Antigua and Curacao are two amazing Caribbean islands and visitors to any of these spots will have a memorable vacation experience.
In this article, we examine the differences between these two magnificent Caribbean islands to help you choose which one is better for your Caribbean vacation.
As a general rule, Antigua is the destination of choice for visitors interested in white sand beaches, exploring Caribbean history and swimming with stingrays. Alternatively, Curacao is ideal for a visitor who is looking for a destination with interest in beaches, diving, snorkeling and hiking.
Read on for further details and explanations on how these two stunning Caribbean Islands compare. This article is written by a Caribbean national familiar with both islands.
Antigua Vs Curacao: How Does The Size & Landscape Differ
Both islands are almost the same size with Curacao being 171 square miles while Antigua is 169.9 square miles.
The highest point of elevation in Curacao is Mount Christoffel which stands at an elevation of 1,220 feet.
On the other hand, the highest point of elevation in Antigua is Boggy Peak which stands at an elevation of 1,319 feet.
The landscape of Curacao and Antigua is unalike.
Antigua is hilly and mountainous in appearance while Curacao is flat, arid and dry. There are many aloes and cactus trees in Curacao.
Antigua Vs Curacao- How Does The Currency Differ
The official currency of Antigua and Curacao differs.
The Eastern Caribbean dollar is the currency of Antigua and the Netherland Antillean Guilders or Florins being the currency used in Curacao.
The Netherland Antillean Guilder is pegged to the US dollar at a rate of USD $1 to $1.79 ANG.
This currency is also used by St Maarten and there is a Central bank for Curacao and St Maarten responsible for managing the stability of the currency.
The local currency is available in bank notes and coins.
Bank notes are available in $10, $25, $50, $100 Guilders. Coins are available $1 Guilder, $5 Guilders, 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents pieces.
The Eastern Caribbean Dollar (XCD) was pegged to the US (United States) dollar since July 7th, 1976 at a rate of USD $1 to XCD $2.70.
This currency is also shared by seven other Eastern Caribbean islands and is managed through a regional central bank which is based in St Kitts.
The US dollar is widely used in both countries.
Antigua Vs Curacao- Which Island Has Greater Threat of Hurricanes
The Caribbean usually has a hurricane season every year from June 1st to November 30th.
However, one key advantage that Curacao has over Antigua is that it is located outside of the hurricane belt.
Therefore, the likelihood of a hurricane making direct landfall in Curacao is rare.
In relation to Antigua, the risk of a direct hit by a hurricane is low when compared to other Caribbean islands.
The last hurricane to make landfall in Antigua was hurricane Irma in 2017.
The eye of the hurricane passed over the smaller island of Barbuda causing severe damage to buildings and crops.
In that same year, hurricane Maria also affected the island.
Antigua Vs Curacao- Which Island Has Better Beaches
Antigua is the clear winner in this section and the island is fondly known for its 365 beaches, one for every day of the year.
Dickenson Bay is one of the well- loved beaches in Antigua by both locals and tourists alike.
Its shallow and calm waters make it an ideal spot for water sports such as paddle boarding.
To help visitors choose among its many beaches, the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority launched a beach personality quiz.
Feel free to visit the page to find the perfect beach for you.
Nonetheless, Curacao also has amazing beaches though not as many as Antigua. There are 38 beaches on the island.
Be sure to visit playa piskado which translates to fisherman’s beach where you get to swim with sea turtles.
In addition, you can swim with dolphins at Jan Thiel beach.
Antigua Vs Curacao- Which Island Has Better Nightlife
Curacao is the winner of the two islands when it comes to nightlife.
There are many restaurants and casinos that visitors and locals on the island enjoy such as Mambo Beach Boulevard for restaurants and beach clubs.
Another favorite of visitors and locals alike is St Tropez. Contrastingly, Antigua has a much slower pace of life.
Shirley’s Heights Lookout is a well- known spot in Antigua on Sunday evenings for entertainment.
There is usually a live band with drinks and food available for purchase.
Some of the other popular nightlife spots on the island are The Lime and Tryst Nightclub, Bar and Restaurant.
Antigua Vs Curacao- Can You Hop To Other Islands
There are no opportunities for island hopping from Curacao and therefore the only way to access nearby islands is via plane.
Insel Air is the regional carrier that provides air transport among the islands.
Alternatively, there is only one island that you can access via ferry service from Antigua and that is Montserrat.
This island is a British overseas territory fondly known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean.
The ferry named Jayden Sun departs from Heritage Quay from 8: 30 am and returns 5 pm on Tuesdays and Fridays weekly to and from Montserrat.
The price of the ferry is approximately XCD$300.
Antigua Vs Curacao: What Are The Unique Things To Do
Unique Things To Do In Antigua
Visit Laviscount Island- enjoy a getaway to a private island which is home to Giant Aldabra Tortoises.
Animal lovers will truly enjoy feeding and interacting with the tortoises on this island.
Swim With Stingrays– enjoy swimming and snorkeling in beautiful waters of Antigua with friendly stingrays.
There are also amazing coral reefs and several species of fishes that you can enjoy at the pool.
Visit Nelson’s Dockyard- delve into the history of the island by visiting Nelson’s Dockyard where there are modern conveniences such as shops and marina businesses.
This dockyard allows visitors to enjoy the park’s beauty.
There is also the dockyard museum which provides deep insight into the dockyard’s history and current research on the island.
Unique Things To Do In Curacao
Visit Christoffel National Park– if you love nature, then this park is a must visit on the island. There are several species of flora and fauna at the park as well as birds.
There are eight hiking trails which you can explore as well as the Savonet Museum is located at park where you can learn more about the history of Curacao.
Explore Klein Curacao- this is a small island 15 miles from the mainland where you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling in some of the clearest waters on the island.
While over in Klein Curacao, do not forget to visit the pink lighthouse and dive into the history of the island.
On a whole, Antigua is an exceptional choice for individuals who love exploring the island’s many beaches and island hopping to neighboring Montserrat. Alternatively, Curacao is an exceptional choice for a traveler whose priority is enjoying the beach and snorkeling.
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