Free things to do in Curaçao
Are you looking for free things you can do in Curaçao? Curacao is a vibrant Dutch Caribbean Island with stunning beaches as its main tourist attraction. However, Curacao is more than just beautiful beaches, we have found it rich in culture, and there is plenty of activities to do there for free.
This article will discuss fun activities in Curacao without spending a dime. We have experienced 20 years of visiting the island, and we have plenty of insider tips.
Even though you are in Curacao for a weeklong vacation, family vacation, or on a cruise, make sure you try out some of the activities we will discuss in this post. These activities are engaging and interesting for all travelers.
Thus, these are the top recommendations for the best inexpensive activities in Curaçao.
1. Take a Complimentary Walking Tour of Willemstad
Who does not like taking a guided tour through a charming small city? But when it is free, it is much better. The free walking tour of Curacao organization provides people who volunteer as tour guides. These volunteers are committed to teaching tourists about the island’s beautiful culture and history. Together with exposing you to the main attractions, their knowledgeable tours are packed with enjoyable extras like free tastings of locally produced rum, “Rom Berde.”
Many of the Free Walking Tours of Curaçao tour guides have day jobs, so they are volunteering because they love showing tourists around. However, if you want to, feel free to give them a substantial tip as a token of appreciation.
You can check their website if you need additional information about these free tour guides or want to book one. They have different days for different neighborhoods, so book them beforehand.
2. Queen Emma Bridge’s “Stroll with a Swinging Old Woman.”
Queen Emma is the world’s longest floating wooden pontoon bridge. The bridge is one of the famous tourist attractions in Curacao. The bridge links pedestrian traffic from Punda (also known as “The Point”) to Otrobanda (also known as “The Other Side”) in Willemstad. Willemstad is Curacao’s vibrant downtown capital city. Furthermore, the bridge opens to let ships pass via St. Anna (Sint Annabaai) waterway.
Locals often call her “The Swinging Old Lady” because she was first constructed in 1888. Despite her age, she still looks very royal, especially at night when lit up. We recommend you visit Queen Emma’s bridge at night to admire her beauty.
When the bridge opens for ships, there are often free ferries to transfer passengers, so do not worry if you are in a hurry.
There is a prime viewpoint about halfway across the bridge for taking pictures of the renowned candy-colored Handelskade.
And since you are already there, you can use the chance to see the Mikve Israel Emanuel Synagogue in Willemstad. The Synagogue was dedicated in 1732 and had a fascinating floor coated in sand. It is picture worthy.
3. Investigate Willemstad’s Latest Outdoor Art
Willemstad comprises numerous distinctive “barrios,” as the locals refer to these little neighborhoods.
As a result of neighborhood beautification and outdoor art initiatives, several have recently been quietly undergoing amazing rejuvenations and even reimaginations.
Walk through the old Scharloo Abou neighborhood to see the spectacular art installations created by Street Art Skalo that take up entire buildings.
Alternatively, explore Otrobanda’s interior (Seri Otrobanda) to observe entire blocks transformed into outdoor art.
The recent mural by Blend Creative Imaging on three buildings, “Bida ta un bunita lucha,” which translates to “Life is a beautiful struggle,” is one eye-catching must-see.
4. Take Magnificent Pictures in Pietermaai
Pitermaai has dramatic contrast of old and modern living side by side. Pitermaai is a popular neighborhood, and it is constantly changing. So bring out your camera; we can guarantee a beautiful shot from almost every angle in this neighborhood. The scenes here are intriguing and diverse. For example, old palaces, ancient colonial homes, and even a medieval monastery have been transformed into vibrant boutique hotels, trending bars, restaurants, and hip cafes.
Also, there is an urban beach directly on the ocean, so you can capture the marriage of the water and distant ships entering and exiting the harbor.
We advise that you return at night when the restaurants open and live music is playing in the bars and nightclubs. After nightfall, the scene is entirely different.
5. Do A Cliff Jump
While Klein Knip beach, one of the nicest in the Caribbean, and other Curaçao beaches are well renowned for their lovely white sand, there are many other hidden gems to discover.
At Playa Forti, a little beach in Westpunt, cliff jumping into the clear seas is a popular local activity. Visitors with a sense of adventure are starting to participate as well.
