Just 40 miles north of Venezuela, between the islands of Aruba and Bonaire lies a little-known former Dutch territory called Curacao. Like many islands in the Caribbean, its history speaks of colonization, commerce, and trade. The island changed hands many items before stable Dutch rule in 1815. Today, Curacao is a nation where its turbulent history is displayed proudly, with brightly colored buildings. Its interaction with nearby neighbors resulted in cultural diversity and multilingualism. Its capital, Willemstad, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


1. Marshe Bieu

Known as the Old Market, Marshe Bieu in Punda, Willemstad is the place to experience authentic Curacaoan cuisine. It's a pitched-roof food court with picnic tables and benches that promote a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. There are tons of independently-operated kitchens that cook local foods on charcoal fires. Some visitors have compared it to a taste of home, which is probably why many working locals go there for lunch. Marshe Bieu is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am until 3 pm.

island of Curacao kievith / Getty Images

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