Car Rental in Willemstad
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Why rent a car in Willemstad?
Curacao is a great place to visit. Its capital, Willemstad, is home to historic sites, Dutch-inspired architecture, interesting museums, and some seriously awesome restaurants. The rest of the island, which you can easily explore with a rental car, boasts some of the most idyllic beaches on the planet, pristine nature, and real Caribbean culture, especially outside the main tourist areas.
Top ways to enter Willemstad
Curacao Airport: Also known as Hato International Airport and Dr. Albert Plesman Airport, it serves around two million travelers every year. The only international airport on Curacao, it is a hub for Divi Divi Air, EZ Air, and Winair, and is also served by around 15 other airlines. Curacao Airport offers flights to and from a number of destinations in the Americas and Europe, including Canada, the USA, Colombia, Panama, the Netherlands, and Germany. Located just 13km (8 miles) northwest of Willemstad, the airport can be reached in about 20 minutes.
Note: While many cruise ships make a stop at the Curacao Cruise Terminal or the Curacao Mega Pier and cruise passengers can visit the island, as of October 2019, there are no ferry services between Curacao and other Caribbean islands or nearby Venezuela in South America. If you wish to visit more than one Caribbean island as part of the same trip, the best option is to fly (there are frequent flights between Curacao and Aruba, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, and other Caribbean islands, and you can rent a vehicle on each of them).
- Curacao has a hot semi-arid climate with tropical influences. The island experiences constant warm weather throughout the year with an average high temperature 33°C (91°F) in September, the hottest month, and 30°C (86°F) in January, the coldest. Curacao has a pronounced wet season from October to December and a dry season that lasts from January to September.
- Curacao has three official languages, Papiamento, Dutch, and English. Among locals, Papiamento, a creole language based on Portuguese and Spanish with Dutch and West African influences, is the most common language used. Knowledge of English varies - it is quite high in Willemstad and the tourist resorts, but might is almost nonexistent in small inland villages.
- Similarly to other nearby islands like Aruba and Bonaire, Curacao is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. While Curacao has a lot of autonomy when it comes to its domestic affairs, Amsterdam continues to oversee the island’s defense, foreign policy, and economy. Although part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Curacao is not a member of the European Union. While the Netherlands use the euro, the official currency of Curacao is the Netherlands Antillean guilder. Curacao offers visa-free entry for citizens of the EU and most Caribbean, North American and South American nation, along with some Asian countries like Japan and Malaysia.
Top destinations and activities
- Museum of Kura Hulanda. An anthropology museum, Kura Hulanda is dedicated to the culture and life of the West African people who were taken to Curacao as slaves. Most of the present-day inhabitants of Curacao are their descendants. The museum also has sections dedicated to the cultures of the pre-Columbian Caribbean and Mesoamerican peoples, and it also has interesting weapons, tools, and jewelry on display.
- Curacao Maritime Museum. As Curacao is a tiny island surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, shipbuilding, maritime trading, and naval navigation have always been crucially important to the inhabitants of the island. The interactive and partially digitized museum has ship models, ancient sea maps, and old navigation tools on display. One of the best museums in the Caribbean, it is not to be missed if you’re in Curacao.
- Otrobanda. A historical area, Otrobanda is one of the most colorful and interesting parts of Willemstad. Home to many of the city’s 700 UNESCO World Heritage buildings, it is home to the 19th century Rif Fort, a number of shops, galleries, and restaurants, and an impressive waterfront.
- Fort Nassau. Built in the late 18th century by the Dutch colonizers, Fort Nassau was named after the royal family of the Netherlands. It lost its military function as early as 1825 but has always remained a symbol of the city. Located on a hilltop and offering stunning views of the city below, it is open for tourist visits and also houses a restaurant.
Traffic and parking
- Curacao drives on the right-hand side of the road.
- Unless specifically indicated otherwise, the speed limits are 60km/h (37 mph) on motorways outside urban areas and 40km/h (25 mph) inside urban and built-up areas.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.02% for drivers with less than five years of experience. Exceeding the limit can lead to large fines or even deportation or imprisonment.
- While roads in Willemstad and between the largest cities and tourist areas are in great condition, some rural roads might have potholes, might lack road signs, etc. While it is possible to drive in some national parks, getting a 4x4 vehicle might be a good idea for some routes; others are more easily accessible. Set out your route in advance and ask your rental car provider about what kind of vehicle would be the best choice.
- Curacao experiences very high precipitation which can have a serious effect on the quality of some rural roads. Even the largest highways that are otherwise in good shape can get very slippery, so drive extra carefully during the rainy season.
- Horses, donkeys, goats, and even iguanas crossing the road is a daily reality in rural Curacao, so stay alert when driving there.
