Travel, living and working in Curacao - WorldSupporter Theme

Travel, living and working in Curaçao

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    Curaçao - Mini travel guide

    Curaçao - Mini travel guide

    curacao


    Curaçao is part of the Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean area which also consists of islands like Aruba and Bonaire. It is a small island of just 10 miles across, compromising 160,000 inhabitants. Because of Curacao's colonial history it is culturally and demographically very diverse, boasting some typical Dutch cultural elements as well. The island has one of the world's most beautiful beaches with pearly white sand and crystal clear water. For the active visitor the island is a water sport paradise. If you plan on visiting Curaçao, have a look at this mini travel guide with tips and information about visiting Curaçao.

    Highlights of Curaçao

    • Snorkeling and diving: Curaçao's maritime world possesses a great biodiversity, with stunning coral reefs to explore. It is one of the most popular locations for diving in the Caribbean. You can also dive and swim with wild dolphins and other sea creatures.
    • Kite surfing. The prevailing winds make Curaçao a popular kite surf destination. The season starts around March or April.
    • Sailing. Curaçao is home to several international sailing competitions and is a very good sailing destination.
    • Night life: from the African Tumba to the South American Merengue, Curaçao’s rich heritage plays a big role in its energetic music scene and nightlife. There are beach parties on a regular basis, but there are also enough bars and clubs where you can dance and party.
    • Carnival: The annual carnival is the highlight of the year for many Curaçaoans. Streets are filled with vibrant colours and exotic music. The colourful event lasts for almost a month, and it is definitely a must-see!
    • International Jazz festival: One of the biggest music festivals of Curaçao which takes place in September.
    • Willemstad: From the floating market in the old town of Punda to the colourful houses along the Handelskade and amazing Antillian food at Marshe Bieu (the old food market). The capital of Curaçao has a rich history, lots of museums, shops, restaurants and beautiful architecture.
    • Mambo-beach: This is probably one of the most popular beaches. As such it's pretty busy but also very well facilitated with cocktail bars, live music and an open air cinema.
    • Klein Curaçao: 25 kilometres southeast of Curaçao, lies its small sister Klein Curaçao. It is a very peaceful island where you can enjoy beautiful white beaches and stunning coral reefs.
    • Christoffelpark: For the adventurous types there are a lot of active opportunities at this park which includes a mountain you can explore by car, quad, mountain bike, horse or by foot.
    • Kura Hulanda: Impressive museum dedicated to Curaçao’s history as one of the biggest slave trade posts in the Caribbean.

    Health and safety in Curaçao

    Generally speaking, Curaçao is considered as a safe country, but there are a few areas to be aware of:

    • Mosquitoes love Curacao's climate too. So don't forget to pack your insect repellent!
    • You will only need a vaccination when you have visited a yellow fever area.
    • Tap water in Curaçao is safe to drink, it falls within the World Health Organisation quality standards. The water supply consists of distilled seawater.
    • From June to November hurricanes can occur in the Caribbean area. Yet they rarely reach Curaçao.
    • Despite the village like feel, Curaçao has areas where vigilance is required. Don't show off your expensive jewellery and don't walk around with too much cash in your wallet. Keep valuable possessions in your bag or even better in a safe at the hotel. Avoid alleys, unpatrolled beaches after dark and other quiet or dark streets because these can be unsafe.
    • The traffic is mostly safe in Curaçao. Yet Curaçaoans often don't take traffic rules too seriously
    • All drugs, hard and soft, are illegal. Possessing or using drugs, any drugs including marihuana or prescription drugs for which you can’t provide the prescription, is punished severely. Bring a Medical Passport or an official prescription when using medication, especially any sedatives and strong painkillers containing codeine.
    • In case of emergency you can call the tourist emergency number: 917.

    Transport in Curaçao

    • Public transport in Curaçao is fairly limited. Buses don't adhere to a strict timetable but are nonetheless a cheap option. The two major bus stations are at Punda and Otrabanda. Apart from the standard big buses, there also smaller vans that offer public transport. They don’t have a timetable.
    • Due to the limited public transport options, it is definitely recommended to rent a car or scooter to explore the island. The roads are mostly paved and well maintained.
    • There can be age restrictions to rent a car. Check with your chosen rental company beforehand.
    • Taxis are generally cheap and reliable in Curaçao. However, taxis fares are unmetered; drivers may have fare-sheets available. Agree on a price beforehand. Official taxis are easily recognized by having a license plate that is marked with the letters "TX".

    Accommodation, food and drinks in Curaçao

    • Accommodation in Curaçao mainly consists of luxurious hotels and resorts. These are generally expensive. There are some cheaper options like bed & breakfasts, simple apartments and Airbnb. Hostels are very rare in Curaçao. Camping is also an option. There are several camp sites where you can pitch a tent or rent a caravan.
    • Curaçao has a very diverse cuisine. From typical Dutch to Japanese, Argentinean, Italian, Brazilian and more. Local specialties are: grilled iguana or ostrich, karni stoba (beef stew) and kabritu (goat stew), Sopi di banana (a soup made of bananas) and Pastechi (a savoury pie).
    • Happy Hour: a lot restaurants and beach clubs offer drinks at half price during happy hour. You can drink different alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails like Piña colada, fruit punch and Awa di Lamunchi (a typical Curaçaoan drink made with lime syrup). Also popular are Amstel Bright (a beer which tastes a bit like Corona) and of course Blue Curaçao, sometimes simply referred to as Curaçao. This liqueur is made with the dried peels of the Laraha, the bitter orange native to Curaçao meaning Golden Orange of Curaçao.

