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    Flag, Coat of Arms, and Tourist Board

    Curaçao is the largest of the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao), and part of the Dutch Antilles. Located in the Southern Caribbean, outside of the hurricane belt, Curaçao is warm and sunny all year, with little rainfall. Curaçao is an authentic island known for beautiful beaches, world-class diving and welcoming, authentic people. The austere landscape is a stark contrast to the congested capital city of Willemstad. A colorful history and vibrant art scene make Curaçao a hidden treasure that goes “straight to the heart”.

    Curaçao’s highest peak is Mt. Christoffel at 1230 feet, popular with hikers. The north shore’s limestone cliffs are pounded by the sea while the south shore is the home of beaches, bays and inlets. At 180 square miles, Curaçao is about 40 miles long by about 10 miles wide. Cactus is Curaçao’s most numerous plant, with hundreds of species including the giant Kadushi and Yatu varieties. The endangered white-tail deer, brought to Curaçao from South America by the Arawaks, is a rare sight these days. Out of 168 registered bird species, the most common are the orange breasted oriole, or Trupial, Curaçao’s national bird, and the Chuchubi, a Caribbean mockingbird.

    With an average temperature in the mid 80s, Curaçao enjoys constant trade winds from the east, and annual rainfall of just 22 inches, most of which falls between October and February. Although located outside the hurricane belt, Curaçao can experience extra rainfall in the event of hurricane activity in the Caribbean. A tropical savanna climate makes Curaçao an ideal destination 12 months of the year.

    Population and Culture
    Curaçao’s diverse heritage is a blend of Arawak, Dutch, Spanish, West Indian, Latin, and African, all tied together by Papiamentu, a local creole language with the same origins. More African and Caribbean than Dutch, Curaçao expresses itself through language, music and dance. Curaçao’s 150,000 inhabitants represent some 50 nationalities, and besides Papiamentu, most speak English, Dutch and Spanish. Curaçao is well known for its eponymous liqueur, an aromatic orange spirit the same color as the Caribbean Sea.

    A nation of polyglots, most Curaçaoans speak 4 languages: Papiamentu, Dutch, English and Spanish. In use for 300 years, Papiamentu is a spoken creole language, based on Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and a few African languages, and serves to unify Curaçao’s diverse culture.

    Music and Dance
    Curaçao’s rich cultural heritage is best evidenced in music and dance. Tambu is music and dance, originally a type of blues used by African slaves to lament their situation, and was purely percussive due to the lack of musical instruments. Tumba evolved out of Tambu, influenced by Latin jazz, and is now the official music of Curaçao’s Carnival, or Tumba Festival. Lyrics are in the local Papiamentu.

    Curaçao’s eclectic heritage is reflected in its cuisine, much like its Papiamentu language. Primarily Dutch, food in Curaçao today is influenced by the more than 50 nationalities living on the island. Seafood is predominant, and most foods are imported due to the arid climate. Two popular African side dishes are Funchi and Tutu, both of which are cornmeal based.  Funchi is like polenta, and Tutu is the same, but with mashed black-eyed peas.

    Architectural Design
    Traditional Dutch Colonial buildings mixed with Curaçao’s Caribbean colors form the basis of Dutch Caribbean architecture. The traditional has evolved to incorporate Curaçao’s dry climate, adding shutters, verandas and decorative touches. Willemstad, the capital city, is a UNESCO world heritage site (one of only 6 in the Caribbean), and a stunning example of Dutch Caribbean style. Landhuizen, the original plantation houses, were built in different styles, usually on elevations to oversee activities on the land. The Queen Emma Bridge in Willemstad is pedestrians-only, built on pontoons so it can swing out of the way to allow ships into port.

    Tourist Office
    For more information about events, promotions and things-to-do in Curacao, go to the Tourist Office Page or visit the official website of the Curaçao Tourist Board.
    Information provided on this page were derived from a combination of internal research and readily-available outside sources, such as destination tourism offices, official press releases and marketing media kits. 

    Fast Facts

    Capital: Willemstad

    Language: Dutch is the official language; Papiamentu is the spoken dialect; most speak English and Spanish as well.

    Anthem: “Himno di Kòrsou”, “Anthem of Curaçao”

    Government: Autonomous part of the Netherlands

    Size: 180 square miles; 40 miles long by 10 miles wide at widest point

    Population: 150,000 (2012)

    Location: Southern Caribbean, Dutch Antilles

    Climate and Temperature: A tropical savanna climate makes Curaçao an ideal destination 12 months of the year. With an average temperature in the mid 80°F year round, Curaçao enjoys constant trade winds from the east, and annual rainfall of just 22 inches, most of which falls between October and February.

    Rainfall: 22 inches per year, mostly between October and February.

    Electricity: 127/120 VAC at 50 cycles; 60 cycle US appliances will work, except those with internal time mechanisms.

    Currency: Netherlands Antillean guilder (Nafl.); also called the florin.

    ATMs: ATMs can be found in many convenient locations throughout the island and at the airport.

    Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time, one hour later than Eastern Standard Time (the same time as Eastern Daylight Time).

    Water: Water is potable; produced by a desalinization plant.

    Driving: Driving is on the right-hand side of the road, and a valid driver’s license is required.

    Rentals: Car, jeeps and bike rentals available.

    Dress Code: Casual but in good taste (short shorts, bikinis, bra-type tops are undesirable in public places). Topless sunbathing is not permitted but is tolerated. All beaches are public.

    Importation: Each visitor is allowed to bring one fifth of liquor, 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, and 250 grams of tobacco.

    Cruising/Bare Boating: Various marinas and ports are available; docking fees may vary. All yachts must clear customs and immigration upon arrival. Passports are required of all visitors.

    Pets: Cats, Dogs and parakeets must be accompanied by an Official International Health Certificate, and for cats and dogs, a rabies certificate. Pit bulls are prohibited. Animals must be micro-chipped and cross-referenced on the health certificate. For specifics, check with the Embassy (government.nl), the airline and your accommodations.

    Travel Information

    By Air
    Hato International Airport (CUR) located near the capital city of Willemstad, accommodates 1.6 million passengers per year.

    Departure Tax
    >A US $39 departure tax applies to all ticketed air passengers departing from Curaçao, and may already be included in the price of your airline ticket.

    A valid passport (with at least six months before expiration) and return and onward tickets are required for all visitors to Curaçao.

    Green Cards
    Green card holders must have a valid green card and valid passport from their country of origin.  In some cases, visas are still required for entry into Curaçao.

    Customs and Immigration
    All persons traveling to and from Curaçao must clear Customs & Immigration.


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