Curaçao: Frequently Asked Questions

Curaçao: Frequently Asked Questions

To quickly help you learn the basics about Curaçao, we present these Frequently Asked Questions below. Need more information? Find what you need using the search box, or the menu on top:

Our stories: Read background stories, news and personal experiences of locals and visitors.
Plan: Practical information for preparing your trip.
Stay: Browse and find the accommodations that suit your preferences.
Taste: Discover the wide range of local and international cuisine that Curaçao has to offer.
Do: Select the activities that allow you to fully explore the island
Events: Know when to be in Curaçao for unique events and festivals.
Gallery: Enjoy breathtaking stills to get inspired.

Before you go

Where is Curaçao?

Curaçao is one of the most beautiful islands in the Southern Caribbean, just off the coast of Venezuela. Curaçao is an autonomous country within the Royal Dutch Kingdom and together with its neighbors Aruba and Bonaire it constitutes the so-called 'ABC' islands or Leeward Antilles. Located in the tropics, just 12° north of the Equator, Curaçao has a warm, sunny climate all year round. The average temperature is about 27° C (in the mid 80s F). Cooling trade winds blow constantly from the east, picking up in the spring months. The rainy season, which is between October and February, is usually marked by short, occasional showers, mostly at night, and continued sunny weather during the day. Total annual rainfall averages only 570 mm (22 inches). Find Curaçao on Google Maps.

Do I need a VISA to visit Curaçao?

Generally tourists holding a valid passport may enter Curaçao without a written permit and remain with us for a period of up to 90 days. However, several nationalities (e.g. Cuba, Haiti, Peru) must present a tourist visa as part of our entry requirements. A visa should be applied for at least one month in advance at any representation of the Netherlands (in the concerning country). US visitors require a passport to get back into the USA. Nationals from the Dominican Republic, China and India do not need to apply for a visa if they are in possession of a valid multiple entry visa for the United States, Canada or the Schengen countries (Europe). The countries that do require a visa can be found here.

What Is this Online ED Card?

All foreign visitors arriving in Curaçao are required to have a completed ED-card for immigration clearance. At the moment travelers can obtain the ED-card on board of the flights arriving to Curaçao. The Online ED-card can be completed in the comfort of your home before even embarking your flight to Curaçao. By introducing the Online ED-card the amount of time spent in the immigration line will be considerably reduced. The Online ED-card will be in sync with the Border Management System of the Immigration Department in Curaçao. Find out more here.

How many cities are in Curaçao?

There is one major city, Willemstad. There are a few other community centers and villages.

Do I need vaccinations, travelling to Curaçao?

In general you don’t, only if you’ve traveled to a country with the risk of yellow fever 7 days before you arrive on our island.

In what timezone is Curaçao?

Curaçao is situated in the Standard Time - 0400 UTC zone

Can I only pay with local currency?

The local currency is the Antillean guilder, for the best change rates and locations we recommend you to check www.centralbank.cw. Credit cards are generally accepted and so are US Dollars, at an exchange rate of Fls 1.75. Some stores or restaurants will return your exchange in guilders. ATM’s are readily available in Willlemstad, supporting many major cards (e.g. Mastercard, Visa) and payment systems (e.g. Maestro, Cirrus, Cashnet). Check your bank whether it requires you to adjust international settings for your card to enable using ATM’s in Curaçao.

What is The Internet like in Curacao?

Many hotels, bars, restaurants and other locations in Curaçao nowadays provide Wifi services, often for free. In some tourist areas like the city center the government provides a free public Wifi network. Mobile 4g/3g services are available, but roaming charges can be quite high. If you plan or need extensive use of Internet a good solution might be to rent a personal mobile 4g/wifi router (a Mifi) for the length of your stay at one of the local telecom operators.

Do I need special adaptors / plugs for my electric devices?

Curaçao standard current outlets provide 110-130 Volt at 50Hz. The standard plug type is a two-pin ‘Type A’ power plug as used in the US. Some devices are designed to operate at both 110/220 Volt, but always check in advance. It is wise to bring a plug adaptor for other plug types, but they can also be bought on the island. Some hotels / apartments do have 220 V outlets. These outlets are easily identified, as they require the standard European type plug.

What languages are spoken, throughout the Island?

Curaçao’s main language is Papiamento, read about this musical language here . Spanish, English and Dutch are also widely spoken. Some hotels even offer their service in more languages, check with your hotel for details.

Are there any apps I could use during my visit?

There is no ‘official’ Curacao informative app. However there are some commercial (paid and free) apps available for iOS and Android phones that might help you getting around. Keep in mind that these apps may have commercial interests and the provided information is not in any way checked or provided by the Tourist Board. Examples of useful apps can be found here.

Travel planning

When is the best time to go?

One of the good things about Curaçao - being close to the equator - is a it that it has a year-round excellent climate. The island has an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. Some periods may be slightly drier or wetter. Determining an ideal time for your visit is therefore merely up to you: would you like to experience Carnival or one of the other great festivals in Curaçao? Would you like to escape the cold winters at home? If you can, try traveling in the low season. Generally hotel and ticket prizes are higher during the holidays in December and around the big festivals.

