Luxury resorts, stunning beaches, loads of shopping and hopping nightlife are some reasons travelers love Curacao. This popular Caribbean destination also has excellent diving, an old town that is a UNESCO World Heritage site teeming with exciting and interesting landmarks, monuments and museums. To help you get to know this Caribbean gem better, here are some Curacao travel tips that can help you while on your vacation.
Where is Curacao?
You’ve probably heard of it, but you may not be exactly sure of its location on the map. You can find Curacao in the Southern Caribbean Sea, next to the gorgeous islands of Aruba and Bonaire. Curaçao has been a constituent country within the Netherlands since 2010.
Is it safe to travel to Curacao?
The crime rate in Curaçao is low except for petty theft and some street crime, as in most places worldwide. Tourist areas are considered safe, but you should always be careful and use your common sense when traveling in a foreign country, especially at night and when you are alone. Keep your valuables in the hotel safe, and digital copies are best if you need to carry documents. Don’t wander into isolated areas at night or do anything that might be unsafe that you wouldn’t do at home.
There is some smuggling of illegal drugs, so never carry anything for anyone or leave your luggage unattended, even for a short time. Keep your bags on your body and secure.
Check your taxi is registered and agree on the price before getting in, as most taxis don’t use meters. It might be one of the best Curacao travel tips to remember. Suppose you get tangled up in any messy issues with taxi drivers or any other locals and are unable to find a solution. In that case, the tourist police in Curacao are there to assist. They speak multiple languages and are available to help with information and disputes.
Do you have to be vaccinated to go to Curacao?
It is recommended you have your Covid vaccinations up to date before traveling to Curacao. Carry your vaccination records and take a mask in your bag and hand sanitizer. Although proof of vaccination isn’t required to enter Curacao, situations can change suddenly and you also may have trouble getting medical treatment if you are not vaccinated in certain areas. To ensure a smooth trip, we recommend you have your Covid shots before going overseas.
Best time to visit Curacao
With fabulous weather all year round, any time is great to visit Curacao. It is always warm and sunny, so you can explore the island or relax on the beach or poolside at your luxury resort.
Many travelers prefer to go from May to November when off-peak season sees low airfares and accommodation rates up to 50% lower compared to high season. Fewer crowds are an added bonus if you are planning to go to Curacao during this time of year. The good news is there’s no hurricane season or rainy season. Sitting just 12 degrees north of the equator, the average temperature hovers in the mid-80s constantly.
Curacao travel requirements
American citizens may stay in Curaçao without a visa or permit for up to six consecutive months every year. Passport holders from most other countries can get a visa on arrival and stay for up to three months, except a few nations, including Cuba and Haiti.
At the airport, before departing, you may be asked to show proof of your return ticket and sufficient funds for the period of your stay and where you will be staying.
How to get from Aruba to Curacao
Flying is the best way to get from Aruba to Curacao. It’s so quick and easy that many people take a day trip between the two exotic destinations.
You will fly from Beatrix International Airport Aruba to Willemstad Hato International Airport (aka Curaçao International Airport). With no ferry services, the next best option is a private jet if your budget allows or a cruise ship if you have time and fancy some time living the cruise ship life.
Best beaches in Curacao
Curacao beaches are beautiful with white sand and blue water that looks postcard perfect. You have dozens to choose from and that is just the public beaches. Many hotels have private beaches for their guests to access. Swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing and water sports are blissful experiences in Curacao, with Cas Abou Beach, Playa Grandi, Blue Bay Beach Resort, Playa Kenepa and Mambo Beach all being popular spots to bask in the sun. You really can’t go wrong because all the beaches in Curacao are absolutely gorgeous.
Best places to stay in Curacao
The capital of Willemstad is a great base, especially if it’s your first time visiting Curacao. You are centrally located and never far from the ocean. If you are after some nightlife near the beach, Piscadera is a good place to book your accommodation. Northwest Curacao calls for nature lovers who want a quieter scene with hikes in Shete Boka National Park, the Watamula Hole and secluded beaches to enjoy. You can’t go wrong with Jan Thiel for a family-friendly spot in Curacao.
More Curacao travel tips
Rent a car to get around Curacao if you plan on doing plenty of sightseeing. This will save money on taxis and is more convenient than the hotel shuttles and public buses, which can sometimes run infrequently. With your own vehicles, you will be free to drive around as you please, stop when the mood strikes and explore some off-the-beaten-track areas you might not have otherwise seen. Car rentals in Curaçao are affordable and the road conditions are good in most areas. You will need a valid driver’s license and be at least 21 years old. Car insurance is always recommended. Please don’t skip on that because you could regret it in the unlikely case you are involved in an accident.
When looking for restaurants, take note of where the locals are dining. It is always a sign of good food if an eatery is busy or if there is a lineup to order. Also, ask the locals for recommendations on where to eat. They know the island the best, and everyone has a favorite restaurant. They are happy to share their local knowledge and are very warm and welcoming to visitors.
Even on a small island like Curacao, tourists need help with directions every day. Always carry your hotel address and phone number in your bag in case you get lost. Having a paper copy and digital copy is also wise, especially if you are prone to getting lost. Carry essentials in your bag too, like basic first aid supplies, snacks and water. It is hot in the Caribbean and Curacao is no exception. It is easy to get dehydrated, which can lead to feeling unwell or quickly escalate into more severe issues like heat stroke.
Book a tour guide when heading into national parks to ensure a safe experience and have a more interesting time as you learn about local history, culture and life. You can book tours ahead of your trip or once you arrive in Curacao. Many companies offer tours and excursions, and your hotel staff will also be happy to help you with bookings.
We hope these Curacao travel tips have inspired your first or next trip to this gorgeous Dutch Caribbean island.
Head to the Trip Support website to find the inspiration for your next trip. If you need help, call us at #1-855-606-0606 for assistance. They are travel experts who have a passion for sending people like you on vacation. They make dreams come true.
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