Is Curacao Safe For Tourists? Ultimate Guide With Safety Tips

Is Curacao Safe For Tourists? Ultimate Guide With Safety Tips

beautiful beach in curacao drone shot showing a boat in playa lagun

Are you wondering if Curacao is safe to visit? Then you are in the right spot!

The Caribbean is one of the most beloved destinations for a beach vacation – but there are many less-than-safe islands in that region as well. Curacao does have a reputation for not being safe, and for parts of the island that is definitely true.

I have lived in Curacao for many months over the last three years, and I definitely can speak to any safety concerns you might have about the island.

To help you navigate Curacao safely and figure out if it is the right destination for you, I have created this ultimate guide for you!

Let’s get to it!

Table of Contents

  • Is Curacao Safe for Tourists? In Short
  • Crime Rates in Curacao
  • Which Areas in Curacao Should I Avoid?
  • Curacao Safety Tips
  • Is Curacao Safe For Solo Female Travelers?
  • Is Curacao Safe to Live?
  • Is Curacao Safe from Natural Disasters?
  • Conclusion: Is Curacao Safe For Tourists?
  • Frequently Asked Questions
    • Is Curacao Safe For American Tourists?

    • Is Aruba or Curacao Safer?
    • Is Tap Water Safe In Curacao?
    • Does Curacao Have Drug Problems?
  • About the Author

Is Curacao Safe for Tourists? In Short

If you are here for a quick answer only, then here it is: yes, Curacao is safe for tourists.

The violent crime rate against tourists in Curacao is pretty low, and I haven’t heard of any case during my time on the island nor experienced anything scary myself.

The biggest issues tourists (and myself) are facing in Curacao are small scams and petty theft. Leaving your belongings alone anywhere on the island is an issue. Locals will try to rip you off or scam you, so you can’t be too trusting with your money.

There are certain areas on the island I would not visit at night, especially not by myself. But since they are far from the touristy places, you won’t be tempted to go there either way.

Curaçao does face drug-related challenges typical of Caribbean islands because of its location on drug trafficking routes. But if you don’t involve yourself in these circles, you don’t have to worry.

So to sum it up, you can have a safe and fun vacation in Curacao without worry – just be smart about your stuff.

Crime Rates in Curacao

Here is a small overview of the crime rates and safety issues in Curacao.

Crime CategoryLevelDescription
Overall Crime Rate Moderate Mixed perceptions, skewed by small population size
Homicides and Violent Crimes Low Includes assault and armed robbery
Property Crimes (Burglaries, Theft) High Home and business burglaries, car thefts
Petty Theft and Scams Common Pickpocketing, bag snatching, scams
Safety Index 46.19 Indicates a moderate level of general safety
Crime Increase Over Past 5 Years 75.64 High Perception of crime increase
Safety Walking Alone Day/Night High/Moderate Safer in daylight, caution advised at night
Source: Numbeo

It is worth noting at this point that homicides and property crimes usually don’t involve tourists. These crimes are usually contained in some of the more unsafe areas on the island.

As a tourist, you’ll most likely not stay in one of these areas, so you won’t have to worry about that too much. For more details on safe areas to stay in Curacao, check out my neighborhood and hotel guide.

Which Areas in Curacao Should I Avoid?

My rule of thumb in Curacao is this: stick to anything that looks nice!

You’ll immediately notice when leaving the safe areas of the island. Downtrodden houses with bars on the windows are a good indication that you are leaving the tourist areas.

A couple of examples of places I would avoid in Curacao:

  • Grote Berg
  • Seru Fortuna
  • Marchena
  • Seru Loraweg
  • Seru di Kandela
  • Fleur de Marie
  • Certain parts of Willemstad at night

Another spot to be careful about is the remote beaches out in the West. We tend to go there often, and sometimes you are all alone on the beach.

Make sure to lock your car and don’t leave anything of value in there, since it is very common in that area to get stolen from.

The author's wife on a remote beach in Curacao safely swimming on her back. Drone shot is showing that nice scenery.

Curacao Safety Tips

There are quite a few things you can do to make your stay in Curacao safer. Here is my advice on how to stay safe in Curacao as a tourist:

🏝️ Use the 247 taxi app or ask at your hotel lobby what an appropriate price is for a ride. We have been scammed so many times by taxi drivers

🏝️ Don’t ever leave your stuff alone anywhere. Especially on the beach, I recommend putting your phone and your credit cards in a waterproof case that you can bring to swim.

🏝️ If you rent a house in the Western part of the island, make sure it is in a gated community and keep your doors locked.

🏝️ Don’t do drugs and avoid the scene when going out.

🏝️ Don’t go exploring all by yourself at night.

🏝️ Especially in Willemstad there are lots of pickpockets – make sure to keep your bag safely closed.

