Curaçao Travel Guide

  • Curaçao
    by Hesus
  • Curaçao
    by scuba44
  • Willemstad, Curacao
    Willemstad, Curacao
    by thisit811

Curaçao Highlights

  • Pro
    dlytle profile photo

    dlytle says…

     Beautiful European look, sunny skies and good weather, terrific SCUBA diving, good shopping 

  • Con
    spartan profile photo

    spartan says…

     Curaçao is a very expensive place to visit 

  • In a nutshell
    flynboxes profile photo

    flynboxes says…

     Amsterdam meets the tropics 

Curaçao Things to Do

  • Queen Emma Bridge

    The main tourist stand at the Emma Bridge (Punda side) connected me with Peter Trips. He is a sturdy Dutchman, nearly 30 years on Curacao, and offers several day and half day excursions. I took the "Island Trip" which gave me a very good overview of key areas of the island, in, around and out of Willemstad. There were many Dutch people on this tour...

    more
  • An absolute must!

    Make sure to visit the Kura Hulunda Hotel in Otrobanda. It is dozens and dozens of buildings that were renovated into a hotel, museum and conference center.It is designed like a hill town with charming streets that meander towards and away from the "town" square. You'll feel like you're in a tropical version of the old "Prisoner" series while still...

    more
  • A pleasant walk...

    As mentioned before, I made my way in the daylight hours along towards the Avila Hotel. The walk from the heart of Punda along the Pietermaai and the Penstraat reveals a nice slice of costal life, both residential and commercial. Notice the Saint Tropez Oceanclub (Pietermaai 152) where one may wine, dine, swim (in their pool) and sunbathe. Makes a...

    more

Curaçao Hotels

See all 20 Hotels in Curaçao

Curaçao Restaurants

  • Iced coffee central

    Normally I would avoid Starbucks but the ambience here is so pleasant I couldn't resist. This is one of the only places that will make you a proper, American-style Iced Coffee. Great air conditioning and free WiFi along with indoor/outdoor seating.Great job to Anne and her staff. Near to the Renaissance. Truly the nicest-looking Starbucks I have...

    more
  • On the late side in Punda

    I had dinner here almost every night. It is a cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is one of the few places to stay open late in Punda (meaning around 10 pm). There is a nice cross-section of locals and tourist here. You will hear lots of Dutch, too!The young waitresses are very competent and lively, too. The bitterballen were the best...

    more
  • On the Banda side of living

    Located next to the Otrobanda Hotel and hiding underneath a much fancier looking restaurant, this place is terrific. The Chef/Owner Andre even came out to welcome me and, on a subsequent visit, he even cooked me a local specialty (Keshi) not even on his menu that day.His winning strategy for his new place is to offer really authentic, local food in...

    more

Curaçao Nightlife

  • Een bruin cafe

    Truly, a brown cafe in the sunny tropics. Lots of locals, too. Good place to catch a soccer match. Stays open on the later side. More about drinking than eating! Come as you are

    more
  • Miles to go before you end the night

    This is an attractive bar that attracts a nice mix of people of all ages. They honor the late, great Miles Davis by playing his actual LPs on old-school turntables. Very laid-back vibe. Saw a couple of beauties playing Scrabble and having a great time. Indoor and outdoor seating available. Good place to go Round About Midnight! Casual

    more
  • Quiet - Look elsewhere

    Punda in Willenstad has plenty of restaurants but almost NO bars or clubs. There is one cafe by Subway and KFC that opens until midnight and another bar about 200m away towards the bridge then up a side street to the left. The swedish owner seems ok and the bar there is nice - just very quiet. The Old Dutch Cafe is about 2-3mins walk on the same...

    more

Curaçao Transportation

  • Neem ew tijt!

    There are no direct flights to Curacao from the United States. I connected through Miami International Airport. Please be advised that you must have, at least, a two hour transfer window, especially for the return flight home. The wait at inbound Immigration is agaonizingly slow and thorough so "Take your time" and be prepared to navigate the...

    more
  • Coming and going...

    ARRIVING: Curacao International Airport (HATO) is very navigable. Be prepared for a longish wait upon arrival as there are multiple flights that arrive around the same time.There weren't many taxis there when I arrived; I guess they come incrementally. See if someone is going to or near your hotel. The driver should charge you one rather than two...

    more
  • Ferry cross at their Mercy!

    Cruise and freighter traffic is constant in Willemstad. When the floating Emma Bridge is out the complimentary Ferrys kick into gear. Always give yourself a little extra time. For example, if you are on the Punda side and you have dinner plans on the Banda side then take into account that the bridge may have floated out and that you'll have to take...

    more

Curaçao Shopping

  • Pass the air conditioning, please!

    Senior is the only home-grown maker of Curacao liquor. I visited their historic factory with Peter Trips. What was more interesting to see was their line of 'Alcolado Glacial' products. For over 75 years, this so-called " air conditioning in a bottle" has refreshed many a sweaty brow as well as kept the mosquitoes away. I only wish I had a picture...

    more
  • The Real Deal here!

