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An island off the coast of Venezuela, Curacao is the most well developed of the Netherlands Antilles islands which also include Bonaire, St. Eustatius, Sint Maarten, and Saba . An autonomous part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Curacao has had a long history of catering to tourists, and as a result holidaying here is a delight for those looking for home comforts – as well as a break from it all. Often thought of as a ‘mini Holland’, at just thirty-seven miles long and approximately seven miles wide, negotiating Curacao by car is a very straightforward enterprise and hiring a car during your stay here will certainly be worth your time. Because of the variety of colonial occupants Curacao has seen over the years, the architecture reflects this. The Dutch-style waterfront area, Willemstad, has even been designated a world UNESCO Heritage Site. There is also a strong Spanish influence, which is a heritage of the occupation from the late 15th century.
Because of the impact of the building of oil refineries here in the early twentieth century, Curacao became more and more developed – and more wealthy. Willemstad remains the first port of call for any visitors to the island, and from Saint Anna’s Bay you can take a cruise to the surrounding areas. The Punda area, which is on the eastern side of Willemstad, is particularly reminiscent of the Dutch style of the time. The western side of town is called Otrobanda, and here you will find more indications of the Spanish legacy than on other parts of the island. Travelling up from the capital, you can take in some of the areas of natural beauty that abound. You can also visit Fort Nassau, which was completed in the late eighteenth century and enjoy some of the other recommended tourist haunts such as the Ostrich Farm and, in particular, the Liqueur Distillery.