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From then on the Portuguese referred to this as Ilha da Curação (Island of Healing).
Another explanation is that it is derived from the Portuguese word for heart (coração), referring to the island as a centre in trade.
(It's safe; a combination of plexiglass and mesh fencing separates divers and sharks.) You can also swim with dolphins there.
It is a constituent country (Dutch: land) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
In the 16th and 17th centuries – the early years of European exploration – sailors on long voyages would often get scurvy from lack of vitamin C.
Also popular for snorkeling and diving, Playa Kalki, located on Curacao's west coast, is considered one of the island's most attractive beaches.
The quiet cove is home to a reef that divers have dubbed "Alice in Wonderland" because of its labyrinthine quality, and it's not uncommon to spot stingrays and dolphins in this dive spot.