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If I no nothing of this island...what should I know?

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Toronto
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If I no nothing of this island...what should I know?

As I gather information for a future travel to the Caribbean...I stumble across Curacao and it is a real possibility...but I know very little about this island. I know that it is Dutch, that it seems to offer good or great snorkeling...what else would you suggest I know about this island when making our decision?

Thx!

Willemstad, Curacao
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1. Re: If I no nothing of this island...what should I know?

Lot's of people say it is the best kept secret of the Caribbean. It is indeed dutch territory and most people here can communicate in 4 languages, English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamentu

It is a different Island compared to other Caribbean destinations. Very nice secluded beaches. An Island to explore (rental car highly recommended). Hiking, Mountain biking, snorkeling and diving are great. Downtown area is worth exploring, Dining is great and we have good nightlife options. But pls read travel reports on this forum to get opinions from fellow travelers

Willington...
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2. Re: If I no nothing of this island...what should I know?

Go to curacao.com for lots of info about the island. There are beautiful beaches and great people there.

Maryland
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3. Re: If I no nothing of this island...what should I know?

It's below the hurricane belt, so you can go during hurricane season. You should rent a car to see the best beaches. There is a good mountain to climb. There are some great restaurants. There is some good jazz music.

Edited: 05 January 2012, 16:10
Toronto
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4. Re: If I no nothing of this island...what should I know?

Curacao sounds fantastic!! Thanks for all the suggestions...I am hearing it call me...

Willington...
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5. Re: If I no nothing of this island...what should I know?

Curacao is fantastic

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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6. Re: If I no nothing of this island...what should I know?

Curacao is really nice, we enjoyed our time there. In the end, too much driving for me though.

I prefer islands where I can walk most places with an occasional cab ride or water taxi if the distances are too far to walk.

Troy, MIchigan
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7. Re: If I no nothing of this island...what should I know?

You need a car to get anywhere interesting on the island. I have not been to too many islands in the Caribbean and what I saw on Curacao may be "standard" but there are pockets where you may not feel safe. Many, many businesses outside of the tourist district of Willemstad are fortified with fences and bars on the windows/doors. Most of the nicer homes are in gated communities. There is a reason for this. If you do a little digging you will read about the crime rate on the island and the smash & grabs that occur with parked cars at the beaches. Also, right in the center of Willemstad is an oil refinery that spews noxious odors that can be smelled just about everywhere in a five mile radius.

On a positive note, the people are very friendly. Most everyone speaks English. The prices are reasonable. The beaches on the west side are beautiful. The weather can not be beat and you don't have to worry about hurricanes. There are several resorts that let you forget about the poverty on the island and make you feel like you are in a paradise...Hyatt being one of them. I would go again and stay at one of the resorts instead of renting a house like I did my last trip.

Toronto
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8. Re: If I no nothing of this island...what should I know?

Oh....ok good to know..Thank you for your honesty. I realize all islands have the upside and the downside...i will do some more research and make an informed decision as I should anyhow! I do hope you enjoy your future travels!

Saint James City...
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9. Re: If I no nothing of this island...what should I know?

I never noticed any smells from the refinery the week or so we spent on Curacao.

I guess it's a different frame of reference, since I live in Belize part of the year, but, I found most areas that I saw in Willemstad and Curacao overall to appear relatively prosperous.

Burglar bars and fenced properties seem to be the norm in Central America.

Willemstad, Curacao
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10. Re: If I no nothing of this island...what should I know?

The smell of the refinery in a 5 mile radius around the refinery is not correct. Only on the down wind side of the refinery you will smell it. The area is limited and not an area you will spend much time in other than driving through it. The intensity of the smell varies from time to time. The only time you will get this smell on another location is when the wind changes direction. This happens mostly from aug till nov. But even so most touristic areas are not affected. On the west side or east side of the island it is not noticed.

I agree with the previous post. The ABC islands (aruba, bonaire and curacao) have about the highest living standards in the caribbean. There is some poverty but nothing compared to other caribbean islands (Cayman Islands being an exception)

Crime rate on the ABC islands is not high. Breaking into parked cars at beaches and remote areas is the nr. 1 annoyance for tourist and locals alike. It is more likely to happen to tourist since they visit the beaches and remote areas during weekdays when there are not many people around. If you read this forum you will see many warnings about this. Just do not leave any valuables in your car and nothing within sight that atracts attention.

If take the regular precaution you would take when travelling anywhere else you will be just fine.