Location information for Curacao
Curacao is the largest island of the Netherlands Antilles, which are part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The constant sun draws many holiday makers, both Americans and Europeans. The capital of the island is Willemstad, which is located on both sides of the Saint Anna Bay. The oldest neighborhood is called 'Punda' ('the point'), on the other side lies 'Otrabanda' (literally 'the other side').
Curacao has more than 170,000 inhabitants. It is a very international crowd: the inhabitants originate from 50 different countries.
The island is 61 kilometers long and between 5 and 14 kilometers wide, and is located in the southern part of the Caribbean. West of the island lies Aruba, to the east lies Bonaire. The distance to the South-American mainland (Venezuela) is about 70 kilometers.
Although the island's economy has not grown much in recent years, its inhabitants are better off than those of many South-American countries. The oil refinery is a major employer, and the port (one of the largest in the area) also plays an important economic role. In addition, there is an extensive services sector, with an emphasis on financial services. Tourism also makes an important contribution to the island's economy, although neighboring islands such as Aruba and Bonaire are more popular holiday destinations.
The international airport of Curacao is Aeropuerto Hato, which is located to the north-west of Willemstad. From this airport there are flights to the other islands of the Netherlands Antilles, as well as to South-America, the United States and Europe. The flight time to Amsterdam is 9 hours.
Public transport on the island is provided by Autobus Bedrijf Curacao, which exploits big yellow or blue buses that are called the 'convoy', and that only stop at regular bus stops. In addition, there are minibuses that are simply called 'bus' (indicated on the license plate). They stop wherever you want. The city buses drive their route once per hour, buses to places like Willemstad are less frequent. On Sundays, there is a limited service.
Traffic and Parking
Driving on Curacao isn't very difficult, as long as you keep a few things in mind. The local population is in absolutely no hurry and drives fairly slowly (the maximum speed in inhabited areas is 45 km/h, and 60-80 km/h elsewhere). People often take a turn, make a u-turn or break suddenly, which means that it is smart to keep some distance. Also, on a T intersection, ongoing traffic has right of way.
In Willemstad it may be hard to find a place to park your car. At the large free Waaigat car park there is always space available, but this area is less safe at night. In the old Punda neighborhood and near the Wilhelminaplein there are two supervised car parks, which charge 0.50 Antillean guilders. You also have to pay to park near these car parks. Elsewhere, parking is free. Do mind your safety: lock your car well and don't leave anything of value. We recommend parking your car in a well-lit location.
Curacao has plenty of accommodations, from luxury holiday resorts to small and cozy hotels. The island attracts visitors throughout the year, which is why we recommend booking your hotel room in advance, especially when you want to stay at a particular hotel.
For more information about Curaçao, we recommend Google, and the following sources: