Curaçao is an island in the Caribbean Sea in the Lesser Antilles

CURAÇAO about the country

CURASAO by SAN TOUR

Curaçao, an island in the Caribbean Sea in the Lesser Antilles, is the largest island of the archipelago with an area of 444 square kilometers, a subgroup of the Leeward Islands, 80 kilometers off the coast of Venezuela.

The administrative center is Willemstad.

The language is Dutch, with English, Spanish and Papiamento widely spoken.

Population 130 thousand people, 55 nationalities.

Social system parliamentary democracy.

Area 472 sq. km.

MAP OF CURACAO

SAN TOUR CURASAO MAP

Geography of Curacao

Curaçao lies in the Caribbean Sea, 80 km off the coast of Venezuela.

CURAÇAO belongs to the Leeward Islands subgroup of the Lesser Antilles, and is the largest and most important island of the archipelago.

The island is 64 km long and 16 km wide.

The administrative center of the Netherlands Antilles, Willemstad is located here.

The relief of this fairly flat and dry island is extremely varied.

There are small bays and picturesque inlets along its southern coast, and convenient harbors with large ports on the eastern shore.

The eastern part of Curacao is the island capital.

The rugged terrain of Curaçao’s northern coastline is made up of volcanic rocks.

This side of the island is subject to strong northerly winds.

The north of Curaçao is practically uninhabited, but the few local villages are extremely picturesque.

A large part of the west coast of the island is occupied by Cristoffel Park, which is located on low hills.

In this part of the island is Mount Kristoffel the highest point of the island.

KURASAO, belonging to the Netherlands, is a duty-free zone.

The royal family often rests here.

History of Curacao

The island was discovered by the Spanish navigator Alonso de Ojeda in 1499.

According to one legend, Ojeda, en route to the shores of South America, left hopelessly scurvy patients on the island.

On his return trip, however, he found them perfectly healthy: the sailors were saved by vitamin C, found in great quantities in native plants.

Thus, the astonished Ojeda named the island Curaçao (from the old Portuguese word cure).

According to another version, the name of the island comes from the word curazon (heart), later transformed into Curaçao, thanks to Portuguese cartographers.

After the discovery of Ojeda, many Spaniards moved to the island, inspired by dreams of gold.

However, the first settlers soon left the island due to lack of sufficient water.

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The Spaniards were followed by the Dutch, who began to grow peanuts, fruit, corn, and extract salt from the island’s many salt lakes.

The Dutch West India Company established itself in Curaçao through its convenient harbors, harbors, and forts, leading an active trade here.

Several centuries ago, the island was also an important link in the transport of slaves.

After the discovery of oil fields in Venezuela in the 1920s, oil refining became one of Curaçao’s main activities.

Flora and Fauna in Curaçao

There are hundreds of species of cacti that grow on the island and are widely used by the locals.

The cactus caduceus resembles a multi-stemmed tree with thousands of needles.

The yati cactus is so tall that it often falls under the weight of its own weight.

The prickly pea cactus, on the other hand, stands out for its microscopic size.

The real symbol of the Antilles is the divi-divi tree, which always points west on Curaçao because of the constant east winds blowing here.

Some species of palm trees are common on the island, as well as the manzanita tree, a plant with a coarse dark bark and small green leaves.

Its fruits and juices are poisonous, even touching the bark of the manzanita can cause harm to humans.

Various exotic birds and animals live on the territory of the island reserve.

The most common bird on Curaçao is the troupial (black, with a bright orange belly and white stripes on its wings).

Flamingos live near the ponds. The island is home to one of the largest colonies of white-tailed deer in the world, some reaching two meters in length and one meter in height.

About two hundred individuals living in Kristoffel Park are protected by the state.

Several species of iguanas can also be found in the park, and sea turtles lay eggs in some bays of the island.

Curaçao Climate

The island is located near the equator, but away from the hurricane belt.

The average annual temperature is 27°C.

The rainy season lasts from October to February.

Dominant religion

Curaçao culture.

Has been influenced by African and Caribbean influences, especially in language, music, and dance.

Curaçao is home to the specific language Papiamento (a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and African dialects).

Currency on Curaçao

Dutch antilles guilder (florin).

Most stores accept traveler’s checks and credit cards from major banks.

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There are no restrictions on bringing foreign currency into the country.

Rules of entry

Tourist visa is executed in the Dutch embassy in the presence of the passport, air ticket, hotel reservation, certificate of employment indicating the income and bank statement.

The cost of the visa is 47 dollars.

There is a $20 airport fee at checkout.

Cuisine in Curaçao.

The main dishes are fried fish, goat stew, poultry, and beef served with peas, rice, or potatoes.

Traditional Curaçao cuisine includes plantain soup with beef, onions, potatoes, and spices, and keshi yena, a cheese pie with tomatoes, chicken, and an original sauce.

The north of Curaçao is virtually uninhabited, but the few local villages are extremely picturesque.

In the center of the island rises the heavily eroded rock massif of Ato (Hato, 178 m).

On the northwest is Mount Kristoffel the highest point of the island (375 m above sea level).

Rainfall is 500 mm per year.

There are extensive coral reefs around the island.

At 15 miles southeast of Curaçao lies a small uninhabited island, Klein Curaçao.

The island is home to hundreds of species of cactus.

The true symbol of the Antilles is the divi divi tree, which always points west on Curaçao because of the constant east winds.

Some species of palm trees are common on the island, as well as the manzanita tree, a plant with a coarse dark bark and small green leaves.

Its fruits and juices are poisonous, even touching the bark of the manzanita can cause harm to humans.

The island has Sint Cristopheles National Park, Curaçao’s largest protected area (about 4,600 acres) occupies the entire northwestern part of the island, situated on low hills surrounding a small massif of ancient weathered mountains.

There is also the Shet Boca Reserve, which occupies an area around the coral formations of the north shore and several limestone grottos.

The island is home to one of the largest colonies of white-tailed deer in the world, some of them reaching two meters in length and one meter in height.

About two hundred individuals living in Kristoffel Park are protected by the state.

Several species of iguanas can also be found in the park, and sea turtles lay eggs in some bays of the island.

The island was discovered by the Spanish navigator Alonso de Ojeda in 1499.

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Since the beginning of the 16th century the land has been a protectorate of Spain and serves as a major naval base.

Curaçao

Curaçao (Dutch: Curaçao, Pap. Kòrsou) is the largest island and the selfgoverning entity of the same name in the southern Caribbean Sea, located off the coast of Venezuela. It has been a federation within the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 2010, when the participation of the Antilles in the Netherlands was reorganized. The land area is 444 km². The population is 141,766 (2009). The capital is Willemstad.

Content

Physical-geographical description

Geographic position

Curaçao is a Caribbean island in the Lesser Antilles, a subgroup of the Leeward Islands, about 80 km from the Venezuelan coast. It is the largest island of the archipelago.

About 11 km southwest of Curaçao lies the small uninhabited island of Lesser Curaçao, also administratively part of Curaçao.

Topography

The relief of this fairly flat and dry island is extremely varied. There are small bays and picturesque inlets along its southern coast, and comfortable harbours with large ports on the eastern shore. The eastern part of Curacao is the island capital. The rugged terrain of Curaçao’s northern coastline is made up of volcanic rocks. This side of the island is subject to strong northerly winds. The north of Curaçao is practically uninhabited, but the few local villages are extremely picturesque. In the center of the island rises the heavily eroded rock massif of Ato (Hato, 178 m). On the northwest is Mount Sint Cristoffel, the highest point on the island (375 m above sea level). Rainfall is 500 mm per year. Around the island, there are extensive coral reefs.

Grote Knip (Curaçao).jpg

Climate

The climate is subequatorial, with an average annual temperature of +30 ° C. The lowest temperature in January: +26 … +28 ° C. Rainy period – from September to the beginning of December: short showers occur mostly at night and sunny weather in the daytime. The annual rainfall is about 500-600 mm.

National parks

The largest national park on the island, Sint Cristoffel, covers the whole north-west part of the island and is situated on the low hills, surrounding the small massif of ancient weathered mountains (about 4,600 acres). There is also the Sete Boca Reserve, which occupies an area around the coral formations of the north shore and several limestone grottos. About two hundred white-tailed deer living in Sint Christoffel Park are protected by the state. Several species of iguanas can also be found in the park, and sea turtles lay eggs in some of the island’s bays.

