Best free things to do in Curacao

Curacao is a beautiful Caribbean island located right off the coast of Venezuela. You might be visiting Curacao on a cruise or maybe for a vacation. Upon arrival, you will probably find out that most great attractions on the island can be quite pricey. However, there are a whole lot of very cheap and free things to do in Curacao as well. This guide is gonna show you 23 totally free or ridiculously cheap things to do in Curacao!

1. Explore Willemstad

Willemstad is the colorful capital city of the Caribbean island of Curacao. It is also the largest city on the island and there are many fantastic things to do in Willemstad that will not break the bank! Whether you are only on the island for one day with a cruise or for a longer vacation – Willemstad is worth a visit.

Explore the beautiful and colorful districts of Punda, Pietermaai, and Otrobanda. Check out the amazing street art and the special buildings that were constructed with European urban-planning concepts. Spanish, Dutch, and Portuguese influences shaped the city – and it is worth investigating the cultural and vibrant hotspots.

Row of colorful houses in Willemstad, also known as Handelskade, taken from the Pontjesbrug, Sant Anna bay in front of the houses
Handelskade Willemstad

2. Explore Curacao’s impressive underwater world

Since diving can be pretty expensive, snorkeling is a great alternative to see Curacao’s amazing marine life. Most beaches allow you free access, so you only need to borrow some gear. Many of the Curacao beaches have dive shops, where you can borrow gear for a few dollars.

Great spots to snorkel are Tugboat Beach, Playa Lagun, and Daaibooibay! This is one of the best free things to do in Curacao. Find more information on Curacao’s beaches in my Curacao beach guide.

Shipwreck at Tugboat Beach drone shot of snorkeler with shipwreck in water
Shipwreck at Tugboat Beach

3. Landhuis Klein Santa Martha

The beautiful plantation house Klein Santa Martha is worth visiting while in Curaçao. The plantation house was built around the 1700s, and visiting it is for free. It can be found atop a hill, a bit on the northeast of Santa Martha Bay. Landhuis Klein Santa Martha was among the top 3 salt producers on the island. Nowadays it serves as a restaurant and a hotel.

Curacao Travel Guide Book

4. Santa Martha Viewpoint

The Santa Martha Viewpoint is a pretty special, and free thing to do in Curacao. Overlooking Santa Martha Bay you can find an amazing little spot, that offers a stunning view of the bay during sunset. Make sure to get there early for a nice spot to watch the sunset behind the lagoon. For directions click here.

5. Cliff jumping at Grote Knip beach (Kenepa Grandi)

This cool and free thing to do in Curacao might not be something for everyone. Kenepa Grandi is one of the prettiest beaches in Curacao, and there is no entrance fee. It is also a very safe point for cliff jumping, so make sure to hop by there. The cliffs are about 20 ft high! Make sure to climb up the stairs instead of the rocks, otherwise, you might injure yourself.

Beautiful crystal clear blue water next to cliffs in front of blue sky
Grote Knip Beach

6. Visit the Queen Emma bridge

The floating Queen Emma bridge connects the two districts of Punda and Otrobanda in the capital city of Willemstad. It is designed as a pontoon bridge, and it opens at various intervals to accommodate passing ships. The bridge was built in 1888, with renovations being done in 1939.

The locals refer to it by the nickname: “Our Swinging Old Lady”. Make sure to visit at night, when it lights up in beautiful colors. From the Queen Emma bridge, you also have a great view over the Queen Juliana Bridge. Both these monuments are free to visit in Curacao.

7. Hato caves

The Hato caves are located close to the airport. They consist of ancient caverns that are over 300.000 years old! You can tour the caves and see impressive stalagmites and stalactites in an amazing labyrinth. Maybe you will even see some rare bats and an interesting inside pool!

Included in the tour is admission to the ancient trail of the Arawaks, the island’s former natives. You can see the artwork that they left behind on the island over 1.500 years ago! The admission is not free but with USD 10,00 it is a relatively cheap and interesting thing to do in Curacao.

8. Visit the Jewish museum in Willemstad

The Jewish cultural historical museum is located in the Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue and it was built in 1732. The sanctuary and the museum are open to visitors and show about 375 years of Jewish life on the island. The admission price to the museum is USD 10,00. This is another great thing to do in Curacao on a budget.

9. See the chichis at Serenas Art Factory

One stop on the island that’ll be completely worth your while in Curaçao is Serena’s Art Factory. You can visit the factory for free. Over there you can see how the famous and colorful Chichi® sculptures are made by Serena. The sculptures here are hand-painted by a group of over 60 women and make for a great souvenir from the island.

10. The Shete Boka National Park

Shete Boka National Park is an amazing place in Curacao where you can witness nature’s primal forces at work. The Shete Boka National park is adjacent to Christoffel Park. It is located on the rocky north coast of the island.

This is your chance to see a whole different side of the vacationer’s paradise Curacao. Not only can you see huge waves come crashing in on impressive cliffs but also other great natural wonders, like a natural bridge. The entrance to the Shete Boka National Park is not free, but with a fee of USD 5,50, it is affordable.

11. Landhuis Chobolobo – home of the Blue Curacao

Landhuis Chobolobo is a beautiful historical Landhuis located in Punda. Many people on the island describe its history as “sketchy.” It was constructed in the early 1800s and is assumed to have been a country residence for wealthy merchants back in the day.

