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Curacao Vacation and Travel Guide
Curacao (Curaçao) is an island country in the southern Caribbean Sea, approximately 40 mi north of the Venezuelan coast, that is a constituent country (Dutch: land) of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Formally called the Country of Curaçao, it includes the main island and the uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao ("Little Curaçao").
It has a population of over 150,000 on an area of 171 sq mi and its capital is Willemstad.
Before the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010, Curaçao was administered as the "Island Territory of Curaçao", one of five island territories of the former Netherlands Antilles.
The City of Willemstad is the main port and capital of the island, besides being also of the Netherlands Antilles. Its historical area, city center and port, were declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1997. This includes, among others, the Mikve Israel-Emanuel synagogue, which is the oldest in the Continent American Continent (1651), Pontoon Bridge and Fort Nassau, as well as Fort Amsterdam, the most important of Curaçao where the cannonball fired by Captain William Bligh's troops is still embedded in its wall. The Governor's residence, several government offices and the United Protestant Church, which includes a museum, are currently housed in the fort.
The Port of Willemstad, located around a natural bay in the southeast part of the island, is a fundamental part of its economy. Through it, it transits one of the main maritime routes of the Panama Canal. There is a refinery, shipyards for ships of the type Panamax, which includes the largest drydock in the region, as well as an important center for container transhipment, and its Free Zone.
Tourism in Curaçao
Curaçao is a popular tourism destination for the Eastern United States, South America and Holland.
Curaçao has developed a tourist industry. It offered low corporate taxes to encourage companies to set up holdings in order to avoid higher taxes elsewhere. It has emphasized its diverse heritage to expand its tourism industry. Since the late 20th century, immigrants have come from neighbouring countries, such as Venezuela, but also from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and the Anglophone Caribbean and Colombia. In the early 21st century, a number of Dutch pensioners have settled on the island for its mild climate.
Curaçao has a tropical savannah climate (Köppen climate classification As) with a dry season from January to September and a wet season from October to December. The temperatures are relatively constant with small differences throughout the year.
The northern sea floor of the island drops steeply within 200 ft of the shore. This drop-off is known as the "Blue Edge" which makes it a popular scuba diving destination.
Scuba diving tourists often visit for this vista. Coral reefs for snorkeling and scuba diving can be reached without a boat. The southern coast has calm waters as well as many small beaches, such as Jan Thiel and Cas Abou. The coastline of Curaçao features numerous bays and inlets which serve as popular mooring locations for boats.
Some of the coral reefs are affected by tourism. Porto Marie Beach is experimenting with artificial coral reefs in order to improve the reef's condition. Hundreds of artificial coral blocks that have been placed are now home to a large array of tropical fish.
Curaçao has an open economy, with tourism, international trade, shipping services, refining, storage (oil and bunkering) and international financial services being the most important sectors. Curaçao's economy is well developed and supports a high standard of living, ranking 46th in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita and 27th in the world in terms of nominal GDP per capita. Curaçao possesses a high income economy, as defined by the World Bank.
While tourism plays a major role in Curaçao's economy, it is less reliant on tourism than other Caribbean countries. Most tourists originate from the Eastern United States, South America and the Netherlands. It currently leads the Caribbean in cruise tourism.
Local food is called Krioyo (pronounced the same as criollo, the Spanish word for "Creole") and boasts a blend of flavours and techniques best compared to Caribbean cuisine and Latin American cuisine. Dishes common in Curaçao are found in Aruba and Bonaire as well.
Curacao is famous for the so-called Curacao Liqueur that is made from the island's orange bark and for celebrating one of the most popular carnivals in the Caribbean.
If you are planning to travel to Curaçao, whether for business or tourism, in addition to the passport and visa, we recommend you to check the following information: International Airports, Airport security rules, Type of luggage allowed and weight limits, Most visited cities, Driving in Curaçao, Electricity, Time Stripes, Business Hours, National Holidays, Weights and Measures, Commercial Practices and Etiquette Rules.
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Curaçao International Airport
Hato International Airport or Curaçao International Airport (IATA: CUR, ICAO: TNCC) is the airport of Willemstad, Curaçao. Is located on Curacao Island just minutes from the capital Willemstad. It has services to the Caribbean region, South America, North America and Europe.
A total of 19 airlines operate regularly to 27 destinations in America and Europe. South America is the region with the most destinations, 10 in total, followed by Central America and the Caribbean with 7 and lastly North America with 4 and Europe with 2 destinations. The airline that more destinations offers is Insel Air with 18, towards the United States, the Caribbean, and the north of South America.
Hato Airport is a fairly large facility, with the third longest commercial runway in the Caribbean. The airport serves as Hub for Insel Air.
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