Island name: Curacao (NT).
Country: Netherland Antilles. Since 10 October 2010, the
Netherlands Antilles are dissolved and Curacao is an independent
country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Nationality: Dutch Antillean.
Language: Papiamento is the native language. Almost everyone
speaks English and Dutch. Many of the locals also speak Spanish and
resorts often have staff that speaks French and German.
Island's Capital: Willemstad.
Population: 141,766 people (2009).
Climate: Curaao has a semi-arid savanna-like climate
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 trade winds bring cooling during the day
and the same trade winds bring warming during the night. The coldest month
is January with an average temperature of 26.5 °C (79.7 °F) and
the warmest month is September with an average temperature of 28.9 °C
Coastline: 127 km.
Geographic coordinates: 12° 12' N, 68° 15' W.
Highest point: Brandaris mountain, 240 m (787 feet), located
in the Washington Slagbaai National Park, at the north side of the island.
Location: in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast,
outside of the Caribbean hurricane belt.
Size: long by km wide, 444 square kilometers (171
Terrain: At first glimpse Curacao may seem a rather barren
island. Due to the scant rainfall, there is certainly a limit to the types
of plants and animals that can survive here. But on closer inspection,
you'll be amazed at the variety nature has to offer. What at first seems
to be a monotonous desert landscape turns out to be terrain teeming with
Accommodations: There are Hotels and resorts of all categories
and as well private apartments.
Activities: one of the finest scuba diving destinations in the
world; snorkeling, windsurfing, sailing, cycling, kiteboarding, horseback
riding, bird watching.
Average tourist arrivals: 366,703 (2009).
Crime: Petty crime can occur. Ensure personal belongings, passports
and travel documents are secure at all times. Avoid unpopulated areas or
unpatrolled beaches after dark. Vehicle theft occurs frequently.
Electricity: Bonaire's electricity (127 volts/50 cycles) is slightly
different from North America's (110 volts/60 cycles). Most North American
appliances function without a transformer but older ones may run warm or
burn out if left plugged in for a long time. Warning: Electrical current
used to feed or recharge finely calibrated diving equipment should be stabilized
with a specially engineered electrical stabilizer. Every diving operation
on the island has one of these as part of its standard equipment for visiting
Entry Requirements: Citizens of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg,
along with any other countries with whom the Netherlands has reached an
agreement on visa requirements, are allowed to stay up to 90 days (3 months),
without having to apply for a visit extension. US and Canadian citizens
must have a valid Passport and a return or ongoing ticket. A Birth Certificate
with a picture ID is also acceptable.
Extension of stay: you can ask for an additional 3-month extension.
Sleep: Generally very good.
Telephone: the international: country code is 1-599.
Cost of living: high.
Credit cards: Traveler's checks and credit cards are widely accepted,
though American Express and Diners Club are not as popular as Visa and
MasterCard, while Discover is gaining popularity.
Currency: Netherlands Antillean Guilder (ANG). The U.S. dollar
is as widely accepted as the local currency. The exchange rate is 1.78 ANG to 1 US$ (1 ANG = 0,56 US$).
Tipping: Some restaurants add a 10% to 15% service charge automatically.
Tip taxi drivers and dive masters 10 %.
Airport: Flamingo International, BON.
Departure Tax: International departure tax is US$ 20.- per person,
payable upon departure. This is usually not included in your airline ticket
but some tour companies may include it. Domestic departure tax is Nafl
Flight Times: Frankfurt - 14 hours, 10 hours, New York - 5 hours,
Miami - 2 1/2 hours, Curacao - 15 minutes, Aruba - 30 minutes, Caracas
- 30 minutes.
Ferry Service: none. There is no ferry service of any kind between
Bonaire and Aruba, Venezuela, or Curacao.
Ports and harbors: Kralendijk.
Ethnic groups: mixed black 85%, other 15% (includes Carib Amerindian,
white, East Asian.
Government type: parliamentary. Bonaire is an autonomous country
within the Kingdom of the Netherlands; full autonomy in internal affairs
granted in 1954; Dutch Government responsible for defense and foreign affairs.
Legal system: based on Dutch civil law system with some English
common law influence.
Literacy: 96.7 %.
Religions: Roman Catholic 72 %, Pentecostal 4.9 %, Protestant
3.5 %, Seventh-Day Adventist 3.1 %, Methodist 2.9 %, Jehovah's Witnesses
1.7 %, other Christian 4.2 %, Jewish 1.3 %, other or unspecified 1.2 %,
none 5.2 %.
Agriculture-products: Poor soils and inadequate water supplies
hamper the development of agriculture.
GDP per capita: US$ 16,000.
Industries: tourism, salt extraction.
Natural resources: salt.
Unemployment rate: 17.0 %.