Beach Life

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Is Curacao a Hidden Jewel of the Caribbean?

Explore why Curacao is the Caribbean's hidden gem. From vibrant culture to stunning beaches, find out what makes this island a must-visit destination for travelers.

Tobi Miles
July 1, 2022
Is Curacao a Hidden Jewel of the Caribbean?

Curacao is a wonderful but often understating island in the Caribbean.  An oversea territory of the Netherlands, it has a population of over 150,000.

The climate of Curacoa is likened to that of a tropical island savannah. Recently fast progress has been seen in it's develop and it's economy is booming as a result!

This is mainly due to petroleum, oil. finance, trade and of course tourism! But, how close is Curacao to South America? Can you take a ferry there?

Facts about Curacao:

Is Curacao part of the South American Continent?

Geographically it is considered part of the South American continent as the island lies on the shelf of the mainland of South America.

However, it is in fact a Caribbean island , independent yet still an oversea territory of the Netherlands. It is also part of the "ABC" Caribbean island group which includes Aruba and Bonaire.

When is the best time to visit Curacao?

The best time to visit Curacao is in the dry season which starts from January and ends in September! While the rest of the year constitutes the wet season. The annual average temperature is approximately.  26 'C.

What Language Do they Speak in Curacao?

The people of Curacao speak a number of languages and most are bi lingual. Their local dialect is "Papiamentu"  which is spoken by most people. Dutch is the official Language and also Spanish and English is common.

What is the Currency is Curacoa?

The Currency is the "Netherlands Antillean Guilder".  $1 USD is equal to approximately $1.87  (May 2019)

Which Airport do i fly to in Curacoa?

Book flights to the Curacao International Airport which is the main hub for international flights that travel to Curacao.

What Visa is required to visit Curacoa?

There are several countries which fall under the Caribbean visa waiver program, which includes Bolivia, China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, India, Jamaica and Peru.

Russian nationals living in the Baltic States who hold alien’s passports issued by Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania do not require a visa for Curaçao, however one is required for Aruba.

Other Curacao Visa Exemptions

Below is a summary of visa exemptions applicable to certain groups of nationals of third countries that usually require visas.

  • Holders of a valid multiple-entry short-stay visa for the Schengen Area
  • All holders of a valid multiple-entry visa for the Schengen Area are exempt from the visa requirement for the Caribbean part of the Kingdom.
  • Holders of a valid multiple-entry visa for the US and/or Canada Nationals of the following countries are exempt from the visa requirement for the Caribbean part of the Kingdom on condition that they hold a valid multiple-entry visa for the United States of America and/or Canada.

Tourist entry is generally only allowed for 30 days, with a maximum of 90 days allowed. These Extensions are available at immigration.

Dutch Passport:

Dutch passport holders may stay for up to 180 days, an extension must be gotten first from immigration. Tourists who apply for an extension beyond the 30 days must have travel insurance (medical & liability) for the duration of their extended stay.

Entry Requirements to Curacao - Passport validity

You must hold a valid passport to enter Curaçao, a return or outward ticket on arrival, sufficient funds for accommodations and food and the necessary documents for returning to the country of origin, or further travel elsewhere.

For further information on exactly what will be required at immigration please contact the Dutch Embassy or Consulate in your country.

Visas for the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

As of 10 October 2010 it is possible to visit more than one Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands using a single visa.

The visa is valid for all parts of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean for a visit as a tourist or for a short stay in the countries Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten and for the Dutch Caribbean islands Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba.

If you need a visa for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean and how to apply:

Do I need an International Driving License?

An international driver’s license is not required in Curacao. You can use your foreign issued driver’s license to drive in the country!

What is the Wi-FI like in Curacao?

For those digital nomads or just those which wan't to keep in touch with family back home.  There are various Wi-Fi hotspots in tourist frequented areas or major towns or cities in Curacao. Wi-fi at the airport and most hotels is also commonplace, however its best to check before making a reservation.

Is Curacao Safe?

Curacao is low on major crimes although petty crimes like theft exist, especially around tourist areas beware of pickpockets etc. Tourists are also advised to take precautions especially if planning to walk the streets alone at night.

According to the US department of state rates the crime level in Curacao as medium. The island is also located outside the hurricane belt, so traveling during storm season isn't quite as risky as it is in other parts of the region.

Which Electricity Adapter do i need?

The electrical voltage used in Curacao is 110-130 volts at 50 Hertz. Even though Curacao uses North American sockets, the sockets are not required to be polarized. On Curaçao the power plugs and sockets are of type A, B and F.

When living in the United States of America you will need a power plug adapter for sockets type F. We recommend you to pack a 3 to 2 prong adapter in case type B sockets are not available.  (Source:

Alternatively, I always use a handy universal adapter which works for most countries, check out our Essentials page to get yours

Ferries from Curacao to other Islands and South America.

Is there a ferry from Curacao to Bonaire, Aruba?

