An introduction to Curacao

 

Unique culture, rich history, and undeniable charm discover the difference of Curacao. From its multi-ethnic population and diversified culture, to the beautiful beaches and European style, Curaçao - one of only six Caribbean UNESCO World Heritage site - offers an unforgettable island experience.

Curaçao has over 35 beaches with a remarkable variety. Whether you are a sun-loving vacationer or a resident enjoying a day off, you can choose between intimate rocky coves surrounded by massive cliffs, long sandy beaches secluded by nature or bustling with activities. Curacao beaches all share crystal clear turquoise water and picture-perfect weather. Almost all of the beaches are scattered along the sheltered and calm southwestern coast, where the waters are calm and crystal clear.

Divers and snorkelers never seem to be able to stop talking about the beauty of Curaçao's underwater world. Let us assure you - this is with good reason, because there is virtually no other place in the world offering such great shore dives or the opportunity to enjoy the underwater beauty while snorkeling.

Curaçao is a perfect place for diving, but as you will find out, the island has so much more to offer. There are dozens of undiscovered adventures to be enjoyed. Ranging from water sports, to visiting 17th century architecture sites, playing tennis, golf or enjoying world-class cuisine or visiting high-standard casinos. So if you are looking for more than just a dive vacation, or are bringing along non-diving family or friends, Curaçao has something out-of-the-ordinary for everybody.

What to Expect in Curaçao

BANKS:
ATM machines can be found all over the island at major population centers and at the airport. To recognize an ATM machine, look for the signs “Bankomatico” or “Geldautomaat.”

CLIMATE:
Located in the tropics, just 12° north of the Equator, Curaçao has a warm, sunny climate 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).

CURRENCY:
The local currency in Curaçao is the Netherlands Antillean Guilder (also called the florin), which is abbreviated as NAFL or ANG. U.S. Dollars circulate freely, so it is possible to get by using only American dollars or credit cards, and major credit cards are accepted almost everywhere on the island. Please note that vendors can rarely supply change in U.S. currency. The U.S. dollar is at a stable rate, though rates can vary slightly at hotels and stores. US$ 1 = NAFL. 1.77—cash. US$ 1 = NAFL. 1.78—traveler's check. Please note that it is often difficult for establishments to take $50 and $100 bills so please keep US bills small.

DEPARTURE TAX:
Curacao has a departure tax of $39 U.S. Dollars.
This is included in your ticket price on most carriers, so do check with your airline or ticketing agent for details.
If it is not included, it is payable in cash only, either Guilders or U.S. Dollars upon check in for your flight home.

DRINKING WATER:
Not only is Curaçao water safe to drink, it is of the finest quality, too. It is soft, contains no chloride and little calcium, is tasteless and odorless and has a good bacteriological composition—so it is safe to drink.

DRIVERS LICENSE:
A U.S. Driver’s License is acceptable for up to three months.

ELECTRICITY:
Electricity is 127/120 VAC at 50 cycles. North American appliances, except for clocks, will work just fine.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS:
A Passport is required. Visa not required for tourist/business visit of up to 90 days. Tourists may be asked to show onward/return ticket or proof of sufficient funds for stay.

TOURISM SEASON:
The rainy season, October to February, is marked by short, occasional showers, usually at night, and continued sunny weather by day. Total annual rainfall averages only 22 inches.

VACCINATIONS:
No vaccines or preventative medications are required for travel to Curacao. However, we always suggest that you speak to your family physician for a personal recommendation.

WATER TEMPERATURES AND WETSUITS:
Water temperatures generally range between 78 – 82°F. Most people find wearing a 1mm – 3mm wetsuit keeps them comfortable


 

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