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Frequently Asked Questions about Scuba Diving in Curaçao

As travelers, we all have questions about the destination we would like to visit. Understanding this, here at Dive Curaçao have built (and we are continuing to build) a database of frequently asked questions (the Five Ws, and one H, or the Six Ws) to provide you answers as a basis for information-gathering. These include Who, What, When Where, Why, and How – constituting a formula to allow you to get a more complete story about Curaçao.

If you have a specific question, please complete the contact form. We would like to hear from you because if you have an additional question, or if you cannot find enough (practical) information about a topic please contact us.

We live and dive year round in Curaçao, so we are confident – even if we do not have an immediate answer – we probably know someone who can provide us the information you are looking for.

Frequently Asked Questions | Dive Travel Curaçao

Frequently Asked Questions about the island of Curacao

Where is Curacao located in the Caribbean?

Frequently we are asked: Where is Curaçao?

Curaçao is situated 43 miles (70km) off the North Coast of Venezuela. It is not only southern Caribbean diamond but it is a reward to any who are willing to make the trek to the heart of the Dutch Caribbean.

Curaçao is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of The Netherlands and, together with Aruba and Bonaire, it constitutes the “ABC” islands, or Leeward Antilles.

Located just 12° north of the Equator, Curaçao has a warm, sunny climate year round. The average temperature is about 27°C (81°F). Cooling trade winds blow constantly from the east, strongest in the spring months.

How Do I Get to Curacao?

You can travel to Curaçao by air with direct flights from North America (Toronto, Montreal, Newwark, JFK, Charlotte and Miami), Central America (Panama), South America, the Caribbean, and Europe (Schiphol and Frankfurt) or by sea on a cruise or yacht.

Before arriving on the island, be sure to fill out your Digital Immigration (DI) Card and know what you can bring with you through customs.

What is the best time of the year to visit Curacao?

Because the weather is rarely an issue, many people plan their vacation in Curaçao around what there is to do on the island. CLICK HERE for a full schedule of Curaçao Events and Festivals.

The Curaçao Carnival period (February and March) is always immensely popular with all kinds of different parties and of course the many parades during the last 10 days of Carnival.

In April we have events like the Curaçao International Film Festival Rotterdam and King’s Day, and there’s always something to do during the summer holidays.

In late August through early September, the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival is a great festival to visit.

December to early January is also a special time to be in Curaçao, with a bevy of parties and time-honored events like the pagaras and fireworks shows during the last week of the year, New Year’s Eve parties, the Unox New Year’s Splash, and of course Fuik Day.

When is Hurricane Season in Curacao?

Curaçao, as a part of the Leeward Antilles, is geographically located outside the Hurricane Belt. As on other islands, strong winds may pass, but rarely pose a threat. Of course, even though Curaçao is outside the hurricane belt, one can never guarantee perfect weather.

The Caribbean Hurricane Season runs from June 1 to November 30. For Curaçao this generally means that there is less wind than normal during this period, which makes it feel warmer than during the rest of the year.

What is the average air temperature in Curacao?

Curaçao, located at 12° north of the Equator, has a warm, sunny climate year-round. The average temperature is about 27°C (81°F) with noon temperatures generally over 30°C (86°F). Trade winds blow constantly from the east, providing a welcome cooling effect.

International weather websites commonly show a chance of rain in Curaçao, due to clouds being directly over the island, but much of this rain (average yearly rainfall is 22cm) never reaches the ground.

Do I need to rent a vehicle in Curacao?

While sometimes your hotel / resort or its neighbors may offer sufficient options for your vacation (see your hotel detail page on this site for facilities and distances), if you plan to really get around and explore the Island, renting a car at one of the many car rental agencies is the best option.

This allows you to travel freely, frequently, and on your own schedule so you won’t miss out on anything Curaçao has to offer. Most of Curaçao is accessible within a 30-45 minute drive, regardless of where you start. This may vary in peak traffic hours.

Visit Alamo Car Rental Curaçao for great international rates.

Alamo Car Rental Curaçao | Dive Travel Curaçao
Discover our Great International rates – Book anywhere with Alamo and Drive Happy!

What is the recommended tipping practice in Curacao?

Tipping is highly appreciated at all times. Individual practice is left to your own discretion however it is recommended because it shows your appreciation for the hospitality and services provided.

It is recommended that you tip at least 10% of your fare to Taxi drivers and 1 ANG per bag to Porters.

For all other services including dive staff and waiters, it is recommended that you tip between 10% and 20% of your bill.

What is the currency used in Curacao?

The currency used in Curaçao is the Antillean Guilder (ANG), also called the Florin. The Antillean Guilder’s exchange rate is fixed to the US Dollar at a price of 1 USD = 1.80 ANG. When exchanging money at a bank the exchange rate is 1.78 or 1.82 ANG, depending on if you’re buying or selling.

You can use US Dollars everywhere in Curaçao. In stores and restaurants and such the exchange rate used is usually 1 USD = 1.75 ANG for ease of calculation.

Are major credit cards accepted in Curacao?

