Cost of Living in Curacao: Prices of Housing, Food, and Other Expenses

Curacao is a beautiful and culturally rich place to live. According to Mosaic Traveler, Curacao is one of the most colorful places in the world. Curacao is heavily influenced by European style and has an essentially never-ending summer.

Curacao is a Caribbean island located off of the coast of Venezuela. It’s a well-loved vacation spot for many tourists and the home to over 160,000 people. There are many reasons to make this Caribbean capital your next vacation spot.

The island has great weather year-round, a friendly community, and certainly no shortage of beaches. Once you’ve had a vacation at Curacao, it may be tempting to want to stay there forever. But how realistic would moving to Curacao be for you?

Curacao has many perks, but also some added expenses that you may want to take note of. If you are looking to one day make Curacao your home, you may be wondering about the cost of living in Curacao. How much is the rent? What is the average cost of bills and groceries?

The currency in Curacao is ANG (Netherlands Antillean Guilder) and is worth roughly half a USD. We have created an index to understand how much it would cost to live in Curacao in USD. 

Cost of Living in Curacao in USD

To give a potential newcomer an idea of how expenses work in Curacao, here is a well-detailed index that should cover any questions one may have.

Groceries / Cost of Food in Curacao 

While there are many variations of the types of groceries you can find in Curacao, we have summed up a small list of grocery staples. To give an idea of the cost of living in Curacao compared to the US, we listed both prices so you can see how they directly compare.

  • 1 Litre of Milk(Curacao): On average, a liter of milk costs 1.70 USD. 

1 Litre of Milk(US): On average, a liter of milk costs 1.92 USD.

  • 1 Loaf of Bread(Curacao): On average, a loaf of bread costs 1.63 USD.

1 Loaf of Bread(US): On average, a loaf of bread costs 2.44 USD.

  • 1 Dozen Eggs(Curacao): On average, a container of a dozen eggs costs 2.41 USD. 

1 Dozen Eggs(US): On average, a container of a dozen eggs costs 2.05 USD.

  • 1 Kg Rice(Curacao): On average, 1 kg of rice costs 3.50 USD.

1 Kg Rice(US): On average, 1 kg of rice costs 1.42 USD.

But the chances are that if you are living in Curacao, you will not eat just the basic grocery staples. You may wonder, “how much is a Coke in Curacao?” The answer is 2.08 USD. 

Dining Out

You will also want to consider the days that you will be dining out. As stated before, you will most likely not spend every day eating at home. There are many places to eat in Curacao, but how much will it cost?

This depends mainly on the types of restaurants you choose to visit. There are fast food chains available in Curacao, such as Burger King and KFC. Visitors may also find dine-in restaurants to eat at, both inexpensive and high-end.

According to Budget Your Trip, meals typically cost 36ANG(20.06 USD)per person at a restaurant in Curacao. The total cost for a day of eating out tends to cost 91ANG or 50.70 USD.

The total average price of consumption for two people is between 1,840-2,000 USD a year. This price can vary depending on many factors. But for most people living or vacationing in Curacao, this is a safe estimate to go by.

Rent in Curacao  

A picture of Otrobanda City, Curacao from an overlooking hill.

Like in all cases of figuring out where you want to live, you’ll want to consider other living expenses. The rent cost is the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when thinking of where to live.

Generally speaking, it is most expensive to live in the city areas of Curacao. Rent also varies on how many bedrooms and bathrooms you are looking to have. It can be cheaper to have more people living in an apartment, rather than just one.

For example, in the US, the average monthly rent for a three-bedroom apartment is 2,050 USD, according to the Apartment Guide. While there are not as many apartment complexes available in Curacao, according to Numbeo, the average monthly rent for a three-bedroom home is roughly 1,300 USD.

Internet and Utility Expenses in Curacao

Once you’ve explored rental options, the next thing you’ll want to think of is the extra bills that come with living in a home. These bills typically include internet, phone, and utility bills.

  • Internet: On average, 52.21 USD a month.
  • Utilities: On average, 207.49 USD a month.

Together, these bills total up to about 260 USD a month. Phone bills can vary greatly depending on the services and plans you are using. You can add your current phone bill to 260 to get a good estimate of what all three bills will cost together. 

Cost of Transportation in Curacao

Whether you plan to drive around or to use public transportation, you will have to be aware of the costs. Take into account things such as gas, tickets, cars, taxi services, and bus services. 

If you are a user of public transportation, you won’t have many options in Curacao. The two primary forms of public transportation are taxi cabs and bus services.

On average, a one-way bus pass will cost between 1-1.50 USD, although the Curacao Travel Guide strongly urges visitors to rent a car or call a taxi. This is due to there only being two bus stations in all of Curacao. 

Taxi prices in Curacao vary depending on what time you are traveling, how far you travel, and how many passengers are in the taxi. Taxi cabs in Curacao are unmetered, meaning a rider would pay a flat rate. This rate will go up if there are more than four passengers in the car.

An average taxi ride for four people or less ranges from 25-100 USD.

Clothing

With a new location, you will most likely want to find new clothes. A new wardrobe is a must for many people when they choose to locate to a new region.

There are many clothing stores and stands in Curacao with fashionable items for the public. The prices will change depending on the style and brand you are buying. We have provided some average prices for the most commonly worn clothes on the island:

  • New Jeans: 54.54(USD)
  • Summer Dress: 51.92(USD)
  • Running Shoes: 93.74(USD)
  • Business Shoes: 121.47(USD)

Cost of Childcare in Curacao

If you are looking to relocate to Curacao, there is a good chance that you are bringing children along. Your children’s well-being is most likely among your top priorities. Many things factor into overall childcare.

These things can range from healthcare to schooling to daycares. Most of the time, however, education tends to be at the forefront of a parent’s mind. In Curacao, there are both private and public schools available for children. 

For private schooling, the average for a month to month enrollment is between 215-315 USD. For public schooling, the average yearly estimate is between 11,000-19,000 USD. Many hotels offer small daycares for parents as well.

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Entertainment  

Curacao is, on the whole, a place of entertainment and amusement. Whether you are a local or a tourist, there is no shortage of things you can enjoy while on the island. As well as standard daytime activities, there is also a vibrant nightlife in Curacao.

A movie ticket for one person costs 8.35 USD. The average monthly fee for a fitness center is 52.55 USD. Bars and nightclubs vary depending on your personal tastes.

Healthcare Cost in Curacao

Finding healthcare in Curacao can be a bit tricky. Curacao.com lists only three hospitals in total, though these few hospitals offer many helpful health services. 

The majority of local citizens in Curacao are covered under a basic health insurance plan that was implemented in 2013. There are also private health plans available for citizens, though people who are insured under a private plan are exempt from the basic health insurance plan. 

Should you need healthcare as a visitor, you’ll want to research your traveler’s insurance options.

Sample Budget (How Much Would One Spend in a Month?)  

Let’s take into account all that we have learned from above. You will want a budget that will cover all of your necessary expenses, and then some. 

Using the site Travel Tables, you can get a rough estimate of your projected monthly spending. A single person renting a one-bedroom apartment and buying only the necessities will spend roughly between 1,650-1,730 USD per month.  

A couple with two children living in a three-bedroom apartment can expect to spend up to 3,500 USD. These are all estimates, but travelers or potential expats can use these as a starting ground on planning either a vacation or permanent residence. 

Related: Can Americans Buy Property in Mexico?

Real Estate Prices in Curacao

Of course, not every person looking to move to Curacao will want to rent an apartment. And some people move to Curacao with the intention of buying property, such as condos, and then rent them out for a profit.

Regardless of your intentions, one of the most important things to know is the prices of such real estate. The average price per square foot of an apartment in the heart of the cities is 232.79 USD. 

Outside of the cities, the average price per square foot of a condo is 139.67 USD.

How Much Does a House Cost in Curacao?

The price of a house in Curacao can change depending on the location of the house you are looking to purchase. Other factors include the overall size and age of the house.