🏝️ The people at immigration and customs at the airport are no joke – make sure to have all your things in order. My wife was unlawfully detained there for a small tear in her passport.

Is Curacao Safe For Solo Female Travelers?

Yes, Curacao is safe for solo female travelers. My wife explored big parts of the island by herself while I was at work.

However, you need to be a little extra cautious and make sure to stick to touristic areas or explore with a group or a tour guide. During the day, you usually have nothing to worry about.

At night, I wouldn’t recommend going out by yourself too much. The Jan Thiel area and the Pietermaai area in Willemstad have some good nightlife and should be ok to visit. Apart from that, I would not suggest going out alone at night.

My wife has never felt unsafe exploring by herself, she also has never been harassed or catcalled in Curacao so far. The only exception to this was the rude airport staff that harassed here.

Is Curacao Safe to Live?

Whether Curacao is a safe place to live really depends on your income.

Living on the island is an entirely different story from going there as a tourist. If you are planning on staying there longer, you’ll likely not stay in a hotel in the safe areas.

If you have the money to buy or rent a house in a gated community and to do your grocery shopping in the more upscale shops, you should be absolutely fine.

If you are planning on living in the cheaper areas where most locals live, you might experience more crime.

Especially break-ins and drug-related crimes are common in the less-wealthy areas of the island. Also, most of the cheaper supermarkets are a bit sketchy.

Personally, we were toying with the idea of buying property on the island. In the end, we decided against it because we felt like most areas where locals live are not up to the European safety standards that we are used to.

Is Curacao Safe from Natural Disasters?

Curaçao is considered pretty safe from major natural disasters, especially from hurricanes. They are a big concern in other parts of the Caribbean.

We never had any issues with natural disasters on the island (except for a longer power outage). But here are a couple of things to consider:

🌧️ Hurricanes: Curaçao is located outside the traditional hurricane belt. This means that while hurricanes can affect the region, they are rare. The island has fewer and a lot less severe hurricanes than other Caribbean islands. Most hurricanes pass well to the north of Curaçao.

🌧️ Earthquakes and Tsunamis: These events are also rare in Curaçao. The island does not have significant seismic activity that leads to these events.

🌧️ Flooding: While Curaçao has a dry climate, heavy rains can occasionally cause localized flooding. Usually, it is not a problem, and most people just drive straight through it.

Compared to many other Caribbean destinations, Curaçao offers a relatively low risk concerning natural disasters. Of course, there are ideal times to visit the island to make the chances even lower, like in spring or summer.

Conclusion: Is Curacao Safe For Tourists?

In short, Curaçao is pretty safe for tourists. You don’t have to worry too much about big crimes or natural disasters like hurricanes.

Just keep an eye on your stuff, as small thefts like pickpocketing can happen. The island is friendly and fun, making it a great spot for a chill vacation in the Caribbean.

So, if you’re looking for a place where you can relax and not stress too much about safety, Curaçao is a good choice.

If you are not totally convinced yet, you should definitely also consider going to Aruba or Bonaire, since both of those islands are even safer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Curacao Safe For American Tourists?

Yes, Curaçao is generally safe for American tourists. American tourists are treated especially well in Curacao because they tend to spend and tip more than the average Dutch visitors.

Curacao is known for being friendly and has a low rate of serious crime, so it is a great place for a holiday from the US.

Just remember to watch your belongings, as petty theft like pickpocketing can happen, especially in busy tourist spots.

The island rarely faces severe natural disasters, sitting outside the hurricane belt, which adds to its appeal as a stress-free vacation destination.

Is Aruba or Curacao Safer?

Aruba and Curaçao are both quite safe for tourists. Personally, I felt a lot safer in Aruba.

Both islands are outside the hurricane belt, reducing risks from major natural disasters.

Aruba might have a slight edge in perceived safety. They have more tourism traffic and well-established infrastructure. Especially in the evenings, Aruba feels a lot safer. There are lots of pedestrian zones and you can walk around freely.

However, the difference is minimal, making both islands excellent and safe choices for a Caribbean getaway.

Is Tap Water Safe In Curacao?

Yes, tap water is safe to drink in Curacao. It really doesn’t taste well though.

Does Curacao Have Drug Problems?

Yes, Curaçao does have some issues related to drugs. Due to its strategic location along major drug trafficking routes from South America Curacao has not been untouched by drug-related issues.

There are some international drug syndicates using the island as a transit point. Additionally, local gangs are also involved in the drug trade.

But these activities mainly involve the local underworld. They don’t usually impact tourists directly. But of course, they contribute to some of the crime-related challenges on the island.

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About the Author

Justin is a military pilot and travel blogger. Due to his job, he splits his time between the US, Curacao, and Europe.

Justin enjoys discovering the world together with his wife and venturing out with his drone to take magical shots.

The post Is Curacao Safe For Tourists? Ultimate Guide With Safety Tips appeared first on Shades of Summr.