Curacao- A Tropical ParadiseCuracao- A Tropical Paradise

Off the Venezuelan coast, in the Caribbean sea lies the island Curacao, having its capital at Willemstad. It consists of several islands, among which some are even uninhabited till date. Among the several languages spoken, the official ones are Dutch, Papiamento and English, although the sole recognized regional language is Spanish. It has a total area of 444 sq. Km, inhabited by a population of 140,796 (according to 2008 census). The currency is Netherlands Antillean Guilder.

There are different theories about how Curacao got its name. Curacao means "heart" in Portuguese.

Curacao is known as centre in trade, which means "healing", as it has various floras growing in the island. Spanish traders named it Curacao which was continued by the Dutch. Another theory is that Curacao was the name the indigenous people of Curacao had used to label themselves.

Traveling Curacao

Curacao serves as a beautiful tourist destination and is a beautiful island which adds a charismatic charm to it. Following are airline companies that provide airline travel services to Curacao.

Aserca Airlines

Fly Exel

Jamaica Air

The Curacao's airport is quite a major airline stop. There will however be a departure tax of $32 which will be charged at times for your departure and arrival but at times, a waiver will also be given of these fees. The fee for flights to Aruba and Bonaire however costs to a price of around $8 USD.


Accommodations

Once at Curacao, you may find several hotels and resorts to suit you as per your requirement. However, we can help you find the best hotels and restaurants in the place. Some of the best hotels in Curacao are the Avila Beach Hotel located in Penstraat, the Breezes Curacao Resort located near Dr. M.L. King Boulevard, and Curacao Marriott Beach Resort in Piscaderabay.


Travel Tips

Clothing:

The place has a tropical temperature, so lose and casual clothes are preferable. Care should be taken to protect oneself from the sun, especially around noon. So hats, sunglasses, sunscreen lotions should be carried along. Most of the indoor areas are air-conditioned, so take clothes accordingly. Shorts and sandals are not allowed in some of the restaurants and casinos

Currency:

Antillean Guilder is the currency locally used, also called the Florin. The exchange rate is, US $ 1= Nafl 1.78. The rate varies at shops and restaurant. All major shops and stores accept US dollars. Credit Cards and travelers cheques are easily accepted. The exchange office at the airport opens at 7.30 am till 4.00p.m. Also, almost all midsized shopping centres have an ATM.

Health:

There is no tropical illness as such in Curacao. Stomach disorders due to food generally don't happen. There is good hygiene supervision in the kitchens of the restaurants. Feel free to have whatever food you wish. But take good care of protecting yourself from the sun, especially in the afternoon. You may find sunglasses, t-shirts and sunscreen lotions helpful.

Attractions

The place has a number of spots to visit and plan trips. Of all the number of beautiful locations, here are some of the Day-Trips that you must surely go on for a ride and enjoy. These are surely the places you shouldn't miss:

Dolphin Academy:

This complex near sea aquarium is a shelter to six dolphins. There are natural basins linked to the sea, where these dolphins swim around. You can choose from among the various ways like swimming or snorkeling with the dolphins, or taking up training classes to communicate with the dolphins to get to know these mammals better.

Wild Curacao:

An expert on the local nature and history takes you through a special walking tour through exotic and intriguing places in the wild. These trips are organized only on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays. The full moon walk through the salt planes of Jan Tiel is simply breathtaking. Other places include Boca Table, West Punk, Knip Beach and Jan Oak.

The Ostrich Aloe Safari:

This one's simply amazing. You get on a zebra jeep and are driven off to the secluded North Eastern Island, with a guide narrating you about the countryside. At the Aloe plantation, you get acquainted to the healing values of the Aloe plants that are grown there. Next, you get an encounter with the Ostrich.

The Herb garden of Den Paradera: This place was cultivated by Dinah Verris in the past gives you knowledge about the wide variety of crops that are grown there. You can even buy souvenirs and products.

Hof'i Pastoor:

This is a small garden that is near the village of Barber. It provides you a nice experience if you are a nature lover. This place is located on the road to Westpunt in Barberton.

Curacao is a great tourist destination which invites people all over the world to enjoy its natural beauty and various exotic locations. A perfect mixture of pleasure and solace.
by Macon Gravlee
References and Bibliography
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