Tourists and locals alike can visit Dinah Veeris, a native of Curacao who has developed a garden full of local herbs and natural remedies. // © 2014 Curacao Tourist Board
When envisioning a trip to the Caribbean, it’s easy to focus on images of white-sand beaches and pina coladas, but a new program from the Curacao Tourism Board encourages travelers to get outside of the beach-lounging bubble. As Curacao’s Dare to Explore program demonstrates, there is much more to experience in this island destination.
“Curacao is not just a place where you go and lie on the beach, waiting for happy hour,” said Andre Rojer, marketing manager for North America for the Curacao Tourist Board. “We want people to go out and explore, to rent a car, to go on safaris, go climbing, go bicycling. That’s why we named it ‘Dare to Explore.’”
Dare to Explore is designed to promote travel during Curacao’s 2014 off-season. The booking window is July 15 - Sept. 15; program offerings are available during travel from Sept. 15 - Dec. 15.
Dare to Explore special offers on attractions, activities, vacation packages and dive adventures are featured on a program page on the Curacao Tourist Board’s website. Participating companies include Travel Impressions/American Express Vacations, US Airways Vacations, Pleasant Holidays, Funjet Vacations and Apple Vacations. Commissions vary by company.
According to Bob Lawrence, Caribbean product and marketing director at Travel Impressions, Curacao’s Dare to Explore program provides travel agents with more opportunities to earn incremental commissions by pairing various activities with land packages. The wide range of program offerings also ensures that the program will appeal to a diverse client base, he said.
“This is a broad promotion, applicable to a variety of demographics with packages and activities geared toward scuba divers and other adventure-minded visitors,” Lawrence said. “With fun and educational attractions such as the Curacao Dolphin Academy and the Curacao Ostrich and Game Farm, this promotion is also ideal for family travel.”
According to Rojer, who is a native of Curacao, low season is the ideal time to visit the island. Visitors can enjoy all of the destination’s attractions with fewer crowds, and prices are generally lower than in high season. He noted that Curacao is located outside of the hurricane belt, which means hurricane risk during any season is very low (the last hurricane to hit Curacao was about 180 years ago).
Some of Rojer’s favorite activities on the island include visiting Christoffel National Park, the Dolphin Academy, the Dinah Veeris Herb Garden and Animal Adventures at the Curacao Sea Aquarium — all of which are offering special deals during the Dare to Explore program window.
At the Dolphin Academy and the Curacao Sea Aquarium, visitors can have close-up encounters with wild dolphins and other sea creatures. The Dinah Veeris Herb Garden is the creation Dinah Veeris, a Curacao local who began developing her medicinal herb garden in 1981 by working with the older generation of Curacao natives.
Whether travelers are interested in wellness, outdoor activities or family-friendly fun, or are returning to Curacao and looking for a unique Caribbean experience, Curacao offers something fresh and exciting to enjoy.