Navigating Curaçao’s Currency
Prior to 2010, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius formed the Netherland Antilles and shared the “Netherlands Antilles Guilder”. Following the dissolution of the Netherland Antilles in 2010, only Curaçao and Sint Maarten continued to use the Netherlands Antilles Guilder with plans to change it to the Caribbean Guilder.
For visitors to Curaçao, there can be confusion when you hear other words used to refer to the currency. In Papiamentu, the local language of Curaçao, the word for Guilder is Florin, hence Florin is commonly used to refer to the currency. Adding to the confusion, the international currency code for the Netherlands Antilles Guilder is ANG and the currency symbol is either NAF, NAFl or f. Whether you hear reference to the Guilder, Florin, ANG, NAFl, or f, it is all one and the same.
The Guilder is fixed to the USD at $1.77 making it easy for merchants to accept USD.
CASH OR CREDIT?
An advantage of traveling to Curaçao is that visitors have multiple options when paying for hotels, restaurants and shopping. Your credit card from home will meet most of your needs, though cash is occasionally required.
Euros are accepted at some businesses, and US dollars are accepted almost everywhere on the island. There is no need to purchase Guilders before traveling to Curaçao. The downside to using Euros or USD is that you can expect to receive change in Guilders.
Curaçao has multiple banks, and ATMs (bank machines) are common across the island, allowing you to withdraw cash from your account back home in either Guilders or USD (expect a $5.00 service charge).