    This shop probably tries least to impress the tourists. It has a bit of a Cuban department store flavor to it in terms of display. However, only here was I able to find flip flops in my size (12) after visiting countless other stores. One of the ancient sales ladies even dug thru endless boxes on my behalf until she proudly unearthed what I was...

    more
  • Buyer Beware

    Be careful if you buy merchandise in the main tourist area of Willemstad. We were sold a bad telephone at this store and the merchant later refused to take it back. The businesses that sell to tourists know that most of the people who buy things will be gone the next day and won't be back. So they can screw their customers and get away with it.

    more

Curaçao Local Customs

  • A very Bright beer, indeed!

    Apparently, Amstel Bright used to be brewed locally for the Caribbean-only market. Enjoy this pale laeger whenever you can since it is a bit like Corona but with more body and taste- much brighter!

    more
  • Spritz away!

    I have never seen this before but quite a few restaurants and bars spritz their clients with water vapor, especially on the waterfront side. Refreshing!

    more
  • Money

    All places take USD$$, but you will not always get USD as change. In general I think if I can remember the exchange was $20=NAfl 35 (or $1 = NAfl 1.75). It seemed that everyone used that exchange rate and people were honest about it. I only brought $20 bills with me and that was fine. There were some ATMS in Willemstad and while I was driving...

    more

Curaçao Warnings and Dangers

  • It can't be avoided

    The charming, floating Queen Emma brudge is in constant use by locals and tourists. The busy harbour traffic means the bridge may be partially or completely out of service. I never quite learned their signalling system but it sure is fun to see the scrum of people trying, sometime in vain, to get off the bridge in time!

    more
  • Crime on Curacao

    It is recommended to stay to the main streets at nightime. The back streets of Punda are especially to be avoided after 8 pm. A street like Pietermaai looks inviting in the daylight but is a bit lonelier at night. I walked out to the Avila Hotel in the day time, for example, but would not do that at nighttime.Thankfully, I never experienced any...

    more
  • Buyer Beware

    Be careful if you buy merchandise in the main tourist area of Willemstad. We were sold a bad telephone and the merchant later refused to take it back. The businesses that sell to tourists know that most of the people who buy things will be gone the next day and won't be back. So they can screw their customers and get away with it.

    more

Curaçao Tourist Traps

  • Yes, I have to mention the "Dushi"...

    The word "Dushi" means darling/sweetheart in Papiamentu. You will see it hawked to death at every tourist store on every horrid t-shirt. Here's a obligatory picture from an oblique angle for those who claim to need their "Dushi" fix! Look at the sign instead if buying a crappy t-shirt! Have some Kadushi (cactus) soup, instead!

    more
  • La Pergola- One of our best dinners on...

    I would hate for people to skip this restaurant after reading the last tip, but one of our best meals during our vacation in July 2008 was at this restaurant. The outdoor dining area is right on the ocean (there are also indoor tables) which makes for a gorgeous setting. My husband and I ordered bruscetta as an appetizer, two entrees (we especially...

    more
  • Avoid the La Pergola restaraunt

    This restaraunt is located in Punda on the waterfront and presents itself as a high end Italian Restaraunt. It was recommended by the Marriott guest relations staff too!First off the service was SLOW and the waitress was unfamiliar with the menu. We had to point at the menu items while she copied the items from the menu. Everything was ala carte...

    more

Curaçao What to Pack

  • Make sure your hat has a chin cord...

    A hat is essential since it is hot in Curacao. Mine came from Coolibar and is the best wide-brimmed hat I own. Make sure it has a chin cord otherwise you will lose your hat due to the strong trade winds.

    more
  • Practical items to pack

    Bring some kind of day pack for when you'll be out all day. Bring loose fitting clothes. It is hot most of the time although sometimes at night it was a little cool. I wore shorts, tanks, lived in my flip flops, or wore a loose fitting cotton shirt. Flowing skirts are appropriate. It didn't look like people dressed up much. Maybe if you go out to...

    more
  • Heavy duty sunscreen

    Light weight cotton clothing, comfortable walking shoes, and sunglasses.Forget the hat, unless it ties under the chin it will not stay on. Use plenty of sunscreen. Red is not a becoming skintone. 100 speed film for those bright sunny days or an extra memory stick. You can't get enough pictures of those brighly painted houses. The water on...

    more

Curaçao Off The Beaten Path

  • Hotel "Creeping" Part II

    The Renaissance is where I would stay on my return visit to Curacao. It has an amazing infinity pool and a terrific location near town along with a good selection of shops and places to eat and drink. Forget the bland Lobby bar and head into the casino where you can splurge on the 5 cent slot machines and order all the free drinks you could want....

    more
  • A shady spot to enjoy the view and...