This is a common question, unfortunately there no ferry services of any kind between Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, and Venezuela.  Travel between the islands is possible by air only.

Another method is to rent a private charter or do it as part of a cruise.

Is there a ferry from the Caribbean Islands to South America?

Not currently! Your best bet is take a trip via plane a few airlines run this route.  It's approximately $100 US round trip to fly to islands such Curacao, Aruba, or Bonaire.

Can you see South America from Curacao?

Many tourists have reported seeing the shoreline of Venezuela during Coastal trips! So yes it's closer than you think!

Map of the Caribbean Islands | By Kmusser via Wikimedia Commons

6 Reasons - Why you should visit Curacao?

There are many reasons why you should visit Curacao from experiencing it's diverse cultural heritage to it's bubbling nightlife!

1) Curacao Art Scene -

If your artistic, Curacao has vast array of street art! If you head to Pietermaai and Otrobanda, your will see an amazing array of designs with plenty of museums and galleries to pay a visit!

For Willemstad's largest collection of works by Curaçaoan artists, head to Gallery Alma Blou.

2) Curacao Culture and History

Curacao has a diverse range of cultural influence with it's long history and closeness to South America.  As with many islands, settlers change from generation to generation each leaving their mark.  A brief history is as follows.

Brief Timeline of Curacao:

  • Arawaks settle approxiately 6000 years ago.
  • Spanish Empire claimed the land in the 16th Century.
  • Dutch Empire took over after and it become a huge slave trade hub (Bad Times!)
  • Afterwards, Large numbers of Jewish refugees settled to avoid the Spanish Inquisition.
  • Then after a passing between the Dutch and British, the Dutch finally claimed ownership
  • These days Curacao is independently run but still classed as an overseas territory

House in Curacao | By JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD via Wikimedia Commons

If you would like to experience some real history look no further than Willemstad. Head to downtown to see Unesco World Heritage Site. Here you will see wonderous colonial buildings.

Another great spot to check out is Handelskade (Merchant’s Wharf) which is an iconic spot to hang out, here you’ll find inviting bars, authentic dining spots such as Plaza Bieu, and the technicolor floating market, where fruit vendors from Venezuela dock to sell their wares.

3) Beaches in Curacao- 35 of them to be exact!

That's right a whopping 35 beaches on such a small island! Each beach has it's own character and charm.

Playa Knip:

Is one of the most popular, surrounded with crystal waters and a nice series of restaurants.  Porto Mari, is also another great spot, a must visit on any divers list who wishes to find the forgotten treasures of the island. It also has a cool bar which is great for cranking open a cold one and relaxing on the famous pier!

Jan Thiel Bay and Papagayo Beach.

By Marc Ryckaert via Wikimedia Commons

If something a little more high end is your style, head to Jan Thiel Bay and Papagayo Beach,

4) Great Nightlife & live music.

If you love music and a true "vibe" while away then this is the place for you! Live music is a common feature with Jazz, blues and a variety of tunes all pumping by some soulful island artists.

By Infrogmation of New Orleans via Wikimedia Commons

A popular spot for live music is the blues/jazz bar in the historic Avila Beach Hotel, a property built around an  18th century mansion. Once you've warmed up there a few other notable spots are:

Mambo Beach and St Tropez Ocean Club.

5) National Parks (Shete Boka and Christoffel)

It between though late night jazz and blues cocktail sessions it's nice to get up early one day and head to the gorgeous national parks.

The island’s largest national park, Christoffel park, this is a hikers paradise without eight challenging trial varying in difficulty depending upon your fitness level! If you love getting off the beaten track and into rugged countryside, you will love  Shete Boka (National Park).

The park begins at stunning Boka Tabla, where you will see gigantic waves powerfully crash into the underground cavern. Following the  steps down lead you directly into the mouth of the cavern.

Here you can sit on the very edge and watch the surf roll in if your feeling brave!  If your feeling less brave take a stroll along the limestone bluffs above for a gorgeous view of Curacaos rugged northern coastline.

Cliff jumping in Curacao-Watch or Join in!

Jumping off the 40-foot clifftop at Playa Forti is a Curaçao bucket list item for some adrenaline junkies! Facing an expansive blue sea in Westpunt a few miles north of Playa Kenepa, this bluff boasts one of the most beautiful coastline views on the island.

If your feeling less brave and rather be entertained, head over to Blue View restaurant, perched just  across from this cliff, grab a Blue Curaçao cocktail and watch the crazy people! Much better than anything on the hotel T.V! Havana, Cuba is not too far away also.

Shete Boca National Park | By JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD via Wikimedia Commons

6) The Cost Effective Caribbean

"Curaçao has been ranked as one of the most affordable islands in the Caribbean"...Mtravels 2019 Survey.

Want to save money on your next hotel in Curacao? Use the helpful booking tool below:

(The hotel’s database compares thousands of hotel prices across the web to get you the best deal, completely free for you to use! )

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Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
Find me on Twitter

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