A vacation to Curacao with kids is fun! There is enough to do on this Caribbean island to keep you entertained for a week (or two)! Curaçao is known for its wonderful climate and beautiful beaches. You can visit the sunny island all year round. This allows you to go to Curaçao with kids in multiple vacation periods. We visited the island for 10 days and in this blog we list all the fun activities you can do on Curaçao with kids.
Table of contents
Flying to Curacao with kids
You fly to Curaçao in about ten hours. You have several airlines that fly to this island. Most Dutch families visit the island with the airline TUI and the airline Corendon. Often this is also in conjunction with a hotel. Of course, it is also possible to book both things (airfare and hotel) separately and then you can see through which airline it is cheapest. A handy website where we compare all airlines is skyscanner.com.
Renting a car on Curacao with kids
If you’re vacationing to Curaçao with kids, it’s also easy if you can explore the island with a rental car. On the Caribbean island, you can rent a car through Sunny Cars. We are fans of Sunny Cars as they offer the most in terms of total package. With this package, you are super well insured in terms of damage, theft, third-party liability, roadside assistance and much more. In this regard, we always like the thought of everything being taken care of.
travel guides Curaçao
If you’re going on a trip to Curaçao with kids, you’ll want to read up a bit beforehand. Of course there is already a lot to find out about the island of Curaçao via the Internet these days, but we always like a travel guide on vacation as well. Relaxed on the beach reading what’s out there. You have several travel guides about the island that will give you an overview of what to do on the island.
Family-friendly hotels on Curacao
You have plenty of family-friendly hotels in Curaçao, where you can stay during your family vacation on the island. Of course, it is nice if the hotel has a pool and a good location. Most hotels sit around the popular beaches of Jan Thiel Bay and Mambo Beach. For these beaches, we list some family-friendly options below. These hotels include the airline ticket right away. Press the blue link for more information.
Jan Thiel Bay:
#1 Chogogo Dive & Beach Resort Curaçao: this resort located near Curaçao’s most popular beach (Jan Thiel Beach) has three pools and also a pool especially for kids. The resort also has two outdoor Jacuzzis. You have bungalows here for families of up to six people. We stayed here with friends who stayed there several times swimming in the pools and eating at the restaurant and it is very good!
#2 Morena Resort Apartments & Villas: this resort is only five minutes from Jan Thiel Bay beach and also has three pools and a pool especially for kids. There is also a playground for the kids. The apartments and villas are beautifully tucked away in a tropical garden, and again they have villas for families of up to eight people.
#3 Bungalows & Villas Papagayo Beach Resort: this is perhaps the most famous resort on the island of Curaçao. This resort has beautiful rooms and gorgeous villas and has two outdoor pools: Papagayo Beach Resort, fresh water and Papagayo Beach Club, salt water. One of these pools beautifully overlooks the sea, and if you really want to spend your Curacao vacation with kids in luxury, this is a very good option. We spent several days here at the beach and especially with kids this is a very nice place.
#1 LionsDive Beach Resort: this beautiful resort on Mambo Beach is also a household name on Curaçao and they have beautiful apartments here for families with kids. The beach is at your doorstep and you can do some wonderful diving and snorkeling here at the underwater park that is right outside the door. In addition, LionsDive Beach Resort has the only 50-meter pool in the entire Caribbean. In total, they have two pools and one pool for kids.
#2 Sunscape Curaçao Resort&Spa: This is an all-inclusive resort where you can stay in Curaçao with kids. This resort also has three outdoor pools, including one specifically for kids. The resort also has a playground and two different kids clubs for ages 3 to 12 and 13 to 17.
#3 Dolphin Suites: this is a somewhat smaller hotel located near Mambo Beach. You have two different pools located at this hotel and there is also a spa at the hotel. They have apartments here for families of up to five people.
