich legacy of the Senior & Co brand, a family business with deep roots in Curaçao liqueur production spanning generations. You’ll uncover the secrets behind the authentic taste of this beloved liqueur and witness the production process firsthand.

From orange peel to bottle, every step of the manufacturing process is on display.

Their cocktail workshop is an absolute blast, but be sure to book your spot in advance as it tends to fill up quickly.

It’s an experience I’ve personally enjoyed and would highly recommend. Not only is it a lot of fun, but you also get to learn about different drinks, tastes, and mixing techniques in an engaging and informative way.

Places to lunch: 

  • Number 10  
  • De Dames 
  • Delifrance 

Place to have dinner: 

  • Chopstix Sushi 
  • Amazonia (Visit Aloe plantation last)
  • Fort Nassau 
Playa Porto Marie Beach

Day 7: Hato Caves – Cas Abao – Playa Porto Mari – Flamingo Sanctuary 

On our final full day in Curaçao, we’ve got an exciting itinerary planned. In the morning, we’ll explore the impressive Hato caves. Then, it’s off to relax and chill at the pristine beaches of Cas Abao and Porto Mari. As the day winds down, we’ll make our way to the flamingo viewpoint just in time for sunset.

Hato Caves 

The Hato caves are the largest caves in Curaçao and consist of coral limestone. Unique is that the entrance to this cave is on a higher level. You have to climb no less than 49 steps to reach the cave. This is because the sea level used to be much higher. 

Insider tip: It’s hot inside the cave. Bring plenty of water and a small towel. 

Right next to the caves, there’s a charming little park where you can go on a little hike. As you follow the walking route, you’ll be treated to views of the typical Curaçao landscape, with its unique flora and fauna. Keep your eyes peeled, as you might even spot a few of the island’s native animals along the way.

Cas Abao Beach

Cas Abao Beach is a beloved spot among tourists, and it’s easy to see why. It’s one of the largest beaches on the island, boasting soft white sands and clear cerulean-turquoise waters that are simply the essence of the laid-back Caribbean.

With convenient amenities like a beach bar, lounge bed rentals, and water sports equipment available for rent, all your needs are catered to for a perfect day by the sea.

And let’s not forget about those envy-inducing photos you’ll capture here – the scenery is simply breathtaking and is therefore also one of our must-go spots for photoshoots.

Insider tip: Make sure to pack your snorkel gear, as some of the best snorkeling can be found along the cliff edges.

Playa Porto Mari

After taking a refreshing swim at Cas Abao, our next stop is the stunning Playa Porto Mari, just a short 15-minute drive away.

Playa Porto Mari truly has it all for a perfect day by the sea. With amenities like a dive shop, beach chair rental, and a cozy beach bar-restaurant, you will experience plenty of comfort.

Plus, there are various walking routes to explore, for example the Bird/History Trail that takes you to the ruins of the old Porto Mari Plantation and a bird watching tower.

For diving enthusiasts, this beach is a true paradise with its double reef right off the beach.

And wait for it – Playa Porto Mari is also home to a couple of very quirky-cute pigs. Keep an eye out for these adorable porkies as they often lounge on the beach or splash around in the mud pool next to the parking lot.

Flamingo Sanctuary 

Make sure to get to the Flamingo Sanctuary just before sunset. At that time you have the best chance to spot flamingos in the wild (also in the morning before noon). 

The Flamingo sanctuary is a plateau where you have a beautiful view over the Jan Kok salt flats. This is the natural habitat of the largest flamingo flock of Curaçao. In one of our most recent blogs you can read about Flamingos in Curaçao and where to find them. 

Places to have lunch:

  • Toko Williwood 
  • Playa Porto Mari 
  • Karakter 

Bonus: Dine in Pietermaai

For your last night out, take a stroll through the colorful streets of Pietermaai. The cozy ambiance and aesthetic restaurants will transport you to a bygone era, i always describe it like a nostalgic Havana movie scene. It’s the perfect place to spend your final evening in Curaçao. These are my recommendations:

Places to dine in Pietermaai: 

  • Kome
  • Mundo Bizarro
  • Saint Tropez Ocean Club 

Places to dine around the Penstraat:

  • Rozendaels
  • Serafina
  • Mosa Caña

Roxanne Verheesen

Hi there! My name is Roxanne , 30 years old and born in the Netherlands, I've visited Curaçao for the first time in 2011 and moved to the island one year later. Love to write, snorkel and watch pinky-orangish sunsets at the beach.

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