Once you’ve seen a few pictures and are convinced the gorgeous white sand and mesmerising oceans of Curaçao are just what you need in your life, the next step revolves around choosing the best time to go.
Curaçao has always been a hidden gem, but with new resorts like Sandals Curaçao coming into the mix, this island stands out even more on the radar of couples looking for some island fun mixed with luxury in a destination where the sun is always shining.
The best time to visit Curaçao is generally between the months of December and mid-April, which is considered peak season. You’ll get the most out of your time on this island paradise at this time with most of the events happening, including Curaçao Carnival which culminates with a grand street parade in March.
You’ll also have plenty of opportunities around this time to check out some stand out attractions and events in Curaçao like the Ostrich Farm (includes a safari ride!), Plein Air Curaçao; a large scale painting event that’s open to the public, and even one of the island’s biggest food festivals, Curaçao Culinair in April.
Read on to find out more about the best time to visit, and some of the amazing things you’ll be able to do during your well-deserved holiday in Curaçao!
Curaçao is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is also included in the ABC island chain along with Aruba and Bonaire. Arriving in Curaçao, you’ll land at the Curaçao International Airport also known as Hato International Airport. The airport is about 6 miles northwest of the capital, Willemstad. Willemstad is bright and colourful with a Dutch colonial style. It is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Also read: ‘An Island Paradise Awaits: 18 Things Curaçao Is Known For!’ to get to know this island a bit better.
The population of Curaçao stands at around 150,000 people, and the island measures 270 square miles. Part of the southern Lesser Antilles, Curaçao is 37 miles from the Venezuelan coast. The highest point of the island is Sint-Christoffelberg in the northwest at around 375 meters, but other than that, the island is mostly flat. Weather wise, there aren’t any set seasons in Curaçao. In fact, the most people who attempt to separate Curaçao’s climate into seasons have been able to come up with are summer, windy, and somewhat rainy. On average though, daytime temperatures in Curaçao ranges from 26° to 31° C annually.
Many travellers hoping to escape winter temperatures make their way to Curaçao where the island’s minimum day time temperature is 26° celsius. Though the best time to visit Curaçao is between December and April, this island is known for having great weather year round, so technically, there really isn’t a bad time to go.
Weather wise, February and March have been recorded as the months to visit this island. Of course, when planning a holiday, the actual time most people go depends on their schedules. If you can’t get to Curaçao during December or April, you can try during the shoulder or low season which both have their own set of benefits. Here’s what you need to know about the various travel seasons as they relate to Curaçao:
Peak season or high season tends to be the busiest for Caribbean islands including Curaçao. During this time many people choose to travel to get a break from the cold of northern climates, or for family trips during school breaks. The weather in Curaçao is normally at its best during these months. This means resorts and restaurants can fill up quickly and so can the best beachside spots. Traveling during peak season has its benefits including amazing weather and an exciting event calendar that you can take advantage of if you book early enough.
Shoulder Season (May to August)
The months of May to August are considered the shoulder season and can be a good time to travel if you’re looking for an experience that’s somewhere in the middle of what you’d get in the low and high seasons. This means there probably won’t be throngs of people on the beaches and other attractions, but the streets won’t be completely tourist free either. The weather is still great in the shoulder season and the tourist volume is not as large as in the peak season, which can work out well if you want to relax and also socialise and check out some cool events.
Low Season (September to November)
Making a booking will likely be a breeze in the low season which is usually between September and November. This is generally a quieter time to travel and in some places this can have to do with less than ideal weather. In Curaçao though, the weather is almost always sunny. In fact, September is typically the warmest month in Curaçao. Traveling during the low season can sometimes lead to scoring deals on airfare or accommodation which can be a plus.
Pro tip: It can be hard to predict when you’ll have the occasional rainy day during your holiday, and a good way to ensure you’ll have a good streak of sunny days to do all the things you’ve got planned is by booking a holiday that’s at least a week or two long.
