General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.
ATMs Not all ATMs in the Caribbean operate like those in your home country. Some may only accept a four digit PIN number, so if yours is longer you may want to change it before your trip. Ensure you keep your travel money in your primary chequing account as some ATMs default to this account and will not allow you to choose another. Withdrawal fees are generally much higher outside your home country.
ATMs are called Bankomatikos or Geldautomaats in Curaçao. The main banks are Banco di Caribe (tel 599-9/432-3410), FirstCaribbean International Bank (tel 599-9/433-8338), Girobank (tel 599-9/433-9999), Maduro and Curiel's Bank (tel 599-9/466-0777), Orco Bank (tel 599-9/737-2000), RBTT Bank (tel 599-9/763-8000) and SFT Bank (tel 599-9/732-2900). ATMs are located at their branches and at various locations around the island, including the airport. Generally they accept major credit cards on the major networks, such as Cirrus, Maestro and Plus.
BANKING AND BUSINESS HOURS Banks Mon-Fri 8/9am-3:30/4/5pm Airport: Mon-Sat 8am-8pm and Sun 9am-4pm
Post Office Mon-Thurs 7:30am-5pm Fri 7:30am-4:30pm Sat 8am-11:30am (Groot Kwartier branch) and 8am-12 noon (Paseata branch)
CHURCHES/RELIGIONS Mostly Catholic. Jewish, Muslim and Protestant also represented.
CURRENCY AND CREDIT CARDS The local currency is the Netherlands Antillean florin (NAF, NAf, NAFl, NAfl, NFl or Fl) also known as the Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG), which is divided into 100 cents. Paper money runs in denominations of NAFl 5, NAFl 10, NAFl 25, NAFl 50, NAFl 100 and NAFl 250 bills, and coins in 1¢, 2.5¢ (very rare), 5¢, 10¢, 25¢, 50¢, NAFl 1 and NAFl 5 pieces. The florin is fixed to the US dollar at approximately NAFl 1.77 = US$1. US dollars are widely accepted, but most places will not accept bills larger than US$20. Euros are accepted at some hotels and restaurants. Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept major credit cards and traveller's cheques. EuroCard, Discover and Diners Club cards are generally not accepted.
To ensure hassle-free purchases during your trip, you may want to contact your credit card company and let them know you will be travelling abroad.
EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS American Express: 336/393-1111 (call collect) Discover Card: 801/902-3100 MasterCard: 800-1561 Visa: 410/902-8022 (call collect) Western Union: 432-3463 (Banco di Caribe) and 737-2760 (DHL Worldwide Express)
DEPARTURE TAX An airport tax of US$20 per person is payable in cash at the airport for international flights and flights to Aruba. For inter-island flights the tax is US$10 per person.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS A valid passport is required. All visitors must also have an onward or return ticket and be able to provide proof of sufficient funds for the duration of their visit.
Nationals of countries other than Canada, the UK and the US may require a visa. Consult your nearest Netherlands consulate or embassy.
Note: As of January 8, 2007, all persons travelling by air to the Caribbean, Mexico and Bermuda will require a valid passport, Air NEXUS card or US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document to enter and/or re-enter the United States in accordance with the US Government's Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. For more information visit the US Government's Bureau of Consular Affairs website at www.travel.state.gov.
Some countries require single/lone parents or other adults travelling alone with children to provide documents showing evidence of parental/custodial and/or access rights, and/or documents authorizing consent from the parents, legal guardian, and/or the court for the children to travel. Parents of adopted children, particularly those of a different nationality, should carry the proper documents.
NEAREST FOREIGN REPRESENTATION Honorary British Consulate: 747-3322 (Willemstad) Consulate of Canada: 466-1115 or 466-1121 (Willemstad), 58-212/600-3000 (after-hours emergencies, Venezuela), 613/996-8885 (call collect to Ottawa) US Consulate: 461-3066 (Willemstad)
As of November 1, 2006
British pound sterling
European Union euro
HEALTH STANDARDS St Elisabeth Hospital (tel 462-4900 or 910 for emergencies), located at Breedestraat 193 in Willemstad, is the only hospital. Medial facilities are good and include a hyperbaric chamber. Private clinics include The Taams Clinic (tel 736-5466) at Warawaraweg 4, The Antillean Adventist Hospital (tel 737-1992) and the Diatel Dialysis Center (tel 869-5055).
