General information on Curacao
Curacao is located in the southwest part of Caribbean. The distance from the island to the main land of South America is approximately 44 miles. It is a nine hours' fly from Amsterdam and a 3 hours' fly from Miami.
The surface of Curacao is approximately 172 square miles. The length of the island is around 38 miles and the width is 3 to 4,3 miles. On the map as shown above you can see that the island is most narrow in the middle.
Curacao holds 159,000 inhabitants. There are 40 to 50 different nationalities living on the island, with numerous religions. For example: Africans, Dutch, Jews, Portuguese, Venezuelans, Surinamese and Chinese as well as people from the Middle East, India and other Caribbean islands.
Curacao holds many different religions, which all have always lived peaceful next to each other. Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims all have their own places of worship. Over 80% of the population is Catholic; this group is mainly of African origin.
Curacao is an independent country within the Dutch Kingdom. The government is a coalition of some of the 12 political parties in the country. Government policy on Finance and Justice are well monitored by the Dutch government. Foreign policy is a joined policy with the Dutch Kingdom. The passport of Curacao is that of the 'Royal Dutch Kingdom'.
The first language of Curacao is Papiamentu, a Creole language in which Spanish, Dutch, English and African languages have been mixed. Dutch is the second official language of the island. Most people speak both Papiamentu and Dutch, while a vast majority also speaks English.
The official currency is ANG (Dutch Antillian Guilder). The exchange rate to the US$ is fixed at ANG 1,78 to 1 dollar. US-currency is also accepted, only US$ 100 notes are somtimes not taken. At every ATM you may choose between local currency (ANG) and US$. Outside of Curacao it is impossible to convert ANG to any other currency, no bank will accept ANG.