Today, the Landhuis Chobolobo is home to the distillery company Senior Co., the producers of the famous Blue Curaçao. A guided tour of the facility will provide an opportunity to learn more about the history of this old plantation house. However, you can also visit the house for free and check it out.

12. Snorkeling at Kleine Knip (Kenepa Chiki)

The Kleine Knip is the sister beach to the aforementioned Grote Knip beach. It is a great snorkeling spot and there is no entrance fee to the beach. This makes it one of the best free things to do in Curacao. For very little money you can rent beach beds and umbrellas there.

13. Hike up the Christoffelberg

The Christoffel Berg is located in the Christoffel National Park and is with a height of 372 meters (1,220 ft) the highest point in Curacao. It lies in the middle of a preserved wildlife area. You can explore some of the trails in the wildlife park by car or foot. You can climb the mountain to the top, but make sure to show up early in the day. The entrance fee is USD 12, so it is a relatively cheap thing to do in Curacao.

View from top of the Christoffelberg in Curacao over the hills and forests and the ocean in the background
Christoffel Berg view

14. Visit the Kura Hulanda Museum

The Kura Hulanda Museum is located in central Willemstad and is an interesting place to check out. It is located right at the harbor. The area around the museum played a significant role in the trading and transshipment of enslaved Africans by Dutch entrepreneurs, and that is ultimately what the museum is all about. The entrance fee for the museum is quite cheap at USD 10.

15. Spend the day in Playa Lagun

The beautiful bay Playa Lagun is not only a great place for snorkelers but also a beautiful little oasis far away from the big crowds. There is no entrance fee to the beach, so it is a great free thing to do in Curacao. It is usually very quiet on this beach, so we enjoy going! With some luck, you can even swim with turtles.

Picture of a bay with super clear blue water and blue skyes and
Playa Lagun

16. The famous Kokomo swings

Kokomo is a beautiful small beach in Curacao and is worth visiting. There is a couple of Instagram-famous swings, that made the beach pretty popular. The best thing about it: Kokomo has no entrance fee!

17. Visit the Aloe Vera farm

The Aloe Vera plantation, called Curaloe is a great free thing to see in Curaçao. No reservations are necessary to visit this location and neither is an admission fee. On the location, you can test products, and enjoy a cold drink while you tour the plantation.

18. Check out the Curacao Maritime museum

One of my favorite things to do in Curacao is the Curacao Maritime museum. Curacao has one of the oldest harbors in the Caribbean, and the Curacao Maritime museum in Scharloo will show you all 500 years of harbor history.

Learn about the arrival of the indigenous people and follow the Dutch and Spanish explorers and slave traders as well as modern travelers. You can check out ship models and other nautical equipment. The entrance fee is USD 10,00, so it is quite affordable.

19. Visit the Plasa Bieu market

Plasa Bieu once used to be an old market in Willemstad. It was a place where women sold food. Nowadays it is more of a modern food court. You can go there to eat authentic Curaçao cuisine and local delicacies. You can try goat stew and iguana meat if you’re feeling particularly adventurous. The food there is pretty cheap since locals eat there as well.

20. Tour the forts of Willemstad

There are in total three forts you can visit while in Willemstad. They are called Fort Amsterdam, Rif Fort, and Fort Nassau. Fort Amsterdam is the most popular one, it is also included in UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

Nowadays Fort Amsterdam houses the Governor’s office as well as the Council of Ministers and government offices in Curaçao. The beautiful Riff Fort in Otrobanda was constructed in 1828 and is now a shopping center. Fort Nassau was built in 1797 and is located right outside the city on a hill. Just checking out the forts from the outside is completely free.

21. Willemstad floating market

The Willemstad Floating Market is a great spot where you’ll be able to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables at low prices. There are even seafood stands offering cheap seafood there. This is a great free thing to do in Curacao.

22. Visit the Savonet museum

The Savonet museum is located at the entrance of the Christoffel National Park. It is a former plantation house that was built in 1662. Nowadays it is known to be an important cultural site. You can learn about the social evolution in Curacao, from the first inhabitants to the plantation owners and the enslaved people. A great and interesting place to see in Curacao.

23. Make your own art in Playa Porto Mari

Join a driftwood painting workshop on Playa Porto Mari and save some money on souvenirs. The workshop is so much fun and the instructor makes sure that all driftwood signs turn out decent (;!

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  • Avatar for Linda (LD Holland)

    Linda (LD Holland)

    We visited Curacao for the first time for scuba diving. And sadly did not explore much more. So it was great to see how much there was to do. And how many things we could do for little or no water. We would definitely want to explore around the island and take in the views. And the caves sound like a lot of fun. A good reminder of all the free spots for snorkelling too!

  • Avatar for Hannah


    I would love to visit the ABCs… Willemsted is so colourful – talk about picture-perfect! I’d like to visit the Aloe Vera farm – I love that stuff – perfect for skincare!

  • Avatar for Jan


    I am impressed by the number pf things there are to do in Curacao. I love those colorful houses in Willemstad and Santa Martha lookout looks beautiful. The Aloe Vera farm and the Kokomo swings on the beach look interesting. I have not been to Venzuela yet, but will keep Curacao in my bucket list. 🙂

  • Avatar for Krista


    Wow there are so many fantastic things to do here! I like that there’s something for everyone too and it isn’t all just beaches and swimming.