Curacao, Netherland Antilles
Curaçao, the largest island in the Netherlands Antilles, is part of the Dutch Leeward Islands, also known as the Dutch Antilles. Willemstad, the capital, is noted for its brightly colored, Dutch-style houses and Cunucu dwellings (based on African-style mud and wattle huts). It is one of the best shopping destinations in the Caribbean. The harbor has a floating market where colorful barges full of agricultural produce are moored. Nearby is the new market building, the design of which is very unusual.
St Christoffel National Park, occupying the most northwestern part of the island, is a nature reserve dominated by the mountain of the same name. There are several caves decorated with Arawak Indian paintings, some unusual rock formations and fine views across the countryside. Lucky visitors may spy iguanas and shy Curaçao deer. Traditional Dutch food is popular, as well as the exciting flavors of Creole food, criollo, which makes good use of fresh fish. There are several discos run by hotels on the island, some of which also have a casino.
Things to See & Do
* Curacao Seaquarium
* Kura Hulanda Museum
* Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge
* Hato Caves
* Curacao Underwater Marine Park
Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency – Netherlands Antilles Guilder or Florin (NAG)
Language – Dutch, English & Spanish
Land Area – 444 sq km
Population – 225,000
Electricity – 2 round pins European style
Time – GMT minus four hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 1 - 599
Port Location – The Port of Willemstad is deep, wide and naturally sheltered. It has been recognized with the award: 'Most Dependable Port 1997' by the Caribbean Shipping Association. Many international cruise lines call at Curaçao.
Transport Links – Curaçao (CUR) (Hato) is 12km (7 miles) from Willemstad and is served by a number of airlines including KLM from Amsterdam and American Airlines. Windward Islands Air International operates to and from Willemstad to Saba, St Eustatius and St Maarten.
Curacao has a good public bus service and taxis are readily available. Many hotel provide their own mini bus service to Willemstad.