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Curacao: Very Comprehensive Report by a Visiting Cruiser

By Christine C. Mitchell of SV Sugar Shack — last modified Sep 08, 2017 07:36 AM
A most useful and comprehensive report on entry procedures, maps of official anchorages and services available.

Published: 2017-09-05 23:00:00
Countries: Curacao

This information is from Christine of SV Sugar Shack and is current as of 20 August 2017

Channel 72: MORNING NET: Monday-Saturday, 8:00

CUSTOMS, IMMIGRATION & PORT AUTHORITY

  • Curacao likes to see everyone in person to compare faces to passport photos.
  • The entire process can take over 3 hours to clear in, but they are nice officials.
  • It is free to clear into Curacao, but the anchor fee is $10 for three months.
  • Visitors from US, EU, and Canada can sta for up to 6 months.
  • Be prepared to show the port authority where you are anchored as your permit will be issued for that specific anchorage in Spaanse Waters (A, B, C, D, or E).  The anchorages are listed incorrectly in the Guide to the ABC’s (C and D are swapped).  Follow the official anchorage map.

Coordinates for Spaanse Waters:-

  • A01        12-4.792N, 68-51.715W
  • A02        12-4.849N, 68-51.778W
  • A03        12-4.973N, 68-51.778W
  • A04        12-4.073N, 68-51.701W
  • B01        12-4.632N, 68-51.380W
  • B02        12-4.710N, 68-51.571W
  • B03        12.4.755N, 68-51.571W
  • C01        12.4.475N, 68-51.478W
  • Co2        12.4.598N, 68-51.532W
  • Port Authority requests that you notify them if you change anchorages within Spaanse Waters and if you move to another location (Fuik Bay, Santa Martha, Santa Cruz, Piscadera Bay or Willemstad).
  • Port Authority requires that you notify them when you change to another bay, provide the schedule, pay an additional $10 which will allow you 3 days in each bay.
  • Directions:
    • Customs: Take 6A Carracasbaai into Punda, exit and walk to end of floating fruit/veggie market, across the street is a beige building with “Douane” across top for Customs.
    • Immigration: follow map below.  Cross Queen Emma Floating Bridge, turn right to guard shack, walk along wharf.  Immigration (1ST Floor) and Port Authority (2nd floor) are on left.


    HAPPY HOUR & BOATERS DINNER

    • PasaBon lists happy hours in their weekly publication
    • The Pirate’s Nest – daily happy hour 1700-1800
    • The Pier, Thursday happy hour 1700-2000
      • Captain’s dinner on Thursday’s for 20 guilders (Arrive by 1730 to put your name on the list)

    HELPFUL LINKS

    GROCERY STORES, HOME STORES, & MARINE STORES

    • Grocery Stores
      • Best Buy Supermarket, bulk item store, similar to a Costco or Sam’s Club
      • Centrum Supermarket, similar to Vreugdenhil and Van Den Tweel
      • Cost U Less, bulk item store, similar to a Costco or Sam’s Club
      • Goisco, mega store offering groceries, electronics, home, garden, auto
      • Van Den Tweel
        • Small store located in Jan Thiel (up the hill from Fisherman’s Harbor)
        • Larger store in Zeelandia, much larger variety and stock
      • Vreugdenhil, provides free bus to & from store Mon-Sat. pick up at 830a at Fisherman’s Harbor
    • HOME, HARDWARE, AND MORE
      • Building Depot, hardware, home, garden, etc…
        • Large, inventory, clean, helpful people.  Located in Zeelandia
        • You do not need to be a member to shop here, but membership gives discounts.
      • Dijtham
        • Store in Caracasbaaiweg has a lot of tools and fasteners
        • Store in Zeelandia has home and garden and some tools
      • Kooyman, hardware, home, garden, etc…
        • Large, clean, great inventory, helpful people.  Located in Zeelandia
    • MARINE STORES
    • MECHANICA MACHINE SHOP have a full service machine shop & will repair small projects on the spot. 

    FUEL

    • Curacao Yacht Club fuel dock open Mon0Fri 1200-1800 & Sat-Sun 1000-1800
      • Diesel (about $0.61 per liter) and gas ($0.91).  They also sell water ($0.15)
    • Vanddis has multiple locations, most only take cash

    PROPANE

    • CurOil in Muizenberg is the only location that refills American/European propane tanks
      • As of 10 Aug 2017, the CurOil in Santa Rosa did not have the ability to refill tanks with American fittings (been broken for over 1 year)

    SERVICES

    • Free Grocery Bus
      • Monday-Saturday: free bus picks up at 830am at Fisherman’s Harbor.  Takes you to Vrugendenhill where you can shop, walk to Budget, Island Water World, Napa. Bus leaves at Vrugendenhill by 10am
    • Laundry
      • Het Washok, located on Caracassbaaiweg (grocery bus can drop you off)
        • Good service, will line dry if needed, folds well (average 50 kilos for $28)
      • Laundry on Caracassbaii Weg (by Jan Thiel Security)
        • Little more pricey (25 kilos for $20), will deliver to roundabout (Pirate’s Nest) for $5
    • Rental Cars (Insurance can be added at extra cost)
      • Avis at Jan Thiel rents $25/day, 599 9 839 1500
        • Call Airport for reservation, but pick up in Jan Thiel
      • Budget at Jan Thiel has a $19 special, 2-day minimum, 599 9 747 3465
      • Oost West Car Rental has a $30/day, includes insurance, 2-day min., 599 9 738 9427

