Travel advice & practical information for travelogue:
'Nature & culture in Curaçao'
Useful addressesInformation about hotels, weather and activities you can find on: www.cybercur.com The official government web site is www.curacao-gov.an, but I couldn't find a button to see it in English.
Best time to travel
The trip in this travelogue took place in the third week of March. The rains are over by that time and everything is fresh and green. On the other hand: it's often clouded. From August to October it's very hot and there are also more musquitos.
The national currency is the Netherlands Antillean guilder, also called "florin", abbreviated Ang. or Nafl. It is pegged to the American dollar at a stable rate of US$ 1 = Naf. 1.77 for cash, Naf. 1.78 for traveler's checks. You'll find ATM's everywhere, where you can withdraw money with foreign bank cards.
Many places accept credit cards: Master Card, VISA, American Express en Diner's Club.
The official language is Dutch, but among each other, people speak Papiamentu. Almost everyone speaks English, and Spanish is widely spoken as well.
It's a warm climate, so stores close during the hottest hours of the day, generally between 12 and 2 PM.
It's hard to find maps or guides on the island, so get them before you visit Curaçao.
Fish, fish and more fresh fish. All kinds, prepared in different ways, but always tasty. Unfortunately, vegetables and salads are usually not a big part of the meal. As a snack, try the empanada-like dough envelopes, they're very good.
There are some wonderful hotels. In the first place, if you can afford it, the Kura Hulanda Lodge in Westpunt. It looks extremely expensive, but also beautiful and it is situated in a unique spot, looking over the sea. I also heard that the Avila Hotel in Willemstad is really good. One of the good things about it, is that it's in the city and still has its own beach.
You can rent a bike; I recommend ATB's, and take wonderful tours of the island. It's wise to avoid main roads, the Curaçaoans are "adventurous" drivers. There are also guided bicycle tours, maybe one of those would be a good start: this way you'll easily find out where it's safe and nice to bicycle.
Everywhere along the shore there are diving schools. Curaçao is a favorite of divers. There are dangerous areas, so get advice before you dive.
Plan your trip to Netherlands Antilles online
Through online reservation systems like À la Carte Vacations you can book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars and holiday houses. You can build a fly-drive itinerary with maximum flexibility, book a flight plus a hotel hotel for a night or weekend. Without the limitations of package deals from travel organisations and most times for a much better price.
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