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Curaçao: A budget-friendly tropical paradise for spring break

Curaçao, the largest island of the Netherlands Antilles, is a tropical paradise that has managed to stay relatively under the radar.



Curaçao - a budget-friendly tropical paradise for spring break

Want to hit the waves this spring break, but worried about your declining checkings balance? Book a trip to Curaçao, stat.

Spring break is right around the corner — but for travelers on a budget, a trip to paradise might seem like a distant dream. Of course, everyone knows the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico make great budget-friendly destinations. But if you’re looking for something off the beaten path, the small Caribbean island of Curaçao might be just what you’ve been looking for.

The Caribbean’s best-kept secret

Although many people choose to spend their Caribbean vacations on crowded St. John’s or Antigua, Curaçao, the largest island of the Netherlands Antilles, is a tropical paradise that has managed to stay relatively under the radar.

On this small slice of heaven speckled with brightly colored buildings, you can spend a day exploring the culturally rich city of Willemstad or head out into the countryside for a secluded beach day. Of course, like any vacation destination, you’ll have to plan ahead to avoid spending major money. As beautiful as Willemstad is, hotels there tend to be more expensive. Try booking your stay slightly outside of city limits for a more affordable, crowd-free getaway.

What to do in Curaçao

No Caribbean vacation is complete without some serious beach time, and a visit to Curaçao is no exception. Luckily, there’s no shortage of white sand beaches on this breathtaking island. Although many of the beaches are private, a short jaunt to the northwest coast is sure to provide a variety of secluded (but public) alcoves, so you can enjoy the cerulean waters in peace and quiet. For instance, you might try taking a trip to Kenepa Beach, a popular tourist destination which boasts two beautiful coves and crystal clear waves for your swimming and snorkeling pleasure.

White, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters are aplenty at Curaçao.

White, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters are aplenty at Curaçao. (Source)

When you’re not busy soaking up the sun, there’s plenty of good food to be enjoyed around the island. Although there are many high-end restaurants to try in Willemstad, you should try asking a local where they’d dine on a Friday night — there’s a huge variety of hole-in-the-wall establishments that serve incredible, multi-ethnic dishes.

Last but not least, are you looking to party? Although Curaçao isn’t the most popular or populous of the Caribbean islands, there’s certainly a thriving nightlife. After all, the locals love a good bash — if you don’t believe me, take a look at this official guide to partying put together by the island’s tourism center. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or a club experience you won’t forget, Curaçao’s got you covered.

How to budget your trip

Even a vacation to the most affordable Caribbean island can cost a pretty penny if you’re not careful about how you allocate your funds. There are plenty of things to consider while budgeting for your vacation — where you’re staying, for instance, or how much you’re going to spend on food and drinks.

But the most important money-saving tip when it comes to travel? Be careful not what, but when and where you book! Although many websites claim to have the best deals out there, only a select few really offer the lowest possible rates. So, do yourself a favor — before booking, do a quick Google search, and make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

(Featured Image by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen via Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 3.0)

Steven Kenniff is Director at International Cruise & Excursions, Inc., where he works with Sears Vacations and other travel brands. He has worked with resort brands and commercial accounts in various roles including IT, Project Management, Account Management, and Business Development.