I ran away last winter to Curaçao - an island just off the coast of Venezuela in the southern Caribbean - to escape the approaching Snowpocalypse in New York. Curaçao may not be the most glamorous island nor does it have the the most beautiful beaches (relatively speaking). However, this is all part of the island's charm. It's laid back, down to earth and not overdeveloped like many of its Caribbean counterparts. All the locals we met were extremely friendly and spoke a mishmash of Dutch, English, Spanish and Papimiento (which in and of itself derives from several languages).
Don't be mistaken though. There are still plenty of beautiful, hidden beaches that dot the southern coast of the country. A few of our favorites include Little Knip Bay, Cas Abao and the private beach at Santa Barbara Golf & Beach Resort where we stayed. Some are best for snorkeling whereas others are made for lazily lounging. I recommend renting a car and simply hopping from one beach to the next as you drive down the coast.
If you are in Willemstad - the capital of Curaçao - make sure to check out Plasa Bieu. Locals flock to the unassuming plaza for the numerous stalls that serve Creole home cooking. Two of our other favorite restaurants were Kome and Rozendaels, both of which served delicious local cuisine influenced by international flavors. Lastly, stop by one of the many trucks throughout the town and grab a batidos. This local speciality is a delicious and refreshing smoothie that comes in various fruit flavors.