Tips for your vacation


Good to know when travelling to Curaçao


Curaçao's native language is Papiamentu: a Creole blend of African, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, English, and Arawak Indian. The official languages in Curaçao are Dutch, Papiamentu, and English, but of those Papiamentu is used the most in local TV shows, in parliament, and on the street.

Historians believe that Papiamentu — derived from the Portuguese “papear” (to speak or converse) — originated in the 17th century as a means of communication between slaves, who hailed from various African regions, and their Portuguese masters. Unlike other Creole languages, Papiamentu is spoken through all levels of society and has become a major characteristic of the island’s identity.

  • Bon bini - Welcome
  • Bon dia - Good morning
  • Bon tardi - Good afternoon
  • Bon nochi - Good night or good evening
  • Kon ta bai? - How are you?
  • Mi ta bon, danki - I am fine, thank you
  • Kon yama bo? or Kon ta bo nomber? - What's your name?
  • Mi yama... or Mi nomber ta... - My name is...
  • Mi ta bini di... - I am from...
  • Danki - Thank you
  • Di nada - You're welcome
  • Te akiratu - See you later
  • Homber - Man
  • Muhe - Woman
  • Muchanan - Children

What to wear

For the most part, casual, informal summer clothing is the rule in Curacao. Women may want to bring along a hat; the constant trade wind, while refreshing, is not compatible with a carefully arranged hairstyle.

If you plan to visit the island's elegant restaurants, night clubs or casinos, one or two dressier outfits would be appropriate. As for bathing suits, please remember that they're acceptable only on the beach, and not on the streets or most establishments.

Tap water

Tap water is distilled directly from the sea, tastes good, and is safe to drink.

Cellular phone. Wifi connections

Curaçao's country telephone code is +5999. This is usually followed by a phone number with 7 digits. If the phone number starts with a 5 or 6, it will be a cell phone number; all other numbers are landlines. While Curacao has cellular phone service (GSM), roaming services for other cellular company customers it can be very expensive!

Solution: If your phone is sim-lock free, buy a PrePaid-sim card.

TIP!: Calling through Skype, WhatsApp, Messenger or VoIP is cheaper when you have (Free) WiFi connection.

Cell phone reception is good almost everywhere on the island but some remote locations may have spottier service than in downtown Willemstad. Almost 100% of all accommodation options will have some form of wifi at the premises for you to use, and especially in downtown Willemstad, you'll find many open wifi networks.

Local travel

The public transport on Curacao is very limited. The two major bus stations are at Punda (tel +5999 - 641 6257) and Otrobanda (tel +5999 - 462 8359). We recommend you strongly to rent a car.


Taxis in Curacao are easily recognized by having a license plate that is marked with the letters "TX". Taxis fares are unmetered, and drivers may have fare-sheets available. A surcharge will be added to taxi fares if there are more than four passengers (5 persons: +25%, 6 persons +50%, 7 persons +75%, 8 persons +100%) or if it is before 06:00 am or past 11:00 pm (25%). There can also be small fees for large or an excessive amount of luggage. Many taxi drivers can also act as tour guides and will take passengers to different parts of the island.


ATMs are widely available, dispensing US dollars and Netherlands Antillean guilders. Credit cards are accepted at most hotels and restaurants.

Although the island's official currency is the Netherlands Antillean guilder (NAf), you can pay for just about everything in US currency. Euros can only be used to exchange at a bank. The Antillean Guilder's exchange rate for the US Dollars is at a price of 1 USD = 1.80 ANG. In stores and restaurants, the exchange rate is 1 USD = 1.75 ANG for ease of calculation. Exchange rates may vary slightly at stores and hotels.

Credit- Debit Cards & travelers check

The major two credit cards, Visa and MasterCard, are accepted at most establishments while personal checks are normally not accepted. A debit card is also widely accepted.

Traveler's checks are widely accepted and there is no charge for using them in hotels, restaurants, and stores. Personal checks are normally not accepted.

Where to exchange?

You can exchange your currency at any of our local banks; at Hato International Airport, there is a branch of Maduro & Curiel's bank near the arrivals hall. Banks usually close at 3:30 PM but the airport branch is open until 6 PM. You will be required to show a valid ID to be able to exchange money.

Your hotel's front desk may also be able to exchange small amounts of USD or EUR for you.


A gratuity or service charge of 10% to 20% is usually included in your bill. If not, a tip of 10% to 20% is appropriate, depending on the service you received.


Cash may be obtained with MasterCard, Visa, and American Express cards at credit card offices, banks, in some casinos and via Western Union. Debit cards and credit cards are accepted by ATMs. The card must have either a Cirrus or Visa Plus logo. ATM instructions are normally given in Dutch, English, Spanish and Papiamentu. Cash is normally dispensed in local currency or in US dollars. If you are withdrawing local money it is the amount of ANG 25. For example, you can withdraw ANG 25,- or ANG 50,- or ANG 75,- etc.


Most visits to Curaçao are trouble-free. The island is generally quite safe, especially for tourists. However, petty theft and street crime does exist, like everywhere else in the world. The main tourist areas are generally safe, but you should take normal precautions. Avoid remote areas at night. Don’t take valuables to the beach or leave any valuables in your vehicle. Under no circumstances should you discuss or agree to carry a package for anyone. General safety rules apply here like anywhere else: never leave your valuable possessions in sight or out in the open; bring them with you or keep them safe in a safe/vault at the hotel; also, keep an eye on your luggage at all times and never accept packages from strangers.

Driving Tips

  • On Curaçao we drive on the right side of the road.
  • The speed limit within the urban area is 40 km/ph and outside of the urban area, it is 60 km/ph, unless otherwise posted. Exception: the bridge 80 km/ph. Please reduce speed while driving in rainy weather.
  • At T-junctions through traffic has right of way.
  • The horn is used for many purposes, mainly for greeting people. It sometimes means “thank you” or “you go first”.
  • Local laws prohibit moving your car in case of an accident. You will need to dial 199 for road service. Always call CRS (Curacao Road Service) +5999 199 immediately if you are involved in a car accident. If you do not call CRS, the insurance company will not pay for the damage to the car with the consequence that you are liable for the damage.
  • Do not expect people to signal for a turn. Always keep a distance of at least 2.5m.
  • Do not leave anything in the car and always lock the car with the windows closed.
  • At the roundabout yield to drivers in the roundabout, unless indicated otherwise by traffic signs.
  • Right-hand turns at red lights and stop signs (as is permitted in the U.S.) are not permitted in Curaçao.
  • Roads are often poorly illuminated in the evenings and street signs are often missing or not visible, so drivers should exercise additional caution while on the road.
  • Seat belts are required in Curaçao. Children under 12 years of age must travel in the back seat of the vehicle. Children under the age of 4 must also be in a child seat.

Still looking for information?

Please contact us at +5999 525 6895 (also on Whatsapp) or email us.

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