Cruise Ship Destination Port
The islands of the Caribbean are located in a region southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and Northern America, east of Central America, and to the north of South America.
ALL CLEAR for cruisers
ALL CLEAR for cruisers
St. Elizabeth hospital is a public hospital that may be compared to midrange facilities in the United States.
St. Elizabeth's hospital has a decompression chamber (beginning July 2012) and qualified staff to assist scuba divers suffering from decompression sickness.
Several private clinics provide good to excellent medical service.
Driving in the Netherlands Antilles is on the right hand side. Right turns on red are prohibited, and traffic conditions require somewhat defensive driving.
Local laws require drivers and passengers to wear seat belts and motorcyclists to wear helmets. Children under 4 years of age should be in child safety seats; children under 12 should ride in the back seat.
Taxis are the easiest, yet most expensive form of transportation on the islands. As there are no meters, passengers should verify the price before entering the taxi. Fares quoted in U.S. dollars may be significantly higher than those quoted in the local currency.
Vans are inexpensive and run non-stop during daytime with no fixed schedule. Each van has a specific route displayed in the front of the windshield. Buses, which run on the hour, have limited routes.
The road conditions on the main thoroughfares are good to fair.
Curacao Travel Guide Map
Annual January Event. Grand Carnival Week - Ten days of festivities during Carnival Week. Celebrations begin with the Children's Carnival Parade in the center of Willemstad, followed by the Grand Parade and culminating with the Carnival Farewell Parade. Other highlights include: the Tumba Music Festival; burning of the straw-filled "Rei Momo" (Carnival King); fireworks; street dancing and more.
Curacao International Kite Season
Annual Event in February. The Curacao International Kite Season begins in February with workshops and small kite-flying competitions. A night-fly event and other activities.
Annual May event. Performances take place at Brakkeput Mei Mei Restaurant. The Brakkeput Mei Mei is an open air restaurant situated on the porch of a historic eighteenth century plantation house.
Curacao Dive Festival
In-depth workshops at numerous resorts on the island, night-time film presentations on the beach, early morning guided dives, an underwater treasure hunt and a Poker Championship.
Curacao Flag Day Celebrations
Annual July event at Plaza Brion in Willemstad.
Curacao Day Celebrations
Annual July event. Folklore activities and cultural events.
Slave Uprising Commemoration Day
Willemstad August 17 Annual Event. Musical and cultural events at the Rif waterfront in Willemstad.
Curacao Salsa Tour Festival
Annual August event. Parties, dance shows and workshops.
ports > destinations > Curacao
Curacao is located in the Leeward Island Chain between Aruba and Bonaire in the southwestern Caribbean. Curacao is 37 miles north of Venezuela
The island has one of the finest natural harbors in the West Indies. At the southeastern end of the island, a channel, St. Anna Bay, passes through reefs to a large, deep, virtually enclosed bay called Schottegat, the site of the capital town, Willemstad.
12.15 ° N, 68.45° W
Curaçao became the seat of the Netherlands Antilles Government in 1954. Dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles was effected on 10 October 2010.
Curaçao is now a fully autonomous country in its own right, with the Netherlands retaining responsibility for defense and foreign policy. The Netherlands will also oversee the island's finances under a debt-relief arrangement agreed on between the two.
Cruise Ships Calling
Holland America Line
Norwegian Cruise Line
Princess Cruise Line
Port of Entry
Port of Willemstad
St. Anna Bay - Cruise ships dock at the various cruise terminals located at the Otrobanda side of the bay. At the end of this entry channel lays the Schottegat area, which houses the main facilities of the port.
Better known as the Curacao Terminal, ships docks on the southwest side of Curacao, where the biggest vessels can enter safely.
Water: 83º Summer - 78º Winter
Air: 86º Summer - 80º Winter
Things to do and see
The main shopping district is called the Punda in Willemstad. Take a water taxi over or walk across the Queen Emma swing bridge. The main streets for shopping are Heerenstraat, Breedestraat and Handleskade.
Most stores are open Monday through Saturday from 8:30am - 6:00pm and Sunday 9:30am - 1:30pm when a ship is in port. Curacao is known for good buys on luxury items such as Swiss watches, jewelry, china, crystal and linen. Don't miss out on the island specialty - Curacao Liqueur made from sun-dried orange peels and comes in a rainbow of colors.
Christoffel National Park
West Point. A national park that is run by the by the Carmabi Foundation. Christoffel National Park is home to Boca Grandi, Indian caves where you can see paintings left by the Arawak Indians and Mount Christoffel. (At 1292 feet high, Mount Christoffel is the highest point in Curacao.)
Curacao Sea Aquarium
Home of the Dolphin Academy. This is one of the most popular attractions in Curacao. If you wish to do a Dolphin activity, book as early as possible.
Open 7 days a week, with tours 2 times a day. There are beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations as well as water pools and a waterfall. The cave is also home to a colony long nose fruit bats. (Because of the colony, photography is limited and not allowed in certain chambers.)
Snorkeling and Diving at Curacao's Marine Park
The complete southwestern side of Curacao is one large coral reef and marine park. In the north you can dive at the Banda Abou National Park, in the center at the Central Curacao Underwater Park and in the south at the Curacau Underwater Park. Curacao offers plenty of dive sites, from easy shore dives, pristine coral bay dives to sheer drop-offs especially in the southeast.
Punda Side, Willemstad. The seat of the Netherlands Antilles, Fort Amsterdam sits at the mouth of the harbor at the end of the Sint Annabaai Channel on the point. The complex has restaurants, shops as well as the Governors Palace.
Fort Nassau was built on the hill to defend both St. Anna Bay as well as part of the city of Willemstad. The fort is open for tours and there is also a restaurant that overlooks the bay.
The Floating Market
The "floating market" is actually a mini boat fleet that comes in from Venezuela and sells ultra fresh fish and fruit at the best prices. You'll find it roughly one block north of the Queen Juliana Bridge on the east side of the harbor mouth. Punda Side, Willemstad.
Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue
The oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere, with a sand floor and museum containing ancient artifacts.
Museum Kura Hulanda
Willemstad. Open Daily from 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. This anthropological museum chronicles the African slave trade as well as the cultures of Curacao. Entry: $9
Queen Emma Bridge
(a.k.a "The Swinging Old Lady"), Willemstad. A floating pontoon bridge that links the "Punda" (Point Side) and the "Otrobanda" (Other Side) of the Willemstad across the Sint Annabaai Channel. You get to see the bridge open and close to away marine traffic into St. Anna Bay. (In the event the bridge is open for a prolonged time, there is a ferry service across the channel as well.)