After becoming an independent nation within the Netherlands recently, Curacao is making a big push for tourists from within its own hemisphere. In an attempt to make itself more accessible to Americans and Canadians, Curacao has wooed Continental into launching service from Newark, N.J., and convinced Hyatt to add a Regency to the dozens of hotels already in its capital city of Willemstad.
Americans traveling there with four-day air-and-hotel packages (around $550 per person) will find themselves immersed in a Dutch city full of restaurants and European shopping and surrounded by white-sand beaches, Southwest-style plains, mountains and caves.
"Curacao is hitting the map lately because they just became an official country within the Netherlands," Banas says. "There's a lot more airlift going in there, a lot more hotel infrastructure being built and a lot of deals."