As one of the Caribbean’s less-crowded resort destinations, many travelers might think that Curacao lacks the excitement of the region’s more popular islands. However, even if you visit Curacao in the tourist off-season, you will find plenty of events and activities throughout the island. Here you will find not only a description of some events taking place in upcoming months, but also an overview of activities available year-round.
The month of April features several small festivals and events throughout the island, each devoted to elements of Curacao’s uniquely Caribbean culture. The 9th of April features the Harvest Parade – a celebration of the island’s folkloric groups in the town of Otrobanda. The following week boasts a four-day celebration in honor of the Snoa synagogue, the oldest in the Western Hemisphere. This year, a full schedule of events and performances have been planned to mark the structure’s 275th birthday.
At the end of April, visitors can participate in the 41st annual International Blue Marlin Release Tournament – a unique fishing competition devoted to the preservation of this treasured species. Meanwhile, the fishing village of Boca Sami hosts a two-day sailing regatta event complete with live music, local food and plenty of Caribbean fun. If sailing and fishing don’t excite you, take part in the island-wide celebration on April 30th – also known as Queen’s Birthday. On this holiday, you can’t beat the festivities located in the Punda Market region of Curacao’s capital Willemstad. During the same week, you can also find plenty of live entertainment and great cuisine at the International Food and Family Festival.
The month of May might be one of the best times to visit Curacao. From great resort deals to some of the best events anywhere in the region, Curacao is one of the Caribbean’s best early summer destinations. Celebrating its 20th year on the island, the Curacao Jazz Festival has drawn visitors and performers from throughout the world. The two-day festival puts a unique island spin on the traditional jazz festival, offering some of the best live music anywhere in the Caribbean. The final week of May also features the popular Curacao Dive Festival, a favorite of experienced divers and amateurs alike. With event sites throughout the island featuring guest speakers, presentations, film viewings and once-in-a-lifetime dive opportunities – the Curacao Dive Festival is a must for anyone interested in exploring the majestic underwater treasures of the Caribbean.
Whether you plan to travel to Curacao in the next few months or later in the year, there are always plenty of activities for any type of tourist to enjoy. One of the island’s most popular attractions is the Curacao Seaquarium, a sprawling oceanfront complex famous for its open-water system that constantly pumps seawater into the holding tanks. Another family favorite is the Dolphin Academy Curacao, a truly distinctive program that allows guests of all ages to swim and interact with dolphins.
As Curacao is known worldwide for its excellent scuba diving and snorkeling sites, you will certainly want to spend some time underwater. Equipment rentals and dive operators are available year-round, so you don’t have to worry about finding a tour during the off-season. Furthermore, the weather always seems to be perfect. You can enjoy Curacao’s sunny, sandy beaches nearly every day of the year!
Curacao is also an excellent shopping destination, regardless of season. The capital of Willemstad is full of quaint shops selling everything from jewelry and handmade souvenirs to exquisite Caribbean artwork. Like the island’s more crowded neighbors, Curacao also has a number of luxury shops and high-end duty free shops. The most impressive of these is the renowned Harbor Duty Free Zone, the largest duty free shopping area in the Caribbean. This 57-acre complex houses an incredible display of clothing, perfume, jewelry and much more – all at prices far below American outlets. When you make a purchase in the Harbor Duty Free Zone, you don’t even have to worry about carrying it around for the rest of your trip – your goods will be transferred directly to your flight or shipped to your home!
When planning their Caribbean vacations, many travelers seem to forget about Curacao. However, if you want to escape the crowds and visit some of the best events, find the most picturesque dives and uncover the finest shopping in the Caribbean – just remember that there is always plenty to see and do in Curacao.
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