Some basic stuff you may be wondering about.
- Area in square kilometers
- Area in square miles
- Time zone
- AST (UTC−4), no observance of Daylight Savings Time
- Languages spoken
- Dutch, English, Spanish, Papiamentu
- 152,760 (2013)
- Netherlands Antillean Guilder (ANG)
- Drives on the
- Calling code:
- +599 9
- Average temperature
- 27° Celsius (mid 80s Fahrenheit)
Traveling to Curaçao
A couple of points to consider before making your way over.
Getting to Curaçao
Located in the Southern Caribbean, Curaçao is approximately 56 km (or 35 miles) off the coast of Venezuela (South America). It is around a 2.5 hour flight from Miami, Florida and a 9 hour flight from Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Airlines coming to Curaçao:
Note: some routes will require an additional departure fee at the airport that is not included in the price listed online, be sure to check beforehand to prevent any surprises!
Curaçao’s climate is tropical, warm and sunny with a cool breeze throughout the year – the average temperature holds steady around 27° Celsius (mid 80s Fahrenheit).
The rainy season lasts from October to February and the annual rainfall averages out to be around 570 mm (or 22 inches). Customarily, this period is marked with intermittent showers usually at night, although recent changes in global weather patterns have brought more irregularity to the times throughout the day they fall.While it is officially located outside of the hurricane belt, tropical systems that enter the Caribbean may temporarily affect conditions on Curaçao (this can vary from an increase in temperatures to some rain). Always be sure to check the latest weather information before traveling.
What to pack
During the day, you can best stick to light, breathable fabrics. When going to the beach or doing other outdoor activities, be sure to protect yourself from the sun. Many shorelines on Curaçao have areas with washed up coral alongside the sand, something you may want to consider if you have sensitive feet. If hiking is on your agenda, pack pants and sturdy shoes against low-lying brush and eventual bug bites. Oftentimes the wind can pick up in the evenings, also the majority of indoor establishments are air-conditioned so an item with long sleeves could come in handy. Jackets for men are a requirement in some casinos on the island.
While the majority of Curaçao’s accommodations have 100-127V (at 50Hz) connections using two flat vertical pins (used in the US), there are some apartment and/or housing complexes that will have the 220-240V connections with two round pins (common in Europe). Make sure you check this with your accommodation beforehand and bring along adaptors just in case.
Once on Curaçao
Island practicalities that may come in handy.
The currency used on Curaçao the Netherlands Antillean guilder (also referred to as the ‘florin’), which is abbreviated as NAFL or ANG. You can pay in US dollars (expect to get change back in guilders) or with major credit cards.
The guilder is pegged to the dollar, so the general exchange rate that is maintained:
- Buying Rates (Bank-notes): = ANG 1.77
- Buying Rates (Draft, Cheques, Transfers & Traveler’s Cheques): = ANG 1.78
- Selling Rates (to the Public): = ANG 1.82
For exchange rates on other currencies, you can check daily updates are posted at local banks and in newspapers. ATM machines (referred to as “Bankmatico” or “Geldautomaat”) can be found where there are banks, at shopping centers, some supermarkets and at the airport. Generally speaking, money can be withdrawn in guilders or dollars.
Opening hours of shops across the island vary but are generally from Mondays through Saturdays between 8-9 AM until 5-6 PM (on Sunday many shops are closed). Large supermarkets are open a little longer from Mondays through Saturdays until 7-8 PM and usually open for part of the day on Sunday. Minimarkets have broad opening hours throughout the week.
How to dress
Unless the event is being held on the beach (happy hours, beach festivals, etc.) locals tend to dress up rather than down. Shorts, and flip-flops or casual sandals are not always accepted as appropriate attire in certain restaurants and swimwear should be limited to the beach. Be sure to bring cover-up along you can wear if you plan on stopping by anywhere (such as a supermarket or restaurant) before or after. Tanning topless is not common practice and certainly not accepted everywhere, although there are still visitors that do this.
Curaçao does not observe Daylight Savings Time. This means that: In the WINTER, the time on Curaçao is 1 hour later than Eastern Standard Time (New York) and 5 hours earlier than Central European Time (Amsterdam). In the SUMMER, the time one Curaçao is the same as Eastern Standard Time (New York) and 6 hours earlier than Central European Time (Amsterdam).
Public holidays, national celebrations and event days
- January 1st
- New Year’s Day
- 1st Sunday in January
- Fuik Dag
- Carnival Celebrations
- Easter Sunday and Easter Monday (Seú Harvest Parade)
- April 27th
- King’s Day
- May 1st
- Labour Day
- July 2nd
- National Flag Day
- Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival
- October 10th
- Curaçao Day
- December 25th
- Christmas Day
- December 26th
- Boxing day
Important Phone numbers
- Fire Department
- Hospital (St. Elisabeth)
- Cost Guard