The development of biodegradable nanoparticles is an important tool for the biological transport of chemical compounds. The nanoencapsulation reduces the biopharmaceutical and pharmacokinetic drawbacks of compounds and enhances their biological properties. Naturally occurring polymers such as proteins and polysaccharides have been widely applied in the development of nanostructured systems of several therapeutic agents. Among them is chitosan, a crustacean-carapace-chitin derived biopolymer. In addition to its biocompatibility and biodegradability, chitosan is known for its mucoadhesion properties. Chitosan-based nanostructured systems potentiate most of the aspects of the loaded drugs, including cellular transport and other biological effects. The use of chitosan nanoparticles enhances permeation, stability, and bioactivity of natural compounds. In this review, an overview of the main features of chitosan nanoparticles that improved in vitro and in vivo effects of bioactive natural molecules is given, emphasizing the results obtained with curcumin.