Getting Around Curacao
The best way to get around Curaçao is by car. Some of Curaçao's hotels offer area shuttles, and the public buses cover the majority of the island, but service is infrequent, especially outside of Willemstad. If you want to explore the island on your own time, then you'll want your own set of wheels. Taxis are available from Curaçao's major airport, Curaçao International Airport (CUR), about 8 miles northwest of Willemstad. However, cabs can be expensive, especially if you are planning to use them frequently.
Check with your hotel to see if it offers an airport shuttle service. Otherwise, expect to pay around $30 for a one-way taxi ride from the airport to Willemstad. Major airlines, such as American Airlines, JetBlue and Air Canada, service the Curacao airport.
Renting a car is a worthwhile investment if you plan to explore outside major urban areas like Willemstad. Car rentals can cost you a pretty penny, but you don't have to keep the car for your entire stay. You can pick up a rental at the airport; several major car rental chains are stationed at the airport, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz and Thrifty. There are also a high concentration of car rental agencies on the eastern side of the island near the cruise ship terminal. Rates can vary by season and company, but you should expect to pay between $39 and $69 a day. According to the U.S. State Department, your U.S. driver's license is sufficient for driving in Curacao.
Taxis are good for short jaunts around Willemstad, but longer journeys and island tours will put a considerable dent in your wallet. Curaçao's taxis are unmetered, but drivers may have rate sheets available for different destinations. A cab ride to the northwestern side of the island will cost you about $80 to $100. Before 6 a.m. and after 11 p.m., or if you have more than four passengers, cab drivers raise fares by 25 percent. Also, taxi drivers expect a 10-percent tip. It's best to agree on a fare before you enter the cab.
Public transportation on Curaçao is limited. The large "Konvooi" buses will get you around Willemstad, with stations located in Punda and Otrobanda. However, convoys only run about once an hour on weekdays, and even more rarely on weekends. Convoys will also shuttle you westward, but service along these routes is infrequent (every two hours or so). One-way fares vary, but generally cost 2 guilders (or about $1.15). You can also ride the smaller "buses" (actually nine-person vans labeled "BUS"), which run more frequently than the convoys, but have no set schedule.
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