- If you experience a road accident in Curacao, the law forbids you to move your vehicle afterward. Call the police at 911 or road service and 912.
- Proof of insurance and the car’s registration needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The emergency number for fire service and the police department is 911. The emergency number for an ambulance is 912.
As of September 2019, there are no toll roads on Curacao.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Beaches. You’ve seen the architecture, history, and art, so now it is time to finally hit the famous Caribbean beaches! Luckily, in Curacao, there’s plenty to choose from. The Playa Kalki beach is great for diving and snorkeling, the Playa Porto Mari is famous for its seaside bars and restaurants, and the Playa Lagun Beach is serene and surrounded by beautiful corals. With a rental car, you can also travel to Nordpunt, the northern edge of the island that has beaches washed by a rough sea. Although not recommended for swimming, they are undoubtedly beautiful.
- Christoffel National Park. A beautiful protected area, Christoffel National Park is also something of the Caribbean answer to Lascaux as it contains the so-called Indian Caves, a network of caves that contain ancient paintings by the island’s indigenous Arawak inhabitants. A special place to visit, the park is also home to the highest point on the island. Located 40km (25 miles) north of Willemstad, the park can be reached in about 50 minutes.
- Queen Emma Bridge. A large pontoon construction connecting the Willemstad neighborhoods of Otrabanda and Punda, walking over the Queen Emma Bridge is the quintessential Curacao experience. Built in the 1880s, the bridge has been renovated a number of times, but has always remained a symbol of the island. Although nowadays it is only accessible to pedestrians, you can park your rental car nearby and go on a leisurely walk over it. The bridge is only 167 m (548 ft) long.
Most popular cars
The most popular rental car in Willemstad is the Toyota Yaris, followed by the Nissan Versa and the Kia Rio. The most popular rental car types are economy, compact, and standard.
- Curacao’s Marine Park. Taking up the southwestern portion of Curacao is this scenic natural area. Providing habitat for a large, protected coral reef, the park also has designated spots for water sports like diving and snorkeling. Fauna like sea turtles, dolphins, and various aquatic birds can also be frequently spotted in the area. The marine park is bordered by the Shete Boca National Park, so both can be visited during the same trip. The drive from Willemstad will take about 50 minutes.
- Shete Boka National Park. A beautiful and remote national park with a prehistoric feel to it, Shete Boka is made up of rocky beaches, lush vegetation, and narrow, picturesque inlets. Home to unique wildlife species like the sea turtles that lay their eggs on its coasts, Shete Boka is a great place for long and relaxing hikes. Located about 43km (27 miles) from Willemstad, the park can be reached in less than one hour.
- The Hato Caves. Long and unique, the caves of Hato give you the opportunity to walk under the sea bed. Visitors can explore its stalagmite formations and even an underground waterfall. The Hato Caves are also home a colony of long-nosed fruit bats. If you want to visit the caves, you need to book a tour. Located just 12km (7.5 miles) northwest of Willemstad center, the caves can be reached in about 20 minutes.
Car Rental Prices in Willemstad
- Station wagons - from $86 per day
- Large cars - from $81 per day
- Medium cars - from $64 per day
- Vans - from $92 per day
- Small cars - from $54 per day
- SUVs - from $82 per day
Get a great rental car in Willemstad by following these simple tips:
- Compare the rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit during the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Willemstad is the cheapest in April when renting a car is about 27% cheaper than the yearly average and a whole 47% cheaper than renting a vehicle in February.
Top 2 Locations near Willemstad
Willemstad Mambo Beach Resort Car Rentals from $46.25 per day0.3 km / 0.2 miles away
Willemstad Curaçao Hato International Airport Car Rentals from $38.46 per day13.3 km / 8.3 miles away
Map of Car Rental Locations
Which is the cheapest month to rent a car in Willemstad?
What’s the usual rental length in Willemstad?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Willemstad?
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Boric Car Rental||Kia Picanto||5||1||Small cars|
|Ross Rental Cars||Hyundai Atos||5||2||Small cars|
|Boric Car Rental||Toyota Yaris||4||3||Medium cars|
|Ross Rental Cars||Volkswagen Gol||5||1||Small cars|
|Boric Car Rental||Nissan Versa||4||3||Medium cars|
|Avis||Kia Picanto||4||1||Small cars|
|Ross Rental Cars||Hyundai Grand i10||5||1||Small cars|
|Boric Car Rental||Chevrolet Sonic||4||3||Medium cars|
|Prins Car Rental||Kia Picanto||5||1||Small cars|
|Ross Rental Cars||Hyundai Creta||5||3||SUVs|
Our Customers' Reviews
Because we want to make sure each review listed here is left by a real customer, we don’t have an option to post a review here. Instead, we ask each and every customer to leave a review after they return their rental. This way, you know that all reviews are authentic, verified, and trustworthy.