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Synopsis

We travel to grow our Adventure Guides show you how. Experience the places you visit more directly, freshly, intensely than you would otherwise sometimes best done on foot, in a canoe, or through cultural adventures like art courses, cooking classes, learning the language, meeting the people, joining in the festivals and celebrations. This can make your trip life-changing, unforgettable. All of the detailed information you need is here about the hotels, restaurants, shopping, sightseeing. But we also lead you to new discoveries, turning corners you haven't turned before, helping you to interact with the world in new ways. That's what makes our Travel Adventure Guides unique. The author is fascinated with these islands and her passion comes across in the text, which is lively, revealing and a pleasure to read. Detailed town and regional maps make planning day-trips or city tours easy. Adventures covered range from town sightseeing tours and nature watching to sea kayaking and mountain climbing excursions. Travelers looking for a more relaxed vacation may want to sign up for dance lessons and take part in the local Carnaval or join a local cycling club and tackle some of the most scenic areas - these cultural adventures will introduce you to the people and afford you a truly unique travel experience. This guide focuses on Curaçao primarily and is based on material found in our larger book, Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao Travel Adventures. Curaçao is the C of the ABC islands, which stretch along the north coast of Venezuela, tucked into a hurricane-protected pocket of the Caribbean Sea. Along with sister islands Aruba and Bonaire, it is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; citizens claim Dutch nationality and carry European Union passports. Until recently, the ABCs were part of the six-island group known as the Netherlands Antilles. Aruba became an autonomous country in 1986; Curacao and the Dutch half of St. Martin (Sint Maarten) gained the same status in 2010. With the core of the Netherlands Antilles dissolved, the remaining islands (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba) became "special municipalities" of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The ABCs share a Dutch heritage that unites them culturally, but each island is in a different stage of development, and each has a distinct character. Curaçao is the largest and most economically developed of the three islands. The beaches are lovely, and the vast countryside is covered in a mix of desert and tropical flora. Much of the islands colorful architecture is authentically restored and protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Top sites include the core of Willemstad, the historic capital city, and restored mansions in the suburban communities of Scharloo, Pietermaai, and Curaçaoan. Each region of Curaçao offers a different type of landscape to explore. Christoffel Park sprawls over the hilly western end, which rises to 1,230-foot/375-meter Mt. Christoffel, the highest point on the island. The eastern end levels out to an austere plain with few roads and little to interest tourists. On the north coast, you will find stunning limestone cliffs and the impressive Hato Caves. The south coast is lined with infinite beaches and bays. Active vacationers enjoy a wide choice of daytime activities including boating, scuba diving, golfing, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Nightlife centers on great food and good music.

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