Curacao - Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you need to know where the most perfect beaches are or the resorts that really do offer up everything to suit your needs, the most pressing frequently asked questions about Curacao are posed and answered here.
Table of contents
- When is the best time to go?
- Do you need a visa?
- How can I get there?
- What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
- What is there to see and do?
- Where are the best beaches?
- What resorts would you recommend?
- What's the best way to book excursions?
When is the best time to go?
High season in Curacao is between December and April, but temperatures remain at a steady 25 to 30 degrees C throughout the year. The island has the benefit of being situated outside of the Caribbean's famed hurricane belt, so that is not a factor that needs to be taken into consideration either. The wet season is experienced between October and February and features brief downpours that usually strike after dark. Those keen to see Curacao in full party mode may wish to coincide their trip with carnival season, which starts in January and is normally over by the end of February.
Do you need a visa?
Citizens of the British Isles do not need a visa to travel to Curacao for up to 90 days, but it is a good idea to ensure that the other requirements are met. These include a valid passport, which will remain in date for six months after returning from a trip to the island. Visitors will also need to be able to produce a return or onward ticket and prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves while in Curacao.
How can I get there?
Hato International Airport is located in Willemstad and serves Curacao, but there are not currently any airlines operating direct flights from the UK to the island. As Curacao is owned by the Dutch, it is served by KLM and flying via Amsterdam often makes for the most convenient way to get to the island. The average flight time using this method is 13 hours and ten minutes.
What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
The currency of Curacao is the Netherlands Antillean guilder, which is sometimes referred to as the florin and is expressed as Nafl or Ang on price tags. While this is the official money used on the island, US dollars also circulate fairly freely, meaning visitors can get by with this unofficial currency - note that buying smaller items with dollars may be an issue. A combination of the two is usually the best idea for most holidaymakers.
What is there to see and do?
The island of Curacao offers an enticing mix of stunning beaches along its lush coast and beautiful colonial Willemstad, which has been recognised as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. Visitors can decide whether to soak up the sun on a hidden beach, go snorkelling off Curacao's coast or hike in its pretty interior. Alternatively, there is culture galore among the old buildings and museums of the island's capital, making it an excellent all-round destination for people with differing ideas of what makes a good holiday.
Where are the best beaches?
Officially, Curacao has a total of 38 beaches, but in reality there are many more, as tiny secluded bays surely fall into the category. This is one of the key takeaways when researching beaches on the island - they are not vast stretches of sand, but small inlets that are called bocas locally. To find the best of these, head to Westpunt, which is, somewhat expectedly, found to the west of the island. Here you will encounter the likes of Kalki Beach, which is named after the limestone cliffs that surround it in the Papiamentu language. Playa Jeremi may have few amenities, but the clarity of the water and beauty of the sunsets more than make up for this fact.
What resorts would you recommend?
Curacao has its fair share of brilliant resorts, which can make narrowing it down to which one to choose particularly difficult. With this in mind, we think you can go wrong with the Avila Hotel, a Dutch colonial property, which overlooks the southwestern shore of Curacao and has been serving guests for more than 200 years. Alternatively, Kontiki Beach Resort Curacao is situated within tropical gardens and salt pools, with a stunning beach right on its doorstep. Safe to say it represents the best in Caribbean living.
What's the best way to book excursions?
Excursions are a great way to get out and see all that Curacao has to offer. The Holiday Place does not run any half-day or day trips on the island, but there are plenty of organisations that do. We have teamed up with some brilliant providers to ensure you get a great service and the chance to discover this stunning destination in all manner of ways. Once you have arrived on Curacao, be sure to seek out your local rep and ask them about the choice of excursions on offer. They will help you find the best trips for you and ensure you are all booked up for the places you want to go to during your stay.
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Renaissance Curacao Resort and Casino is offering a brand new "Taste of Curacao" package to entice new travellers to the Caribbean island and enjoy its cultural offerings. The package includes daily breakfast and a three-hour guided painting workshop by local artist Nena Sanchez. The hotel will also be running a special competition on social media sites to win the package.
Harbour Village Beach Club is inviting loved-up couples to escape to Bonaire and enjoy scuba diving adventures and low rates. The hotel is located within a beautiful four-acre private peninsular and has an onsite First Class 5 Star PADI Instructor Development Centre with diving certification and courses.
The Caribbean has always been a hotspot for tropical holidays and romantic escapes and while many of the region's islands are less accepting of same-sex couples due to religious or cultural reasons, the small island of Curacao welcomes LGBT travellers and has the highest membership rate of businesses in the IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association.