Is Curacao Safe for Travel?

Curacao is a charming Caribbean island known for the pastel-colored Dutch colonial buildings in its capital city of Willemstad, as well as beautiful beaches, clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs.

Curacao has been flying under the radar for a while, but is becoming more and more popular for visitors and is a wonderful place for a romantic getaway or honeymoon. In fact, it’s home to Sandals Resorts’ newest location, Sandals Royal Curacao, which is perfect for a honeymoon in Curacao.

If you’re thinking about booking a honeymoon package to Curacao or staying at one of the all-inclusive resorts, you may be wondering if Curacao is safe for tourists. In this blog post, we will answer that question and give you some great tips for keeping yourself safe on your vacation to Curacao!

Curacao Travel Quick Takes

  • Curacao Crime Rates: Overall, crime is relatively low in Curacao. Most crime is pickpocketing, bag snatching, and scamming.
  • Curacao and the LGBTQ+ community: Curacao is one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly Caribbean islands.
  • Curacao and hurricanes: Curacao is outside the hurricane belt, so hurricanes aren’t common.

How safe is Curacao?

Overall, Curacao is considered one of the safest island destinations. It is a friendly island with a low crime rate, and some similarities to the U.S. that can help your vacation go smoothly. Cars drive on the right side of the road, and the phone number to call in case of emergency is 911, just as in the United States. If you need help while on your trip to Curacao, most residents speak English.

Curacao beach

Curacao Crime Rates

Most crime rates in Curacao are very low, and there aren’t any big concerns for travelers and tourists. In fact, violent crime is very low and mostly affects locals. That isn’t to say there is no crime in Curacao.

The truth is there are some common crimes that tourists should be aware of and protect themselves against. The most common crimes in Curacao are:

  • Pickpocketing and bag snatching
  • Scams
  • Vehicle and hotel room break-ins
  • Drug trafficking
  • Organized crime

For the most part, tourists should simply take some additional precautions and be vigilant while out and about. But none of these concerns should stop you from visiting this beautiful island.

Curacao Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Another type of safety concern is the likelihood of hurricanes or tropical storms. Because Curacao is a Caribbean island, this is a very common concern. Fortunately, Curacao itself sits outside the hurricane belt.

This doesn’t mean that hurricanes never hit Curacao. They have been hit by hurricanes in the past, but it is rare. It’s more likely that strong winds will be felt on the island as hurricanes and tropical storms develop or move through the area, but these storms don’t often pose a threat to the island itself.

Is Curacao LGBTQ+ friendly?

Yes, Curacao is considered one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly islands in the Caribbean. The country’s motto is “biba i laga biba” in its local language, Papaimento; this means “live and let live.” It also has a Pride Festival every September.

Top Tips for Safe Travel in Curacao

1. When traveling to Curacao, as when traveling anywhere, it’s important to follow some basic safety rules to ensure a fun and incident-free vacation. First, research the area where you’ll be staying and anywhere you want to visit. If you’re not sure about the safety of a particular place, it’s always best to ask someone who knows the area well. Locals are usually the best people to ask about safety tips and which areas to avoid.

2. Taxi drivers in Curacao are generally honest, but it’s always a good travel practice to agree upon the fare total before you get in the car.

3. Crimes of opportunity like pickpocketing and purse snatching can happen, especially at beaches, hotel lobbies, or from cars. Keep your valuables out of sight and in a safe place, such as a hotel safe or locked suitcase.

4. Stay aware of your surroundings. Don’t carry a lot of cash on you, and keep what money you do have (along with credit cards and passports) in a zipped purse or travel pouch concealed under your clothes. Make sure you have a copy of your passport, driver’s license, and credit cards in a safe location in case any of these are stolen.

5. Car theft can also occur, so if you’ve rented a car, make sure not to leave any valuables in view and lock the doors whenever you leave it. Choose parking lots that have security features like gates or attendants.

6. Be careful when visiting more isolated areas of the island, such as nature areas, remote beaches, and small or informal parking areas used by divers. Pay attention, and if you feel uncomfortable, leave.

7. A good way to stay safe while on vacation is to travel in groups. There’s strength in numbers, so if you can travel with a group of friends or family members, you’ll be a much less likely target for crime. If you aren’t traveling with a group, go places with at least one other person.

8. Make sure you know what a Manchineel tree looks like and avoid it. Each part of it is highly poisonous; touching it can cause blistering and burns, the sap can cause blindness, and ingesting the fruit can cause swelling and burning of the mouth and throat, sometimes leading to death.

9. If you go out to bars or nightclubs, take the usual precautions: don’t go alone—always in pairs or groups; stick to main streets and brightly lit areas; and always keep your eyes on your drink. If you consume alcohol, do so responsibly so you can stay alert. If you’re traveling with teenagers, you should know that the legal drinking age of 18 is not always enforced. 

By following these simple tips, you can help ensure a fun and memorable trip to Curacao! Have any other safety suggestions? Share them with us in the comments below!

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