Curaçao is influenced directly by the north-east trade winds and is in comparison to some other islands considered a dry island with a relatively low level of rainfall recorded annually. There are a few months that tend to be rainier, but even in these months rainfall tends to be somewhat irregular. On average, day temperatures in Curaçao range from 26° to 31° C. This is good news for holiday goers who want to enjoy sunny temperatures in a place where it’s still more than possible to cool off with the steady trade winds, or by dipping into the ocean on one of many magnificent beaches.
Even in a mostly sunny destination, it’s worthwhile to pay attention to weather patterns to make the most of your holiday. While Curaçao has a mostly dry climate, in mid-October and mid-December there’s usually a mild increase in precipitation with 83mm being recorded in October, 96mm in November, and 99mm in December. This means around this time you can expect a rain shower or two, but these usually are not prolonged.
Humidity wise, there’s high humidity throughout the year in Willemstad with the most humid month being November with 77.1%, and the least humid being August with 71.6%.
Curaçao’s windiest month is June, with March and February following close behind. June records wind speeds of around 11.9 knots (13.7 MPH or 22 KPH), which is the equivalent of a moderate breeze. June also records the island’s maximum sustained winds, particularly early in that month up until mid-June with top sustained speeds of 16.4 knots. Still, this remains in the moderate category, which means you won’t have to worry about Curaçao being too windy. Temperatures on the island will be breezy and warm, and conductive for a relaxing island getaway.
There’s always plenty of sunshine in Curaçao on the regular, but August is the sunniest month on record with just about 9.3 hours of sunshine per day on average. In a calendar year, there’s typically an average of 8.3 hours of sunshine per day in Curaçao. In compassion, London has 4.1 hours of sunshine as a daily average while New York City has 7 and Los Angeles has 8.9 hours.
Not only is this island a great place for a beach holiday, it’s also an incredible dive destination. Stunning shores on this island include Playa Kenepa, Playa Kalki, Playa Cas Abou, Playa Lagun and Playa Jeremi, a little cove with beautiful views. Of these beaches, Playa Porto Mari, Playa Kalki and Playa Lagun are all great for diving. These are included on the list of Curaçao’s 65 amazing dive sites that you can enjoy year round as visibility is almost always amazing. Water temperatures in Curaçao are usually between 78.8° - 82.4° F year round.
The months that are best for diving in Curaçao are Mid-December to Mid-April. These months also coincide with the peak season. Overall, most of the year tends to be dry in Curaçao which adds to the great visibility when diving on this island. Dive experts recommend the months of September and October if you want to see coral spawning first hand.
Insider tip: Water sports options will be endless on this island of pristine beaches if you stay at an all-inclusive resort like Sandals Curaçao where even free scuba diving trips are included in your stay once you’re certified (max. two tanks per day per guest, professional equipment included).
January - March
The entire island of Curaçao gets into celebration mode around carnival time, and festivities include a host of events you can be part of if you visit the island during this time. The carnival season usually opens in January and there’s a number of events including music festivals, beauty pageants and parties that lead up to the grand street parade in March.
Another big festival in Curaçao is Plein Air Curaçao hosted by the Art Foundation Curaçao. This is an artsy event that features local and international talent painting on land, underwater, and from high-altitude locations islandwide. Oils, watercolours, and pastels are among the mediums used, and workshops are available as well for both teens and adults. Paintings are exhibited and sold during this event as well, and on the last day of the festival, artists compete for prizes.
Calling all foodies! If you’re looking for a holiday that’s a mix of lots of food and plenty of fun, April is a great time to travel to Curaçao. The Curaçao Culinair event happens around this time where you’ll get a chance to taste the offerings of some of Curaçao’s finest restaurants and bars all in one place. This event is great for socialising and enjoying amazing food!
Also in April, you can celebrate Koningsdag, a festivity fit for a King. This name of this celebration translates to King’s Day, and it is all about celebrating the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. There’s a big party the night before Koningsdag in Pietermaai, and on Koningsdag, celebrations kick off in Punda where there’s a range of activities including live performances, a craft market and more. At night, the fun continues with more parties around the island.
