Curaçao was never on my radar. I’ve heard about it, but in general, I never really considered visiting, mostly due to the fact that I knew barely anything about it other than the fact that it’s a Dutch colony in the Caribbean.
When I was invited on a press trip for Darling Escapes, I didn’t hesitate. In general, the Caribbean is a region of the world I’ve severely neglected, so I jumped at the opportunity to visit a location I knew little to nothing about.
And um.. yeah, I have no idea why it was never on my bucket list because, after just a few days on the island, it became one of my favorite places in the whole world.
Guys, Curaçao is paradise, but like, better.
P.S. If you want to read my guide to Curaçao on Darling Escapes, you can check that out over here!
What to Pack for Curaçao?
After my short getaway to the Caribbean’s coolest island, I decided to share with you guys my packing list for Curaçao, including tips on what to wear, essential things to bring along, visa tips, and more! Honestly? Packing for Curaçao is pretty straight-forward, but there are a few things here are there that will make your trip a whole lot easier!
What to Wear in Curaçao?
Curaçao’s island vibes are amazingly relaxed – bring whatever! If you feel like dressing up, go for it, but a plain dress is fine wherever you go, even when visiting more up-scale night venues. Anything goes here, just as long as you make sure to pack light, breathable fabrics as the island is pretty hot year-round.
Here’s a list of what I packed for Curaçao:
A few dresses. I like a mix of short flowery dresses and maxi dresses for evenings.
I love packing a simple maxi dress that looks casual enough to wear when out an about (also great for pictures!) but can look dressier when I pair it up with a cool sweater or belts for nights out. Currently, this is my go-to dress for this:
I also recommend packing a really colorful dress if you’re into photography. Curaçao is so colorful and the island is a photographer’s paradise and a cute colorful dress goes perfectly with all the vibrant buildings!
Lots of bathing suits + one cover-up.
A few tank tops.
Underwear. Honestly, you’ll be wearing a bathing suit 90% of the time while in Curaçao, so don’t overpack underwear – you won’t need much!
Flip flops. You’ll be living in these, so make sure they’re durable and not slippery (a good brand is Havianas).
Hiking shoes + socks. Not 100% necessary but useful if you’re into adventurous activities. While my favorite thing in Curaçao was just walking around its colorful streets and swimming (seriously, the water here is just another level of blue and turquoise!), the island offers plenty of fun activities for those who love adrenaline. Think hiking, mountain biking, and more! Durable and comfortable hiking shoes will make your life a lot easier if you plan on doing any of these. I recommend the Ahnu’s Sugarpine Hiking Shoes.
Light sweater. Curaçao is warm year-round, but it can get chilly during the evenings and early mornings. I always pack a light sweater just in case (also useful when taking public transport with aircon or in the car).
Small backpack + purse. A small backpack for day trips and a cross-body bag for every-day use. I’m currently using my round rattan bag religiously as a day purse. I love it because it’s stylish, really sturdy, and also really hard to pickpocket.
Wallet. Extra points if it’s a travel wallet! I’m currently loving this one from Zoppen. It can hold your passport, money, tickets, and more. It comes in a bunch of different colors, too!
Bug repellent. Curaçao is a tropical area and so, pack lots of mosquito repellent with lots of DEET. I also recommend wearing a mosquito band during the evenings when out and about.
Obviously, you’ll want to bring sunblock, too. I recommend Stream2Sea’s sunblock as it’s reef-safe and doesn’t contaminate the water. Curaçao’s marine life is incredible and the best way to enjoy the crystal-clear blue waters that make it such an incredible place is by making sure your sunblock is reef-safe. You can get Stream2Sea’s products on Amazon, they have other really cool stuff, too!
Universal travel charger – If you’re traveling from most of Europe, you won’t need this, but Americans, Canadians, and pretty much everyone else – you’ll need one. Curaçao uses mostly type F plugs, so in order to ensure you can charge all your electronics while here, I highly recommend getting a universal travel adapter like this one.
