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The 100-year-old refinery is a key part of Curaçao’s economy.

It powers the island and provides the energy for the desalinization plant that makes almost all the fresh water on Curaçao.

Walking into the vast synagogue for Friday night services is like stepping through the sands of time — literally, as the floor of the temple is covered with sand.

There are also a pair of Jewish cemeteries on the island.

Long before Peter Stuyvesant left his mark on New York City, the Dutchman was in charge of an island called Curaçao.

And long after his death, the sun-kissed tropical gem that sits southeast of Aruba and about 40 miles north of Venezuela makes an ideal vacation spot, especially during hurricane season.

“It’s also important to wish everyone a good week on Monday morning by saying ‘Bon siman.’” Locals like Richie also know where the best parties in the entire country are — which is possible when the whole country is about twice the size of Brooklyn.

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Some of the buildings are hundreds of years old, and set amid pools, cafes and even a slavery museum. * Lions Dive & Beach Resort — Nestled against a sheltered swimming area next to the raucous Mambo Beach nightclub district, Lions Dive is full-service resort that is ideal for both chilling out and partying. Finding Yoyo Ala is a challenge though, as it’s off a dirt road between Willemstad and the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort. Do: * Diving — There are more than 60 great dive sites around Curaçao and almost all of them are accessible right from the shore.

That’s because Curaçao lies just outside the Hurricane Belt.

That doesn’t mean a hurricane here is impossible, but it’s far more rare for one to hit here than on other Caribbean islands.

Many of the European-looking people in Curaçao are tourists, but lots more are locals, born on the island from families that have been living there for generations.

“Being a local means you master the Papiamento language,” says Ravic Richie, who is of Dutch descent but was born and raised on Curaçao.

There are even opportunities to go snorkeling and scuba diving with the animals.

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