Curacao is part of the Dutch Caribbean, which is a collection of islands that includes Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Sint Maarten, Saba, and St. Eustatius. Like many of the Caribbean islands, Curacao’s history is steeped in European and African tradition. Walking along the street, you are just as apt to hear English spoken as you are Dutch, Spanish, and Papaimento. The warm breeze isn’t the only thing that will make you feel at ease on this picturesque island. The friendliness of the people and their open and sharing nature will impress you long after you have left Curacao’s sandy shores.
Visit historic Willemstad, which is now one of the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO)’s world heritage sites. One of only 6 Caribbean locations chosen, Willemstad is a testament to Dutch architecture. Not only will you have access to a beautifully preserved historic site and buildings, you will find magnificent shopping and a colourful street life atmosphere as well. Curacao is the trading capital of the southern Caribbean, drawing shoppers from all over the world. Aside from shopping you can partake of the open air farmer’s market and find fruits and vegetables as well as meats and fish. Willemstad also offers a fantastic array of restaurants and clubs to enjoy.
If you like to dive, Curacao has some of the best in the Caribbean. Curacao has incredible shore dives. In fact, the readers of Scuba Diving Magazine rated the island as having the “Best Shore Dives”. If you enjoy diving and/or snorkelling, this activity is a must.
Curacao provides a lot of things to interested travellers – fun in the sun, rest and relaxation, colorful scenes, an active nightlife, and a place to look forward to coming back to. Come see for yourself why so many people rave about Curacao.
Size: 471 square miles
Language: Dutch, Spanish, English and Papiamento
Government: Unitary Parliamentary Representative Democracy under Dutch Constitutional Monarchy
Currency: Netherlands Antillean guilder (NAf)
Main City: Willemstad
Main Airport: Hato International Airport
Telephone Country Code: +599 9
Local Beer: Amstel
National Dish: Kabritu Stoba (goat meat stew typically served with rice and fried plantains).
Entry Visa: All visitors to Curacao must have a valid passport, an onward or return ticket and enough funds for accommodation and meals. No visa is required for citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most European Union countries. Citizens from other countries should contact the Curacao Board of Tourism to confirm visa requirements. Those entering the country with a passport can stay up to 30 days.
When To Go: Curacao is situated close to the equator, which means it stays nice and warm year round. The average temperature stays in the mid 80°s. The area also gets trade winds that cool off the area. The rainy season (October through February) is marked by short rain showers that give way to beautiful weather again within minutes. These showers typically happen at night. December through April is high season. High season for cruise ships runs October to April.
Marriage Requirements: Couples looking to get married in Curacao will need to send a written marriage petition to the town hall signed by both parties. In the letter, they should suggest two wedding dates and times.
Documents Required: In addition to the completed application for marriage, both the bride and groom will need their:
• birth certificates along with driver’s licences or other forms of identification
• certificates of no impediment or single status report
Also if applicable:
• divorce papers i.e. decree absolute and/or death certificate of spouse
• proof of parental consent if under 18, stamped and signed by a solicitor
• proof of name change by Deed Poll, stamped and signed by a solicitor
Residency Requirement: Three days prior to the ceremony
Fees: The combined amount for: marriage fee, marriage lines and marriage license is approximately US$308.
Witnesses: At least one who is required to be 21 years of age. When you register a witness, you will be required to provide their full names, address and date of birth. The witness will need a copy of valid passport. The witnesses should apply for temporary residence.