Children’s Activities Curaçao
Family-friendly beaches Curaçao
Most families go to Curaçao with kids because of the island’s beautiful beaches. What is a big advantage of most beaches in Curaçao is that they are very family-friendly. You have many facilities at most beaches, and the sea is very calm almost at all of them, which makes for good swimming with kids. We list some of them below:
#1 Jan Thiel beach: this is perhaps the most famous beach in Curaçao and this beach also has the most facilities for families with kids. You have several beach clubs sitting at this beach, where you can have good food and drinks. We have been there several times and that was mainly for the facilities. The beach is full of beds, so it’s not a super nice beach. However, the sea is very calm and therefore very suitable for kids.
At the Papagayo hotel you also have a kind of natural pool, where you can swim with the kids as well. We also found this to be a place very suitable for families with kids. Furthermore, as with most beaches on the island, you can park your car for free near the beach. There is also a branch of the Albert Heyn supermarket near Jan Thiel beach where you can buy the familiar products from home.
#2 Mambo Beach: this is the most famous beach in Curacao after Jan Thiel beach. This beach is also completely packed with beds, leaving little sand. This beach is also a short drive away from where most tourists sleep. You can also park your car here for free in the large parking lot. This beach also has all the facilities you need and several beach bars.
You can rent a bed here, but the prices of the beds vary quite a bit in price. In our experience, in the middle of the beach, the beds are the cheapest (about 10 guilders each). By the way, this whole stretch of beach consists of different beach names, but the entire beach is simply called Mambo Beach by most people. Because there are rocks in the sea, they break the waves and you have a kind of natural pool, which of course is very suitable for kids.
#3 Cas Abao Beach: is a very long beach and the sea slopes gradually. This also makes the beach very popular with families with kids. It is also a wonderful beach to visit if you are vacationing to Curaçao with kids. Also, when we visited this beach, the entire beach was not littered with beds, which in our opinion does enhance the beach.
As with most of the beaches on this list, you can visit the beach for snacks and drinks. We were already 6 months into our world trip when we visited Curaçao and enjoyed a serving of bitterballen on the beach here. You can rent beds here, but (as with several beaches) they are not always super active with checkout.
When we were there no one came to us to pay for the cot, but a cot here costs a few guilders per cot.
#4 Grote Knip: This is also one of the most famous beaches in Curaçao. You do need a car to get to this beach. You can park your car in front of the beach for free. Just keep in mind that the last part of the road is very bad (which is the case with several beaches, by the way).
We found the snorkeling here a bit disappointing. You can rent two beds and an umbrella here for 25 Antillean guilders. At the snack bar near the beach, you can only pay in cash, so keep this in mind. At one point when we visited this beach, a wild pig also came to cool off in the sea, which gave a nice photo. You have a sort of viewpoint at the top of the beach, where you can get a nice overview photo of the beach.
#5 Blue Bay Beach: this is a beach that belongs to a resort. You first drive onto the resort grounds and there you have to show your ID at the gate. So make sure if you want to visit this beach that you have these with you. Then drive on across the resort and you can park your car at the beach for free.
We paid 50 guilders entrance fee for this beach (adults 20 and kids 10). This price then includes the beds. You can also have excellent food at this beach and the facilities are very good. You can also do great snorkeling at this beach which is not super big. You should then snorkel on the right side of the beach (as you face the sea) by the rocks.
Just around the corner from these rocks, the coral is the most beautiful and you can see lots of different fish swimming.
#6 Playa Lagun: This is a somewhat smaller beach in Curacao, but is also a really beautiful beach. We felt that this beach was also a bit quieter, than many of the beaches on this list. Again, you can snorkel well at this beach near the rocks.
There is also a nice little restaurant above the beach, where you can go by stairs. From here you have a nice view of the beach. Just be careful that the iguanas that frequent this restaurant don’t take your food ;).
#7 Porto Marie Beach: this beach is known as one of the most beautiful beaches in Curaçao, but we found it a bit disappointing. This is mainly due to the crowds (we visited the beach during the Christmas vacations and then also around 1 o’clock in the afternoon. You also pay an entrance fee for this beach (10 guilders per person and kids up to 12 are free), but the bed is included.
