When I first stumbled upon my new favorite haunt in Willemstad, Curacao a sexy Latino bar called Mundo Bizarro and parked my ride on the sidewalk with the assurance that I would never have to worry about getting a parking ticket, my vacation officially began.
As the Caribbeans most populous and largest of the ABC islands, Curacao offers a variety of activities which include shopping along the Breedestraat Punda; photographing the colorful Dutch architecture from the rickety Pontoon Bridge connecting the two sections of Willemstad separated by waterway; diving and snorkeling at over 30 beaches renowned for their coral reefs (both natural and man-made); and lots of bars and restaurants scattered throughout the island.
If youre not content with spending all your time at an all-inclusive resort, there are several options for island transportation, some better than others. Taxi services can charge up to $10 for a 3-mile ride from the beach hotels to Willemstad. The local buses are not recommended for tourists due to multiple transfers and unpredictable schedules. Car rentals (mostly standard shift) average $50-$100 per day, plus gas at $7.50 per gallon, with a $300 authorized deposit; on top of that, street parking is very limited.
However, none of these allow for the same ease to move throughout the historic city streets as you get on a Retro-Scooter, while being able to park almost anywhere.
Scooters are a growing trend among tourists and locals alike. A Retro-Scooter is a 50cc Vespa-like scooter which can seat one or two passengers while travelling at speeds up to 45 mph. On Curacao, you only need a drivers license to rent one (anything greater than 50cc would require a motorcycle license).
When I spoke with the Dutch owner of Curacao Scooters, Dean Anthony Evaristo, who had just received a shipment of 19 new scooters for the high season (December-May), he had already sold four and expected to rent nearly his entire fleet of 40 throughout the high season. Dont let that discourage you, however, as Evaristo always has at least three available for last-minute reservations. In the three years since its inception, Curacao Scooters has proved so successful that Evaristo plans to expand into Aruba.
The daily rate is $45 and Curacao Scooters will deliver and pick up right from your hotel with 24-hour service. Evaristo equips his scooters with alarms and mandatory helmets. You do not need insurance to drive one. I did some research on buying my own insurance, and most credit cards, vacation packages, and insurance companies will not have an option to purchase it under any plan.
The scooter averages 30 miles to a 1.3 gallon tank of gas. I had the scooter for five days and only spent $8 on gas, though I traveled twice daily to Willemstad from my hotel 3 miles away for dining, cocktails, and sightseeing. I would recommend a scooter for traveling throughout the island.
Did I mention you can park anywhere? www.curacaoscooters.com
For general trip=planning information, see our Curacao Travel Guide.