Curacao - Profile
- Curacao together with Aruba and Bonaire form the ABC islands. They are the three western-most islands of the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean. Curaçao lies off the coast of Venezuela between Aruba and Bonaire.
- Aruba is a flat island, exposed to the ocean currents. Bonaire and Curaçao are surrounded by reefs, and so are much more sheltered from the weather. Both Bonaire and Curaçao's reefs form popular tourist destinations.
- Curacao is part of the former Netherlands Antilles. As of October 2010 Curacao has become an autonomous country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
- The island is a favourite stop for yachts en route to Panama and as it is outside the hurricane belt. Application for a 180 day visa is now possible, making this an option to wait out the hurricane season. Be sure to reserve in advance for haul out and dry storage space for hurricane season.
- Spanish Water is one of the best hurricane holes in the Caribbean.
- Visas aside, three facilities in Curacao have a bonded warehouse status; meaning that yachts can be stored without a time limit when uninhabited.
- The coastline along the south is irregular, peppered with small bays and inlets, including the spectacular bays and beaches at the west end of the island. The largest bays are located along the central-east and east end of the island, where you'll find the capital and major port of Willemstad.
- There are three main ports; Willemstad harbour, Spanish Water and Piscadera Bay.
- The capital Willemstad is a busy city and commercial port, so many yachts prefer the protected anchorage at Spanish Water where there are several marinas. Willemstad does however have many historical buildings and sites, and a sail through the city centre is a worthwhile excursion.
Based on reports to Noonsite from cruisers, petty theft from yachts is on the rise in the Caribbean in general. Cruisers should take basic safety precautions and use common sense when leaving the boat or going ashore at night. Dinghy thieves operate throughout the Caribbean and best advice is to place your dinghy on deck and chain it overnight.
Break-ins and thefts have been reported twice to Noonsite (2008 and 2012) from cruisers who have left their boats on the hard at Curacao Marine. Be sure, if leaving your boat for a period of time, to secure all items of value below decks and revisit the locking/security system on hatches and doors.
The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (email@example.com) provides information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported. Also cruisers can subscribe to e-mail alerts, follow on facebook and twitter and listen to the SSB Voice Service.
The Caribbean Security Index (CSI) is a a tool to assist cruisers in assessing the probability of crime at ports and anchorages throughout the Caribbean. The CSI provides a means of assessing risk in a given area.
Also be sure to check the noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages
Last updated October 2015.
Curacao is outside the hurricane belt and has a sunny climate all year. The average temperature is about 27° C ( mid 80s F). The trade winds blow constantly from the east, picking up in the spring months. The rainy season is October to February and is marked by short, occasional showers, usually at night. Sometime a tropical storm elsewhere in the Caribbean can cause cloudy weather for a day or two.
Meteorological Department Curaçao (MDC)
Provides weather services for Curacao, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and Saba, within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page