advertisement

Cruises

The two-masted Bounty, Sarifundy Marina (tel. 599/9-767-9998; www.bountyadventures.com), operated by Bounty Adventures, offers 4-hour snorkel, swim, and swing outings that include lunch, an open bar, a rope swing, snorkel gear, and a guided snorkel safari at both a tugboat wreck and shallow reef. Bounty sails Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 2:30pm. The fare is $69 for adults and $35 for children 4 to 12. Bounty Adventures also has two catamarans that sail to Klein Curaçao on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday; the cost is $89 for adults and $45 for children 4 to 12. The trip includes BBQ lunch, open bar, and snorkel gear. All boats leave from the Boathouse, Brakkeput Ariba z/n. Hotel pickup and drop-off can be arranged for an additional charge.

Travelers looking for an experience similar to the sailing days of yore should book a trip on the Insulinde, Handelskade (tel. 599/9-560-1340; www.insulinde.com). This 121-foot, traditionally rigged clipper offers afternoon snorkel, scenic tour, beach swim, and sail safaris for $50 for adults ($30 for children), and day trips to the island of Klein Curaçao for $75 (children $45). These trips depart at 6:30am and return at 6:30pm and include breakfast and lunch. Boats leave from right next to the Queen Emma Bridge in town. Occasional live-aboard weekend cruises to Bonaire and exotic cruises to uninhabited islands are featured on the website.

Fishing

Proximity to the continental shelf of South America and wanton over-fishing significantly limit the likelihood of catching large pelagic fish, and their rarity significantly limits the pleasure of hauling these spectacular top predators from the sea as either a prize or a meal -- it also ain't cheap. Deep-sea fishing is $400 to $700 for a half-day tour (six-person maximum) and $600 to $1,200 for a full-day tour, drinks, and equipment included. Let's Fish (tel. 599/9-561-1812; www.letsfish.net) offers fishing charters on either the 32-foot Let's Fish or the 50-foot Princess Alexia.

Golf

Blue Bay Golf and Beach Resort (tel. 599/9-868-1755; www.bluebay-curacao.com) provides 18 holes close enough to the Blue Bay Beach that you can leave the spouse and kids there for the day and still meet for lunch at the adjacent restaurant. This par-72 course at 6,815 yards opened in 1999 and takes advantage of the island's natural terrains and arid landscape. Designed by Rocky Roquemore, it's a challenging course, with some holes over water, but it provides stunning views of the Caribbean. Depending on time of year, greens fees are $105 for 18 holes and $65 for 9 holes, including cart rental. It's open from 7am to 7pm daily.

Horseback Riding

Criadero El Hijo de David, Seru Lora naast 175 (tel. 599/9-465-1166), can arrange 2-hour tours along scenic trails that pass by Salt-Lakes near Jan Thiel Bay for $60. It also offers beginner lessons in an outdoor ring. Call ahead for an appointment.

Mountain Biking

Curaçao hosted the Union Cycliste Internationale's 2006 Mountain Bike World Cup, so it should come as no surprise that the trails here can be pretty challenging. Wanna Bike (tel. 599/9-527-3720; www.wannabike.com) offers guided tours for riders of all levels. In addition to well-equipped bikes and helmets, the knowledgeable guides provide an insightful historic narrative of key historic sites and ruins. Bike tours lasting from 8am to 11pm cost $38.

Off-Roading

ATV excursions into rugged off-road areas can be arranged through Eric's ATV Adventures, Martin Luther King Boulevard across from Lion's Dive (tel. 599/9-524-7418; www.curacao-atv.com).The cost for a half-day tour is $90 for a single and $140 for a two-person machine suitable for two adults or one adult and one child. These hefty four-wheel behemoths, reminiscent of a large tractor mower, can take on the steepest and rockiest terrain. The vehicle is relatively easy to operate, if rather loud and extremely hot underneath you. Goggles and helmets are provided. Sunscreen, eye protection, long pants, and closed shoes are highly recommended. A valid U.S. or international driver's license is required, and all drivers must be at least 16 years of age. The Bike Shop Curaçao, Sta. Rosaweg 26 (tel. 599/9-560-3882; www.thebikeshop.nl), also rents motorcycles and scooters.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.