More about Curacao
Curaçao is a destination for everyone. You can enjoy peace and quiet and go to the beach or choose to be active and explore all the beauty the island has to offer. Visit the saltpans of Jan Thiel or the Christoffel Park with the Christoffel Mountain or if you’d rather explore the culinary options try one of the many restaurants or the truk’i pans (food truck) that are located on almost every street corner. Curaçao is known as a party island because every night you can go out somewhere for a happy hour and some dancing.
• The iconic Handelskade in Willemstad
• Beautiful dive and snorkeling sites.
• Christoffel Mountain
• Amazing bays with pearly white beaches
• The colorful district of Pietermaai
Many beaches of Curaçao aren’t directly accessible from the road, because they are located in secluded bays. The roads to these beaches are often via dusty side roads. A large amount of beaches are private property, which means that usually you have to pay to enter the beach. Some lovely beaches that charge an entrance fee are Porto Marie, Cas Abou, Seaquarium Beach, Blue Bay and Jan Thiel Beach. For an ultimate experience of peace and quiet on the beach you can purchase a day pass for Santa Barbara Beach.
Most free sandy beaches are located on Banda Bou, our recommendations are Playa Kenepa Grandi (Grote Knip), Playa Forti, Santa Cruz, Kokomo Beach and Daaibooi Bay. The pebble beaches of Playa Jeremy and the Caracas Bay are also free.
If you love an active holiday Curaçao has plenty to offer. You can climb the Christoffel Mountain, hike through Christoffel Park or go diving/snorkeling in one of the many dive spots of the island. Kite- and wind surfers will love St. Joris Bay, for wave surfers we also have the perfect spot, Playa Kanoa.
Discovering the exceptional nature starts at Shete Boka and continues at the Hato plain and the Hato caves. There are also several spots where you might spot turtles, like Ascension Bay and Playa Lagun. If you’re interested in herbal medicine you will love Dinah Veeris. She has an herbal garden in Den Paradera which she uses to create natural remedies for all sorts of ailments.
There is a very rich history on Curaçao, which is clearly visible at the Handelskade in Punda, Willemstad. There are also some amazing museums about the history of the island, such Museum Kura Hulanda and the Tula Museum at Kenepa Manorhouse.
You will not want to miss the island Klein Curaçao. There are several excursions to the island and if you are lucky you might see dolphins on the way there. When you are there you can swim with the turtles, walk to the old lighthouse or just enjoy the pearly white beach and turquoise sea of this bounty island.
Curaçao has an excellent nightlife and is known as a party island. Most beach bars and local bars have a happy hour. Some have daily happy hours, other offer weekly events. There are different ‘places to be’ for every night and they frequently change. For relevant happy hours or parties you can check the K’Pasa, a party guide that is circulated for free on the island.
Before the carnival festivities start the island has a tumba festival. During this festival several bands compete for the honor of having the official tumba song, which is played during the carnival festivities.
The most important parades are in February or March. There are some different parade, such as a children’s parade, teen parade and a parade with horses. The biggest is the Gran Marcha on Sunday and the Marcha Despedida (farewell parade) a few days later, usually on Tuesday night. During the carnival period there a many jump-ups and jump-ins that are held by the carnival groups.
Every year you can enjoy Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival. The festival last for 3 nights and 1 of them is free. The festival features many big stars and in the past Prince, Lionel Richie, John Legend, Bruno Mars, Rod Steward and Stevie Wonder have played Curaçao North Sea Jazz. If you are more into dance music, you will enjoy the monthly Full Moon at Kokomo Beach and the Cabana Beach Festivals. Also check out the Amnesia and Su’Legria dance events. In Januari of each year Fuik Day takes place. Everyone gathers in Fuik Bay with boats and floatation devices to party and enjoy the music.
The International Film Festival Rotterdam is also held on Curaçao. There are some amazing movies featured every year. For more local flavor visit the Seú parade on Easter Monday, with traditional Seú music and dance. The route of the Seú parade is usually similar to the carnival parades.
In 2014 the first ever KLM Marathon took place and it looks like this will be a yearly event. There are also some yearly events for wind- and kite surfers.
On Curaçao, same as on Aruba and Bonaire, there is plenty of fresh fish on the menu. A special fish on the island is the Lionfish, which is openly hunted because they do not belong in our waters and threaten the coral and local fish. Stews like Carbi di Baca Stoba (beef), Cabrito Stoba (goat) and Galina Stoba (chicken) are served with white rice and beans (arroz moro) or corn flour cakes (funchi). The best snack by far is the pastechi, or a patty. They are available with cheese, chicken and meat.
If you want to enjoy great local cuisine, go to Jaanchi’s or Playa Forti at Westpunt, Marshe Bieuw in Punda, which offers traditional Kriyoyo cuisine, and Sea Side Terrace at the Martin Luther King Boulevard next to the Sunscape Resort.
Events with a foodie theme are more common as well. If you can check out restaurant week, Pietermaai Proeft or Flavors of Curaçao.
The local currency is the Antillean Guilder (Nafl.). The exchange rate is tied to the American dollar. In most places you can also pay with dollars, the well-known credit cards and travelers cheques.
The official language is Dutch, though most people speak Papiamento. The locals also speak English and Spanish.
The average temperature on Curaçao is 27 degrees and it has a constant cooling trade wind. The rainy season is usually between October and the end of December. This will cause short showers, which are immediately followed by sunshine.
If you have a valid passport you will not need a visa. You are allowed to stay a maximum of 90 days. Inhabitants of the Kingdom of the Netherlands can stay for a maximum of 180 days. A few nationalities do need a visa, such as Cubans, Haïtians and Peruvians. Dominicans, Indians ad Chinese don’t need a visa if they have a multiple entry visa fort he United States, Canada of the Schengen countries. You should always check to see if the rules are still the same and apply for you specific situation. You can ask for guidance at the Curaçao immigration office.
The Netherlands has local representation on Curaçao. Besides Belgium, the United States and Venezuela most EU-countries and South American countries have a consulate on Curaçao.
New Years Day
Monday after the Gran Marcha
Dia di Himno i Bandera; day of the national anthem and the flag
Dia di Korsow; Independence Day