    Have you been to Curaçao and do you have other tips for sights, activities or foods to taste? Leave it in a comment below!

    How to stay safe in Curaçao?

    How to stay safe in Curaçao?

    Curaçao coast

    Some general guidelines to stay safe while visiting Curaçao

    General safety

    • Generally speaking, Curaçao is considered to be safe, but robberies and petty crime happen on occasion.
    • Watch out for pickpockets. Don't show off your expensive jewellery and don't walk around with too much cash in your wallet. Keep valuable possessions in your bag or even better in a safe at the hotel.
    • Incidents of robbery are not uncommon so avoid alleys and other quiet or dark streets because these can be unsafe.
    • Serious crimes occur mostly in the organised criminal world, involving drugs or weapons trade. As an outsider you will usually not get caught up in this. Drug related crimes are punished severely.
    • In case of emergency you can call the tourist emergency number: 917.

    Criminality

    • Most serious crimes are part of the organised criminal world involving drugs or weapons trade. As a visitor it is unlikely you will be dealing with these kind of crimes.
    • Keep an eye on your luggage at all times – especially at the airport and busy tourist spots – don't accept packages from anyone and ensure nothing can be placed in your luggage.

    Forces of nature

    • From June to November hurricanes can occur in the Caribbean area. Yet they rarely reach Curaçao.

    Traffic

    • The traffic is mostly safe in Curaçao. Yet Curaçaoans often don't take traffic rules too seriously. For example, sometimes drivers will overtake on the right side instead of on the left. Frequently the rule of giving way to traffic from the right is also put into practice differently.
    • Watch out for scooters and cars without lights at night.
    • Be aware that drunk driving is not uncommon in Curaçao.
    • Curaçaoans drive on the right side of the road.

    Legislation

    • All drugs, hard and soft, are illegal. Possessing or using drugs, any drugs including marihuana or prescription drugs for which you can’t provide the prescription, is punished severely. Bring a Medical Passport or an official prescription when using medication, especially any sedatives and strong painkillers containing codeine.

    Dangerous areas

    • Check what areas are deemed unsafe before arriving in Curaçao so you don't accidentally end up somewhere dangerous.
    • Do keep in mind these areas change so always check the up to date safety information.
    • Areas that are traditionally considered unsafe (especially at night) are: Koredor, Punda, Otrabanda, the Mambo Beach parking lot, the neighbourhoods of Scharloo, Fleur de Marie, Seru Fortuna, Marchena, Seru di Kandela, Souax, Koraalspecht, Seru Loraweg, Dein, Kanga, and most beach areas.
    • Avoid remote and unpopulated areas and unpatrolled beaches after dark.

    SPOTLIGHT NL

    Hoe is het leven op Curaçao?

    Hoe is het leven op Curaçao?

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    Curaçao! Het eiland waar de zon nooit onder gaat en het Caribische leven met Nederlandse tinten volledig tot zijn uiting komt. Het kan een droom zijn voor velen om voor een langere tijd op dit prachtige eiland te gaan wonen. En terecht. Maar, ergens gaan wonen is wel net even iets anders dan een langere vakantie. Je maakt meer mee en leert veel meer van het eiland kennen. Maar, hoe is het leven op Curaçao nu eigenlijk?

    Poko Poko

    Het leven in Nederland staat bekend op zijn drukte. Tegenwoordig moet alles zo snel, zo veel en zo goed mogelijk tegelijk. Studie, werk, sociale leven, de dagelijkse bijkomstigheden en noem maar op. Wij Nederlanders zijn er goed in om zo veel mogelijk in een dag te stoppen. Op Curaçao gelden net even wat andere regels. Het levensmotto van veel Curaçaoënaren is dan ook: Poko Poko, oftewel rustig aan. Het leven gaat op Curaçao net even wat relaxter. En dat moet ook wel, want met dat warme klimaat is het levenstempo dat wij in Nederland hebben niet vol te houden. Het kan op het begin wat lastig zijn als je in deze omgeving terecht komt. Een afspraak om 10:00 ‘s ochtends kan zomaar 10:30 worden of later. En deze vertraging wordt niet per se gemeld. Maar no worries, vroeg of laat wordt het allemaal geregeld.

    Is het duur?

    Wat veel mensen zich afvragen is of het leven op Curaçao een beetje te betalen is. Iedereen heeft natuurlijk zijn of haar eigen uitgavepatroon, dus je kan het zo duur maken als je zelf wil. Vanuit WereldStage bieden wij voor studenten die stage gaan lopen in Curaçao de mogelijkheid zich te gaan huisvesten tussen de 350 en 550 euro. Het ligt er maar net aan of je alleen wil wonen of met meerdere personen. Verder is het leven relatief goedkoper dan in Nederland. Eten en drinken is allemaal net wat goedkoper en zo ook de overige ‘normale’ kosten op Curaçao. Echter, winkelen kan wel wat duurder uitvallen. Dit heeft met importkosten te maken.

    Ervaar het zelf

    Niemand kan voor jou spreken en de enige manier om erachter te komen hoe het leven er echt is, is door het zelf te gaan ervaren. Als je erover nadenkt om de stap te wagen, lees je dan goed in en vind informatie die jij denkt nodig te hebben. Ook kan je altijd terecht op de website van WereldStage voor meer informatie.

    WereldRoute op Curaçao: welk pakket past bij jou?

    EXPLAINED

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