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Curacao – General Overview

Curacao is home to exquisite beaches, a multi cultural diversity, rich history, impressive architecture and activities that suit every interest. The island stretches some 40 miles and is about 10 miles at its widest. It is the largest island in the Netherlands Antilles group. Head over to Otrobanda by walking across a 700 foot long Pontoon Bridge billed as the worlds longest floating pedestrian bridge.

Most Popular Beaches

Playa Kalki – One of the most attractive snorkeling spots on the island with a sandy beach and limestone cliffs.

Knip Beach – where locals prefer themselves! Swim, sunbath or snorkel near the shore on either side of the beach – for the well trained the reef can been reached by a long swim from the beach. 

Port Marie – this beach has white sand and parasols. There are showers and toilets available and is very suitable for families with children.

Traveler Facts

Travel & Transportation

Hato airport is about 15 minutes by car to Willemstad. There are direct flights from Amsterdam, San Juan, South America, Miami and Atlanta, along with other Caribbean islands.. Flight is 2 ½ hours from Miami to Curacao.

Entry Requirements

In general, tourists nay enter the Netherlands Antilles, without a written permit and may remain for a period not exceeding fourteen days (for US citizens, the stay is extended to not more than 3 months).

Furthermore, the following conditions apply to a touristic stay in the Netherlands Antilles:

Tourists should be in possession of one a passport; A return or outward ticket on arrival; The necessary documents for returning to the country of origin, or further travel elsewhere. Tourists must have sufficient means at their disposal to be able to support themselves during their stay in the Netherlands Antilles and must be able to prove this to the appropriate authority upon arrival, if so requested.

Tourists are not allowed to work, to look for, or to accept work without the explicit consent of the Lieutenant Governor of the respective island territory.

Languages Spoken / official language – The official language of Curacao is Dutch. The most commonly spoken language is Papiamentu. English and Spanish are both spoken often and known by most natives.

Currency –  US currency is accepted but bills over $20 can be hard to cash. Netherlands Antillean guilder (florin) is the national currency and is exchanged at a stable rate of $1USD = $1.77 NAFL.

Taxes & Tipping - It is customary to tip porters 1 NAFL per bag, and taxi drivers 10% of the fair. Most hotels add 12% charge to the bill and there is a Government 5% sales tax added. Restaurants add 10% service charge to the bill and you can tip a few cents if you wish. There is an airport tax of $22 for international flights and $10 for inter-island flights.

Electricity – Electricity is 110-130 volts/50 cycles, similar but not identical to the US standard. Most appliances will work but could overheat or if using an internal time mechanism, may fail. Although many will work, an adapter would be wise. Dual voltage appliances will need an adapter plug – available on the island.

Immunizations Health Issues -

No immunizations are necessary for entry to Curacao. Curacao’s water is some of the worlds finest and safe to drink.

Curacao Marriage Licenses & Wedding Requirements Information

You and your future life partner must be living outside the Netherlands Antilles.

At least two months before your wedding day you must notify in writing from abroad that you wish to be married. Together with your request you add the corresponding original documents mentioned at item #6. As to the passport, a copy is sufficient for the time being. Please state more than one wedding date. (See further instructions at item #6 for a clear explanation concerning the necessary documents.

Within two weeks after the Register Office has received and checked your documents, you will be notified Ð if everything is in order Ð when and at time your marriage will be performed. If there are any documents lacking, or not in order, or if more documents are necessary, you will be informed at this time.

The legal ten-day period between the notification of your wedding and the performing of it, is effective two weeks after all the documents have arrived at the Register Office. All documents must by that time have been approved by the Register Office.

In order to identify the bridal couple it is important that you report to the Register Office 3 days at the latest before your get married; you can then also make the acquaintance of the official of the Register Office.

This complicated rule is in your own interest to safeguard your marriage and to allow for any contingency. Your have to hand in the following original documents together with your notice of marriage, or you must have these documents with you when you are on the island:

a) Birth Certificate (not older than 6 months)
b) Valid passport
c) Evidence that you are single (not older than 6 months)

d) If your were divorced or if you are a widow/widower, please present

evidence of this (not older than 6 months).

e) You may be asked for more documents, this depends on your personal circumstances. You will be notified on this item as per item #3.

Registrars Offices

The registrar’s office should be contacted for specific rules regarding planning your destination or beach wedding in Curacao. They will also provide information regarding marriage licenses and marriage certificates.

The Register Office of Curacao

Burgerlijke Stand Bevolkingsregister en Verkiezingen (BSB&V)

A.M. Churnanceiro Boulevard 13, Willemstad
Tel: 5999 461 1844 Fax: 5999 461 8166
Tourism Office Information

Curaçao Tourist Board

Pietermaai 19

P.O.Box 3266

Curaçao Netherlands Antilles

Tel: 599 9 434 82 00

Fax: 599 9 461 50 17/ 461 23 05

Other Curacao Related Websites

Climate Information (When is the Best Time to Travel)

Curacao is located just 12 degrees north of the Equator and sports a warm sunny climate all year round. The average temperature is around the mid 80’s F. The rainy season is October to February, with short showers at night and sunny weather in the daytime. The total rainfall is 22 inches and is located outside of the hurricane belt.

Map of Curacao

Local Attractions & Must Do’s

Take a canoe safari on the coast of Banda Abou and enjoy the underwater world. You will see fine snorkeling spots and visit five unspoiled beaches.

The countryside of Curacao can be seen on a jeep safari. You will see mansions, caves, abundant cactus, vast beaches, and flamingos. Snorkel or swim with the dolphins! The Dolphin Academy gives an opportunity to interact with dolphins, caressing, touching, swimming and kissing them.

Most Popular Hotels

Avila Hotel – beachside and a five minute walk from Wilemstad, has 68 rooms and the top floor offers views of the azure Caribbean sea. Hotel Kur Hulanda Spa and Casino – the only 5 star property in Curacao. There are two new sports added to the club – bicycling and diving through a sunken airplane jet. There are many packages to suit your every need from spa treatments to museum going. The casino is on site and there is a 5 night honeymoon package with dinner poolside and complementary shuttles to the beach club.

Floris Suite Hotel is a 4 star elegant all suite resort. This resort sits on the beach and there are 71 units. The resort offers tennis courts, spa centers, an 18 hole golf course that runs by the sea and a diving center is just across from the hotel.

Papagayo Beach Resort – is the getaway resort. There are 50 spacious villas with two bedrooms and almost all villas have a view of the sea. The white sandy beach of Jan Theil Bay is right outside your villa door and you can enjoy a meal on the beach.

Sunset Waters Beach Resort – all inclusive and known for its crescent shaped beach.    This is a small boutique hotel and has 70 guestrooms. The resort sits on 4500 acres of land and offers hiking and biking and nature walks as well as stepping out to the beach and enjoying a dive or snorkeling.