For unique things to do in Curacao visit one of its many forts scattered throughout the island.
Curacao is still considered a hidden gem in the Caribbean. Historically, this strategically located Caribbean Island was very popular and sought after by European and South American conquerors. As a consequence the Dutch, who at that time owned Curacao, never felt completely safe on the island.
As a means for protection strategically located forts were built all across the island. A total of eight forts have survived and to this very day help preserve the history of Curacao. Most forts are home to hotels, shops, museums and restaurants to suit today’s needs. The most popular forts are described below, put at least one of them on your list of things to do in Curacao.
Fort Nassau dates back to 1797 and was named after the Royal House of Orange-Nassau to which the Dutch Royal family belonged. Strategically placed atop a hill near the St. Anna bay this fort serves as a harbor signal and control tower.
The fort serves as a regulating office for the opening and closing of the Queen Emma Bridge. Today Fort Nassau is home to a well-known restaurant ‘Restaurant Fort Nassau’.
Waterfort dates back to 1634 and was built to protect the Punda district. Today you will find numerous restaurants and terraces here. The Waterfort Terrace within a walking distance from Plaza Hotel Curacao & Casino is where you’ll find shops, bars and a variety of restaurants.
The most important fort on the island is Fort Amsterdam. Built in 1635 this fort made the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage sites. Fort Amsterdam is where the Governor resides. You will also find several government offices, a church and museum.
The open courtyard of Fort Amsterdam provides the perfect opportunity for a stroll. From the outside in the southwest wall you will see a cannonball embedded in the wall, which is quite unique. The thing that fascinates me most about Fort Amsterdam is that it has all the qualities of a fort while still looking like a regular Dutch-inspired country house.
If you're short on time, make sure you visit at least Fort Amsterdam. This fort is one of the most unique landmarks and well on top of the list of things to do in Curacao.
Curacao nowadays is still considered a hidden gem in the Caribbean.
Fort Beekenburg is a must visit when you’re in the Caracasbay area. The fort dates back to 1703 and is one of the best-preserved forts in the Caribbean region. Fort Beekenburg has effectively protected Curacao from pirates as well as European fleets.
Nearby you’ll find two beaches namely popular Baya Beach and Caracasbay. At both beaches you can rent water sport equipments such as jetski, boat’s and kayaks. Most boat trips to Little Curacao (Klein Curacao) depart from Baya Beach.
In other words a visit to Fort Beekenburg can be perfectly combined with other fun things to do in Curacao.
Located on the outskirts of Otrobanda, this fort was strategically placed at the entrance of the St. Anna Bay to protect the Otrobanda district. Built in 1828 the Rif Fort now houses several shops, restaurants and terraces to keep both locals and Curacao-visitors entertained.
As you cross the renowned floating bridge (Queen Emma Bridge) you’ll see the fort at your left. Within the old inner walls of Rif Fort you’ll find a welcome and cozy ambiance. You might want to snap a picture or two, as the views here are breathtaking.