Curacao is a Caribbean island found among the Lesser Antilles, not too far from the coast of Venezuela. It's located in the southern section of the Caribbean Sea, in the Dutch Caribbean region. Curacao is a constituent country that remains part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and covers a total area of 171 square miles (444 square km), being home to around 180,000 people. Thousands of additional visitors flock to Curacao from all four corners of the globe at all times of year to take advantage of the island's wonderful weather, colorful architecture, delicious local delicacies, and luxurious beaches.
Curacao is a fascinating Caribbean island for traditional beach activities like sunbathing and swimming, but is also an awesome place to visit for people with adventurous spirits, being home to lots of lush jungle and naturally formed hot springs. The country's formation is quite long and thin, meaning you're never too far away from a beach no matter where you happen to find yourself on Curacao, and there are lots of historic forts along the coast to discover and explore as well, along with traditional seafront activities and amenities like restaurants, bars, and shops. In short, there’s something for absolutely everyone to enjoy at Curacao’s beaches, making this one of the Caribbean’s top islands for varied and vibrant vacations.
Best Beaches in Curacao
Despite being quite a small island, there’s a lot of variety to be found around Curacao. If you’re looking for a city-side beach with good amenities and lots of activity you can find it, and if you’re looking for an untouched coastal location with a quiet, romantic atmosphere to really get away from the crowds, you’ll be able to find that too. There are a lot of lovely beaches to enjoy on this island, and you can learn all about them by reading the descriptions below.
- Playa Kenepa
Playa Kenepa is probably the number one beach most tourists tend to visit when they come to Curacao, and it's not hard to understand why. This is easily one of the prettiest beaches on the island, and many long-time Curacao tourists will even argue that it's the prettiest beach most people will ever see in all their lives. Offering beautiful views of nearby rock formations to one side, lush vegetation to the other, and beautiful sky blue waters straight ahead, Playa Kenepa is a luxurious little paradise.
The native manchineel trees offer nice little spots of shade and there are several sun loungers and tiki umbrellas dotted around too if you need to cool down and get out of the sun for a little while. There aren't any lifeguards on duty at this Curacao beach, but it's relatively safe in general due to the very calm waters. Snorkeling is super popular here, and if you're an experienced swimmer, you can head out away from the shore and dive down to explore the local coral reef. Who knows what kind of colorful tropical fish you might find! Amenities at this Curacao beach include a little cafe serving simple snacks and drinks, along with public restrooms.
- Klein Curacao
To experience one of Curacao's most beautiful beaches, you'll have to leave the main island and head over to Klein Curacao, also known as Little Curacao. This is an uninhabited island a few miles out to sea, only accessible by boat. Fortunately, lots of different boat services and day trips can be found and reserved around the island.
You'll have to pay for the privilege, but when you step foot on Klein Curacao, you'll realize that it was worth every penny. This island has one of the longest and loveliest beaches of them all, with powdery white sands running out in both directions. You can enjoy every kind of activity at Klein Curacao, from lively beach parties to romantic strolls. The island is also home to a very pretty little lighthouse which has proven highly popular with photographers over the years.
- Jan Thiel Beach
If you want to see the classier side of Curacao and visit the sort of beach that celebrities and stars would love to visit, Jan Thiel Beach is the one for you. Located not far from Curacao's capital city of Willemstad, Jan Thiel Beach offers wide, open spaces with a lot of comfortable soft sand spread out in every direction.
This is a popular Curacao beach but never gets overly busy due to the fact that there's so much space here, and Jan Thiel Beach is a great spot to partake in some organized water sports and activities. Scuba diving and snorkeling can be enjoyed here, or if you're looking for something a little more relaxing, the local Zanzibar Restaurant offers waterside massages.
- Playa Forti
When most people go to the beach, they simply like to sit down and admire the view, so it can certainly pay off to find a beach with some beautiful scenery to look at. On Curacao, Playa Forti arguably has the best views of all. It's surrounded by stunning landscapes, with the island's rocky western coastline stretching all the way out as far as the eye can see.
The sands here are nice and smooth, dotted with pretty pebbles and lined with lots of great snack bars and food vendors. The staff at the local restaurant are always cooking up some really delicious local recipes for everyone to enjoy, and there are some good hotels and resorts in the Playa Forti area as well. This is also one of Curacao's most historical beaches, being located near the site of an old English military fort.