This article may contain affiliate links. For full information, please see our disclaimer page
Curacao Cruise Port
- 1 Curacao Cruise Port
- 1.1 Curacao Cruise Port – Where do cruise ships dock?
- 1.2 What to do with a day in Curacao Cruise Port
- 1.3 Beaches Near to Curacao Cruise Terminal
- 1.4 Local Flavours
- 1.5 Getting Around
- 1.6 Good to Know
- 1.7 Quick Facts
Welcome to our Curacao Cruise Port guide where we hope you will find lots of information to help you enjoy your day in port.
Curaçao feels like a little piece of Europe on the edge of the Caribbean. Pretty Dutch colonial architecture, excellent history museums and stunning hidden beaches make it a great place to visit at any time of the year.
Lying just 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela and 12 degrees north of the Equator, the 40-mile-long, 8-mile-wide island of Curaçao has over 35 palm-lined beaches, 65 dive sites to explore and very friendly locals. With its close proximity to South America Curaçao has a lively mixture of different cultures.
Curacao Cruise Port – Where do cruise ships dock?
There are two ports in Willemstad, the Capital, and the size of your cruise ship will determine where you dock. Larger cruise dock at the Mega Cruise Terminal, a short walk south of the Willemstad and smaller ones on Sint Anna Bay Dock. Both are close to the central shopping district. If you are on foot simply cross the Queen Emma Bridge.
What to do with a day in Curacao Cruise Port
- Queen Emma Bridge – start your tour by crossing over this impressive bridge
- Fort Amsterdam – Fine example of Dutch architecture. Explore the courtyard and church built in 1769
- Curaçao Maritime Museum – Head back to the Queen Emma Bridge and head eastward and cross the wooden walkway to visit this small but interesting museum
- Floating Market – cross back over the wooden walkway and follow Sha Caprileskade to the Floating Market where a collection of colourful sailboats line up to sell produce, fish and souvenirs
- Old Market – Continue east to the Old Market where you can stop for some Caribbean food (see examples below).
Queen Emma Bridge
Spanning the Sint Annabaai this local landmark is sometimes referred to as Our Swinging Old Lady. It’s a pontoon bridge that swings open to allow oceangoing ships access to and from St Anna Bay
The Hato Caves were formed below the sea level millions of years ago. At the end of the Ice Age water levels dropped down and Curacao was born. The Hato cave covers an area of 4900 square metres and is the home to the beautiful limestone formations, romantic pools & waterfalls. Also inside the Cave is a colony of seldom seen long nose fruit bats.
Christoffel National Park
Christoffelpark is the largest national park of Curacao and a must see for everyone. The park has a rich variety of local flora and fauna. Nature lovers will find the park teeming with local birds and plants, including species, which are not easily seen elsewhere on the island. There are eight hiking trails, allowing the visitor the choice between an easy stroll, or for instance, a challenging hike to the top of the Christoffel mountain.
Beaches Near to Curacao Cruise Terminal
As Curacao is a relatively small island you could argue that all beaches are close to the cruise terminal. All are easily reachable by taxi.
Soft white sands, clear waters make this mid-coast beach a firm favourite. It’s a private beach with very good facilities to hand such as lockers, a guarded parking lot, restaurant and massage hut. It is also possible to rent snorkelling equipment although this is not the best spot for sea life.
One of the most beautiful beaches on the island. In fact, it regularly appears as part of the islands tourism program. It’s a perfect crescent of white sands, azure waters and verdant green hills. Its almost postcard perfect. There are a few snack shacks available as well as places to rent snorkelling gear. Just south is the smaller, but no less stunning, Kenepa Chiki beach. Be warned though these beaches get very busy at the weekends.
Playa Porto Mari
For sea life enthusiasts this is the beach to snorkel from. Its has a unique double reef system. Look out for the artificial reef balls that were put in place to encourage reef growth. There are also some nice hiking trails nearby.
If you need somewhere quieter to enjoy your time at the beach then head to Playa Kalki. It’s certainly quieter than the other beaches. This small cove is very popular for snorkelling and diving and has a roped-off area with floating platforms. There is a snack bar and dive shop present.
- Arepi di Pampuna – Pumpkin Pancakes with cinnamon powder. Delicious.
- Ayakas – Traditional Venezuelan dish which has a dough made of cornmeal and stuffed with stewed chicken, beef or pork.
- Bitterballen – A traditional Dutch bar snack, bitterballen are flavourful meatballs. The typical filling is either beef or veal, though you may sometimes find vegetarian balls filled with veggies or cheese. They are usually served with a very strong mustard for dipping and make a great snack alongside your favorite Dutch beer.
- Oliebollen – The Dutch version of doughnuts. Deep friend sweet dumplings covered in sugar.
- Pastechi – A half circle dough pocket filled with cheese, beef, vegetables or ham. Quite similar to a Empanada
- Kabritu Stoba – This is a general description for stew which can be made with any sort of meat or vegetables
Public buses depart every two hours from Otrobanda Bus Station for the West End and if you wish to visit the southeast from Punda Bus Station. These infrequent departure times means they may not be the best choice for getting around. Especially for your return to the ship which you dont want to miss.
Taxis are more expensive on Curacao than on other islands so please bear that in mind. Taxis can be used for a tour of the island but negotiate a price first.
Good to Know
- Likes its neighbours Aruba and Bonaire it’s a pretty safe island.
- Water shoes are a must if you are snorkeling as the waters can be a little rocky in places.
- Island Time – dont rely on public clocks as half of them are wrong or dont work at all. Don’t wanna miss that ship do we?
- Currency: Antillean Guilder; U.S. dollar widely accepted
- Language: English, Spanish, Dutch, Papiamento
- Money: ATM’s available across the bridge and around Punda
- Visas: Not required for citizens of the US, EU or Australia