Is there a hurricane or rain season on Curacao?

Curacao, as a part of the so-called Leeward Islands, is geographically located outside the Hurricane Belt. As on other islands strong winds may pass, but rarely pose a threat. Of course, even though Curaçao is outside the hurricane belt, one can never 100 % predict nature. There is some difference in precipitation throughout the year. February till June are the driest months, with sometimes no rain at all. Some rain may fall during January, July, August and September. October, November and December are the wettest months. Generally speaking showers are short, intense and offer a refreshing break from the sun heat.

When is Curaçao carnival, Curaçao North Sea Jazz and other cultural events?

We’ve listed all the major events happening on the island at our event calendar.

How to get to Curaçao?

Curacao is easy to get to from various corners of the world. For a complete listing of airlines serving Curacao and their departure cities, please click here.

Where to stay

Where can I stay?

Curaçao has a huge variety of accommodations, from private housing to hotels and resorts. On this website we offer listings of accommodations known to the Tourist Board, per category. Depending on your wishes you can select the best fit for your vacation by using the filter and comparing facilities and services. Find an overview of categories here.

Where is my hotel located?

On the hotel detail pages of the individual accommodations you can find a map.

Are there any bed & breakfasts in Curaçao?

Yes, we call them ‘guest houses’. See a list of guesthouses here

How to get around

Should I rent a car while visiting Curaçao?

While sometimes your hotel / resort or its direct vicinity may offer already sufficient options for your type of vacation (see your hotel detail page on this site for facilities and distances), if you plan to really get around and explore the Island, renting a car at one of the many car rental agencies is the best option. This allows you to travel freely and on your own schedule so you won't miss out on anything Curaçao has to offer. Most of the places in Curacao are accessible within a 30-45 minute drive –regardless where you start--.This may vary in peak traffic hours.

What are the alternative forms of transport?

Public transport is available. There are large buses (Konvoi) and small vans (Bus) serving different routes, mainly operating from terminals in front of the post offices located at the Waaigat in Punda or in Otrabanda. Some hotels offer their own scheduled transportation services, to and from downtown. Please check at your hotel's front desk for more information. Taxis are widely available, government regulated with mostly standard fares (not metered). Always inquire about fares for your destination in advance.

Can I hike or cycle around Curaçao?

Cycling and hiking are certainly possible (and mostly practiced as sports activity in the early morning and evening) but are not recommended as a main means of transportation due to the heat and lack of a bicycle-friendly infrastructure in Curaçao.

Is it easy to find my way?

Finding your way around Curaçao is easily learned, as the island is not too big and traffic concentrates around a few main routes. A free island map, featuring main roads and locations, is available at your car rental company, your hotel or the Curaçao Tourist Board Office and at many other tourist locations. For real exploring we recommend using a more detailed map, which is available in many stores. Most locations on our website feature area maps that can be printed. There are also various (unofficial) apps available for mobile phones that feature maps. (Be sure to install an app that doesn’t require a permanent mobile Internet connection). Some car rental agencies also provide navigation systems.

Are there any traffic rules in Curaçao you should know of upfront?

On the island people drive on the right hand side and all traffic on crossings and roundabouts coming from the right always have the right of way, unless otherwise stated on road signs. You need a valid driving license to drive a car on the island.

Parking

Parking your car is not a problem and is mostly free. Paid parking is only found at certain streets in the city center, during the day. Never leave any bags or valuables in your parked car.

Fuel

Gas stations are abundant. It is customary to pay at the counter before filling up.

On the island

What’s standard for service charges and tipping

Service charge is normally around 10% in restaurants and 12% in hotels. The services charges are included in the bill. This is not the same as tipping. Tipping is left to your own discretion at all times and shows your appreciation for hospitality and services. Taxi drivers are usually tipped 10% of the fare and porters 1 Nafl. per bag

Is tap water drinkable?

Yes, you can safely drink water from the tap, the tapwater in Curaçao is distilled from sea water and of excellent taste

Is it recommended to buy insect repellent on the island or can we bring our own

During the wetter periods it is wise to have repellent against mosquitoes and sometimes sand flies (Praga). You can bring your own insect repellent; the active ingredients are the same as the ones available on the island.

How safe is it in Curaçao?

The island can be experienced as safe, especially for tourists. You can compare it with a big international city. There are a few areas to avoid, like alleys, dark streets. Apart from that, general safety rules apply here like anywhere else: never leave your valuable possessions in sight or out in the open. Bring them with you or keep them safe in a safe/vault at the hotel. Also keep an eye on your luggage at all times and never accept packages from strangers.

Where do I find a more detailed guide for nightlife?

Places to go, larger planned events and some recent articles can be found on Curacao.com. For a more detailed list of what’s happening at night (happy hours, parties) get yourself one of the widely spread ‘K-pasa’ flyers. Online one can also visit the K-Pasa website or www.curacaopartyguide.com .