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The Travel Well Guide
City: Willemstad State: N/A Country: Netherlands Antilles
Curacao is a savannah island, outside the hurricane belt, off the coast of Venezuela. The largest of the Netherlands Antilles islands, it is renowned for spectacular reef diving as well as World Heritage colonial architecture and vibrant multi-culturalism. The island is completely encircled by a fringe of coral reef, millions of years old. The northern coast is rocky with few beaches and strong ocean currents but the waters on the leeward (southern) side are wonderfully still. This 54 km (40 mi) long stretch of coastline, with its sheltered inlets and small sandy beaches nestling in rocky coves, has more than 80 superb diving sites, six of which are ranked among the best in the world. Along the reef, known locally as the "blue edge", the sea floor drops within exceptionally close range of the shore - less than 100 m (330 ft) away - making the southern reef one of the best places for shore diving in the whole of the Caribbean. Gentle slopes lead to dazzling coral walls, old shipwrecks and a myriad of marine life in calm, clear water with a visibility of over 30 m (f 00 ft). Massive outcrops of coral, teeming with tropical fish, extend to depths below 40 m (130 ft), which also makes for some fantastic wall and cave diving.The Curacao Underwater Park was established along 19 km (12.5 mi) of the southern coast in 1983 to protect the soft corals and sponges from the ravages of pollution and to ensure that the reef remains healthy and continues to sustain its present abundance of sea creatures.
Climate | When to Visit
October to December are rainy months but, even then, showers are only ever moderate.
Visit during: January to December
Directions | How to Reach
Direct flights from US and Amsterdam to Hato International Airport, 12 km (7 mi) northwest of Willemstad.
miscellaneous | Important Information
Don't miss Klein Curacao - Idyllic islet with sea turtles and dolphins, Hato Caves -unusual limestone formations, ancient Caiquetios Indian carvings and a colony of fruit bats.Curacao together with Bonaire and Aruba are known as the ABC islands.