Curacao Travel Guide for Vegetarian and Eco-Conscious Visitors

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Located less than 40 miles from Venezuela in the southern tip of the Caribbean, the Dutch island of Curaçao is often overlooked in favor of its neighbor Aruba – but Curaçao, also known as the Leeward Antilles, is a treasure trove of natural splendor, good food (including vegetarian offerings), and warm hospitality, with far fewer tourists and less American influence than its neighbors.

The Caribbean island is well known for its namesake Curaçao liquor (blue and otherwise), which is a must when visiting. But the little corner of paradise has much more to offer. Here you’ll find dozens of public beaches and coastlines to explore, as well as a rich local culture with a unique blend of European and Caribbean heritage. The country has four official languages ​​- Dutch, English, Spanish and Papiamento – and the average citizen is fluent in all four.

Here’s our guide to the best things to see and do in Curacao as well as where to find the best vegan and vegetarian food on the island.


Vegetarian curacao Guide: Where to stay

Mangrove Beach Corendon Curacao

Mangrove Beach Corendon Curacao will be your best bet if you’re looking to experience the classic comforts of an all-inclusive resort – without skimping on sustainability and eco-friendly practices. The resort uses solar energy to power part of the property, buys produce from local farmers and donates food waste to them, and even sends its used cooking oil to be turned into sustainable aviation fuel. The eco-friendly property is also within walking distance of Punda, the oldest part of Willemstad, ideal for travelers who want to enjoy resort amenities but also get out and explore local restaurants and attractions. hilton.com


Vegetarian curacao Guide: eating and drinking

Netto bar

Curacao’s oldest bar, Netto Bar is a must-visit for travelers looking for an affordable and unique watering hole. The whimsical bar is best known for its famous Ròm Bèrdè (green rum) – but also serves ice-cold local beer and various other cocktails and spirits in a totally unassuming indoor/outdoor setting in the middle of Willemstad. instagram.com/netto.bar

Bohemia Curacao

Local vegetarian cuisine can be difficult to find, but La Bohème Curaçao in central Punda has plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. The casual restaurant is open from breakfast to dinner and offers a handful of decadent Curaçao and Caribbean options, including fresh vegan arepas, gezond sandwiches, and an abundance of smoothies and juices from local fresh fruits and vegetables. instagram.com/labohemecuracao

Iguana Cafe

The Iguana Café caters more to the tourist crowd – but it’s still worth stopping in for a colorful blue lagoon cocktail and a plate of cheese kroket. The cafe is perfect for boat and people watching as it is located directly across from the Queen Emma Bridge; an articulated pedestrian-style bridge that connects the neighborhoods of Punda and Otrobanda and opens regularly to allow boats to pass from the port to the ocean. instagram.com/iguanacafecur

Spicy

Nestled in the Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort, Ç Spice combines classic Caribbean flavors and ingredients with a European twist. The restaurant is not strictly plant-based, but vegetarian and vegan eaters are encouraged to call ahead and request a vegetarian tasting menu. The tasting menu is bursting with flavor and includes creative dishes like beetroot and plantain ceviche, squash and walnut ravioli, and mushroom risotto. instagram.com/cspicecuracao


Vegetarian curacao Guide: Things to do

Plasa Bieu old market

The restaurant in the old market at Plasa Bieu isn’t the most vegetarian, but it’s worth visiting as an attraction if you want a taste of local life – and you can make a vegetarian meal here with a little of work. The community-style market features a few dozen picnic tables where locals and visitors can order Curaçao cuisine from various market vendors. Try the arepa di pampuna (Caribbean pumpkin pancakes) and fresh lemonade and lemonade. Head to one of the many batido (Caribbean smoothie) trucks where you can get fresh fruit drinks made from local fruits like papaya and mango. facebook.com

Kura Hulanda Museum

The Kura Hulanda Museum should be on every traveller’s bucket list when visiting Curacao. The Anthropological Museum covers the history of the Atlantic slave trade with a focus on the slave trade in Curacao. The museum includes artifacts and historical documentation dating back to the 18th century and a large collection of historic and modern African artwork. Admission is just US$5; for just a few extra dollars, a professional guide will show you around the museum and make sure you get the most out of the experience.
curacao.com

Christoffel National Park

The Louvre Museum is one of the most famous tourist centers in Europe. But things get touristy for a reason – and in the case of Christoffel National Park is home to Christoffel Mountain; the highest peak on the whole island of Curaçao. Fair warning: Going all the way to the top is considered an extremely difficult hike. Due to the altitude and the strong afternoon sun, those looking to climb to the top of the mountain should start before 10 am. But if you do the trek, you’ll be rewarded with an abundance of flora and fauna that can be harder to spot at low altitudes, as well as breathtaking views of all of Curacao and the turquoise blue waters that surround the island. .christoffelpark.org


RELATED: See all of our VT City guides for plant-based travelers


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