Welcome to Curacao!
Nestled between Aruba and Bonaire in the western Caribbean, Curacao is located just 35 miles north of Venezuela and is the most populated (about 170,000 residents) of the Netherlands Antilles. Designed by early Dutch settlers as a tropical miniature Holland, Curacao’s capital city, Willemstad, is today unquestionably one of the most picturesque and colorful of Caribbean cities.
Oil, discovered in Venezuela in 1914, is sent to Curacao where it is refined and stored and shipped worldwide. Willemstad boasts one of the busiest ports in the region and the seventh largest harbor in the world.
But that’s not why thousands of visitors are vacationing here every year. The 37-mile-long and seven-mile-wide island is fringed by exposed layers of lava and coral which have formed caves, grottoes and beaches of coral and volcanic sand. This is the place for superb diving, snorkeling and water-sports and, of course, glittering casino and exciting nightlife!
Watersport enthusiasts love the Curacao Underwater Park which occupies 12.5 miles of Curacao’s southern coastline and is filled with gardens of soft and hard corals, tropical sea creatures and two shallow ship wrecks, visible 100 feet into the water. Visit the Hato Caves formed from coral thousands of years ago when the island was still underwater. Another fantastic ‘must see’ is the Curacao Seaquarium, home to more than 400 species of sealife as well as an aquarium where experienced divers feed sharks and other animals.
Whether it’s the nightlife, casinos, water-sports or the terrific shopping opportunities (prices are very reasonable as there is no sales tax and low import duty on goods) that draw you to Curacao, everyone is welcomed at one of the Caribbean’s most loved islands.
Curacao Underwater Park – 12.5 miles of Curacao’s southern coastline, is filled with gardens of soft and hard corals, tropical sea creatures and two shallow ship wrecks visible 100 feet into the water.
Curacao Museum – Van Leeuwenhoekstraat, 599/9-6238873. More than just your typical museum, as a former quarantine hospital for yellow fever victims, this building is typical of Dutch architecture as well as antique furniture and paintings. Here you can visit a Children’s Museum of Science with hands-on exhibits and an island’s specimen garden.Amstel Brewery – 599/9-612944.Tour the facilities where Curacao beer is brewed from desalinated seawater.
Hato Caves – Rooseveltweg, 599/9-680379. Tour the magnificent caves formed from coral thousands of years ago when the island was still underwater.
Curacao Seaquarium – Bapor Kibra, 599/9-616666. Home to more than 400 species of sealife as well as an aquarium where experienced divers can feed sharks and other animals, the aquarium provides hours of entertainment. Or take a ride in the Seaworld Explorer, a submarine that takes visitors for an hour-long trip into the deep.
Curacao Historic Tours:
- Taber Tours – Dokweg, 599/9-376637
- Daltino Tours – 599/9-614888>
- Casper Tours – 599/9-653010
- Old City Tours – 599/9-613554 (walking tours)>
Boating and Windsurfing
- Taber Tours – Dokweg, 599/9-376637, snorkel and barbecue trips to Port Marie.
- Insulinde – Handelskade, 599/9-601340, day, sunset, and chartering trips.
- Coral Cliff Diving – 599/9-642822, 21-foot sailboat rentals.
- Top Waterports – 599/9-617343, Sunfish and catamarans.
- Seascape Dive & Watersports – At the Curacao Caribbean hotel – deep-sea
- Fishing Charters – Pedal boats and Sunfish.
- Miss Ann – 599/9-671579, sunset cruises and day trips to Klein Curacao Island.
- Ashari’s Ranch – 599/9-686254
Golf on Curacao
- Curacao Golf and Squash Club – Emmastad, 599/9-373590. This nine-hole course is open to non-members in the morning.
- Curacao Caribbean Hotel & Casino
- Princess Beach Resort & Casino>
- Holiday Beach Hotel & Casino
Water Sports/Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Most hotels offer water sports programs.
- Seascape Dive and Watersports – Curacao Caribbean Hotel – 599/9-625905. Scuba diving and snorkeling reefs and underwater wrecks.
- Underwater Curacao – Bapor Kibra – 599/9-618131. Modern dive shop and PADI-accredited underwater sports program.
- Peter Hughes Divers – 599/9-658991.
Temperatures in Curacao average in the upper 70s and lower 80s throughout the year.
Currency: The Netherlands Antilles guilder, but U.S. currency is widely accepted.
Banking: Hours range from 8:30 a.m. to noon and then from 1:30 to 4:40 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Language: Dutch is the official language as is Papiamento (a combination of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English, African and Indian). Spanish and English are also commonly spoken.
Learn a new Language: If you are planning on visiting Curacao and you do not speak or understand the language then why not try and learn just a few phrases of Dutch before you go!
Curacao Map: Find out Where Curacao is located click on the Google map below,
For more information to help you plan your trip to Curacao, contact:
Check out the Curacao Tourist Board website at:http://www.curacao.com/