Curacao is a long, arid, and generally flat island, stretching some 40 miles (64 km) from southeast to northwest, at much the same north-south angles as it's sister islands in the ABC group (Aruba to the west and Bonaire to the east). The island is about 10 miles (16 km) at it's widest point, and the area is about 180 square miles (472 square km), making it the largest island of the Dutch Caribbean islands.
Curacao's beaches are its best-kept secret. The best beaches are not the long, expansive patches of sand found in other islands, but rather smaller, more intimate beaches found in secluded inlets, called "bocas" in Papiamentu. Many of the best beaches are found at the west end of the island, which is fittingly named Westpunt, or "west point".
The lively capital of Curacao is a welcoming, upbeat destination with two distinct historic districts divided by the lovely St. Anna Bay. Punda, site of neat, narrow streets, is crammed with shops and museums. Otrobanda, or "The Other Side," is a maze of twisting residential streets, contrasting with the organized grid across the bay. Willemstad's colorful colonial architecture has won it UNESCO Heritage site designations.