Renowned for its colonial-style architecture, long-running sandy beaches, beautiful coral reefs, and friendly population, Curaçao is a charming Dutch Caribbean island that is a favorite among tourists, residents, retirees and Curaçao digital nomad visa holders alike. The island is multilingual and offers exciting investment opportunities to foreign investors. Through the Curaçao Citizenship by Investment Program, you can also obtain Dutch citizenship after five years of residency in the country. All of these factors make Curaçao a top place to live, work and do business in. So what exactly is the cost of living in Curaçao?
In this article, we will take you through everything constituting the cost of living in Curaçao – markets, restaurants, transportation, utilities, rent, real estate, clothing, and more.
Living in Curaçao – What are the benefits?
If you are living in Curaçao, there are various benefits that you can enjoy. These include:
- Relaxed beach lifestyle and better quality of life
- You can obtain an EU passport within five years (Dutch citizenship)
- Access to various investment options
- Politically stable government
- Visa-free travel to 172 countries across the globe
- Safe from frequent natural calamities
- Curaçao is well connected to popular destinations like Columbia, Panama, Dominican Republic, Suriname, and others.
- Curaçao is a multilingual country. Four languages are spoken across the island, including Dutch, Papiamentu, English, and Spanish.
- The country enjoys warm sunny weather all year round.
- The country has maintained excellent trade relationships with other nations.
If you are planning to visit the country before deciding on settling there after your retirement, you can read about the Curaçao Visa Requirements. Traveling from the United States to the island? You can refer to Curaçao Visa Requirements for US Citizens.
Estimated Cost of Living in Curaçao
The cost of living in Curaçao is on average 40 percent lower than that of living in the US. For example, according to Numbeo, groceries are 14.46 percent lower in Curaçao. In this section, we will take you through the average prices of various things in Curaçao.
Cost of groceries:
The cost of groceries varies depending on the item you want to purchase in Curaçao. Here is an extensive list of available items in the market, along with their costs.
|Milk (regular), (1 liter)||€1.63
|Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)||€2.02
|Rice (white), (1kg)||€2.23
|Eggs (regular) (12)||€3.15
|Local Cheese (1kg)||€9.66
|Chicken Fillets (1kg)||€7.59
|Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)||€11.11
|Lettuce (1 head)||€2.25
|Water (1.5 liter bottle)||€1.94
|Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)||€10.69
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)||€2.21
|Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)||€2.81
|Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)||€8.44
There will be days on the island when you would like to go out for dinner. Restaurants costs will again vary based on the restaurant itself, cuisine, etc. For instance, if you go to a fast food chain, it will be cheaper in comparison to a high-end restaurant on the island.
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||€21.09
|Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course||€67.49
|McMeal at McDonald’s (or Equivalent Combo Meal)||€9.57
|Domestic Beer (0.5-liter draught)||€3.02
|Imported Beer (0.33-liter bottle)||€4.59
|Coke/Pepsi (0.33-liter bottle)||€2.19
|Water (0.33-liter bottle)||€1.69
Cost of transportation:
Even if you have a private vehicle, you should be aware of the public transportation facilities available in Curaçao and their cost. There are mainly two types of public transportation on the island – taxi cabs and buses.
|One-way Ticket (Local Transport)||€1.32
|Monthly Pass (Regular Price)||€52.30
|Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)||€14.06
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||€3.37
|Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)||€42.18
|Gasoline (1 liter)||€1.37
|Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)||€26,714.23
|Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car)||€26,222.13
Cost of utilities (per month):
Make sure to keep a chunk of your monthly budget for utility bills. The cost of your internet, mobile data and other essential utilities depend entirely on your plans and the monthly amount you want to utilize.
|Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment||€194.73
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans)||€0.52
|Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||€59.80
Cost of sports and leisure activities:
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||€55.04
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend)||€38.43
|Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat||€8.44
Cost of education:
If you are moving to a new place with your family, childcare is very important, especially education. Curaçao has public and private schools to cater to your child’s educational needs.
|Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child||€316.35
|International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child||€12,747.84
Cost of clothing and shoes:
Moving to a new place will demand new clothing based on the weather and other requirements. Therefore it’s always great to know the prices of clothes and other accessories in Curaçao. There are various brands available on the island from which you can choose to buy your clothes. Again, the pricing will depend on the items you buy and the brand.
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)||€59.05
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …)||€40.77
|1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range)||€96.08
|1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes||€95.05
Expenditure on rent per month:
When planning to stay in any location, rent is a critical factor that you should consider. The rent of your accommodation influences your overall expenses. If you are planning to stay in central city areas of Curaçao, your rent will be higher, however, it will also depend on the size of your apartment. Nevertheless, rent in Curaçao is on average 60 percent lower than that in the US.
|Type of Property||Price|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre||€617.42
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre||€431.18
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre||€1,218.54
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre||€937.34
Average salary and financing:
|Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax)||€927.97
|Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate||5.35|
Various entertainment options are available on the island. Be it daytime adventures or exciting nightlife activities; there are many things to do in Curaçao. If you want to watch good cinema, you can do so very easily. You need to shell out €8.32 ($8.35) for a movie ticket in Curaçao. If you are into fitness, it will cost you around €52.39 ($52.55) per month for a fitness center subscription.
Nightlife expenses will depend on your lifestyle and personal preferences. In general, you could enjoy a wonderful time out on the town for a much lower cost in Curaçao. Still, the prices of bars and nightclubs will depend on the type of place you choose.
Curaçao has a total of three hospitals on the island. Although they are few in number, the quality of healthcare services provided is of a high standard. Most people in Curaçao are covered under the basic health insurance plan implemented on the island back in 2013. Citizens of the island can also opt for private health insurance, but in that case, they will not be covered under the state’s basic healthcare plan. If you are traveling to Curaçao as a tourist, check with your medical insurer about the services available on the island.
