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The Caribbean stretches for thousands of miles and includes hundreds of islands. Deciding which one is best for you can be a little daunting. Less famous than big, often-pricey (and crowded) tourist islands such as Jamaica, Barbados and Aruba, these are lovely places to consider; their appeal will depend on your personality and interests.
Curaçao: history, lovely beaches, Dutch culture
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They speak a blend of languages known as Papiamentu in Curaçao, an autonomous country within the Royal Dutch Kingdom (like Aruba) that wears its Dutch heritage proudly. The capital city of Willemstad has lively markets and shopping areas, as well as waterfront buildings in shades of shades of canary yellow, Aegean Sea blue and Pepto Bismol pink. You'll want to explore its rich history: The Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue in Willemstad is the oldest, continually used synagogue in the Western Hemisphere, dating back to 1730. Also in Willemstad, you can visit the Kura Hulanda Museum, which traces the history of black slavery on the island, and Fort Amsterdam, built in 1634 to house the Dutch West India Company. For natural beauty check out Christoffelpark, a national park, and Shete Boka National Park on the east coast. When the weather is right, truly massive waves roll and smash onto high, black cliffs, sending majestic spumes of spray dozens of feet into the air.
Near Venezuela in the southern Caribbean, the island boasts temperatures. It's especially affordable here in the summer, which is off-season. A bonus: It's outside of the hurricane zone.