You can reach the finest ledge to jump off the 40-foot cliff by following a winding trail beyond Restaurant Playa Forti. Safety
Reminder: Jump at your own risk; no lifeguards are on duty. Accidents and grave injuries are both possible and common. Also, wear beach shoes when you jump to protect your feet when you land on dry land because the beach and sea floor there can be pebbly.
6. See the Birthplace of Curacao’s Famous Liqueur, Landhuis Chobolobo
Orange brandy gave the island of Curacao worldwide fame. It is located in a gorgeously restored plantation house that is worthwhile to see. The most well-known color is Blue Curaçao, created from the acrid indigenous laraha oranges and colored to make it more seductive. Yet it also comes in a wide range of different hues.
You are free to come and enjoy a self-guided tour of the site. Together with numerous exhibitions, the distilling process is explained in videos and plaques.
But you can bring some cash to have one of their specialty cocktails in their fabulous outdoor garden afterward and purchase some bottles to take with you. (They also charge for comprehensive guided tours that include samples and cocktails.)
7. Move to the music during a Punda (Curacao free street party)
Everybody likes a vibrant street party with music, dancing, cuisine, art, and local culture. You may make the party even more fun by lighting spectacular fireworks over the famous downtown harbor.
The Punda neighborhood should be at the top of your list of things to do at night in Curaçao. Punda’s Thursday Vibes is a free event on the waterfront every Thursday from 6 pm to 10 pm.
Suppose you are looking to do some shopping while visiting Curaçao. After sundown, you can explore the shops and galleries on the pedestrian-only streets surrounding the Gomez Plein public area.
8. See the Production Facility for Chichi® Figures
A Chichi® figurine is among the best souvenirs to purchase when visiting Curacao. These recognizable Curaçao souvenirs may be found in various sizes and colors in shops across the island. In addition, a few larger-than-life Chichi statues can also be found in public areas.
The cheerfully colored bald miniatures are modeled after “chichi,” the endearing nickname for the amiable and experienced older sister of Caribbean families. Yet there is more to this gal and her family of miniatures than meets the eye.
All Chichi® products are handmade and individually painted by local craftsmen in Serena’s Art Factory out on the island’s east end, near the Ostrich Farm on the route to Groot St. Joris.
Visit the factory where this magic is created, get to know the creators, and observe them at work. This is one of the best free things to do in Curacao. The surroundings in the rural garden are very stunning.
If you wish to make your own Chichi®, the factory also offers walk-in workshops. However, there is a fee and a cap on the number of participants in every session.
9. Learn More About Nena Sanchez’s Legacy
One of Curacao’s most well-known artists, Nena Sanchez, was renowned for her vivid, vibrant representations of island life. Unfortunately, she died in 2017. However, Her colorful artwork and “Alice in Wonderland”-style gallery continue to adorn the historic plantation house Landhuis Jan Kok, where she once held her workshops. For those who enjoy culture, visiting the gallery is among Curacao’s top things.
Her creative, positive presence there finally superseded the plantation’s terrible reputation as the abode of Curacao’s most infamous cruel slave lord (Jan Kok) of the 1800s. Admission is free, and a shop on site features Nena Sanchez’s art prints and souvenirs.
There is a gallery and gift shop run by Nena Sanchez in Punda if you want to do extra shopping while visiting Curaçao.
10. Monitor untamed flamingos
Much as in its sister island of Bonaire, there are a few salt pans around Curaçao where wild flamingos flock. Yet the natural preserve known as Salia Sint Marie is where you will observe these peculiar pink birds in one location.
It is situated alongside the highway leading to St. Willibrordus and Playa Porto Mari, one of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean.
They gather in swarms around the sizable saltwater lake, a popular location for bird watchers and photographers.
But since flamingos are infamous for being timid and skittish, they carry a long lens to capture clear pictures. If you get too close, they will take off. So early in the day before 10 am and during Happy Hour from 4 to 6 pm are the best times to see them feeding.
11. Marine turtle snorkeling
Playa Grandi, or Playa Piscado (piscado = fish), is a tiny rocky beach cove on Curaçao where local fishermen bring their catch for underwater entertainment. Then, after cleaning their catch on the tiny pier, they toss the leftovers back into the water, where grateful sea turtles are constantly waiting to scavenge the treats.
