WHERE IS CURACAO Curacao is an island in the southwestern Caribbean, about 44 miles north of Venezuela, South America and between Aruba and Bonaire. It is part of the Netherlands Antilles and is under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The island is about 38 miles long and varies in width from three to five miles, with a year-round population of about 138,000. While 90 percent of the population speaks Papiamento -- a native Creole-style language -- English, Dutch and Spanish are commonly spoken here.
The capital city is Willemstad, on the southwestern part of the island and is divided into two areas on either side of the large canal. One area is called Ostrobanda and the other side is called Punda. Willemstad's two bridges have put Curacao on the map. Queen Juliana, the highest in the Caribbean, and the Queen Emma Pontoon, which swings wide many times daily to allow access to one of the busiest ports in the world.
Very much inspired by Dutch influences, Willemstad retains the colorful flavor of an 18th-century Dutch colonial village. Willemstad has been designated a "World Heritage" site by UNESCO and features many historic buildings and unique architecture. For more on Curacao, visit curacao.com.
HOW TO GET THERE Curacao is serviced by many airlines and flights are available from the United States and a few other countries. You can fly to Curacao direct from Miami, Newark, Amsterdam and Caracas. It's a nine-hour flight from Amsterdam, a one-hour flight from Caracas, a two-hour flight from Miami and a little over a 4 1/2-hour flight from Newark, NJ. All flights land at Curacao's Hato International Airport. For more on flights to Curacao, try curacao.com or divetravelinfo.
BY AIR Here are some of the airlines providing service to Curacao:
- Aeropostle Alas de Venezuela
- Air Jamaica Ltd.
- American Airlines
- American Eagle
- Martin Air
BY SEA Some of the cruise lines that visit Curacao are Sun cruise, Carnival Cruises, Holland America, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruises, Royal Caribbean and Deutsche Sectouristik. Check with travel and cruise websites for rates and cruise routes and itineraries.