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 enjoy shopping for gifts or souvenirs consider visiting Museum Kura Hulanda Shop, which is located within Otrabanda, Curacao. 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 are looking for something specific and want to call ahead of time, do so at (999) 434-7700.

Another place to consider is Freeport Duty Free, which is located 0.4 mi. (0.7 km) from Museum Kura Hulanda Shop. 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. You can contact them at (599-9) 461-9500.

Some gift and souvenir shops on Curacao are shown in the following chart.

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 popular speciality shops is CURious2DIVE. This venue is located in the vicinity of Willemstad, Curacao. "If you can breathe, you can dive." That's their motto at CURious2DIVE, and they offer a number of courses and dive excursions to prove it. Sign up for scuba training for beginners all the way through to Master Diver, and when you reach that level, continue on by taking specialty courses like wreck and reef diving. You can call them at (999) 513-2265.

A second option is Caribbean Sea Sports, which is located seven miles (11 and a half kilometers) to the west-northwest of CURious2DIVE. Curacao Tourist Board approved and known as the dive shop with "personality," Caribbean Sea Sports is all about having fun while enjoying the sport of scuba diving. Everyone is made to feel welcome and like part of the team, which in turn helps them to feel safe and allows them to thrive as they learn new scuba skills. If you are looking for something specific and want to call before you go, do so at (599-9) 462-2620.

Serena's Art Factory: In addition to making Chichis, the gallery also produced larger than life sculptures and delicate souvenirs. If you want to do more than just watch a Chichi be created and buy it, then you are welcome to take a workshop. Customers can contact them at (599-9) 738-0648.

Review the chart below for more information about your options.

Specialty Shops On Curacao
Name Type Phone Location
CURious2DIVE Dive Shop (999) 513-2265 The vicinity of Willemstad, Southeastern part of Curacao
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
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 shopping for clothing? Perhaps you would enjoy The Bikini Shop -- it's located within Jan Thiel. 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 want to be sure they're open , call them at (599-9) 461-7343.

Another shop to consider is The Athlete's Foot Curacao -- which is found easily reached by taxi to the northwest of The Bikini Shop. Having originally opened in 1978, the Athlete's Foot was the first athletic shoe franchise store to open in the world. Soon, locations were available all over the world, like this spot on Curacao, allowing people from all over to find designer athletic footwear at a reasonable price. If you want to call before making reservations, you can do so at (599-9) 461-2700.

The following table enables you to get some key facts concerning the apparel shops located on Curacao.

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

Need to pick up some food supplies? Vreugdenhil Supermarket is found within Willemstad. This all-encompassing grocery store is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. If you are looking to call ahead of time, you can do so at (599-9) 461-1296.

A second place to consider is Bon Bini Supermarket, which is located 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 are looking to call in advance, you can do so at (599-9) 737-9240.

Review this table to learn more.

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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