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Flora and fauna

There are hundreds of species of cacti on the island. The real symbol of the Antilles is the divi-divi tree, which always points west on Curaçao because of the constant easterly winds blowing here. Some species of palm trees are common on the island, as well as manzania trees, a plant with a rough dark bark and small green leaves. Its fruits and sap are poisonous, even touching the bark of the manzanita can cause harm to humans.

The island is home to one of the largest colonies of white-tailed deer in the world, some of them reaching two meters in length and one meter in height.

History

Colonization of the island

The island was discovered by the Spanish navigator Alonso de Ojeda in 1499. According to one legend, Ojeda, on his way to the shores of South America, left the island hopelessly ill with scurvy. On his return trip, however, he found them perfectly healthy: the sailors were saved by vitamin C, contained in huge quantities in native plants. So the astonished Ojeda named the island Curaçao (from the old Portuguese word “cure” – to heal). According to another version, the name of the island comes from the word “curazon” (heart), later transformed into “Curaçao”, thanks to Portuguese cartographers.

From the beginning of the 16th century the land was a protectorate of Spain and served as a major naval base. However, the first settlers soon left the island due to lack of sufficient water. The Spaniards were followed by the Dutch, who began growing peanuts, fruit, corn, and extracting salt from the island’s many salt lakes.

In 1634, the island came under the control of the Dutch West India Company. The Netherlands had been in control of the islands since the 17th century. Thousands of slaves were brought to the island to work on plantations, and for two centuries the island flourished as a major supplier of agricultural products. The abolition of slavery in 1863 marked the beginning of Curaçao’s long economic depression.

Modern times.

In 1916 an oil refinery was opened on the island.

In 1954 the territory acquired semi-autonomous status and the name Netherlands Antilles. During the last few years, referendums were held on the islands, in which Curaçao, St. Maarten, Bonaire and Saba voted to secede from the federation, while St. Eustatius supported keeping the entity as it was then. None of the islands, however, supported the declaration of independence from the Netherlands.

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Until October 10, 2010, it was part of the Netherlands Antilles; it has now become a self-governing state with substantial autonomy (status aparte) within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. According to the agreement between the Netherlands and the Netherlands Antilles on 10 October 2010, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba became an autonomous territory of the Netherlands, and Curaçao and St. Maarten received the same status as Aruba (self-governing states with substantial autonomy status aparte within the Kingdom of the Netherlands). The Dutch government would take over the defense and foreign policy of the new countries.

Population

Demographics

The population of the island is 141,766 (2009). The population density is 319.29 people/km².

Languages

Papiamento 81.2% (mixture of Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese and English), Dutch 8% (official), Spanish 4%, English 2.9%, other 3.9% (census 2001).

Religion

80.1% of the population belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants 5.5%, Pentecostals 3.5%, Adventists 2.2%, Jehovah’s Witnesses 1.7% (3.6% in 2011), Jews 0.8%, other religions 1.3%, and atheists 4.6% (2001 census).

Economy

MS Maasdam S-Class Cruise Ship Holland America Line.jpg

Since the 1920s, oil refining has been a mainstay of the island’s booming economy, making it the most prosperous area of the group, while the introduction of “clean” processing methods has preserved the island’s natural environment. Curaçao is a duty-free zone.

Today, the economy of Curacao is based on tourism, oil refining, and offshore business. Agriculture is underdeveloped because of poor soils and lack of fresh water.

Industry (15% of GDP and employment) is an oil refinery.

Agriculture (1% of GDP and workers) – aloe, sorghum, peanuts, vegetables, fruits.

Service industry (84% of GDP and workers) – tourism, etc.

Foreign trade

Exports – $0.88 billion (in 2008) – petroleum products.

Main buyers (in 2009) – the USA 13.1%, Guatemala 10.8%, Singapore 10.7%, Dominican Republic 9.6%, Haiti 7.6%, Bahamas 6.1%, Honduras 4.5%, Mexico 4.2%.

Imports – $1.34 billion (in 2008) – crude oil, foodstuffs, manufactured goods.

Main suppliers (in 2009) – Venezuela 57.3%, USA 19.2%, Brazil 8.1%.

Interesting Facts

Curacao is found in the game Sid Meier`s Pirates!

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