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Curacao is where tropical charm, Latin style, a proud African heritage and European sophistication meet in the Caribbean. The fun shines night and day on 38 beaches, 65 world-class dive sites, unique family attractions, historic monuments, museums and more. Explore by day feeding sharks and ostriches, discover a secluded white-sand cove, or ride horseback through a national park.
By evening be ready to dance the night away, listen to hot jazz and enjoy some of the Caribbean's best cuisine under the stars. All this plus year-round events and festivals from Carnival to Salsa and a welcoming people make Curacao an ideal Caribbean vacation destination.
Hot throughout the year, but tempered by cooling trade winds. The main rainy season is from October to December. The hottest months are August thru November (90°F, 32°C), the year round average is 77°F, 25°C. The driest months are May and June.
Travel to and from Curacao uses the Hato Airport.
You can rent cars via one of the numerous car-rentals. Traffic proceeds on the right in Curacao, driver's licenses from all other countries are valid here.
Visitors generally tip 10 to 15 % in restaurants unless a gratuity is added.
Parties are required to be residents of the island for two days before presenting the following documents to a magistrate: passport, birth certificate, proof of single status and travel documents. After presenting documents - 14 day waiting period.
Shete Boka Park
Visitors can hike along the rugged cliffs where the sea has carved out dramatic caverns, and join park rangers for turtle-monitoring. The Park showcases Boka Tabla, one of Curacao's most spectacular sites.
Where the Fun Shines Night and Day Curacao is where tropical charm, Latin style, a proud African heritage and European sophistication all converge within the exotic landscape of the blue Caribbean. The fun shines night and day on gorgeous white sand beaches, world-class dive sites, unique family attractions, historic monuments, museums, golf and more. By day, feed sharks and ostriches, discover a secluded white sand cove, or ride horseback through a national park. By night, try out a disco, listen to hot jazz, and enjoy some of the Caribbean's best cuisine under the stars. All this, plus a welcoming people, and year-round events and festivals such as Carnival and Salsa help to make Curacao the ideal Caribbean vacation destination.
Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue
One of Curacao's most visited historic sites, it is the oldest continually operating synagogue in the western hemisphere.
Den Paradera (Herb and Botanical Garden)
An interpretive center for the island's natural medicine and folklore with fascinating exhibits and a carefully-documented herb garden full of the plants traditionally used to cure ailments.
Senior Curacao Liqueur Factory
The world-famous liqueur is distilled and distributed from this 17th century landhouse. Visitors end every tour with a complimentary tasting!
Christoffel National Park
A protected wildlife preserve and garden covering 4,500 acres of land. At its center is Mt. Christoffel, the island's highest point at 1,230 feet. Visitors are welcome to explore the park on foot, by mountain bike, horseback or car.
These limestone caves are actually old coral reefs, which emerged out of the water to form the island. These "living caves"are still being formed, a drop at a time.
Museum Kura Hulanda
Exhibits trace Curacaoans African roots and the legacy of the slave trade in the region. Highlights include finds from the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, Africa's Garden of Eden; a full-size reconstruction of the hold of a slave ship and artifacts of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade dating from 1441 to 1863; and full-size reconstructions of the house gable of Dogon's Ogotemeli and the city gate of the ancient city of Djennee.
Willemstad's shady pedestrian malls and upscale boutiques offer a range of luxury goods at attractive prices. Popular souvenirs include ceramic replicas of local buildings and handmade dolls in folkloric costumes. Local talent is on display in galleries where colorful paintings, sculptures, and specially designed t-shirts are for sale.
Divers and snorkelers can swim with stingrays and feed sharks by hand in a totally protected environment in the "Animal Encounters"habitat. Every species of marine life native to Curacao's waters is on display in 46 natural seawater aquaria.
With 38 beaches to choose from, sun seekers are sure to find the perfect place to relax and recharge. Don't miss Klein Curacao, a sparkling white beach on a small, uninhabited island just off the southeast coast.
Dining in Curacao is among the best in the world. Cuisines from more than a dozen countries range from classic to exotic. Local dishes also reflect an international influence with a blend of Creole, Chinese, French, South American, Dutch, Indian and Indonesian. Restaurants are tucked into ancient forts, historic townhouses, on the beach and in hotels, and there is a price range for every palate.
At sunset, it's all-aboard the festive shore cruises -- or stay ashore and mingle at popular pubs, clubs, discos and casinos that are open late into the night.
Diving & Snorkeling
Miles of reefs, some only 10 feet from the surface, and 65 world-class dive sites with underwater visibility up to 150 feet make Curacao one of the Caribbean's top dive destinations. Snorkelers are treated to a rainbow of unusual sea life, and divers enjoy a closeup look at one-of-a-kind dives like "The Mushroom Forest."Stay dry with a ride on the semi-submersible Seaworld Explorer and enjoy unforgettable up-close views of teeming coral reefs.
Curacao is outside the hurricane belt and the sun shines every day. The average temperature is 82 degrees, while 13-knot tradewinds keep things cool and humidity low even under the tropical sun.
While Dutch is the official language, multi-racial Curacaoans also speak English, Spanish and their own unique blend, Papiamentu.
African Heritage Month
August 2001 The achievements and contributions of Curacao's people of African descent are celebrated throughout the month with tours of historic landmarks, museum exhibits and special cultural events.
February 2001 The unique music and song of Tumba Festival kicks off Carnival festivities with the finest musicians competing in a week of live entertainment, dancing and celebrating.
Six weeks through February 27, 2001 The Curacaoan version of Mardi Gras is a rousing event celebrated all over the island with live music, dancing, dining, jump-ups and an air of festiveness unlike any other.
The Blue Bay Golf Course is almost certain to be ranked among the top 50 in the world. Opened in 2000, Curacao's new 18-hole championship golf course at Blue Bay Golf & Beach Resort has drawn much attention, and quickly made golf the island's fastest rising activity. The course, designed by Rocky Roquemor, stretches along a scenic area of the island's coast, just a few miles from historic Willemstad and major hotels. Magnificent views abound, and excellent soils and wonderful native vegetation provide superb playability and beauty. The course wanders through rolling land that stretches to and from the sea, and is nestled alongside newly constructed lakes and a large restored lagoon. A bit of advice: bring not only a sound game, but a good camera as well! The Curacao Golf and Squash Club offers a 9-hole course that is open to non-members in the mornings and early afternoons.
U.S. currency is accepted everywhere along with travelers checks and most major credit cards. The national currency is the Netherland Antilles florin or "guilder".
August 3-4, 2001 Latin rhythms become the island's heartbeat when its Salsa Festival brings together some of the region's most celebrated international performers and most ardent fans.
Queen Beatrice's Birthday
April/Labor Day thru May 1, 2001 This royal day is celebrated during a week of island-wide events including the weekend long International Food Festival in Emmastad and the colorful Sami Sail Regatta, a fest of food and live music in Boka St. Michiel. Sailors must build the sailboats they race.
June, 2001 The 14th Annual Curacao Jazz Festival brings "cool" home to the tropics.
Curacao's long standing ties to Holland are reflected in rows of crayola-colored townhouses with red tiled roofs and rococo-style facades that line the streets of historic Willemstad, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, placing it in the company of the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal.
Curacao lies 35 miles from the Venezuelan coast.