Unfortunately, we had the misfortune that the beds were all gone. Parking was also quite a thing here, as it was very crowded. If you go outside the vacation periods, this will be a lot less. This beach is also known for the pigs that go into the sea, but we did not see these pigs on this beach. This may be because of the crowds.
Also at this beach you can visit a restaurant for a snack and a drink. From the parking lot here you have a vantage point over the beach, where you can take a photo.
#8 Kokomo Beach: this beach is near Blue Bay beach (about a 10-minute drive away) and is known for its swings in the water. You can take a nice picture here. The beach is not super spectacular, but you can do great snorkeling here. Again at the rocks on the right and again just as you turn the corner. Beautiful coral and fish.
#9 Daaibooi Beach: this is perhaps the cutest beach we visited during our trip to Curaçao with our daughter. We visited this beach only on our last day, which was a shame, because otherwise we would have definitely gone back again. In terms of beach, it is similar to a beach like Porto Marie (it is also not far from this beach), but access to the beach is free. You drive along a good road to the beach and can also park at the beach for free.
We rented two beds and an umbrella here for 25 guilders. In addition, there are all kinds of inflatables in the water, which kids can play on all day for 10 guilders a day. Our daughter played here all day with the other kids. In addition, the sea is calm and you can spot turtles well at this beach. These often come up the right side of the rocks on the fishermen’s trash.
We visited the beach on Sunday and then there were no fishermen, but still we spotted about 6 turtles. These also came pretty close to the shore. Furthermore, at this beach you can eat a fries with a snack and buy some drinks. We had a great time there for a whole day and definitely recommend this beach on Curaçao.
Nature of Curaçao
You can visit a total of three national parks on Curaçao with kids. We list them below.
#10 The Christoffel Park: this natural park is located in the northwest of Curaçao and contains nearly 2,000 hectares of land. You also have in this national park lying the famous Christoffel Mountain which is the highest point of the island. You can also climb this mountain and on top of it you will have a beautiful view of the surroundings. You can go on several hikes in the national park, and there are also two different car routes you can take through the park.
#11 Shete Boka Park: this national park has nine different inlets and has as many as three different sea turtles that come here. These turtles lay their eggs here, and around the nature park there is a good chance you will also see the animals swimming in the sea. You have two different hiking trails in this park and you can also drive through it by car.
The most famous landmark of this national park is Boka Tabla. Boka Tabla is a cave that can be visited from land where the sea flows in. This splashing water is spectacular to watch. You can descend stairs to the cave.
#12 Curaçao Marine Park: this national park is located on the southeast side of the island and runs from Willemstad to the very east of the island. It is a great place for diving and snorkeling. Consequently, there are no less than nineteen official dive sites here. Of course, you will also frequently encounter turtles here.
Of course, it’s also fun to visit Willemstad during your Curaçao vacation with kids. Willemstad is the capital of Curaçao and you have several tourist districts here (Punda, Pietermaai, Sharloo and Otrabanda) that are worth visiting. You can see much of this Curaçao city with kids in just a morning or an afternoon.
For example, it is fun to take a walk along the colorful commercial quay with your kids and across the world-famous pontoon bridge. Then also visit the colorful neighborhoods of Otrabanda and Sharloo, where you can take fun photos with your kids. You’ll also find quite a bit of street art here. In the Punda district, it is also fun to have your picture taken with the letters Dushi and Curaçao. Needless to say, we did.
If you are looking for a cultural outing, you can visit the Kura Hulanda Museum. This museum is dedicated to the slave trade. For a bite to eat and a drink, the restaurants in the Pietermaai neighborhood such as Blauw and the Heeren@Sea are great places to go.
Animal viewing on Curaçao
You can admire various animals on Curacao with kids. We briefly list them below.
#14 Turtles: For many tourists in Curacao, the turtles in the sea are the highlight of the vacation. You have a very good chance of spotting these animals in the sea at 1 beach on the island, and that is Grandi Beach. The stories about this place were mixed beforehand, but most tourists advised us to go to the place as early as possible so it would still be quiet.
