This post is also available in: Dutch

Latest update: 17 February 2023

There is plenty to do in Curaçao for animal lovers. You can get very close to some animals, while others you admire from a distance. These are the seven best activities with animals in Curaçao (and 1 not-so-fun activity).

Snorkel with turtles

For many people, snorkeling with turtles is one of the highlights of their Curaçao holiday. I get it; the turtles are so beautiful, and drifting around them in the water is wonderfully soothing. You have the best chance of seeing turtles on Klein Curaçao and at Playa Grandi. I’m not lucky in Klein Curaçao, but I stay in the water for hours staring at the turtles at Playa Grandi. Here you will find more information. By the way, you can also book a tour to snorkel with turtles, but I don’t think that’s necessary. It just may be easier.

Go horseback riding

Rancho Alegre organizes horseback rides upon request. It is a small-scale farm with goats, horses, chickens, and more. Rancho Alegre is not a tourist attraction but a small-scale initiative. That is why you should always contact them to inquire about the possibilities. Call or send a message via Facebook. Visiting days are also occasionally announced on the Facebook page. That’s especially nice to go to with the kids.

Spot flamingos

If you are lucky, you can spot flamingos in Curaçao. They are wild animals, so there are no guarantees. Go to Sint Michielsbaai or the Jan Kok salt pans. However, you have the best chance at Jan Kok. There you have a watchtower so you can scan the salt pans. Sometimes the flamingos are super close; sometimes, they are no more than a speck in the distance.

Go to the beach with pigs

On the beach of Porto Marie, the pigs Willy and Woody show up regularly. To chill on the sand, sometimes even in the water, or to snack on ripe fruits from the bushes. As soon as the duo arrives on the beach, everyone immediately pulls out their cameras. Me too, don’t get me wrong. But please don’t go all out for that perfect selfie. Ultimately, Willy and Woody are pigs; they can bite if they don’t like something. So enjoy them as they are, without sitting on them, lying next to them, or cuddling them.

Visit the Curaçao ostriches

At the ostrich farm, you can, you guessed it, see ostriches. Book a Safari Tour because you can hardly see anything from the parking lot and restaurant. During the tour, you board a safari bus accompanied by a guide who will tell you everything about the ostriches: from egg to adult ostrich. You even get to feed the ostriches! And if you want, eat an ostrich steak in the restaurant after the tour. Buy tickets here or here.

Swim and walk with horses and donkeys

I am very disappointed that I only heard about this swimming walk when I was back home. This sounds fantastic. The swimming walk is organized by Pipi’s Shelter. That is an excellent place for all kinds of animals that have been neglected, from turtles to dogs. At Pipi’s, they get the care they need, and if possible, a new owner is sought. You cannot just visit the shelter but sign up for the swimming walk with horses and donkeys. Read all the info here (Dutch only).

Off to the zoo

Curaçao has a small-scale zoo that you can visit for free. I haven’t been there, so unfortunately, I don’t know how animal-friendly the zoo is. However, the website does look professional, so I have high hopes. In the Curaçao Zoo, there are mainly bird species but also ostriches, monkeys, and snakes. And even animals I don’t expect in the zoo in the Netherlands: guinea pigs, rabbits, and pot-bellied pigs, for example.

DO NOT swim with dolphins

One of the most famous attractions of Curaçao is the Sea Aquarium. Swimming with dolphins is incredibly popular and incredibly sad. World Animal Protection has written down why swimming with dolphins is not a good idea. I understand that it might be on your bucket list, and quite honestly: I also did it in 2006 in Curaçao. But knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t do it again. It’s up to you, but please think about it for a moment.

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First published: July 2021. Updated since.

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