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.

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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.

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 enjoy shopping for gifts or souvenirs you might want to visit Freeport Duty Free, which is found within Punda, Curacao. One of six shops owned by one of the top jewelry and timepiece dealers on the island, Freeport Duty Free gives visitors the chance to pick up top-of-the-line accessories without breaking the bank. If you are looking to call in advance, do so at (599-9) 461-9500.

A second place to consider is Occhiali Willemstad, which is located a short distance away of Freeport Duty Free. Protect your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun -- and look good while you're at it when you shop with Occhiali. You can contact them at (999) 738-8568.

Still another option is Museum Kura Hulanda Shop. The gift shop at {% link_to 544904 %} is at the entrance to the museum and sells various items connected to the theme of the museum. If you want to call before making reservations, you can do so at (999) 434-7700.

Look through the following chart if you want more information.

Gifts and Souvenirs On Curacao
Name Type Phone Location
Cucinarte Kitchen Jewels & Gifts Gift and Souvenir Shops (599-9) 737-7477 Willemstad
Freeport Duty Free Duty Free Store (599-9) 461-9500 Downtown Willemstad
Mais Mhine Gift & Accessories Gift and Souvenir Shops (599-9) 524-0244 Willemstad
Museum Kura Hulanda Shop Gift and Souvenir Shops (999) 434-7700 Downtown Willemstad
Occhiali Willemstad Sunglasses Shop (999) 738-8568 Willemstad
Souvenir City Gift and Souvenir Shops (599-9) 465-3728 The vicinity of Willemstad
Supreme & Real Souvenir Shop Gift and Souvenir Shops (599-9) 461-3736 Punda
Tropical Souveniers Gift and Souvenir Shops (599-9) 465-7131 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 popular specialty retailers is CURious2DIVE. They are situated 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. If you have questions and want to call before booking a room, do so at (999) 513-2265.

Another option is Caribbean Sea Sports, which is located 7.3 mi. (11.8 km) to the west-northwest of 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. You can reach them at (599-9) 462-2620.

Nena Sanchez Gallery: Sanchez specializes in paintings a well as gliclees, which are pieces of fine art that have been digitally reproduced and placed on canvas. Customers can reach them at (999) 869-4965.

The following table provides some key facts regarding the 20 specialty shops located on Curacao.

Specialty Shops On Curacao
Name Type Phone Location
CURious2DIVE Dive Shop (999) 513-2265 5.3 mi. East-Southeast of Central Otrabanda
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 Marriott Dive Shop (+599-9) 462-2620 2.0 mi. West-Northwest 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
Gallery John Baselmans Art Gallery (999) 864-3595 Punda
Handmade By Me Art Gallery (999) 738-2606 Willemstad
Kalina Studio Art Gallery (999) 738-9966 Willemstad
Milano 3 Jewelry Store (599) 9 461-9336 2.8 mi. East-Southeast of Central Otrabanda
Nena Sanchez Gallery Art Gallery (999) 869-4965 Willemstad
Old Freeport Shop Watch Store (599-9) 461-2399 Downtown Willemstad
Scuba Do Dive Shop (599-9) 767-9300 Jan Thiel
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
Top 1 Toys Toy and Game Store (999) 736-2686 Willemstad

Clothing and Apparel

Enjoy shopping for clothing? You might want to visit Occhiali Willemstad -- it's located within Willemstad. Protect your eyes from the harsh rays of the sun -- and look good while you're at it when you shop with Occhiali. Visitors can reach them at (999) 738-8568.

Another place to consider is The Bikini Shop -- which is located 4.2 mi. (6.7 km) away from Occhiali Willemstad. Bathing suit brands from around the works are available at the Bikini Shop, including Anika, Becca, Ed Hardy, Nicole Alivier, and more. In addition to bathing suites, you'll also be able to purchase beach fashion, hats, handbags, and shoes. If you would like to call ahead, do so at (599-9) 461-7343.

A third option for clothing is McGregor. Located in the only air conditioned mall on the island, this shop caters to men who want comfort and fashion all at once. If you want to call ahead of time, do so at (999) 738-6442.

You can look through the following table to learn more.

Clothing and Apparel On Curacao
Name Type Phone Location
Cocoon Bay and Kids Children's and Infants' Clothing and Accessory Store (999) 738-3133 Willemstad
DLG Department Store (999) 737-5501 Willemstad
Emilia Too Boutique (999) 738-6354 Willemstad
Fashion Focus Boutique -- Willemstad
Four Seasons Boutique (999) 736-3300 Willemstad
Hunkermoller Lingerie Store (999) 747-8080 Willemstad
Lacoste Willemstad Men's Clothing Store (999) 738-6313 Willemstad
Living Fashion Clothing Store -- The vicinity of Willemstad, Central Curacao
McGregor Men's Clothing Store (999) 738-6442 Willemstad
Never Pay More Promenade Boutique (999) 465-1445 Willemstad
Occhiali Willemstad Sunglasses Shop (999) 738-8568 Willemstad
Onix Shoe Store (599-9) 462-8848 Willemstad
Onix Kids Shoe Store (999) 737-0022 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
Where to Wear Boutique (999) 736-0844 Willemstad

Food and Grocery

Hungry? Vreugdenhil Supermarket is found 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 are looking to call before making reservations, do so at (599-9) 461-1296.

A second possibility is Bon Bini Supermarket, which is found 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 want to call before you go, do so at (599-9) 737-9240.

Take a look at the chart below to learn more.

Food and Grocery Stores On Curacao
Name Type Phone Location
Albert Heijn Grocery Store -- 1.9 mi. East of Downtown Willemstad
Banketbakkerij Majestic Bakery (599-9) 461-5549 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
Edmy's Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (599-9) 737-0787 Willemstad
Esperamos Supermarket Grocery Store (599-9) 868-1473 The vicinity of Willemstad, Central Curacao
Fayad's Bakery Bakery (599-9) 888-4440 Willemstad
Frank's Liqour Store Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (599-9) 868-3839 Willemstad
Panaderia Bon Pan Suffisant Bakery (599-9) 869-1565 / (599-9) 869-2777 / (599-9) 747-1566 Willemstad
Panaderia Central Bakery (599-9) 869-1290 Willemstad
Panaderia Isa Bakery (599-9) 462-3666 Punda
Panaderia Nobo Bakery (599-9) 868-3065 Willemstad
Panaderia Victoria Bakery (599-9) 868-4386 Willemstad
Village Beverage Center Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (599-9) 461-0101 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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