We got up early, since we had our stay in the Jan Thiel region and it is about an hour’s drive from here. We got to the beach around 9 o’clock and by then there were only a few tourists in the water. If you come later, many groups tour the beach and there are fishermen throwing all kinds of fish waste into the water which attracts the turtles.
This also increases the number of turtles in the water, but there are also many more tourists and the water can be very dirty with fish waste. When we were there we spotted three turtles in the sea. When we wanted to leave the place around 9:30, a local threw the first fish waste into the water and you could also see the turtle that descended on this from the pier.
The second place where you can spot turtles very well is Daaibooi Beach, which we have already told you about in detail above.
#15 Zoo: You can go to the zoo on Curacao with kids. Don’t expect too much here, as it’s mostly farm animals they have here. In addition, you have a playground for kids.
#16 Sea Aquarium: you can admire different animals such as rays, dolphins, sharks and flamingos at this aquarium. You can also swim with dolphins here and also take pictures with them. Of course, you do pay a fair amount for this. In addition, you can watch a show with dolphins and it is also possible to feed the rays and flamingos here. You can also take an underwater boat to look for sharks.
#17 Flamingo viewing: you can encounter these animals in the wild on the island. For example, this can be done on the road to Bullenbaai and on the road to Sint Willibrordus. Definitely fun to stop in your rental car and take a picture. However, it is sometimes difficult to get very close to these animals.
We saw the animals as we drove from Blue Bay to Kokomo beach. You will then pass a large lake that is characterized as Flamingo Area. Unfortunately, we did not have our good camera with zoom with us, so we were not able to properly photograph the animals with our phone. So bring a good camera if you want to take good pictures of these beautiful animals.
#18 Mimi’s Ecofarm: this is a tilapia farm in Curaçao and you can take a walk with your kids at this plantation. You have at the plantation fruit trees, aquarium fish, water lilies, aquatic plants and herbs. You will also encounter various species of birds, lizards, iguanas, peacocks, geese and chickens on the plantation.
#19 Rancho Alegre: it is also possible to go horseback riding on Curacao with kids. Rancho Alegre offers tours on horseback, where you go into nature with a small group of horses under the guidance of a guide. You’ll drive through cactus fields and pass fruit trees, and you’ll have great views from the mountains.
#20 Curaçao Ostrich Farm: it is also possible to view ostriches on Curaçao with kids. You can take a kind of safari by bus here and spot the animals that way. You can also see the animals up close at the farm and also see, for example, the animals’ eggs. However, reviews of this activity are very mixed.
Other children’s activities Curacao
In addition to the activities described above, you can do a number of activities on Curaçao with kids. We list them briefly below.
#21 Klein Curaçao: this is a small island near Curaçao that you can visit with snow-white beaches and a very blue clear sea. The islet measures three square meters and is uninhabited. You can go here by boat and on the island itself there are only some huts and some houses of the boat owners who provide the tours to this islet.
Do keep in mind that there is little shade on the island, as the island has no trees, but mostly rocks. The activity most tourists do here is snorkeling. You often get a snorkel kit from the boat company. The trip to the island is not cheap, but the beaches on the island are beautiful. We did not do this trip because of the high cost.
#22 Jeep Safari: You can also go on a safari by jeep in Curacao with kids. The minimum age for this safari is six years and the tour lasts about 7 hours. You will visit the remote corners of Bandabou during this safari, which are mainly only accessible by 4×4 jeep. You will hike to an ancient cave, visit a secluded beach and also visit the museum Savonet.
#23 Traffic Park: this is a traffic plaza where kids can ride around on small bikes. You pay a small entrance fee and this is really for the smallest kids. You can combine this activity with a visit to the Curaçao Zoo.
#24 Landhuis Savonet: Curaçao has a slavery past and you still have many plantation houses on the island. Landhuis Savonet is located near the Christoffel National Park and you can visit this country house and see how the former residents lived here.
