A Recipe for Budget Flights to & from Curacao
Depending on where you travel from and when, getting to the Dushi Curacao can cost as little as a US$295.00 return (LGA-CUR)! Most holiday visitors come from Europe on direct flights and total air-lift is set to rise by 1.2Million seats in 2015. There are currently about 15 carriers landing on Kòrsou, flying from 25 destinations cities on 3 continents. No wonder the island, besides being a tasty holiday paradise, is also becoming a regional travel hub!
I will show you techniques on how to save on total transportation costs to & from Curaçao, what routes to pick and tips on including the Dutch Caribbean as a dish on an Island-Hopping smorgasboard. This based on my experience as a local budget accommodation provider, frequent flyer to and from Kòrsou and my culinary prowess!
Lets get cooking!
You will need
The Map below gives a complete menu of airlines that fly directly to Curacao. You can show and hide airports and flights lines from 4 continents by clicking in the left panel. Use +- on right to zoom. Click on the flight lines and airports to show extra links.
© www.poppyhostelcuracao.com Flight Routes to Hato Airport, Curaçao (CUR) By Art Klep ©2015-03 - All Rights Reservedgoo.gl
Google.com/flights or any flight booking aplication. Tips: skyscanner.net or skypicker (great low buget option for flights in Europe) BootsnAll.com (great for round the world trips). Be sure to check flight suggestions directly with the airlines as not all flight deals are listed in one place. Check specific routes and dates by clicking the flight paths on the map!
A dash of patience and lots of flexibility with your dates. You can make many adjustments to the search options on Google.com/flights. Clicking the Lowest Price icon (it looks like 3 little vertical stripes) shows a calendar of prices. Here is some help with using Google Flights.
On the map I show the best cities and routes to check along with seasonal and local flight options. Most of the flights are direct but there are a few that have 1 stop. Check them to get an idea of other departure airports connecting to Curacao. You can also use the map to find the best way from your location to the airport of your choice by car or public transport.
Keep in mind that it’s the total travel costs that are important! Thinking out of the box can save you on what is the most expensive part of almost any trip: air-travel. When choosing the best airport to travel from or transfer through, consider things like; getting to the airport, parking, baggage surcharges and stopover costs. Check low-cost carriers flying from local airport to catch a connecting flight to Curacao. Do a convenience/cost analysis of your total trip. Large airports provide the most connections but are not always the cheapest or most convenient! Check the bottom of this post for more in-depth information on how to minimize your total travel costs.
Region/Continent specific tips and tricks
Caribbean & Central America
Regional air-travel to and from Curacao is dominated by Insel-Air. One small exception to this is Divi-Divi Air connecting Curacao and Bonaire. At this time airlines like DAE, Tiara Air and AVA are either bankrupt, don’t list any flights or have not started to do so yet. This market is sure to change and desperately needs more competition. Until then flight cost remain high in this region.
It is only worth considering a destination or stopover in another Caribbean city if you are planning to visit that destination. One-way flights between Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire cost about US$100.00, regardless of the airline (don’t forget to check for specials!). Copa Air from Panama is worth a look if traveling from Central America. From Trinidad & Tobago Suriname Airways is an alternative to Insel-Air. For direct flights from Venezuela, scroll down to the South America tips.
This is the largest market for flight recipes to Curacao. There are specials starting from as low as €400.00 return! Although Google.com/flights does an adequate job at showing showing deals, it’s always a good idea to check with the airline directly.
The main players are KLM (more expensive and all inclusive) and ArkeFly (cheaper but you will have to buy or bring your own victuals). These flights can include a short stop on another Dutch Caribbean island on one leg of the round trip journey. It’s not possible to use one of these stops as a way to visit another island without booking an extra flight. Most flights originate from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport but there is also a weekly AirBerlin connection direct from Dusseldorf, Germany.
Starting Nov. 2015 ArkeFly will also depart from the Dutch city of Eindhoven. If you can’t get to Amsterdam easily and affordably, consider low budget carriers connecting through these 2 other airports. Flying to Caribbean destinations, other than Aruba and Bonaire, and then connecting on to Curacao will be far more expensive than direct routes to the ABC islands.
The menu here has expanded recently with direct flights from Toronto and New York as well as a 1-stop option from Houston via Aruba. The main hub is still Miami with daily American Airlines and Insel-Air flights. Insel-Air is convenient but can be pricier. American Airlines is the “fast-food” flight provider. It has the most capacity, good prices and speedy service. JetBlue is a new entrant with good deals direct from the Big Apple.
Internal US flights to Miami and then on to Curacao are cheaper than getting to the Caribbean first. A connection through Aruba may be an exception. The entire market is dynamic and I expect planned flights into Cuba to connect directly to Curacao later in 2015, delicious!
Like the Caribbean, this market is also dominated by Insel-Air. Notable exceptions are connecting flights on Copa Air through Panama City (check Caribbean above). Later in 2015 Insel-Air will mix it up with Copa Air’s 1-Stop flights from Ecuador and Colombia. This could serve up some lower prices. Both of them already offer a stopover flight from Manaus, Brazil. Surinam Airways is worth a look if traveling from Guyana or French Guiana. Investigating recipes through Aruba may also be fruitful (let me know if you find any!)
Venezuela is frankly a bit of a Mess-Hall these days. Currency restrictions can make booking a flight from here a headache. Demand is hotter than a Tamale and prices for a short hop are not cheap. Insel-Air is the most reliable carrier, although often late when arriving after dinner time. There are other options like Avior but in general I don’t like recommending Venezuela as a destination or stopover option. Venezuela is a huge part of the Curacao tourist market. They know how to get here. To my Venezuelan readers, please comment below if you have any tips! Se habla un poco Espanol! ;)
Some dessert tips
If you are looking for the flight of a lifetime…XCor Space Expeditions is planning flights from Curacao 100Km straight up! That’s right to the edge of SPACE!! Check them out here.
Nomadic Matt is such a popular and respected travel blogger that he’s published on actual paper! I learnt a lot about budget travel from his many posts.
For some colorful and very palpable information on tasting life on Curacao, check this great infographic by Sheedia Jansen.
There is also a good wikitravel.org page on Curacao that I contribute to.
Feel free to share, like, link to, comment on, criticize and praise this post by joining the conversation and clicking the buttons below. I will update the map and recipes based on your feedback!
Bon Bini na Kòrsou!
Originally published at www.poppyhostelcuracao.com.