Real Estate in Curaçao
Before you buy a property in Curaçao, you should research the average market price for real estate property on the island. Apartments near the city center will cost you around €231.82 per m2. The price per meter will be cheaper if you plan to get a property outside the city center, for example a condo in the outskirts will cost around €139.04 per m2.
The price of a house on the island, on the other hand, will vary depending on your property’s location and size. For instance, as per Century 21 Global, the most expensive homes are the size of a four-bedroom alongside the ocean. Such a property will cost you around €40,63,554.79 ($4,081,247). The cheapest, however, is listed at €126,963.49 ($127,531) for a two-bedroom.
Taxes in Curaçao
All taxpayers in Curaçao must file their taxes annually. There are various kinds of taxes that you need to pay as a resident of the island, including income tax, VAT tax, and property taxes, among other taxes.
Income tax in Curaçao:
The income tax depends on the annual income you earn. The higher you earn, the higher your income tax percentage is.
- The income tax rate is 9.75% for families earning up to €17,536.19 ($17,610.77)
- The income tax rate is 15% for families earning between €17,536.19 – €23,389.94 ($17,610.77 and $23,481.40)
- The income tax rate is 23% for families making between €23,389.94 – €35,091.24 ($23,481.40 and $35,222.09)
- Households earning between €35,091.24- €49,728.15 ($35,222.09 and $49,897.55) are taxed at 30%
- Households earning between €48,732.03 – €73,106.34 ($48,897.55 and $73,378.94) are taxed at 37.5%
- Households earning above €73,106.34 ($73,378.94) per year are taxed at 46.5%
VAT tax in Curaçao:
Also known as ‘sales tax,’ VAT (Value Added Taxes) is applied to products and services that go through various sales channels. Curaçao levies around 6% to 9% VAT tax on most of the goods and services on the island. However, a few things, including rental prices of apartments and fuel, are not covered under VAT taxes.
Real estate and property tax:
The Immovable Property tax is applied to properties that are considered immovable in Curaçao, including homes, apartments, and land.
- A tax rate of 0.4% is applied to property that is valued up to €1,94,945.03 ($195,650.35)
- A tax rate of 0.5% is applied to property that is valued up to €4,17,663.89 ($419,250.75)
- A tax rate of 0.6% is applied to a property that exceeds a value of €4,17,663.89 ($419,250.75)
Cost of Living in Curaçao versus the US
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant|| €16.07
|Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course|| €65.30
|McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal)|| €8.54
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)|| €5.02
|Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)|| €6.03
|Cappuccino (regular)|| €4.58
|Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle)|| €2.26
|Water (0.33 liter bottle)|| €1.64
|Milk (regular), (1 liter)||€0.94
|Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g)||€3.20
|Rice (white), (1kg)||€4.11
|Eggs (regular) (12)||€3.25
|Local Cheese (1kg)||€11.57
|Chicken Fillets (1kg)||€11.86
|Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat)||€14.99
|Lettuce (1 head)||€1.77
|Water (1.5 liter bottle)||€1.90
|Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range)||€13.05
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle)||€2.64
|Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle)||€3.09
|Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro)||€8.84
|One-way Ticket (Local Transport)||€2.51
|Monthly Pass (Regular Price)||€70.32
|Taxi Start (Normal Tariff)||€3.52
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||€1.69
|Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff)||€30.14
|Gasoline (1 liter)||€1.25
|Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car)||€24,108.96
|Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car)||€22,946.55
|Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment||€176.60
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans)||€0.15
|Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||€68.73
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre||€1,677.87
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre||€1,358.80
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre||€2,801.93
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre||€2,212.60
|Type of School||US||Curaçao||Difference|
|Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child||€1,142.94
|International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child||€16,409.34
|Type of Clothing||US||Curaçao||Difference|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar)||€45.54
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M)||€35.99
|1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range)||€79.14
|1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes||€100.94
Frequently Asked Questions about the Cost of Living in Curaçao
What is the cost to retire in Curaçao?
The total cost of living in Curaçao is around $1261. The country is ranked 36th out of 197 countries by cost of living and the 48th best country to live in. Compared to the US, rent prices are 60.36% lower, restaurant prices are 9.07% and the cost of groceries is 14.47% lower.
Is Curaçao a good place to live?
Yes, Curaçao is a good place to live for expats and retirees. In addition to having a picturesque landscape, the island has a low cost of living and offers attractive investment opportunities to foreign investors.
How much is rent in Curaçao?
Rent in Curaçao depends on the size and location of your apartment. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center is around €610.25 ($612.15) per month.
What is the average house price in Curaçao?
A house near the city center in Curaçao will be around €231.82 per m2.
Is the cost of living high in Curaçao?
The cost of living in Curaçao depends on the location. For a family of four, estimated monthly costs are around €3,423.33 ($3,438.47) without rent. For a single person, the estimated monthly costs are around €965.32 ($969.60) without rent.
How much do I need to retire in Curaçao?
You can apply through the Curaçao Investor Permit Program for retiring. To acquire the permit, you must be 50 years or older and buy a property on the island with a minimum value of €2,49,712.38 ($2,49,861.69) within 18 months of registration.
How much cash can I bring into Curaçao?
Amount exceeding €11,004.0 ($11,057.77) – or its equivalent should be declared before entering the country.
How much money do I need to live comfortably in Curaçao?
A family of four requires €3,359.61 ($3,376) for monthly expenditure (without rent) on the island. For a single person, the estimated monthly costs are around €947.80 ($952), excluding rent.