Bi-annually in August
The Kaya Kaya Street Party is always good fun; this is essentially the largest block party in Curaçao. This event unfolds across several streets in Otrobanda usually in August and it is a cool opportunity to get familiar with local music and appreciate art and murals made by some of the island’s talent. So laid back is this event that some locals even open up their homes to sell delicious food and drinks that can be enjoyed by all.
Every three months
The health or environmentally conscious will be in heaven at this food fest that serves up a variety of vegan foods. Items on offer typically include vegan nachos, sushi, cakes, organic wine, beer, and more. There’s also usually lots of natural handcrafted products on sale, and whether or not you’re vegan, this is still an event worth checking out.
Curaçao’s North Sea Jazz Music Festival is something of a household name there. Some of the artists who have performed at this festival in the past include Lionel Richie, Rod Stewart, Earth, Wind & Fire, Diana Ross, Bruno Mars, Sting, Juan Luis Guerra, Enrique Iglesias, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz, Christina Aguilera, Prince, Tom Jones, and more. If you’re on island while this event is going on, definitely consider getting some tickets.
Curaçao has its own local Pride festival aimed at celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. This event is held annually and is usually about 5 days long. Around this time, lots of parties are held as well as the Pride Walk along the streets of Willemstad.
Those looking for a more active holiday might find November a good time to visit Curaçao as they can arrive in perfect timing for the KLM Curaçao Marathon. This marathon has been held annually since 2014 and its appeal has a lot to do with how scenic the course is along the waterfront of Curaçao, across the Queen Emma pontoon bridge, and over the Juliana Bridge which is 185 feet above sea level. Do you think you have what it takes to break the course record of 02:43:50 set by Wojciech Kopeć of Poland?
Creativity comes alive at the Passionistas Pop-Up Fair which is held every three months in Curaçao. This event is super interactive and you’ll be able to meet and support local crafters if you’re on island during this time. This pop-up event is usually held in Punda and includes food, music, and good vibes.
New Year’s Eve
Planning on opening your New Year in Curaçao? If you are, then while there you might want to consider letting Pietermaai be the backdrop for your celebrations. This is a colorful and lively part of Curaçao with lots of nightlife, dining, and entertainment options. All of these establishments add something special to the Pagara event and with the added live music, street shows and fireworks, Pietermaai certainly is the place to be on New Year’s Eve.
First Sunday of the year
If you’re in Curaçao in January, chances are you’ll be able to enjoy Fuikdag, a float fest held on the first Sunday of the year. This is an exciting event that will require you to make arrangements to get to Fuik Bay by boat. Once you arrive, you’ll be able to get into the fun with scores of other people out on the water on boats, jet skis, and even air mattresses and inflatable animals.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for an excursion that’s off the beaten track, a trip to Little Curaçao by boat can also be an exciting adventure while in Curaçao. Since you’re in the area as well, you also have the option of quickly skipping over to Aruba and Bonaire to check all three ABC’s off your list. It takes about 20 minutes to get to Bonaire by plane from Curaçao, and 40 minutes from Bonaire to Aruba.
Once you have your destination figured out and when to visit, the next step is finding accommodation.
If you’re looking for a couples-only all-inclusive holiday you’ll be happy to learn that Sandals is opening a brand new resort in Curaçao. Sandals recently announced the expansion of its all-inclusive resort chain, and once completed, Sandals Curacao is expected to include 350 luxurious rooms and suites with more in the pipeline as the resort expands further in the future.
Spanning 3,000 acres with 44 extensive waterfront areas, this world-class resort is expected to include a range of Sandals Global Gourmet™ dining options, multiple bars including swim-up bars, access to the neighbouring 18-hole, par 72 Pete Dye championship golf course with ocean views, two on-site marinas, lavish accommodations such as Sandals all-new River Suites, and more.
Renovations of this new Sandals Resorts property are well underway!
Holiday goers love Curaçao because it is one of those destinations where what you see in the photos and read in the reviews is exactly what you’ll get to enjoy once you get there. The best time to visit Curaçao is between December and April, but year round this island has warm temperatures and sunny skies, which means plenty of beach and pool time in and out of your all-inclusive resort!