Transportation Options for Curacao

Vacationers will find a number of ways to travel around the island

Photo credit: © cphoffman42
 

Curaçao has a multitude of historic sites, restaurants, and activities. To fully enjoy this beautiful tropical island, travelers will need to decide how to make their way around. Travelers can choose from several methods of transport that vary in price, comfort level, and popularity.

Getting There

With its sugary white sand beaches and tranquil atmosphere, it's not hard to see why many vacationers are so anxious to visit the lovely island of Curacao. Fortunately, getting there is a cinch. Vacationers can easily reach this gorgeous tropical island from their home country by air or sea.

Air Travel

Maps

The fastest and most direct way to reach Curacao is by plane. Most vacationers choose to fly into this gorgeous island because of the convenience of air travel. In recent years, it has become easier than ever to fly into Curacao. Its main airport, Hato International Airport, now has many non-stop flights to the island from multiple places around the world including Miami and Toronto. Travelers can reach Curacao by plane from almost anywhere, including neighboring Caribbean islands like Puerto Rico, the the USVI, and Sint Maarten. Flyers should note that as of 2012, Curacao now charges a passenger facility and landing fee to every passenger who lands at Hato International, even on connecting flights.

Sailing

Sailors and yachters will find that Curacao has is a convenient option for sea lovers who want to navigate their own vessels. Sailing has grown in popularity among island visitors, and boaters will enjoy the adventure and beauty of sailing the island's surrounding waters. Recently, Curacao has gone out of their way to further encourage private vessels to sail to the island by upgrading docking facilities and hosting sailing events to draw tourism.

When you arrive in the island's waters, you have a choice of two entry points, Willemstad and Spanish Water. This is where customs will greet you and go through all entry procedures. It is important to be aware of all that is required of you when you sail to Sint Maarten on your own, like everyone aboard the boat needs a valid passport, and that firearms are to be left with customs until you leave the island. If taking care of these types of details feels as overwhelming as sailing the watercraft into harbor, you might be wise to hire a crewed yacht to sail you to the island. This way, an experienced and knowledgeable captain and crew can handle the sailing and customs proceedings, while you sit back and enjoy the ride.

Cruises

Taking a luxury cruise is a relaxing and enjoyable way to reach Curacao. Many cruise lines offer service to the island as a part of their trip through the Caribbean, and cruises are a great way to make the journey an unforgettable part of your vacation. Many vacationes favor cruises because they get to experience multiple locations in a short span of time, often enjoying the best of each locale they stop at. This can be a great way to plan for your next vacation. Just a short visit to Curaçao is so rarely enough that visitors immediately know that they want to return to the island on their next vacation.

There are two main ports of entry to the island and both harbors are located close to the Willemstad area, which is full of shopping centers, restaurants, and other exciting and memorable attractions. Curacao Mega Pier is where the mega ships dock and Caracas Bay Cruise Terminal is designated for the smaller cruise ships.

Rental Cars

...see the island from a unique viewpoint...

 

If you like the idea of independence, but are not quite so outdoorsy, try renting a car. Curacao is not a large island compared to some of the islands in the Caribbean, like Puerto Rico, but vacationers who plan on seeing a lot of this tropical paradise may find that renting a car is a convenient method of navigating around the island. Requirements and restrictions regarding renting a car vary by agency, but for the most part, U.S. tourists find it easy to procure a rental car for between $30 and $80(USD) a day.

Bikes and Mopeds

Renting a bike or moped gives you the chance to see the island from a unique viewpoint. You can travel the island at your own pace and not be confined to the inside of a car. This is a great way for independent nature lovers to see all of the island's natural sites. Those who prefer something a little more powerful also have the option of renting a motorcycle for getting around.

Taxis

Taxis are favored methods of transportation for tourists who haven't rented a car but are in need of quick transportation from point A to point B. Tourists often use a taxi to get to and from the airport, but opt for other methods throughout the duration of their stay. If you do plan to use taxis often, know that cabs are unmetered, but rather have set prices to get to certain locals, and the price will go up when extra luggage and passengers are involved.

Buses

If traveling by water isn't your ideal way to see the island, or you want to visit places that can't be accessed by boat, a bus is the next most cost efficient way to travel. Bus service in Curacao is a good way to see the island if you're on a budget or if you just want to get a better feel for local life. There are large buses and minibuses that travel all over the island, and public transportation is popular with both tourists and locals. The Konvoois are the main buses, colored bright blue and yellow so that they stand out in a crowd. These buses serve the larger, urban areas of the island. The mini buses tend to blend in a bit more, but their license plates reading "BUS" set them apart.

Ferries

The cheapest way to get around Curacao is by taking advantage of the free ferry service that travels between the island's two main shopping centers, from Punda to Otrobanda. This is the only available ferry service on the island, aimed at encouraging tourists to spend their money shopping rather than on a shuttle service. You can, however, hire a private boat to take you on a seaside tour of the island, or look into taking a day cruise as a part of your vacation.

Vacationers have a number of options when it comes to transportation on Curacao, and you will find that each method of getting around will appeal to the needs of different travelers. Choose one that best suits your vacationing needs and your personal style of travel.

 

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