    TRANSPORTATION

    • Free Grocery Bus (See services above for details)
    • Curacao Bus
      • 6A Caracasbaai bus will take you into Punda (Willemstad) and bring you back
      • Bus stop “Bushalte” is at roundabout (across from The Pirate’s Nest)
      • Schedule
        • Printable schedule shows when bus leaves Punda.  Be at bus stop 20-25 minutes after to catch the bus.  For example, if bus leaves Punda 9am, be at bus stop by 9:20 to catch bus.
      • Website - http://autobusbedrijf.org/ shows schedule, routes, and bus location in route
      • Cost 1.70 naf each way
    • Small Buses
      • Small buses advertise routes on signs in the front window, most routes cost 3-4 naf
      • Most small buses will not pick up or take you to Caracasbaai
    • Taxi’s tend to be expensive (ride to airport $60) and there are not many around
      • Taxi stand at Queen Emma Floating Bridge on Otrobanda side.

    WATER

    • Water Boat (Bridget) delivers to your boat on Wednesday’s (available on ch. 72)
      • She does not have a radio on the water boat, call Tuesday or before 9a on Wednesday.
      • Provides very tasty water and has a super strong pump for fast delivery.  Cost $0.15
      • She also does canvas work
    • Curacao Yacht Club offers water at fuel dock ($0.15)

    WIFI

    • Digicel
      • Office located, just off Queen Emma Bridge in Otrobanda (next to KFC)
      • Special 18 gigs of data for 30 days at $50 + cost of sim card $10-$20
    • Chippie / UTS
      • Office located, just off Queen Emma Bridge in Otrobanda
    • Most restaurants and bars offer free wifi, including The Pier and Pirate’s Nest

    ENTERTAINMENT

    ATTRACTIONS

    MOVIE THEATERS

    MUSEUMS & FORTS

    RESTAURANTS

    SHIPPING

    • Mymalls, fast, but expensive (delivers 2-4 days)
    • Puntomo, slow but cheap (delivers 2-4 weeks0

    SHOPPING

    FAVORITE BEACHES

    • Tug Boat Beach, located in an industrial area, with a rocky beach, not much to see onshore, but in the water, a beautiful reef and lots of fish lives on a sunken tugboat just a few meters below. 
    • Playa Lagun is a lovely beach with free chairs.  It has pretty snorkeling on the left side of the bay and a nice lunch stop at Bahia (which overlooks the bay)
    • Playa Santa Cruz This is a rocky beach and we have not actually snorkeled here but I hear it is nice.  Park and hike to the Blue Room.  Use Maps.me to get to Playa Santa Cruz which is a 30-minute drive.  Park.  Straight ahead you will see a 2-story building which is Captain Good Life.  Trail is on the left side.  Follow that to Playa Pretu (black sand beach).  From here, face the water, and directly behind you is a water path (erosion), to the right is a trash can, and then another path that goes up the hill.  The water path (which is dried out) is much, much easier.  The one up the hill is more interesting, along the coast, over rocks and lots of cactus.  They both drop you at the same place.  You might see little blue dots that lead the way or you can use maps.me too.  The blue room is at a cliff, you will have to jump the small cliff (2-3 meters) and swim under.  Best light is between 2p-330p.
    • Playa Grandi we only stopped here to take a photo as they have a beautiful scenic overlook.  The beach was huge, white sands, with vendors and lots of tourists, but the view is worth the stop!
    • Playa Piskado (also see signs that call this Playa Grandi sometimes which is a different one than the one above)– this is the same place with two different names and signs show both).  Loads and loads of turtles that feed on the chum from the fisherman.  Super cool spot to swim with lots of turtles.
    • Playa Kalki lovely beach with a small eatery, chairs, and hatch covered shady spots.
    • Blaubaai which is in St. Michael (relatively close to Otrobanda)
    • Cas Abao Beach is a beautiful beach with a full place to eat, drink, do water sports, rent chairs, snorkel – this is more of an all-day spot.  Cost $6 per car to park – but it is pretty white sand soft beach.
    • Mambo Beach has several beach clubs along the shore with really nice chairs, eateries, shops and boutiques.  It can be expensive, but a great way to spend the day and night.
    • Jan Thiel Beach & Papagayo Beach are both beautiful, clean manmade beaches with beach clubs.  They are expensive, but offer chairs, lounges, restaurants, and entertainment.
    • Santa Barbara Beach is probably one of the most beautiful swim areas on the island.  Protected by the long pier where you can tie up your dinghy and spend the day.
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