All major credit cards are accepted in most businesses in Curacao with the exception of gas stations. Gas stations all over Curacao only accept cash and mostly require a minimum purchase of at least $20.

ATM’s in Curaçao (recognizable by the “Bankomatiko” sign) accept major credit cards as well as debit cards. For the latter they use the Maestro, Cirrus, and Cashnet systems; if you plan to use your debit card, make sure your card has at least one of their symbols on it. You can withdraw either US Dollars or Antillean Guilders from ATMs in Curaçao.

If you plan to use your credit or debit card during your stay, be sure to inform your bank that you’ll be using your card abroad, including the dates you’ll be traveling.

Are bank cards accepted in Curacao?

Willemstad has several banks and ATMs. Currency — U.S. dollars and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. The official currency, the Netherlands Antillean florin (NAf), also called a guilder, is divided into 100 NA (Netherlands Antillean) cents.

ATM’s in Curaçao (recognizable by the “Bankomatiko” sign) accept major credit cards as well as debit cards. For the latter they use the Maestro, Cirrus, and Cashnet systems; if you plan to use your debit card, make sure your card has at least one of their symbols on it. You can withdraw either US Dollars or Antillean Guilders from ATMs in Curaçao.

If you plan to use your credit or debit card during your stay, be sure to inform your bank that you’ll be using your card abroad, including the dates you’ll be traveling.

Are bank cards accepted in Curacao?

Willemstad has several banks and ATMs. Currency — U.S. dollars and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. The official currency, the Netherlands Antillean florin (NAf), also called a guilder, is divided into 100 NA (Netherlands Antillean) cents.

ATM’s in Curaçao (recognizable by the “Bankomatiko” sign) accept major credit cards as well as debit cards. For the latter they use the Maestro, Cirrus, and Cashnet systems; if you plan to use your debit card, make sure your card has at least one of their symbols on it. You can withdraw either US Dollars or Antillean Guilders from ATMs in Curaçao.

If you plan to use your credit or debit card during your stay, be sure to inform your bank that you’ll be using your card abroad, including the dates you’ll be traveling.

What are the major Events and Festivals in Curacao?

​Dive right into a year long schedule of incredible Curacao Events and Festivals, including the Curaçao International Dive Festival, where you will discover authentic tastes combined with a colorful history and diverse cultural heritage are the perfect mix to make your mouth water. Especially after a mind blowing day of scuba diving.

It’s time, Dive in to Curacao Events and Festivals to “Feel it for Yourself”!

Punda Vibes Every Thursday | Dive Travel Curacao
Punda, life in vivid color and the beating heart of Curaçao since 1634

Explore Things to Do in Curaçao

Things to Do in Curaçao | Dive Travel Curacao

What are the latest Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates?

Latest NEWS from DIVE NEWS CURAÇAO – Coronavirus on Curacao – Government Announcements

The Coronavirus on Curacao (COVID-19) is dynamic situation that is on all of our minds and it is frequently changing without notice. But, the health and safety of you, your family, and your friends is of paramount concern.

With that in mind, please CLICK HERE for the latest developments regarding travel and tourism on Curaçao.

Frequently Asked Questions about Diving in Curacao

Where can you buy dive or snorkeling gear in Curacao?

The Dive Shops in Curaçao and retail scuba stores are owned and operated by passionate divers who have dedicated their lives to creating responsible businesses.

By shopping at Curaçao’s scuba diving equipment retail stores and dive shops, you will ensure that you will always have the best service, expert training, excellent travel opportunities, premium rental equipment and the advice you want and need as diver when on vacation.

Where can you learn to scuba dive in Curacao?

Dive Travel Curaçao has partnered with the Best dive shops in Curacao to provide you maximum value and to ensure the highest quality for your Caribbean diving vacation.

These recommended dive shops in Curacao are committed to sustainable tourism initiatives, adhere to international safety standards, maintain a high level of quality, and are all Curaçao Tourist Board approved.

Where is NITROX available in Curacao?

All the recommended dive shops in Curaçao have NITROX available for boat diving and shore diving. Frequently, you will find most shops ready to cater to you, including all the necessary equipment to help you analyze your tanks for the day.

Are you looking to become NITROX certified, then contact these recommended dive shops for more information. Certification courses through PADI and SSI are frequently available.

These recommended dive shops in Curacao are committed to sustainable tourism initiatives, adhere to international safety standards, maintain a high level of quality, and are all Curaçao Tourist Board approved.

Dive Shops in Curaçao

Ocean Encounters Diving Curacao
Ocean Encounters has quality rental equipment and fully stocked retail shops where you’ll find diving and snorkeling gear, dive computers, wetsuits, rash guards, goggles, and just about anything you need to help make your experience in Curacao’s waters unforgettable.

What are the Top 10 Best Dive Sites in Curacao?

The Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao is best known for its colourful colonial waterfront in Willemstad. But, too few know about the rainbow of vibrant coral and marine life under its waters.  That is why Dive Curacao developed this useful Curacao Diving Guide and Interactive map that allows you to easily plan your next Curacao diving adventure!

Dive in to the Top 10 Dive Sites of Curaçao today!

How does Curacao compare to Bonaire or other Caribbean Destinations?