Your home medical program may not provide payment for medical services outside your home country. Obtaining adequate medical/travel insurance, including air ambulance coverage, and consulting a physician or travel medicine specialist six to eight weeks prior to your trip to determine health risks and necessary vaccinations is recommended.
There are numerous pharmacies, called botikas, around the island. Most are open until 7pm and some open 24 hours on a rotating basis.
Dental clinics include Centro Dental Mahaai (tel 737-0285) at Sta Rosaweg 28, Sunflower Dental Clinic (tel 736-6933) at Schottegatweg Oost 58, Salinja Dental Care Center N V (tel 465-7577) at Salinja 153 and Centro Dental Otrabanda (tel 462-6663) at Kraayenhofstraat 16.
ILLEGAL ITEMS There are harsh penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs; strict regulations for exporting or temporarily importing firearms and certain marine and animal specimens, and strict gun control laws.
LANGUAGE Dutch is the official language, but English and Spanish are also spoken. On Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao the native language, Papiamentu, is spoken, which is a mixture of Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, French, English, Caribbean Indian and various African languages.
POSTAGE The main post offices are located in Punda, Otrobanda and Groot Kwartier. Additional branches are located in Paseata, Hato, the airport and the International Trade Centre (ITC). They are open Mon-Thurs 7:30am-5pm and Fri 7:30am-4:30pm. Also open on Sat are the Groot Kwartier branch, 8am-11:30am, and the Paseata branch, 8am-12 noon.
Stamps are also available at bookstores and hotel front desks. Some hotels have letter drop boxes. Airmail to North America can take one to two weeks and to the UK, two to three weeks. Courier service is also available.
PUBLIC HOLIDAYS Jan 1 New Year's Day Feb (varies) Carnival Holiday Mar/Apr (varies) Good Friday Mar/Apr (varies) Easter Monday Apr 30 Queen's Birthday May 1 Labour Day May (varies) Ascension Day July 2 Curaçao Flag Day Oct 21 Antillean Day Dec 25 Christmas Day Dec 26 Boxing Day Dec 31 New Year's Eve (half-day holiday)
SHOPPING HOURS Shops are generally open Mon-Sat 8am-12 noon and 2pm-6pm. Those in Willemstad sometimes open on Sun if a large cruise ship is in port. Stores are closed on public holidays.
TAXES Hotels add a 7% government tax to bills.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS The phone system on Curaçao is modern and cellular and Internet services are available.
The country code for the Netherland Antilles is 599. The city code for Curaçao is 9. Local phone numbers have seven digits, although a few special numbers only have three or four digits. For local directory assistance dial 9221, for the long distance operator, 021 and for international directory assistance, 022.
US and Canadian toll-free 800 numbers don't work in Curaçao. If you're willing to pay the regular phone rate dial 1-300 instead of 1-800.
UTS (United Telecommunication Services; tel 777-0101) provides telecommunications services. UTS Tele Centers (open Mon-Fri 7:45am-3:30pm) offer fax and international calling services. They are located in Brievengat (Berthencourtstraat), Paseata (Sta Rosaweg at Paseata Galleries), Otrobanda (JHJ Hamelbergweg, in front of the Colon Shopping Center), Santa Maria (FD Rooseveltweg), Punda (Post Office) and Tera Kora (Banda'bou).
CT (Curaçao Telecom; tel 736-1056) sells prepaid CTi International Calling Cards at authorized dealers around the island, such as supermarkets, convenience stores and gas stations. For more information see the section in FAQs: Can I use my calling card from here?
UTS, CT, Cingular Wireless (tel 800/335-4685 or 916/843-4685) and Digicel provide cellular roaming services. Check with your service provider to see if they have a roaming agreement with one of these companies. You can rent cellular phones from Rent-A-Fone (tel 465-8855), Speedy Cellular Rental (tel 888-1500 or 888-1700) and Bright Impex Wireless (tel 736-6234).
TEMPERATURES The average year-round temperature is 81°F. The rainy season is Oct-Feb.
TIME ZONE The island is on Atlantic Standard Time year round, which is four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). During the summer the time is the same as on the east coast of North America and during the winter, the time is one hour ahead. Curaçao does not observe daylight savings time.
Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All
information should be verified prior to travel.