    This is actually along a well-beaten path; I enjoyed sitting in this shady spot on a daily basis. A stones throw from the Renaissance Hotel, this bench provides a great view of the majestic cruise ships that visit Willemstad as well as a chance to meet locals and tourists alike as they wander along this seafront promenade.

    more
  • Hotel "Creeping" Part I

    I was curious to know what the space atop the Curacao Plaza Hotel looked like. So, in good hotel creeping form, I managed to make my way to the Penthouse after a few false starts. It is a banquet space used for special events and has a gorgeous view over Willemstad. Many thanks to the nice server I startled when I gate-crashed the top of the...

    more

Curaçao Sports & Outdoors

  • A game of volleyball

    Some of our group never passes up a chance to play a game of volleyball whether on the court or on the sand.They were so happy to get the chance to play the day that we were at Breezes.

    more
  • Watch the fish

    The water was so clear that we could see many kinds of fish every time we went snorkeling.This was so fun!

    more
  • Go out in a kayak

    We had so much fun going out in the kayaks the day we spent at Breezes Super Club.They have several sitting on the beach and you can take them out when ever available.

    more

Curaçao Favorites

  • Tourist Info

    The Tourist Info stand on the Punda side of the Queen Emma Bridge is an essential resource. There is a larger black lady with glasses who is terrific. Make sure to get the bus schedule. Also, they will make reservations for day trips here. Enjoying the refreshing water at Grote Knip beach (at least until a small eel came my way and scared me out...

    more
  • a must visit island

    We spent just 4 days in Curacao in 2009 finding the island nice enough for these days spent. We stayed at Howards Jhonson Hotel which is located in from the Boulevard (nice location) near good restaurant and more luxurious hotel in Punda side (the island is divided into two main regions Punda and Otrabanda)We paid $20 for transportation...

    more
  • Rent a car, don´t take taxis

    Taxis are very, very expensive in Curaçao. Do consider renting a car in the internet. We got one, with air-cond for US$34 (incl. insurance, unlimited mileage). Taking a taxi can cost you US$25! With our rented car, we could visit many beaches, go around the island, go into town whenever we wanted. We absolutely loved Cas Abou (beach), incredibly...

    more

Top 5 Caribbean Islands: Curacao

Rated 5 out of 5 stars

Though Curaçao did have a run-in with Hurricane Felix in 2007, the "C" of the "ABC Islands" is still a great bet for a safe and drama-free trip during hurricane season. Curaçao is the largest of the Netherland Antilles, located in between Aruba and Bonaire, just 35 miles north of Venezula. In addition to having over 35 beaches, the island has lots of opportunities for the active traveler. The island boasts 60 spectacular dive locations, including the Tugboat site, a wreck that sunk over 25 years ago, and Klein Curaçao, an uninhabited desert island off the southeast coast of Curaçao. For those who want to stay on dry land, hikers can venture to the island's highest point, 1,230-ft Mount Christoffel, which lies in a reserved wildlife park. The island's main city, Willemstad, is filled with unparalleled color and preserved Dutch colonial buildings; the town itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And don't forget to taste one of the island's famous exports: blue Curacaço, the liquor, which is made from the rinds of island grown Laraha oranges, and actually comes in several bright colors.

Instant Answers: Curaçao

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

75 travelers online now

Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Curaçao
Feel like a Queen (or King) for an afternoon...
Things to Do
Events around town...
Things to Do
Taxi Driver
Transportation
There is a bus schedule BUT....
Transportation
Enjoy a Day Pass at the Hilton
Things to Do
Lazing away the hours
Restaurants
Peter Trips
Things to Do
Spa, Welzijn Spa Curacao
Things to Do
Corrupt racist cops no rule of law
Warnings and Dangers
Shete Boka National Park
Things to Do
Watamula
Off The Beaten Path
Loco Tours
Things to Do
Duty Free TSA Caribbean
Warnings and Dangers
We have several restaurants...
Restaurants
Go snorkeling and diving.....
Off The Beaten Path
Curacao Taxi & Lady M Transfer & Sightseeing tour
Transportation
Hato Caves
Things to Do
Driving a Duck on Curacao
Transportation
Excellent Local Food
Restaurants
Off the beaten path - well allmost
Shopping
Fort Amsterdam and the Fort Church Museum
Things to Do
Venezuelan Imports at the Floating Market!
Things to Do
You will have a unique...
Restaurants
There are restaurants housed...
Restaurants
Remarkable Imagination - Sea Sculptures
Things to Do
Punda
Things to Do
Walking around Willemstad
Things to Do
Snorkeling is Great!
Things to Do
Oil refinery blows smoke on hotels
Warnings and Dangers
Queen Juliana Bridge
Things to Do
Buy Ponche Kuba
Things to Do
OutdoorFloating Market
Things to Do
Queen Emma Bridge
Things to Do
Curacao Liqeuer Factory
Things to Do
Hato Caves
Things to Do
Bang for the Buck - Dining
Restaurants
Awesome Indian Food
Restaurants
Look Here for an American Size Meal
Restaurants
Scuba on the West Side of Curacao
Things to Do
Be aware of local holidays!
Tourist Traps
Map of Curaçao

View all Curaçao hotels