Its a big year for Curaçao: The Caribbean island not only became its own autonomous country (within the Kingdom of the Netherlands) in October, its also now a breeze to reach from the Tri-State area.
In December, Continental launched a twice-weekly nonstop flight from Newark. Although the carrier already offered seasonal weekly flights to Curaçao, East Coast travelers can now book these nonstop jaunts year round, every Wednesday and Saturday (flights are scheduled to leave EWR at 8:50am and take off from CUR at 3:40pm).
The new flights just four hours long make it even easier for travelers to trade the chill of the winter months for Curaçaos sun-soaked beaches and cultural treasures. Situated between Aruba and Bonaire, just 35 miles north of Venezuela, Curaçao and its capital, Willemstad (a UNESCO World Heritage site), showcase an eclectic mix of history, culture, and tropical appeal.
Although this Dutch Caribbean isles newfound autonomy placed it firmly on North Americans 2011 travel radars, it also has plenty of traditional charms: pristine dive sites, secluded beaches, championship golf, and rich local cuisine.