Summer is fast-approaching and the Curaçao Tourist Board recently invited The Gleaner to not only attend their 2022 Global Trade Symposium between May 23 and 26, but to also bask in the adventures that await visitors this summer in the country which serves a melting pot of cultures.
The island caters to a variety of language speakers, and the nationals there oftentimes speak the four different languages: English, Dutch, Papiamento and Spanish. English dominates in the island, and formal lessons in this language are given from as early as grade five. In schools, they speak Dutch, but at home, the speakers there often speak Papiamento. Extra lessons are given as well for Spanish. With this language knowledge bank, the nationals are able to converse with the average tourist from different language backgrounds.
Planning a trip to Curaçao? Learn more about the linkages between the island and Jamaica, and what to do before visiting.
1. New direct flight from Jamaica to Curaçao
As of late last year, JetAir Caribbean started offering direct flight from Kingston, Jamaica, to Curaçao on Mondays and Thursdays at affordable rates.
2. Jamaican hotel brand Sandals Royal Curaçao opened this month
According to Maria Elena Seferina, managing director of Curaçao Hospitality and Tourism Association, the Jamaican brand hotel, Sandals Royal Curaçao, was opened in Curaçao on June 1.
3. Both are located in year-round tropical climate
Curaçao, like Jamaica, is uniquely positioned in the Caribbean, and boasts sunshine and tropical climates for the 365 days of the year.
4. English dominates
Although Curaçao boasts a melting pot of cultures with multiple languages and multilingual speakers, with dominance in English, Spanish, Dutch and its creole, Papiamento, Jamaicans can be easily understood, while being taught one of the other languages spoken by residents there.
Monolingual Jamaicans, who travel to Curaçao for the first time, will be blown away by the multilingual speakers in Curaçao.
5. Amazing parties, beaches, food and festivities
If it’s one innate common factor between the nationals of Curaçao and Jamaica, that is they both know how to put on a party, especially at their all-inclusive hotels.
Although a tropical island as Jamaica, their culture in food is both similar and different for the palate and taste buds of Jamaicans.
Pool your friends and rent smart electronic scooters from Curaçao Green Wheels and tour the capital city. Remember, it is not permitted to ride across the floating Queen Emma Bridge, and try not to get blown away by the strong wind. You are, however, permitted to hop off at the yellow line and push your scooter across the bridge. If you are not familiar with the streets of the city, Curaçao Green Wheels will be happy to assign a tour guide to you.
A building fascinatingly made solely from pointed pricks, the Cathedral of Thorns was designed by Herman van Bergen, winner of the prestigious Cola Debrot Award in 2016, who still stands there to tell the tale behind his design.
It’s a breathtaking experience to witness the various crafts and even popular social media logos, which has been designed inside the prickled walls and shelves of the building. We were told when lit at nights, its magnificence radiates even more.
5 TIPS FOR JAMAICANS VISITING CURAÇAO
1. Wear Summer Clothes
Since the temperature in Curaçao rarely drops below 80°F, most of your clothing can consist of light summer clothes. Bringing along repellent and a few items, like a long-sleeve shirt and pants, can be useful to prevent mosquito bites; also, some of the fine dining restaurants, as well as most late-night clubs, have a dress code which doesn’t allow flip flops, shorts, or sportswear.
2. Take a plug adaptor for other plug types
Curaçao standard current outlets provide 110-130 volts at 50Hz. The standard plug type is a two-pin ‘Type A’ power plug as used in the US. Some devices are designed to operate at both 110V and 220V, but please check in advance.
3. Have enough US dollars
Have enough US dollars to cover your trip and cash-in-hand to show the customs officer processing your arrival.
4. Complete a Digital Immigration Card
Jamaicans who are now travelling to Curaçao must complete a Digital Immigration Card online and a Passenger Locator Card at least 48 hours before departure.
5. Confirm your travel arrangements in writing
Have confirmed travel arrangements and accommodation information on record to show the custom officer processing your arrival.
1. Jamaicans only need their valid passports in hand to travel to Curaçao and vice versa. No visa required.
2. No coronavirus test is required to enter either country. Both countries have lifted this rule.
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