Q and A Contact Sitemap Home

CURACAO | General Information

Country          Curacao
Capital  Willemstad
Official language Dutch and Papiamentu
Population    150,000
Area   444 km²/171 miles²
Time zone     UTC-4
Calling code   +599-9
Currency   Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG) 


Geography and climate
Curacao is an island, located in the southern part of the Caribbean sea just off the Venezuelan coast. Curacao belongs to the Leeward Antilles, together with Aruba and Bonaire the three islands form the ABC-Islands. Curacao is the largest island of the ABC-islands.
 

alt


The country of Curacao includes the main island with an area of approximately 171 miles²/444 kilometers² (38 miles long, 9 miles wide) and the small island Klein Curacao (Little Curacao). Klein Curacao is an uninhabited island situated ten kilometers to the south-east off the coast of Curacao. Klein Curacao is mostly used as a tourist attraction and as a spot for the fishermen to rest. The highest point of Curacao is the Mount St. Christoffel at 375 meters (1,230 feet) above sea level and lies in the reserved wildlife park.      

Curacao, as part of the Leeward Antilles, is characterized by its tropical climate. The dry season runs from February through June, whereas the rainy season starts in October and ends in January. The average annual precipitation is 560 millimeters (22 inches).The temperature in Curacao is quite consistent throughout the year. The average maximum temperature is 31.5° C (88.7 °F). The average minimum temperature is 25.9° C (78.6 °F). Curacao lies outside the hurricane belt, but is still occasionally affected by hurricanes. The latest hurricanes were Cesar in 1996, Felix in 2007, Omar in 2008, and Tomas in 2010.  

Population
The population of Curacao is about 150,000 inhabitants. Because of its history, the island’s population comes from many ethnic backgrounds. There is an Afro-Caribbean majority of Creole people. Furthermore there is also a sizeable minority of European Dutch, Asian, Portuguese, Surinamese, Colombian and Venezuelan people.  

Languages

The official languages of Curacao are Dutch and since 2007 the native language called Papiamentu, which is a Creole language based on Spanish and Portuguese, with Dutch, English and African influences. Besides the official languages many people also speak Spanish and English.

Religion
The majority of the inhabitants of Curacao are Roman Catholic (80%). Other major religious denominations are the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Protestant Church, Pentecostal Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Jewish Community.  

Currency
The Netherlands Antillean guilder (ANG, locally often referred to as NAF, an abbreviation of the Netherlands Antillean Florin) is the official currency of Curacao. The exchange rate has been pegged to the US Dollar since 1971. The US Dollar is also widely excepted on the island. The monetary system of the island is regulated by the Central Bank of Curacao and St. Maarten.