Curacao Travel Guide

Useful Tips

Everything you need to know before you fly to Curacao
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Average Trip Cost

NA

When To Go

December to April

Currency

Netherlands Antillean Guilder

Ideal Length Of Stay

7 to 14 days

About Curacao

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 Papiamento.  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 sites and buildings, but you will also find magnificent shopping and a colorful 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 in 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.  The readers of Scuba Diving Magazine rated the island as having the “Best Shore Dives.”  If you enjoy diving and/or snorkeling, this activity is a must.

Curacao provides a lot of things to interested travelers – 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.  

Where To Stay In Curacao

Visitors to Curacao stay in a wide variety of accommodations, including private rental, guesthouses, and luxurious all-inclusive hotels.  Some of the best hotels in Curacao include: 

  • Avila Beach Hotel
  • Baoase Luxury Resort 
  • BijBlauw Boutique Hotel 
  • Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club 
  • Sunscape Curacao Resort Spa & Casino
  • Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort 
  • Scuba Lodge – Boutique Hotel & Ocean Suites 

Activities In Curacao

Major tourist activities in Curacao:

  • Taking Trolley Train Tour to explore the capital city of Willemstad which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List
  • Crossing the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge
  • Checking out the 17th-century Landhuizen or country houses which dot the countryside 
  • Exploring the Hato Caves, which contain marine coral limestone accumulated over millions of years
  • Relaxing at one of Curacao’s pristine beaches including Blue Bay, Kokomo, Kalki, Kenepa and Jan Thiel
  • Hiking and taking in picturesque views from Shete Boka National Park
  • Scuba diving to see incredible coral formations and also numerous shipwrecks that surround the coast of Curacao

Facts About Curacao

Size:

471 square miles

Population:

Dutch & Papiamento

Official Language:

English

Demonym:

Curaçaoan

Capital City:

Willemstad

Government:

Unitary Parliamentary Representative Democracy under Dutch Constitutional Monarchy

Telephone Country Code:

+599

Driving:

ride side of the road

Local Beer:

Amstel

National Dish:

Kabritu Stoba (goat meat stew)

Main Airport:

Curaçao International Airport

Electricity:

127-220 V/50 Hz – plugs are US standard two and three-prong 

Visa Information For Curacao

Curacao is a Dutch Caribbean island, and as such, immigration rules for The Netherlands apply. That said, no visa is required for citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and most European Union countries.

All visitors to Curacao must have a valid passport.   Furthermore, all visitors must have a return or onward ticket plus sufficient means to support themselves during their stay in Curacao.   

How Long Does It Take To Get A Visa For Curacao

With a valid passport and supporting documents, it typically takes two weeks for a Curacao visa application to be processed by the nearest Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. An approved visa application grants entry to Curacao for three months.  

Is It Safe In Curacao

In comparison to major American and European cities, Curacao is relatively safe, but there is some crime. As such, it is though recommended that visitors be vigilant at all times, especially when away from the major hotels and tourist areas.

How To Get To Curacao

Most visitors to Curacao arrive via the Curaçao International Airport (IATA: CUR, ICAO: TNCC).  Also, know as Hato International Airport, it is located in the capital city of Willemstad.

From Canada, book flights to Curacao via:

  • Air Canada: Toronto–Pearson
  • Air Canada Rouge (Seasonal): Montréal–Trudeau
  • WestJet (Seasonal): Toronto–Pearson

From the United States, book flights to Curacao via:

  • American Airlines: Charlotte, Miami
  • JetBlue: New York–JFK
  • United Airlines (Seasonal): Newark

From Europe, book flights to Curacao via:

  • Condor (Seasonal): Frankfurt
  • KLM: Amsterdam
  • TUI fly Netherlands: Amsterdam

Within the Caribbean region, book flights to Curacao via:

  • Kingston, Montego Bay
  • Air Century: Santo Domingo–La Isabela
  • Aruba Airlines: Aruba, Bonaire, Miami
  • Caribbean Airlines: Port of Spain
  • Divi Divi Air: Aruba, Bonaire, St. Maarten
  • EZAir: Aruba, Barranquilla, Bonaire
  • Fly All Ways (Charter): Cali, Paramaribo, Port-au-Prince, St. Maarten
  • Sky High Aviation Services: Santo Domingo–Las Americas
  • Surinam Airways: Paramaribo, Port of Spain
  • Winair: Aruba, Bonaire, Port-au-Prince, St. Maarten

Within Latin America, book flights to Curacao via:

  • Aerogaviota: Baracoa, Cayo Coco, Holguín, Kingston, Montego Bay
  • Avianca: Bogotá
  • Copa Airlines: Panama City
  • Wingo: Bogotá

When To Go To Curacao

January to June is the most popular time to visit the Dutch Caribbean of Curacao as the weather is warm and sunny.  Hotels are most often booked, and everything is open.   The rainy season for Curacao is from October to December.  Resorts in Curacao remain open during the rainy season, and many offer deep discounts.

Major events attracting visitors to Curacao include: 

  • January: Curaçao Carnival
  • March: Heinken Regatta 
  • April: Curacao Masters Pro-Am Golf Tournament
  • May: Plein Air Festival  (Art Festival) 
  • July: Curacao North Sea Jazz
  • November: KLM Curacao Marathon

Weather In Curacao

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.  Curacao also gets trade winds that cool off the island.  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.  

Getting Married In Curacao

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:

  • passports 
  • birth certificates along with driver’s licenses 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 fees, marriage lines, and marriage licenses 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 a copy of their valid passport along with details including their full names, address, and date of birth. The witnesses should apply for temporary residence. 

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