Although there is not much of a swimming area there because everyone who travels there with snorkel gear solely intends to swim with the turtles.
Please pay attention to the warnings and guidelines Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao posted there. The turtles must not be handled, pursued, or crowded. To avoid plastic bags ending up in the sea, where turtles can mistake them for jellyfish and consume them, always take your trash.
You can also take the time to learn more about the efforts being made by Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao to increase public awareness of sea turtles and the dangers that humans pose to them.
12. Travel Through Time at Alma Blou Gallery
The largest contemporary art gallery in Curaçao, Gallery Alma Blou, has been housed in the gorgeously renovated Landhuis Habaai, which is more than 300 years old.
To appreciate the rotating exhibits given by regional and worldwide artists, explore the architectural delights of the space and the filtered natural light. Additionally, there are frequently noteworthy cultural events happening there.
The entrance is free. However, it is closed on Mondays.
13. Visit an Aloe Vera Farm
Want to improve your health? Visit the east end of the island. There are enormous aloe plants there. Curaloe uses these aloes to produce top-notch skincare, health, and beauty products. Curacao makes some of the highest quality aloes on the planet due to its dry climate.
Visit the location, take the complimentary self-guided tour, and view a video to learn more about how the gel is extracted. Also, there is a Curaloe store on the property where you can get some aloe, one of the most well-liked souvenirs in Curacao. Their high-quality products are available both offline and online around the island.
14. Visit Kiteboarder’s Beach
St. Joris Baai, which sits on the island’s eastern extremity, is a great, undiscovered location for a picnic, hike, or mountain bike trip. Around the saltwater lake, a few trails have been dug out.
Since Curacao has the best conditions, you can also watch the top kiteboarders on the island perform tricks and give instructions. In addition, the vibrant kites soaring freely in the sky will motivate you to learn how to fly one yourself.
15. Be amazed by a thorny cathedral
A fantastic art piece is next to the brand-new Museum of Natural History. Although this art piece took many years to complete, it is a part of the historic plantation and cultural center known as Landhuis Bloemhof. It is a full-size cathedral fashioned entirely of thorns.
Herman Van Bergen, a local artist, had the idea for this magnificent installation. He painstakingly placed each thorn by hand to build a shrine representing all major global religions.
Locals have free access to this attraction, but tourists must pay a nominal $5 (nearly free) entry fee to enter both venues and enjoy the lovely surroundings. However, seeing the outdoor cathedral and its associated exhibitions is well worth the cost. Please note that it is closed on weekends.
We have also compiled some sites you can visit. Although these are not free, they are worth visiting.
16. The largest of the ABC island
Curacao is the largest of the ABC islands-Aruba and Bonaire, Curaçao. It is situated close to Venezuela off the South American coast. Within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it has its independence.
17. Curacao’s National Parks
Although a minor entrance fee supports its preservation, exploring the enormous Christoffel National Park, which spans about 5,000 acres, is worth exploring. This area is a must-see since it offers many options for picturesque driving and hikes in a pure environment, including a climb to Mount Christoffel, the highest point on the island.
White-tailed deer, a species thought to have been brought to the island by the Arawak natives, and Curacao’s rare native barn owl call Christoffel National Park home.
18. The historic Savonet Museum
The museum is located inside the park’s boundaries and is free to enter with payment. Boka Pistol’s booming seas and volcanic geological formations filled with fossils that resemble the moon’s surface are only two of the natural treasures that make Shete Boka National Park worth the entrance fee.
19. Going Swimming with the Beach Porto Marie Pigs
Even the pigs enjoy a day at the beach in Beach Porto Marie in Curacao. You can swim with the pigs that frequently roam wild on the beach at Playa Porto Marie, despite admission not being free. While not swimming into the surf like their pig counterparts do in the Bahamas, these porcine beachgoers nonetheless roll around in the sand by the water’s edge, unwind in the sunshine, and take in a day at Porto Marie Beach (also known as Playa Portomari) like everyone else.
Please remember that you shouldn’t try to pet or feed the pigs in Curacao, just like you would not with any other wild animal.
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