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Curaçao: the largest of the Dutch Caribbean islands

The island of Curaçao is today a constituent nation of the kingdom of the Netherlands. Until 2010, the island was part of the Netherlands Antilles (Nederlandse Antillen), of which Curaçao is the largest and most populous island (444 sq km).

Curaçao is located north of the coast of Venezuela, between the islands of Aruba and Bonaire, which are located respectively west and east. Twenty kilometers southeast of Curaçao is the small uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao.

The main inhabited center of the island is the town of Willemstad, which for the beauty of its historic center, in particular the inner city and the port, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List.

A DRY AND FLAT ISLAND

Curaçao is a rather flat and arid island, formed by a semi-arid savannah, where succulents such as cacti grow. In the north-western part there is the highest mountain on the island, the Christoffelberg (375 meters).

The coasts of the island are rocky and wild towards the north-east, often beaten by the wind and ocean waves. While in the south-west the coast is sheltered from the wind and waves, there are some beaches and lagoons in this area.

The main sectors of Curaçao’s economy are oil refining, tourism and financial services. While agriculture is of little importance. Sisal, citrus fruits, and aloe are grown on the island. A typical product of the island is Curaçao, a liqueur made from laraha peel, a species of orange typical of the island.

The climate of Curaçao.

  • Surface: 444 sq km.
  • Population: 160,000 (2019 update). Mulattoes (descendants of Europeans and Africans) 85%, Others 15%.
  • Capital: Willemstad
  • Languages: Official languages are Dutch and Papiamento (Creole language formed by the fusion of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English and African elements). English and Spanish are widely used.
  • Religion: Christian 95% (Catholic 85%, Protestant 10%), Jewish 1%.
  • Currency: Florin of the Netherlands Antilles (ANG)
  • Time zone: -5 hours compared to Europe (-6 hours when daylight saving time applies in Europe). UTC -4 hours.
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