If you’re planning a visit to Curaçao, you’re probably asking yourself some questions like: do I need a passport to visit? The quick answer is yes. However, if you are a U.S. citizen, you won’t need a visa. That simplifies vacationing planning a whole lot!
Curaçao is part of the ABC island chain, which also includes Aruba and Bonaire. There are so many amazing things that Curaçao is known for! That list begins with its gorgeous capital city, Willemstad, a town that also happens to be a World Heritage site. Then, there are the exciting excursions, incredible dive sites, and amazing all-inclusive resorts in Curaçao.
Without a doubt, this island is a great choice if you want a getaway filled with blissful moments, lots of ocean time, and even more adventure. Read on for everything you need to know about getting your travel documents together for your visit, plus some experts tips on things you can do while in Curaçao!
All visitors, including those traveling from the U.S., will need a passport when visiting Curaçao. The usual rules as they pertain to passport validity also apply, that is, your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay. You must also have at least one blank passport page per passport, per traveler and your passport must not be more than 10 years old.
If you’ll be traveling to Curaçao by air, you may also need to provide proof that you will be returning to your country of residence or transiting to another destination. Other information that may be requested includes confirmation of hotel reservations or additional details relating to the purpose of your visit. As part of the immigration process, you may also need to show that you have enough money to cover your stay and any other expenses.
Insider tip: The perfect vacation takes planning, and that planning should include selecting the best accommodation. In Curaçao, you’ll find lots of hotels and resorts to choose from including all-inclusive properties for couples like the Sandals Royal Curaçao!
Having a valid passport is important when visiting Curaçao regardless of how you get there. While you may be able to use other travel documentation besides your passport to re-enter the U.S. from Curaçao, particularly if you’re going on a closed-loop cruise, you should ask your cruise ship representatives about stipulations before attempting to visit the island on a cruise without a passport. With that said, it’s always a good idea to travel with your passport in the event you need to get back home via other means, like air travel, due to an emergency or some unforeseen circumstance.
If you’re from the U.S. or the U.K., you won’t need a visa to travel to Curaçao. Specifically, this information applies to citizens of those countries who plan on visiting the island for tourism purposes for a period of up to 90 days. There are other nationalities that can also travel to Curaçao without a visa, but citizens of some countries, including Cuba, Venezuela, and Haiti need a tourist visa to visit Curaçao.
If you fall into a category of travelers that requires a visa, it is important to apply for your visa at least one month ahead of your trip to ensure you get your travel documents in time. You can apply for a Curaçao tourist visa through representatives of the Netherlands in individual countries. Some residents of the Dominican Republic, China, and India may also need a visa to travel to Curaçao if they are not already in possession of a valid multiple-entry visa to the U.S., Canada, or the Schengen countries (Europe). Russian nationals residing in the Baltic States with alien’s passports issued by Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania can travel to Curaçao without a visa.
Expert tip: Do you see a beach vacation in your future? The Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao might be just what you need. There are lots of activities on this island to keep you occupied, including sunbathing on any of the best beaches in Curaçao!
A passport card is a less costly alternative to a passport book. It serves as both an official national identity card and travel document. While it is valid for land and sea travel into the U.S. from Canada, Bermuda, Mexico, and the Caribbean, a passport card cannot be used for air travel into or out of the U.S. You should also check with your cruise line to confirm that your passport card will be accepted for entry at the ports you’ll visit.
Passport cards are less expensive than conventional passports (a passport card for one adult costs $55 as opposed to a passport that costs about $110), and they are also less bulky so they can fit in your wallet. The downside to passport cards is that there isn’t any room for stamps or visas.
Trusted Traveler programs are an initiative of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). With these programs, frequent international travelers may become members to enjoy perks like expedited lanes at U.S. and international airports (where available), expedited vehicle/pedestrian entrance into the U.S. or Canada, and other benefits that can make traveling more convenient. Members of these risk-based programs are pre-approved. Some Trusted Traveler programs are listed below:
Membership cards from some Trusted Traveler programs can be used as identification when cruising to certain destinations, but these cards cannot replace a passport when traveling to the Caribbean.
An Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) is an official document under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) that can be used as both a driver’s license and for travel purposes, such as when exiting and re-entering the U.S. This document has added security features and technology which increase the safety factor for travelers.
An EDL is a low-cost alternative to a passport. With an EDL, you’ll be able to re-enter the US from Canada, Mexico, and some Caribbean islands. You can find out which islands are included by contacting an application center near you. EDLs are currently only being issued by the states of Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington State, and they can only be used at land and sea borders. An EDL is not valid for air travel.
A lot can happen while on vacation, including your passport getting lost or stolen. Regardless of how it happens, this scenario can be a complete nightmare. If it ever happens to you, don’t panic. The first thing you’ll need to do is alert your hotel or resort of the situation. If you’re staying at a Sandals resort, staff at the front desk will be happy to help. Here are the steps to follow if you misplace your passport while in Curacao:
Once you’ve brought the situation to the attention of staff at your resort, the next step will be to make an official police report. Get a copy of your report as you will need it to obtain an emergency passport.
Get in contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate-general. You’ll need to repeat some of the same information documented in the police report or provide a copy of the report to the embassy or consulate. You will also need to provide confirmation of an airline ticket, which serves as proof of your urgent need to travel.
The address of the U.S. embassy in Curaçao is provided below:
Fill in the necessary application forms for your emergency passport. In this case, you’ll need to complete and sign the DS-11 passport application form.
Next, complete a statement in reference to your lost passport. This needs to be done via Form DS-64.
Pay the required application fees. The cost for applying for an emergency passport is US$110, which is the same fee attached to a new passport application.
When traveling to Curaçao, people who are older than 6 months of age and are coming from areas with a yellow fever risk may need to show proof that they’ve been vaccinated against Yellow Fever. Vaccination certification documents sometimes need to be shown upon arrival. If you do not have this vaccination due to medical issues, you will need to show an official document of exemption.
There aren’t any specific currency restrictions for entry or exit for visitors to Curaçao. Amounts exceeding $20,000 Netherlands Antillean guilders (about $11,164 United States dollars) must be declared.
Picture: As if these gorgeous bungalows weren’t fabulous enough, guests in the Kurason Island Suites, as well as the Awa Seaside Bungalows, at Sandals Royal Curaçao can explore the beautiful island of Curaçao from behind the wheel of a MINI Cooper Convertible. Just reserve and drive off for a romantic adventure. And yes - it’s all included!
You will absolutely need a passport if you’re planning on traveling to Curaçao, so get that taken care of and start planning the vacation of your dreams! Consider the best time to travel to Curacao and think about which amazing experiences you will want to have on the island. Swim with dolphins before experiencing the best of Willemstad or grab a cocktail at one of the beach bars on fabulous Mambo Beach. Whatever you choose to do, you’ll need an awesome home base to start your adventure from.
Sandals Royal Curaçao is the perfect headquarters for the ultimate Curaçao experience! If unlimited gourmet dining at up to nine exclusive restaurants, including Sandals’ first-ever floating restaurant, isn’t enough to convince you, the gorgeous two-level infinity pool and the Amsterdam-inspired Kanaal Cafe & Bar definitely will! Enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets in the Caribbean at a resort fueled by romance and designed with couples in mind.
With your passport in hand and your accommodations arranged, nothing can stop you from absorbing the beauty of this incredible Dutch-Caribbean isle.
Expert tip: Looking for a great reason to finally plan that Curaçao trip? A romantic vacation to Willemstad, Curaçao is one of the best anniversary vacation ideas out there!