The amazingly blue waters of Grote Knip in Curacao.
Located at the very bottom of the Caribbean as part of the A-B-C Island Chain along with Aruba and Bonaire, Curaçao has changed hands quite a bit since it was first discovered by Europeans in the 15th century. Although the Spanish, French, and British have all had a say in the island’s history, it is the Dutch who have maintained the majority of control over the past 500 years. But don’t be fooled: Culturally, the island is far from a European stronghold. With four regularly spoken languages—Dutch, Papiamento, English, and Spanish—Curaçao is one of the Caribbean’s most diverse islands, a melting pot of European bureaucracy, African slave trade history, Latin American dance parties, and kick-back Caribbean vibes.
Below, we dig into each of these four major cultures and show you how to best experience them while on island.