One of the most common “frequently asked questions” is: How does Curaçao compare to Bonaire, or many other world class dive destinations?  The answer is that Curaçao can not be compared in general to these other well known vacation spots. Why?  Because this Dutch Caribbean island is unique and very special.

Largest of the ABC (including Aruba and Bonaire) Islands, Curaçao is home to some of the most bio-diverse reefs in the Caribbean.  The sheltered southern coast is rich in coral, and suitable for divers of all levels, with little in the way of adverse conditions at any of the popular dive sites.

Divers and snorkelers never seem to be able to stop talking about the beauty of scuba diving Curacao.  Let us assure you this is with good reason.

The Curacao Dive Guide has over 70 world class dive sites plotted on an interactive map that also includes the BEST dive operators and the BEST dive accommodations the island has to offer.

Where can you shore dive in Curacao?

Curaçao is an unlimited shore diving haven! What? Yes… it is! The most famous “frequently asked questions” that we commonly hear is: What is better for diving? Curaçao or Bonaire?

The honest answer is, because we have been diving on both islands for years now, neither! Whether it is Bonaire or Curaçao, these Dutch Caribbean islands offer you something completely different and equally unique.  Another way to put it is, I would recommend you dive both!  I know, this is a different answer maybe then you expected but we do appreciate both islands very much.

NOW… back to Curaçao!

On the south side of the island, the fringing reef in most cases is within 60-feet (20m) from the shoreline which leads to incredible drop offs that allow divers to venture a little bit deeper into the aquatic wonderland.

Of the seventy popular dive sites the island has available, over half of them are reachable from the shore.

Nearly all these shore dive sites are clearly marked along the road way because Curaçao knows they have great shore diving. They have gone out of their way to accommodate adventurers, like you, looking to take advantage of the matchless wonder.

Dive Tip: Open heel fins and booties are recommended when shore diving in Curaçao.

What is the average water temperature on Curacao?

The water has an average temperature of 27°C (81°F), which makes it ideal to cool off without getting too chilly!

Wetsuits (short or long) are recommended for comfort. This recommendation is based on experience in order to protect against the elements over the course of multiple dives.

Additionally, booties are highly recommended for shore diving.

Curaçao Scuba Diving and Snorkeling Guide

Curacao Dive Guide and Interactive Map | Dive Curaçao
Curacao Dive and Snorkeling Guide – CLICK HERE to discover more than 70 World Class Dive Sites

Sustainable Tourism in Curacao

How can You Participate in a Project AWARE underwater clean-up in Curacao?

The community of Curacao are true leaders in the fight to protect what they love. Frequently, the dive shops in Curaçao conduct regular underwater clean-ups at several dive sites along the southern shoreline.

It is of immense importance that we all work together as a sustainable community to conserve our ocean. The commitment of the Curacao Dive Industry to the Project AWARE – Dive Against Debris and Adopt a Dive Site – initiatives are the first step for sustaining and spreading awareness of our island’s ocean life.

With the assistance and teamwork of the entire community, including dive tourists, we are certain that we can make this initiative bigger, create a sustainable change and provide the upcoming generation a healthier ecological marine life.

Dive for a Purpose

Curacao Underwater Clean-up | Protecting What We Love
Make Every Dive Count

What is happening with the Lionfish invasion in Curacao?

Since 2009, the invasive Lionfish has created a huge number of negative impacts not only here in Curaçao but also across the greater Caribbean. However, even with these negative issues, several Curaçao Dive Industry stakeholders created one large positive.  They lead the way in creating a sustainable industry today!

Today, there are many organized groups and dive schools that provide lessons on how to safely search for and catch Lionfish without disturbing or harming the surrounding reef. Certain dive schools also frequently teach you how to carefully remove the spines and prepare it, making it the perfect meal for any fish lover.

Visit Lionfish Curaçao to learn more!

Lionfish Curaçao

Lionfish Curacao | A Sustainable Industry | Dive Curaçao

Can I help in restoring the coral reefs in Curacao?

At the heart of Dive Curaçao and now, Dive Travel Curaçao, is an unwavering commitment to provide exceptional value, high quality and personalized service to ensure that you, as our client, can have the opportunity for the best Curaçao experience, above and below the waterline”, says Bryan Horne, the Managing Director.

To further underline this commitment, 1% of any Diving Package or Trip is donated automatically to Coral Restoration Curaçao when booking directly with Dive Travel Curaçao.

Coral reefs are a vital component of our island’s tourism product and together we are re-investing in the future of Curaçao by restoring coral reefs.

The Coral Restoration Curaçao program is an initiative of Ocean Encounters and supported by our community, sponsors, volunteers and the sustainable tourism stakeholders of Curaçao. The main objectives of this program are the restoration of our shallow water reef system, educating the community and protecting and preserving Curaçao’s natural ecosystem

Dive Travel Curaçao

Frequently Asked Questions | Dive Travel Curacao
By booking directly with Dive Travel Curaçao – 1% of any Diving Package or Trip is donated automatically to Coral Restoration Curaçao to restore the coral reefs of Curaçao.

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