Hato Airport Curacao
Curacao Airport, officially Hato International Airport, is the only air facility on the island unless you count the Naval Air Base, which is the operational headquarters for the Royal Navy of the Netherlands. Curacao International Airport is an important hub for international commerce due to the proximity of Venezuela, a major oil producer, but also because this airport is where all vacationers will arrive whether on direct flights or indirect flights.
All visitors, except those passengers arriving on Caribbean cruises, will first land at Hato International Airport before heading out to other parts of the island, including the capital of Willemstad on the opposite side of the island. You have only a few choices for Curacao airport transportation once you arrive. There is a public bus transportation system on the island, but it does not currently have routes to the airport except for tourist routes to the nearby Hato Caves. Car rentals are the chief form of transportation for most visitors to the island, and you will find that Curacao Airport has several companies with outlets here. Some of these are international franchises like Avis and Alamo, as well as some well-known Dutch companies. There are also some local rental agencies, which will come to collect you on arrival. Since the public transportation on the island is limited, car rentals offer you the most flexibility to explore the island independently at your own pace.
Other ways to get from Curacao International Airport to your hotel or other destination include taxis and pre-arranged transfers. Only a few hotels and resorts have complimentary shuttle service, but virtually all of them will arrange your transfers from the Curacao Airport to the property where you are staying for an additional fee. This is even true of many of the private villas and other vacation rentals. Taxis are found in queues just outside the baggage claim area. You will recognize them by a taxi sign on the roof and the letters TX on the license plate. They have meters that display the fixed rates to various places on the island. Taxis generally operate from 6:00 in the morning until 11:00 in the evening, unless an international flight is scheduled to land later than that. The tariffs are slightly increased during the off hours. Taxis and pre-arranged transfers are you best options if you are staying at a resort or in the city where facilities and services are within easy reach. Should you decide on tours elsewhere on the island, your lodging can assist you with a one-day car rental or taxi.
There are no Curacao International Airport hotels, except for one small one about a mile away. This is because the airport is only about four miles from the center of Willemstad. Additionally, all of the best beaches, attractions, and things to do on the island are located elsewhere. While Hato International Airport has one of the longest runways in the Caribbean and is a very modern facility, it is a small airport with enough services, dining spots, and shopping outlets to service the passengers—and not much more. Do check with your airline about paying the required departure tax when you catch your flights home. The small fee is waived if your flights are on a handful of major airlines, but otherwise you must pay it before flying out.