Shopping on Curacao

Curacao is not a duty free port, but there are still great deals to be had

Photo credit: © Curacao Tourist Board
 

While Curacao is not known as one of the top places to go in Caribbean for shopping bargains, some great deals can be found if you know where to look.

Even if you don't find the best prices, the items available in island boutiques are high quality and worth the price. Curacao has been a high-traffic trade center for generations, and island proprietors know how to choose the best products for their customers.

Where to Shop

The shopping in Willemstad is mainly concentrated in the Punda shopping district, along Heerenstraat and Breedestraat. This area has always been the main shopping area of the city, and today the streets are only available to pedestrians. You will find a little bit of everything in the shops of Punda, including open air markets where locals sell their wares. Check out Floating Market, New Market, and Old Market.

Maps

Otrobanda, on the other side of St. Anna Bay from Punda, offers more shopping opportunities. Once considered to be the slums of Willemstad, a revamp has made the waterfront area home to some high end boutiques such as Tiffanys. Renaissance Mall & Rif Fort is in Otrobanda, and offers over 50 stores, 15 bars and restaurants, and is known for its nightlife offerings.

Saliña is the largest shopping area on Curacao after Punda. A number of small shopping centers offer more every day goods than souvenirs, and they are located at larger distances from one another than the shops in Punda, so a car is necessary if you want to “mall hop.” If you are on the hunt for souvenirs in Saliña, Saliña Galleries is where the European boutiques are located.

The Promenade, Bloempot, and Zuikertuintje Shopping Centers are also malls situated throughout the islands, comprised of multiple stores selling a variety of international and local products.

Gifts and Souvenirs

If you're looking for some souvenirs or gifts consider visiting Museum Kura Hulanda Shop, which is located in Otrabanda, Curacao. They sell t-shirts, polo shirts, caps, posters, postcards, CDs with African music, African art, musical instruments, fertility dolls, sculptures made out of shona stone, African games and more. Visitors can contact them at (999) 434-7700.

Another option is Freeport Duty Free, which is found within a mile to the east of Museum Kura Hulanda Shop. This fine store carries a sporty and elegant assortment of watches by Tissot, Raymond Weil, Baume & Mercier, Mulco, TechnoMarine, Guess, Citizen, TW Steel, Michael Kors, and Marc Jacobs. Affordable Caribbean Topaz jewelry sets and great silver jewelry. You can contact them at (599-9) 461-9500.

The following table enables you to learn more information on the 3 gift and souvenir shops on Curacao.

Gifts and Souvenirs On Curacao
Name Type Phone Location
Freeport Duty Free Duty Free Store (599-9) 461-9500 Downtown Willemstad
Museum Kura Hulanda Shop Gift and Souvenir Shops (999) 434-7700 Downtown Willemstad
Souvenir City Gift and Souvenir Shops (599-9) 465-3728 The vicinity of Willemstad

Specialty Shops

Products available on Curacao make up an international buffet. Dutch Delft blue china, French perfumes, Italian silk, Japanese cameras are all available, as are a mixture of items coming from any of these countries and others around the world. Visitors will find clothing, jewelry, leather goods, linens, liquor, and watches at island shops.

One of the area's more popular speciality shops is Curious2DIVE. This store is found in the vicinity of Willemstad, Curacao. Internationally recognized by a number of dive organizations including WOSD and IAHD, CURious2DIVE is a family owned and operated facility with hopes of sharing their love of scuba diving with the world. To contact them, call (999) 513-2265.

A second option is Caribbean Sea Sports, which is found 7.3 mi. (11.8 km) from Curious2DIVE. From shore dives to boat dives, night dives to nitrox dives, Caribbean Sea Sports does it all. They even offer daily instruction, beginning with Discover Scuba, progressing to PADI Scuba Diver and PADI Open Water, and even on to PADI Adventure Diver, PADI Advanced Open Water, PADI Rescue Diver, and PADI Master Diver. If you want to know more, call them at (599-9) 462-2620.

Serena's Art Factory: They are open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. If you have questions and want to call ahead of time, do so at (599-9) 738-0648.

Lots of the specialty shops on Curacao are shown below.

Specialty Shops On Curacao
Name Type Phone Location
Caribbean Sea Sports Dive Shop (599-9) 462-2620 2.0 mi. West-Northwest of Central Otrabanda
Caribbean Sea Sports Hilton Dive Shop (+599-9) 462-2630 2.1 mi. West-Northwest of Central Otrabanda
Caribbean Sea Sports Renaissance Dive Shop (+599-9) 462-2620 2.0 mi. West-Northwest of Central Otrabanda
Curious2DIVE Dive Shop (999) 513-2265 5.3 mi. East-Southeast of Central Otrabanda
De Goudsmid Jewelry Store +599 9 511-7104 1.5 mi. Northwest of Downtown Willemstad
Diamonds International Jewelry Store -- Downtown Willemstad
Fashion Zone Jewelry Store (599-9) 736-1394 Downtown Willemstad
Freeport Jewelers Breedestraat Jewelry Store (599-9) 465-8117 Downtown Willemstad
Freeport Jewelers Zuikertuin Jewelry Store (999) 736-1394 Willemstad
Freeport Jewelry & Gifts Jewelry Store (599-9) 461-2399 / (599-9) 461-3764 Willemstad
Handmade By Me Art Gallery (999) 738-2606 Willemstad
Nena Sanchez Gallery Art Gallery (999) 869-4965 Willemstad
Obsession Watersports Surfing Gear Store (999) 736-5659 Willemstad, Southeastern part of Curacao
Old Freeport Shop Watch Store (599-9) 461-2399 Downtown Willemstad
Pandora Punda Jewelry Store (599) 9 465-4774 Downtown Willemstad
Relaxed Guided Dive Center Dive Shop (999) 868-7710 0.9 mi. Northwest of Central Grote Berg
Scuba Store and More Dive Shop (999) 738-6640 Willemstad
Serena's Art Factory Art Gallery (599-9) 738-0648 The vicinity of Willemstad, Central Curacao
Super Kidz Toy and Game Store (999) 738-8390 Willemstad
Top 1 Toys Toy and Game Store (999) 736-2686 Willemstad

