Curacao is an island in the southern part of the Caribbean Sea located about 40 miles off the north coast of Venezuela.  The island is the largest and most populous of the three so-called ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao) and belongs to the Netherlands Antilles, a self-governing part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.  Curaçao has a semi-arid tropical climate and lies outside the hurricane belt.

One of the most notable things about the island is its culture.  The languages spoken in Curacao are Papiamentu, Dutch, Spanish and English. Many people speak all of these languages.

Curacao features architecture that blends various Dutch and Spanish colonial styles.  This Dutch island features the pastel colors and building styles you'd find in the Netherlands.  The wide range of other historic buildings in and around Willemstad earned the capital a place on UNESCO's world heritage list.   Landhouses (former plantation estates) and West African style 'kas di pal'i maishi' (former slave dwellings) are scattered all over the island and some of them have been restored and can be visited.

Curacao is renowned for its coral reefs which make it an excellent spot for scuba diving. The beaches on the south side contain many popular diving spots. An unusual feature of Curaçao diving is that the sea floor drops off steeply within a few hundred feet of the shore, and the reef can easily be reached without a boat.

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