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By No owner — last modified Mar 15, 2017 04:40 PM

cw.gif  Curacao - Profile

Facts

  • 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.

Security

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 (safetyandsecuritynet@gmail.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.
http://freecruisingguides.com/caribbean-security-index/

Also be sure to check the noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages

Last updated October 2015.

Weather

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

Main Ports

Spanish Water * , Willemstad *

* indicates port of entry

Share |
Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Mar 15, 2017 04:40 PM

Posted on behalf of Ann Lange:
Just to let you know that the Sail Clear web site is up and working in Curaçao and you could save yourself a lot of time at Customs by doing it yourself before check in.

verrytom
verrytom says:
Feb 03, 2017 10:12 AM

The immigration building is now green and the anchor permit location is up the stairs on the left, it is not signed in any way. Closed at 11:30 for long lunch. If walking over from Customs via the pontoon bridge you get to immigration by going through the cruise ship entrance. We were issued a paper to get us in then walked along the water. They are pounding in new sheet piling so it seems unlikely but they waved us through. If you are driving, there is a gate on the eastern side near the giant tanks.

tayl2017
tayl2017 says:
Jan 11, 2017 10:29 PM

Negative experience with Curacao immigration yesterday. We were refused entrance to the country because we did not have an exit document from our last port, St. Croix, USVI. As US citizens, we are not required to check out of the USA, so we did not do so, and did not have a document. We had valid passports and boat document, but no matter. The official would not take our word for it. Bottom line, if you do not have an document to prove where you came from, you will not be granted entrance to Curacao. We were forced to leave.

lkgreen
lkgreen says:
Oct 02, 2016 04:20 PM

There appears to be very differing reports on clearance and length of stay issues. Some may be as a result of citizens of a certain countries are subject to different roles. We sail a US flagged vessel and my wife and I are US citizens. After almost 90 days in Bonaire, we sailed to Curacao arriving July 8 2016. Went to Customs,then immigration then the port office for a cruising permit. Based on what I have read I was under the impression I would need to fill out some additional paperwork and pay $300 fee to extend my initial 90 day stay to the full 180 days allowed. Last week I went first to Customs and asked what was required. After looking at our passports the Customs officer said nothing was required so long as we departed by the end of 180 days. I then asked,what about the boat? The Customs agent briefly spoke with her supervisor and reported that they thought nothing was required, but I should check.Next I went to immigration (under the highway bridge) showed my initial clearance documents and was told everything was good as long as I left, with the boat, by the end of the 180 days. No paperwork, no additional documents and no charge. Happily I left and started walking back to town, then it occurred to me that I probably needed to check on my anchoring permit. Went back d upstairs to the port control office asked. There I was told to make sure and come back on or before Oct 7th to buy a new anchoring permit for $10.00. The officer said it would be better for me to think about other authorized anchorages so I could pay one fee,and include any authorized anchorages on the same permit. If these responses were based on citizenship of vessel flag,maybe it would be a possibility for future commentators on clearance issues to identify their citizenship or vessel flag in order that we all have a better understanding of differing requirements that may apply to us.

Indigo
Indigo says:
Sep 23, 2016 03:36 AM

Regarding the immigration offices. The port office for the initial check in/out is the same, but the main office for further enquiries that was noted at "Mortiersweg 5, Suffisant" has moved to the Punda office near Mcdonalds.

Indigo
Indigo says:
Sep 23, 2016 03:29 AM

Further to the previous information regarding the short stay visa extension. We can confirm that our extension was granted in a few weeks. The duration given was a further 180 days from our application, so it gives more than enough time for laying over during hurricane season. The fee was 300 US p.p. No other fee was payable and no deposits required for the overwinternaar short stay visa. We were advised that one can come and go as much as one likes with in the 180 days. No applicable to us, but we also noted that USA passport holders get 6 month automatically, which is the same as a Dutch citizen. This is not published yet, but was at hand in the Punda immigration office. Europeans get 3 months and some nationalities 1 month.

Indigo
Indigo says:
Jun 02, 2016 02:53 PM

For Curacao Immigration, the information above is still applicable. We found that the immigration at the port office are only interested in stamping you in. They advise 1 month unless you one of the countries that get 3 months. This info is on the internet. The port office did not entertain any discussion or accept the valid 90 day Schengen Multi Entry visa. They refer you to the Punda office (opposite McDonalds). A visit there proved that the 90 Day Schengen visa was accepted and an application to extend for a further 90 days was possible on the "Short Stay" application as "Overwinteraar". The current fee is 300 USD p.p. So far, with the exception of the port immigration office, every official has been an absolute pleasure to deal with. We can also vouch for the Santa Barbora Beach Marina (also linked to Seru Bocca) for their incredible continued service right from our first enquiry by the Manager Robert.rvandenheuvel@santabarbaraplantation.com

burnettmed
burnettmed says:
Nov 21, 2015 05:08 PM

It is important to note that ALL CREW must be physically present to clear in AND OUT with Immigration. This means you have to load up everyone, including kids, and take them on the trek to town after you anchor/dock in Spanish Waters. We didn't know this, they were firm about it, and so we had to make the trip twice! Blek!

Lior Keydar
Lior Keydar says:
Mar 29, 2015 05:43 AM

If you sail west, dont miss the Santa Cruz Bay at the west end of the island. We saw caves in the water and ate great food by the restaurant of Captain good life, the only house and restaurant in this bay. it was really a nice stop there

PeteDD
PeteDD says:
Oct 06, 2016 08:54 PM

Curacao Immigration confirmed to us in writing today that US citizens receive a six month tourist visa. This is not yet updated on their website. Here is a copy of the letter:

Dear Mr Dubler,
According to the Dutch-American treaty, American citizens get the same treatment as Dutch citizens regarding Admission to Curaçao.
This means that American citizens can also stay a total of six months as tourists.
When submitting a petition for a permit to live on the island, Americans have to submit the same type of permit as Dutch citizens.

Regards,
Customer Service Center
Prinsenstraat 90, Punda
Willemstad, Curaçao
T: +5999 733-2000
F: +5999 462-6176
E: info@immigrationcur.org
W: www.gobiernu.cw

enceecee
enceecee says:
Oct 05, 2013 03:30 AM

when we checked into Curacao almost 2 weeks ago I asked at Immigration if the rules were still the same, i.e. 3 months per calender year, and was informed that the 3-month rule had been changed and foreigners can now stay 6 months per calender year. You can now either stay 6 months in a row, or break them up throughout the year, according to the lady at Immigration. However, I also heard from some people that not all immigration officers either have been informed or adhere to the new rules.

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