Extra memory cards. Curaçao is one of the most photogenic places I’ve ever been to, so a few SD cards or one with lots of space is essential since you won’t be able to stop taking pictures of all its colorful buildings.
Portable charger. Not 100% necessary, but definitely useful so your phone never runs out of battery. I use this one from Anker. I’m also currently a bit obsessed with this phone-charging passport cover by Lovie Style.
Visas + Paperwork
Most nationalities can enter Curaçao visa-free, so as long as you bring your passport, you’ll be fine!
If you’re American, Canadian, or European, you can fill out an online embarkation card that gives you access to e-gates, so you’ll breeze through the immigration lines. Fill it up at least 24 hours before your trip over here.
- For my fellow Latin Americans – bring cash or proof of income (a printed bank statement shall do). This may have just been me, but the immigration officers grilled me and almost didn’t let me go through as I had just $20 in cash and was unable to log into my online bank statements. They eventually let me in after calling the Curacao Tourism Board (as they’d organized my trip), but I saw many Colombians getting denied entry or getting heavily questioned for this. Make sure you bring as much proof as you can that you aren’t planning on staying in Curaçao illegally – cash, return flights, hotel bookings, etc will help!
Really useful extras to pack for Curaçao
Full-face snorkeling mask. I got this as a present from my boyfriend a while ago and I’ve never looked back since. While in Curacao, there are tons of snorkeling tours available that will take you further afield, but even when swimming near the beach, you’ll get to see tons of marine life and cool coral, so bringing your own snorkeling gear will make your time in the water a whole lot more interesting. I love these full-face masks because I HATE accidentally swallowing water when I’m snorkeling, but this problem goes away with them and they also provide a much clearer view of things. You can grab one on Amazon.
Travel towel. Most hotels in Curaçao have towels available for use, but if you plan on going to the beach (which you obviously are), then I recommend bring one of these. Travel towels are really light, dry up super quickly, and are so thin that they barely take any space in my luggage. It took me a few days to get used to the texture, but now I never travel without one (they can also double as blankets when it gets cold in the plane or in a bus). I recommend this one from Youphoria.
Packing cubes. They’ll save you tons of space because they compress air and they’re also a great way to stay organized. I can unpack easily and I always know where to find my things instead of scrambling through my bag and making a mess as soon as I arrive at my accommodation. I recommend this set of packing cubes from Ebags.
Dry Bag. If you’re planning on visiting beach destinations, a dry bag will soon become your best friend. Even though Curaçao is safe, petty thefts do (rarely) occur and there’s nothing I hate more than having to leave my camera + wallet at home whenever I go to the beach (that or, having to take turns when going into the water so someone can keep an eye on my belongings).
Enter Sea To Summit’s Dry Bag! I got it as a gift when traveling Southeast Asia and it has become a must in my packing list. You can fill it up with any valuables you don’t want to risk losing and take it for a swim with you rather than risking leaving your things at the beach and having to worry that someone will grab them. You can get yours on Amazon.
Water Shoes. Not 100% essential but useful to protect yourself from getting scratched by coral while swimming.
Travel Insurance for Curaçao
Medical care in Curaçao is top-notch, but it can get expensive. Curaçao has so many adventurous activities to offer and so, you’ll want to make sure your current insurance will cover you in the case of any accidents. Honestly, you’ll probably be fine, but the chance of something happening does exist, and having peace of mind is priceless!
If you don’t currently have travel insurance, I highly recommend World Nomads. They’ll cover most nationalities and over 150 adventure activities that most other insurance companies don’t. You can also make claims online and even extend or adjust your insurance while you’re already traveling.
And that’s my packing list for Curaçao! Packing for the island life is pretty simple, really, especially when it’s the Caribbean we’re talking about – there are no rules! Bring whatever makes you feel comfortable, just as long as it’s light and breathable (the heat here is real!), you’ll be good to go!
Pin my packing guide for Curaçao
Disclaimer: This packing list contains affiliate links. This means that, if you purchase something through them, I might earn a commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me keep the blog running, so thank you!