The Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao is best known for its white-sand beaches, bright blue, crystal-clear waters, and coral reefs swimming with colorful sea life. And although these attractions alone are enough to entice the thousands of tourists it draws every year, visions of tropical paradise aren’t all this island nation has to offer. The capital of Willemstad is a vision of pastel-colored Dutch colonial architecture, offering a glimpse into its European roots that it is so proud of. If it’s history you’re interested in, the Kurá Hulanda Museum offers a sobering and educational look into the island’s dark slave past, while the 17th-century Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue lays claim to the title of oldest surviving synagogue in the Americas. Add in world-class snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, a buzzing nightlife, and more, and it’s easy to see why Curacao is a destination for so many. Whether you’re here simply for the sun, sand, and laid-back island atmosphere, or to explore the history and culture of this tropical nation, one thing's for sure- a visit to Curacao is like discovering one of the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets.