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Banks -- Bank hours are Monday to Friday from 8am to 3:30 or 4:30pm. Willemstad has several banks and ATMs.

Currency -- U.S. dollars and credit cards are accepted almost everywhere. The official currency, the Netherlands Antillean florin (NAf), also called a guilder, is divided into 100 NA (Netherlands Antillean) cents. The stable exchange rate is $1 to 1.77 NAf (1 NAf = 56¢). Credit cards are widely accepted and while American Express, Visa, and MasterCard are preferred, Discover is gaining ground while Diners Club is rarely accepted. Prices throughout this guide are given in U.S. dollars.

Electricity -- Electricity is both 220 volts and 110-130 volts/50 cycles, with at least one plug in each hotel room similar to the U.S. standard. Most U.S. electrical appliances will function.

Emergencies -- Dial tel. 911 for medics or the police.

Hospital -- St. Elisabeth Hospital, Breedestraat 193 (tel. 599/9-462-4900), near Otrobanda in Willemstad, is one of the Caribbean's most up-to-date facilities, with a recompression chamber.

Language -- As in Aruba, Dutch, Spanish, and English are spoken, along with Papiamentu.

Safety -- Curaçao isn't plagued with crime, but safeguard your valuables.

Taxes -- Curaçao levies a room tax of 4%, plus a 12% service tax and a $3 daily energy charge. The airport departure tax is usually built into the price of your airline ticket.

Telephone -- To call Curaçao from the United States, dial 011 (the international access code), then 599 (the country code), and then 9 (the area code) and the local number. In Curaçao, to call another number on the island, dial the local number only; to make off-island calls, dial 021 and then the area code and number. The direct-dial access number for AT&T is tel. 916/843-4685 from your cellphone and tel. 001-800-872-2881 from pay phones; for Verizon it's tel. 800-8888. You can reach a Sprint operator throughout the Caribbean at tel. 011-817/698-4199. Check with your carrier before you leave home to find out if your phone will work on the island, and be sure to ask about rates, which are about $2 per minute. Even local calls from hotels will cost a bomb, so opt for e-mails when possible. Wireless signals are common in hotels, and Internet cafes let you log on for just a few bucks. You can pick up a free signal while in the airport.

Time -- Curaçao is on Atlantic Standard Time year-round, 1 hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time and the same as Eastern daylight saving time.

Water -- Water comes from a modern desalination plant and is perfectly safe and clean.

Weather -- Curaçao's average temperature is 81°F (27°C), and trade winds make the island fairly pleasant. Annual rainfall averages a meager 56 centimeters (22 in.).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.