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Jewish Heritage of Curacao

Highlights
  • Magnificent views and photo opportunities in Willemstad
  • Visit the Mikveh Israel Emanuel synagogue and Scharloo district
  • Learn about Curacao’s Jewish history and heritage from your guide
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Jewish Heritage of Curacao
From US$90.00
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  • Overview
  • What to Expect
  • Important Information
  • Reviews
  • Q&A
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Jewish Heritage of Curacao
From US$90.00
Overview
Discover Curacao’s rich Jewish heritage and learn the history of the island’s Jewish community on this half-day tour. Visit important sites such as Beth Haim Jewish cemetery and Mikveh Israel Emanuel synagogue, explore the old Jewish district of Scharloo in Willemstad, and tour the Rooi Catootje and Chobolobo plantation houses.
What to Expect
Your first stop is the Beth Haim Jewish cemetery, consecrated in 1659, it is the oldest Caucasian cemetery on the island and in the Western Hemisphere. The site is also a Curacao National Monument.
Then you will visit another historic site also created as a peaceful sanctuary, the Rooi Catootje plantation house. It dates to about 1820 and was originally known as “Rust en Vrede,” which translates as “Rest and Peace.” The house has been the property of the Maduro family since 1853, when S.E.L. Maduro brought it as a gift to his wife Rebecca Curiel from her parent’s estate. The house has now been preserved as a museum.
Continue to the 17th-century plantation house Chobolobo, owned by a Jewish family, where Curacao liquor is produced. Tour the house and learn more about the family name and history. Before leaving take the opportunity to enjoy samples of this famous local product.
Next you continue with a drive through the old Jewish neighborhood of Scharloo. Stop at the Mikveh Israel Emanuel synagogue, or the Snoa as it is affectionately known locally, rests on exceptionally hallowed ground. The Jewish faith has been practiced here without interruption since 1732. The congregation itself is even older, having been established in 1651. It was just this very fear of persecution that drove many of Curacao’s earliest Jewish residents to relocate to the island in the first place. They were rightfully more than a little guarded about their beliefs, even upon founding their congregation and building their synagogue nearly a century later. That’s one of the main reasons why you’ll find a sand floor in the Snoa today. The floor pays homage to those earliest Jewish settlers in Curacao who had to muffle the sounds of their footsteps and prayers when meeting in secret during the Spanish Inquisition
Reviews (13)
1 - 5 of 11 reviews
Reviewed 3 weeks ago
Totally excellent tour

The Jewish Heritage tour of Curacao was the best excursion of our 21 day trip. Jude was entertaining, informed and related perfectly to our group. He is also quite charming. Our driver Aida took great care of us. All in all, an great way to...More

Date of experience: February 2019
1  Thank Y2204ORsusank
Reviewed 21 January 2019
Outstanding Tour

Jude was our fantastic tour guide on this excursion. His knowledge of the history of the Jewish people in Curacao was wonderful. We very much enjoyed the trip to various Jewish history sites on the island. The tour ended with a lengthy stop at the...More

Date of experience: January 2019
2  Thank northyorker
Eddyson P, Manager at Curacao Tours & Taxi, responded to this reviewResponded 21 January 2019

Dear Traveler Thank you very much for sharing your travel experience you had in Curacao with other here on Trip Advisor. I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed the tour with us and want to personally thank you again for recommending our services...More

Reviewed 19 December 2018
Disappointed with Tour

I didn't realize the group was going to be as big as it turned out to be. We drove by the two cemeteries but did not walk or see the writing on the gravestones. The Museum was interesting but again I felt we rushed through...More

Date of experience: December 2018
Thank Joseph G
Reviewed 18 December 2018
Tour of oldest synagogue in Western Hemisphere

The tour (not thru the Princess cruise line), was something I will never forget. Being of Jewish heritage, the synagogue was beautiful! I could not get over the floor of the synagogue being made of sand. Also, we toured the cemetery in another area which...More

Date of experience: November 2018
1  Thank Ellen L
Reviewed 26 November 2018
Wonderful!

PENY was our tour guide and she was very knowledgeable, friendly, and fun to be with. It was an amazing tour. The driver was considerate and knew exactly where to go. We had a disabled man with us and although he could not get around...More

Date of experience: November 2018
3  Thank Nicole L
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Questions & Answers
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Zundel35
18 December 2018|
Answer
Response from Rossyqueen79 |
Tour finish at noon and will have time to visit the museum and gift shop and yes also open at noon
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ERS51
2 October 2018|
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Response from rpk4 |
how long is the tour
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