As a country located in North America according to ethnicityology, Curaçao is the largest island in the former Netherlands Antilles and also part of the ABC islands, which also include Aruba and Bonaire. It is 56 km north of Venezuela and is flat, rocky and relatively barren because it rarely rains. The island is a coral reef that has formed around an underwater mountain.
Parliamentary monarchy, since 1983. Autonomy in internal affairs since 1954, Dutch since 1630. After the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles, a new constitution was passed in 2010. Curaçao is now an independent country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as is St. Maarten, and is comparable to Aruba. The former Netherlands Antilles, Aruba and the Netherlands have the same status as autonomous regions with internal self-government within the Dutch Kingdom.
The Dutch king is represented by a governor. Foreign and defense policy are decided by the Kingdom’s Council of Ministers. Routine affairs are handled by the Island Council under the supervision of the Lieutenant Governor.
Head of state
King Willem-Alexander, represented by the Governor Lucille George-Wout since April 2013, since November 2013.
Head of government
Interim: Gilmar Pisas, since March 2017.
110-130 V, 50 Hz.
Atlantic Standard Time: CET -5
The official language is Dutch. Papiamento (a mixture of Portuguese, West African languages, the Indian language Arawak, Spanish, Dutch and English) is the common language. English and Spanish are also widely spoken. Since people from over 50 different nations live on Curaçao, other languages are often spoken.
Dutch is only used in everyday life in administration and in the school system and when dealing with European Dutch people. The locals almost exclusively speak Papiamento to each other. Most of the media such as newspapers, radio and television also use papiamento primarily. The language is based on a simply structured makeshift language with which the first settlers of the Caribbean islands, who came from different parts of the world, communicated with each other in the 1700 century. The grammar is simple and has few irregularities. For example, there is no gender, no distinction is made between masculine, feminine and neuter.
The papiamento spoken on Aruba and Bonaire is closely related to the papiamento spoken on Curaçao. However, there are significant differences in spelling and sound.
- Bread = pan
- Thank you = thank you
- Food = kuminda
- Hello = Bon dia
- I love Curaçao = Mi stima Kòrsou
- I’ll see you later = Te aweró
- Yes = Si
- I’m fine = Mi ta bon
- Nice = dushi
- Juice = jus
- Very good = Mashá bon
- How are you? = Kon ta bai?
- Welcome = Bon biní
There are several luxury hotels on Curacao, all of which have air conditioning, restaurants, swimming pools and / or beach access. Some hotels also have evening entertainment, casinos, cable television and babysitting. You can choose between the European Plan (overnight stay without board) and the Modified American Plan (half board). Outlying hotels offer free shuttle buses to Willemstad. 7% tax and 12% service are included in all hotel bills.
Information from the hotel association: Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA), PO Box 6115, Willemstad. (Tel: (09) 465 10 05. Internet: www.chata.org). Information also from: Curaçao Apartments and Small Hotels Association (CASHA)(Internet: www.apartmentscuracao.com).
There are some campsites. Some of these places only allow larger groups that have been organized in advance.
Most of the residents are Catholics (80%), plus some Protestants (8%). There are minorities of Hindus, Jews and Muslims.
Social rules of conduct
Manners: The people on Curaçao are very hospitable, but invitations to private houses are still rare. The customs and habits are influenced by Dutch, Indian and African traditions. The common courtesy formulas should be observed. You shake hands in greeting.
Clothing: Casual clothing is accepted everywhere. Light cotton clothing is recommended. Swimwear belongs on the beach. On some hotel beaches there are zones for topless sunbathing. Men wear thin suits to business meetings. In the evening, many visitors dress more elegantly. A jacket is not required, except for official official occasions.
Photographing: People should be asked before photographing them. Photography is often allowed in churches and museums, but you should ask beforehand.
Smoking: In principle, you can smoke anywhere. However, some hotels divide into smoking and non-smoking rooms. Non-smoking areas should be observed.
Crime: As everywhere in the world, there are pickpockets on Curaçao. Valuable jewelry and large amounts of cash should therefore not be bragged about, valuables should not be left unattended on the beach and rental cars should be locked. After dark it is better to avoid the narrow streets in the Scharloo and Otrobanda districts.
Best travel time
Hot all year round with trade winds. The rainy season is between October and December. The average temperature is 27.5 ° C. The temperature between summer and winter differs by an average of 2.5 ° C, the difference between day and night is 5-6 ° C. Curaçao is outside the “hurricane belt”.
Area code +599 Area (km2) 444 Population 148,460 Population density (per km2) 334 Population in 2015 Member of the EU No main emergency number 912