Clothing and Apparel

Enjoy looking for interesting clothing? You might enjoy a visit to The Bikini Shop -- it's located in Jan Thiel. Get beach ready every day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. If you want to call ahead, do so at (599-9) 461-7343.

Another place to consider is The Athlete's Foot Curacao -- which is located 4.2 mi. (6.8 km) to the northwest of The Bikini Shop. No matter what type of sports shoe you need, you will find it at the Athlete's Foot, from running to soccer. For customers who want to call before booking a room, do so at (599-9) 461-2700.

Take a moment to look through the table just below if you want more information.

Clothing and Apparel On Curacao
Name Type Phone Location
Boolchand's Foot Store Shoe Store (599-9) 461-1803 Punda
Brokx Shoes Shoe Store (599-9) 461-6754 The vicinity of Willemstad
Cocoon Bay and Kids Children's and Infants' Clothing and Accessory Store (999) 738-3133 Willemstad
Crocs Punda Shoe Store (599) 9 465-7822 Willemstad
DLG Department Store (999) 737-5501 Willemstad
Emilia Too Boutique (999) 738-6354 Willemstad
Hunkermoller Lingerie Store (999) 747-8080 Willemstad
Little Holland General Clothing Store (999) 738-4259 Willemstad
Living Fashion Clothing Store -- The vicinity of Willemstad, Central Curacao
Novedas Women's Clothing and Accessories Store (999) 736-5056 Willemstad
Onix Shoe Store (599-9) 462-8848 Willemstad
Penha Willemstad Boutique (999) 738-6368 Willemstad
Pronto Moda Boutique (999) 736-5529 Willemstad
Sea and Sand Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store (999) 736-3655 Willemstad
The Athlete's Foot Curacao Shoe Store (599-9) 461-2700 Punda
The Bikini Shop Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store (599-9) 461-7343 Jan Thiel
Tommy Hilfiger Willemstad Boutique (999) 737-7618 Willemstad

Food and Grocery

Got the munchies? Vreugdenhil Supermarket is located within Willemstad. Vreugdenhil is your typical grocery store in that they sell fresh produce, high quality meats and dairy, dry stock, and cold and frozen products. They also have a bakery where you can get fresh bread and pastries daily, and a traditional butcher. If you have questions, call them at (599-9) 461-1296.

A second option is Bon Bini Supermarket, which is located mi. ( km) to the of Vreugdenhil Supermarket. Fulfilling all of your grocery shopping needs, Bon Bini Supermarket is well known for its high quality of service and nice selection of food stock. If you'd like to call in advance, do so at (599-9) 737-9240.

You can look at the table below for more information about your options.

Food and Grocery Stores On Curacao
Name Type Phone Location
Albert Heijn Grocery Store -- 1.9 mi. East of Downtown Willemstad
Alves Supermarket Grocery Store (599-9) 868-1586 Willemstad
Arco Iris Supermarket Grocery Store (599-9) 767-4176 The vicinity of Willemstad
Bon Bini Supermarket Grocery Store (599-9) 737-9240 Willemstad
Candy Barrel Confectionery and Nut Store (999) 461-0977 1.9 mi. East of Downtown Willemstad
Centrum Supermarket Grocery Store (599-9) 736-7337 Punda
Esperamos Supermarket Grocery Store (599-9) 868-1473 The vicinity of Willemstad, Central Curacao
Exito Supermarket Grocery Store (599-9) 767-2061 The vicinity of Willemstad
Fayad's Bakery Bakery (599-9) 888-4440 Willemstad
Mangusa Supermarket Grocery Store (599-9) 737-6271 The vicinity of Willemstad
Panaderia Central Bakery (599-9) 869-1290 Willemstad
Panaderia Isa Bakery (599-9) 462-3666 Punda
Panaderia Libanesa Bakery (599-9) 868-5753 Willemstad
Panaderia Meyer Bakery (599-9) 767-6776 Willemstad
Vreugdenhil Supermarket Grocery Store (599-9) 461-1296 Willemstad

Duties, Taxes, and Tips

The official currency on Curacao is the Netherlands Antilles guilder (also called the florin), though the United States Dollar (USD) is almost universally accepted. Payment can also be made by credit card. The prices in island stores are fixed, and not a jumping-off point for bargaining. Shopping on Curacao is not duty free, despite some shops in Willemstad claiming to be.

Shops on Curacao are typically open Monday through Saturday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., with a two hour break in service mid-day. Hours may vary when cruise ships dock, with the shops staying open through lunch, later in the day, and sometimes even on Sundays.

If you plan to spend a chunk of your Caribbean vacation shopping, pick Curacao to do it. While you may not find the best prices, they aren't outrageous either, and the product is always worthy. On top of that, allowing yourself to get lost in the crowd as you wander from vendor to vendor is an experience all its own.

 

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