#25 Surfing Curaçao: You can do three different types of surfing on Curaçao with kids. In fact, you can kitesurf, wave surf and windsurf. For kids, wave surfing will be the most interesting and the best period to do it on the island is from May to December. You have several surf schools where you can learn wave surfing.
#26 Aquasafari: It is possible to dive on Curacao with kids without having taken a course. This is for kids ten and up, though, and you will explore the underwater world on an underwater scooter. The activity takes about 1.5 hours, almost an hour of which you will be in the water. Your head stays dry in this activity and you don’t have a mask on either. Accompanied by a guide, up to six people go underwater with a scooter.
#27 Hato Caves: these caves used to be a refuge for escaped slaves and these slaves sometimes stayed here for months. Before that, the caves were also visited by the Ararwak Indians. You can still find ancient cave drawings and petroglyphs in these caves. You can visit the caves here with a guide and the caves also have many stalagmites and stalactites that you can view.
#28 Serena’s Art Factory: you can take workshops here on Curacao with kids, where kids can make a Chichi. Chichis are Caribbean female figurines in a variety of motifs and beautiful colors. You see them popping up all over the island. For kids, of course, it’s great fun to be creative and after the workshop they get to take home their own figurine.
Family-friendly restaurants in Curacao
You have plenty of family-friendly restaurants in Curaçao where you can have a great family meal. We ate very well at several places here during our 10-day trip. We list some of these family-friendly restaurants in Curaçao.
#29 Chogogo Resort: this resort is practically on the Jan Thiel beach and here we dined three nights and it was very good. You can also enter the grounds here as a non-guest, and by the resort pool there is a very good restaurant. Beforehand, we would often dive into the water of the pool for a while and then have dinner here. Every night the restaurant was practically full, so do ask when you arrive if you need to reserve a table.
#30 Blue Bay Beach Restaurant: this is a lovely beach club, where you can go all day for snacks and drinks. Here you also have a large playground located near the restaurant and, of course, it is possible for kids to swim and snorkel on the beach.
#31 Cabana Beach Club: this beach club is located near Mambo beach and you can also visit this all-day Curacao restaurant with kids. Here too, of course, it is possible for kids to swim in the sea.
#32 Bahia Beach Bar: this is another place you can go for Caribbean food, and you have a great view from the restaurant’s terrace (which is on a cliff). On the rocks near the restaurant you can spot iguanas. Located at Playa Lagun, the restaurant is also great for taking a drink and enjoying the view.
#33 At Blue: You can have lunch or dinner here by the water and there is also a pool for the kids to swim in. This restaurant is located in the center of Willemstad and you have several nice restaurants together here. We also had dinner one time at The Heeren@Sea and that was also good. They also have a small playground here near the restaurant.
#34 Il Forno: This Italian restaurant is located long the way to the famous Jan Thiel beach and you can get delicious Italian food at an affordable price. There is also a small playground near the restaurant, but it is not a big deal. We liked the food here very much.
#35 Beachclub Zest: This is a fun beach club, where you can have a nice meal with kids. It is located on Jan Thiel Beach and around Zest you have a playground and also some tennis courts. You can eat here at picnic tables and we liked the food very much what we ate here.
Curacao at Christmas
We visited the island of Curaçao during the Christmas vacations and dar was really an ideal period in terms of weather. We had beautiful weather every day, while in Holland it was wet and cold. A big disadvantage of this period is the cost (airline tickets are very expensive) and the crowds. We heard that more than 23,000 Dutch people were on the island during this period, and you can imagine that the beaches were crowded, especially around noon.
We ourselves left early for the beaches (so that we were sure to have a parking spot and bed with umbrella) and usually left around 1 p.m. when it got very crowded and we went to lie on the pool of our apartment. What we really enjoyed during this period was celebrating New Year’s Eve and doing the New Year’s plunge on January 1 with thousands of Dutch people (of course, you really have to love that).
Also, around this time you have one of the most famous events of the region the Fuikenfeest with all the boats. If you want to go here, you do need to rent a boat in advance through an organization.