Curaçao is a southern Caribbean island and part of the Netherlands Antilles. This particular island isn’t your standard sub-tropical destination. It has more in the way of cacti, shrubs, evergreens, and divi-divis, a native tree. The island lays outside of the hurricane belt, making anytime a good time to visit Curaçao. Baseball is the name of the game on this island, the home of my favorite MLB player Andruw Jones. You can tour historic Willemstad, dive some great sites and visit pristine beaches, all on one island.
Papiamentu, Dutch, Spanish and English are all widely spoken in Curaçao.
The Netherlands Antillean Guilder is the official currency of Curaçao. U.S. dollars and travelers checks are accepted all over. ATMs aren’t hard to come by, so you don’t need to exchange money before you go unless you want to. To find out about the conversion rates, visit our currency converter.
Rooms start at about $200 per night, though prices skyrocket during Carnival (that is, if you can even find a room). Budget accommodations are few and far between.
Food and Drinks
Krioyo, or creole, is the standard local cuisine, which is spicy and involves lots of seafood. Curaçao liqueur was born on the island if you’re looking for a traditional spirit.
Carnival is the big hoo-rah on the island, livening things up in February and March. Just like Mardi Gras in the United States, Carnival ends with Ash Wednesday each year.
Getting There & Around
From the United States, you can reach Curaçao on American Airlines, Continental Airlines or Delta Airlines. KLM Royal Dutch, Arkefly and Martinair offer service from Europe. From Latin America, you can take Aeropostal Alas de Venezuela, Avianca or Surinam Airways. To get around the Caribbean, fly on Air Jamaica, Aserca Airlines, Avior Airlines, Divi Divi Air, Dutch Antilles Express, Insel Air International, Tiara Air or Sol America. The airport tax will set you back $22 (U.S.) on international flights.
Car and motorcycle rentals and taxis are the popular way to get around the island. Limited bus service is available withing Willemstad or between the city and other parts of the island.
Electricity is 110 – 130 volts/50 cycles, similar but not identical to the US standard. Your American appliances should work okay, but check your specific device to be certain.
Things to Do
Willemstad is worth a visit as it is listed as UNESCO’s world heritage site because of its many historic buildings. You can take a trolley tour of the historic port city to get all of the information. Hiking, biking and horseback riding are available in the Curaçao Christoffelpark nature reserve, where you can view the flamingos on the salt flats. Divers will enjoy the “blue edge,” where the sea floor dramatically drops several hundred feet within boating distance of the island. See an aloe vera plantation, visit natural caves or see an ostrich farm.