To give an example of the range in housing costs, Century 21 Global currently has over 100 homes listed for sale. The most expensive is a 4-bedroom home by the ocean. This house is listed at 4,081,247 USD. 

The cheapest house listed is a two-bedroom home at 127,531 USD. Besides the price, the most significant difference between the two is the square footage of both homes. The first home has 11,840 square feet, while the second has 861 square feet. 

Curacao Taxes

If you are emigrating from the US to Curacao, you will likely see a difference in how the government handles taxes. However, there are many similarities, and taxpayers must file their taxes annually. There are multiple different kinds of taxes, and we will cover the most prominent ones below.

Curacao Income Tax

When it comes to taxes, we will also be dealing with percentages. The more a family (or individual) makes, the higher their income tax percentage is. 

  • For families making up to 17,610.77 USD, the income tax rate is 9.75%
  • For families making between 17,610.77 and 23,481.40 USD, the tax rate is 15%
  • For families making between 23,481.40 and 35,222.09 USD, the tax rate is 23%
  • Households making between 35,222.09 and 49,897.55 USD will be taxed at 30%
  • Households making between 48,897.55 and 73,378.94 USD will be taxed at 37.5%
  • Any household making above 73,378.94 USD a year will be taxed at 46.5%

 

VAT Tax

According to Investopedia, value-added taxes, otherwise known as ‘sales tax,’ are a consistent form of taxes applied to things that go through multiple sales. These things typically include raw materials that are sold to factories and then sold to retailers.

In Curacao, there is a 6% to 9% VAT tax on most goods and services. Certain things, such as fuel and apartment rental prices, are exempt from VAT taxes.  

Real Estate and Property Tax  

According to KPMG, Curacao has what is called the “immovable property tax.” This tax is applied to property in Curacao that is deemed immovable. 

  • Property that is valued up to 195,650.35 USD has a tax rate of 0.4%
  • Property that is valued up to 419,250.75 USD has a tax rate of 0.5%
  • Property that exceeds a value of 419,250.75 USD has a tax rate of 0.6%

Goods and Service Tax  

Goods and service taxes are applied to nearly every common-day purchase, says Investopedia. These taxes affect the total end cost of clothes, food, and technology. In Curacao, there is a standard 5% GST for common goods and services.

The Average Income in Curacao

If you are looking to immigrate to Curacao, you are most likely going to seek some form of employment if you have not already found a job.

According to Numbeo, the average monthly income for an individual is 1,122.95 USD. Using this estimated number as a reference, we can assume the average yearly income for an individual is 13,475.40 USD.  

Immigration Costs

Along with the expenses of living in Curacao, you will also want to consider the costs of immigration itself. 

If you intend to stay in Curacao for more than 90 days, you will need both a residence permit and a visa. In order to get a residence permit, you will most likely need a sponsor. After an application for a residence permit is approved, you will have to make a security deposit.

Can I Use USD in Curacao?

While the official currency in Curacao is ANG,  they also accept USD throughout the Caribbean island.   

How Much Cash Can I Bring into Curacao? 

There is no official limit on how much money one can bring when traveling to Curacao. However, it is recommended by IATA Travel Centre that you bring no more than 20,000 ANG or 11,180.02 USD.

How Much Money Do I Need to Live Comfortably in Curacao?

When figuring out how much money you would need to live comfortably in Curacao, you need to define what comfortable is for you. Some people are comfortable with a minimalistic lifestyle, while others find comfort in extravagance.

In order to live comfortably, you will need the minimum amount required to cover your regular living expenses. Things such as bills, rent, immigration fees, and groceries are all things to include in your regular budget.

Final Thoughts

Try and think of your current personal spending habits; are you comfortable now? If so, think of the things that you spend your money on to make yourself comfortable. While Curacao has many comfortable and enjoyable experiences, it is a good idea to know ahead of time what brings you comfort. 

Once you know what makes you comfortable, you can add these things to your minimum budget. Take into account your favorite foods, your hobbies, and your passions. It is the most important priority to have your basic needs covered, but starting a new life in Curacao should be anything but boring. 

If Curacao no longer seems to be your desired destination, take a look at some of the other locations on our website.

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