Thursday, January 1

I Need A Vacation To Curacao

Have you heard of Curacao? Most people couldn’t find the island of Curacao on a map, and that’s exactly the way they want to keep it. Located just off the coast of Venezuela in the Southern Caribbean, this tiny, undiscovered gem still maintains its charming Dutch influence. The neat little candy striped houses look as though they’ve been transplanted from the Netherlands, but the gentle trade winds, crystal waters and endless sunshine belie a Caribbean paradise. Curaçao is regarded as one of the world’s great dive spots, with stunning coral reefs located just off shore, easily accessible without a boat. The vivid colors below the sea are exceeded only by the colorful history of the Island. A visit to the capital city of Willemstad brings you the best of Curacao, combining old-world charm and contemporary culture.

Things To Know About Curacao

Airport: Curacao International Airport (CUR)

From the US:
American Airlines, American Transair, Miami Air, United Airlines
From Other Originating Countries:
Aeropostal (Venezuelan carrier), Air ALM (Antillean Airlines), Air Jamaica, Avensa – Servivensa (Venezuelan carrier), Avianca (Columbian carrier), Canada 3000 Airlines, City Bird, Guyana Airways, K.L.M. (the royal Dutch carrier), Martinair, Sobelair, Surinam Airways, Tap Air Portugal

Entry requirements:
As of January 23, 2007: Passports are required for all air and sea travel to or from the Caribbean.
Visitors from the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Haiti require a visa. You will need to apply for a resident permit if you plan to stay for longer than three months. You are not allowed to work or live on Curaçao without a work permit. Note: Passport and visa requirements are liable to change at short notice. Travelers are advised to check their entry requirements with their embassy or consulate.

Health / Security
Take sensible precautions against the tropical sun, especially between 10:00am and 3:00pm. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are recommended, as well as a light beach cover-up. Neither the trade winds nor clouds will protect you from sunburn. In case of serious sunburn, drink plenty of fluids, take cool baths, use a body lotion containing Aloe Vera, and take it easy for a day or two. Sunstroke can be dangerous, especially for children, people who are overweight and the elderly; watch for dizziness, fever, headaches and nausea.

Although Curaçao is less humid than many Caribbean islands, mosquitoes can occasionally be a problem in the rainy season and at night. Repellent can be purchased at pharmacies and supermarkets. Curaçao has no malaria or similar tropical diseases, and no vaccinations are needed to visit. Due to the high level of overall hygiene and cleanliness, gastro-intestinal complaints (“travelers’ tummy”) are very uncommon. Eat and drink freely.

What to Bring

Since temperatures are warm throughout the year, light, casual tropical wear is in order. Outside, protect yourself from the sun. Most indoor establishments are air-conditioned; you may need a lightweight jacket or long sleeves. Locals dress fashionably, particularly for indoor evening events; dress for outdoor festivals is decidedly casual. The strong trade winds may make wraparound and billowing skirts a problem. Some restaurants prohibit shorts or sandals; some casinos also require jackets for men. Overly revealing clothes and bathing suits are not appropriate, except on the beach. If you plan to walk in the countryside, wear sturdy shoes and long pants to protect your legs from the cacti.

Film and video cassettes, batteries, sunscreen, disposable diapers, sporting goods and books are all generally more expensive in Curaçao. Local stores carry a good selection of most items. It is advisable to bring mosquito repellent as this is often in short supply, especially during the rainy season.

Financial Matters

US currency is accepted everywhere, as are Travelers Cheques and most major Credit Cards. Debit Cards are accepted at a few large shops and supermarkets. Prices are quoted in the national currency, the Netherlands Antillean guilder (also called the florin), abbreviated NAFl or ANG. It is pegged to the US dollar at a stable rate of US$1 = NAFl. 1.77 for cash, 1.78 for traveler’s checks. Exchange rates may vary slightly at stores and hotels. Bills of USD$50 and USD$100 can be hard to cash. The larger denominations of guilder bills (100 and 250) are hard to cash for small purchases. There are currently two versions of guilder coins in circulation. The old square nickel and the newer square fifty-cent piece are among the few square coins in the world; along with the 2 1/2-guilder coin they are popular souvenirs, particularly for children. There is no black market and there are no restrictions on how much money you can bring into the country.

Things To Do
This Caribbean island, with a touch of The Netherlands, is world famous for its shopping; however, there is much more to do and see here as well. Your Breezes hosts want to share the beauty of their islands with you. Excellent tours are available, with experienced, friendly guides and can be arranged by the Concierge at your hotel.
Dolphin Academy

The Dolphin Academy in this entrancing resort island encourages visitors to meet the fascinating creatures face to face. The mystery surrounding dolphins poses the same familiar questions here: Can we ever learn to speak their language? And do they understand ours? Obviously they want to make friends, play games, and put on a magnificent show of grace and agility. The dolphins feel right at home with humans and enjoy a stroking and a kiss.
Sailing and Boating

While in this southerly part of the Caribbean, don’t miss a Bounty Adventure, sailing along the beautiful south coast. You will be aboard a 90-foot sailing vessel. You’ll stop at a famous shipwreck and snorkel-explore the shallow reefs in the national underwater park, joining the experienced crew in feeding the rainbow-colored fish. All this activity makes you hungry and thirsty? No problem! On board is a tasty barbecue and salad buffet, with a fully stocked open bar.

Fun is no gamble in Curaçao, one of the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets, and one of the world’s most exciting gambling destinations. Play your aces at many of the island’s popular casinos or enjoy the Las Vegas style action at Breezes Curaçao’s own casino. In fact Breezes Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino boasts the largest casino of the island featuring 270 slot machines, black jack tables, poker tables, roulette, and more. Away from the tables, the island is well-known for its duty-free shopping, well-preserved 17th- and 18th-century Dutch-style buildings, and famous orange-flavored liqueur.

Pundas Breedestraat and Otrobandas Breedestraat are the main shopping streets, likely to be crowded with tourists and cruise ship passengers most any time of the day. The road is partially blocked off for pedestrian traffic. The shopping is not duty-free, but is duty-relaxed, meaning the shopkeepers pay low duty. And since there is no sales tax in Curaçao, you should be able to get some fairly good deals. You will also find an array of shops on the Punda side, particularly at the Waterfort Arches on the harborfront.

Horseback Riding
Various routes for guided tours on horseback are offered ranging from one hour to an entire day trip like the sunrise and moonlight trips. Inexperienced riders and children from 6 years can also take part.

Jeep Safari
Get to know the beautiful and rugged Curaçao countryside by Jeep. Jeep safaris take you along narrow tracks past grand estates, mansions, caves, flamingos and huge fields of cactus and many gorgeous beaches.

Scuba Diving
For millions of years reefs have surrounded the island, attaching to the shore like a narrow border. In some places they are like beautiful gardens, with delicate corals and are home to brightly colored tropical fish. In others, massive coral formations extend into depths with deep-water fish patrolling the plunging walls.

Information Courtesy of Breezes for: jamaica all inclusive resorts romantic vacations caribbean weddings

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