Traffic on Curaçao
Some people think that Curaçao is a piece of the Netherlands in the Caribbean. That is certainly not the case. Yes, you can speak Dutch on the street, but that’s about it.
Consider, for example, the traffic on Curaçao. Driving on Curaçao is different and Dutch traffic rules are not observed. Curaçao is based on more American rules.
Priority rules on Curacao
In traffic on Curaçao, the right has no right of way. For a Dutchman it is therefore a bit of a change and there are regular Dutch people standing still to unjustly give priority to traffic from the right. We are used to it on Curacao by now, but it remains strange to take priority if you don’t actually have that. So who has priority? The rules on Curacao are based on the fact that straight through traffic has priority. And to avoid confusion, we always say, everyone has priority except you.
Curacao and roundabouts
There are also roundabouts on Curaçao, just like in the Netherlands. There are still quite a few accidents at roundabouts because the rules are not really clear. You do not necessarily have priority on roundabouts. In Curaçao traffic there are also different rules than we are used to in the Dutch. It is not always indicated with traffic signs or road markings, so take a good look yourself and again never give way.
The double-lane roundabouts are also slightly different than you are used to, the outer lane has priority over traffic on the inner lane.
The roads on Curaçao are like cheese with holes in some parts. Due to the holes in the road and the debris on the road, screws, nails and sharp stones, a flat tire is easily caused. Fortunately, fixing a tire in Curaçao does not cost more than ten guilders, say five euros. The annoying thing is that if you continue driving with a flat tire, it will break and you will need a new tire.
Smoothness on the road
You wouldn’t say it, but it sometimes rains on Curacao. And then there are several things that you really have to take into account. One of those things is the slipperiness, because there is so much junk, sand and oil from older cars on the roads, it is very slippery when it has rained. So you can only adjust your speed to this. On Curacao we have the concept of ‘poko poko’, which means nothing more than just taking it easy.
The drainage is not regulated everywhere on Curacao, so the puddles can be quite deep when it has rained. Don’t just drive through a puddle where you can’t see the depth of it, because coming back to the holes in the road, sometimes a whole stretch of road just disappears. Then you cannot go through that puddle with every car and it could well be a real terrain car path.
We mentioned it before, but don’t assume that there are neat stripes on the road. Driving in the dark is therefore best done with extra caution, before you overlook a turn or cannot distinguish road halves.
We will of course close it on a positive note, because we are proud of the riding behavior of our fellow islanders. During the morning and afternoon rush hour, it is not easy to get through the traffic if there is no zipping and people always think along very friendly and helpful. After each car, another car from an intersecting side street is passed.
Did we forget anything or did you notice something in the traffic on Curacao? Let us know!