Curaçao Travel Guide

Curacao Travel Guide

Are you thinking of how great life could be if you retire in Curaçao? Or maybe just looking to book a relaxing family vacation or romantic weekend getaway?

This guide to Curaçao offers a brief history of the island, and gives information and tips about when to go, how to get there, traveling on the island, banking, passport requirements, phone service, taxes, where to stay, where to eat, beaches, nightlife, shopping, and outdoor activities. Consider this your concise one-stop shop for all things related to those looking to travel, snowbird, or retire in Curaçao.

If you feel there is something I have missed, please let me know. If it will be valuable for other readers, I’ll add it to this page.

Curaçao History

Curaçao is the largest of the islands in what is known as the Dutch Caribbean. Located just off the coast of Venezuela, Curaçao’s 150,000 people live on a island that is is 38 miles long and 7 1/2 miles wide at is widest point. The capital city of Willemstad is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is known for its colorful waterfront town houses.

The first Europeans to discover Curaçao were the Spanish in 1499, on an expedition led by Alonso de Ojeda. The Dutch came to the island in 1634 via the Dutch West India Company, and are responsible for building the capital of Willemstad. Over the years, the city built fortresses to defend against attack from England and France. A few of those ramparts exist now as house restaurants and hotels.

In 1651, twelve Jewish families arrived from Amsterdam. By 1732, a synagogue was built. The current Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue is the oldest in continuous use in the Western Hemisphere.

Tourism is growing rapidly in Curaçao, with year-over-year cruise passenger growth among the highest in the Caribbean. This is partially due to a recent massive pier expansion project. The government and private sources have invested in the restoration of some of the island’s colonial buildings, and the hotel development in recent years has increased to support the tourist demand.

Continue reading “Curaçao Travel Guide”

Retire in the Caribbean

I sometimes dream of retiring to an island and basking in the romanticism of the Caribbean. I currently live in south Florida, in a location that many of my friends up north think of when they are planning their vacations. In fact, this past February I knew five different families who spent a week vacationing in the warmth down here. I’m lucky enough to live within a few minutes drive of world-famous relaxation destinations, yet I still covet what I don’t have. I guess when you want to retire in the Caribbean, the grass is always greener…

My wife and I have talked many times about where we would like to visit, or eventually retire to. Although I’m not ready to say I want to retire to an island yet, I would like to spend some time exploring different Caribbean locales to get a feel for what island retirement might be like. I plan on using this space to document and share my research, in case it might help you when you’re planning your own visit. I’m going to cover touristy/vacation-type of information here, since that is stage of life I’m currently in. The learnings I gain here will be used to plan future vacations, where I’ll be able to share more first-hand knowledge about the snowbird life in the Caribbean.

So, where can I go? Continue reading “Retire in the Caribbean”