The pristine waters and white beaches in Curaçao are a great reason to visit the island already, but beneath that blue surface is another amazing world filled with colorful fish and beautiful corals. Diving is an amazing activity to do on the island of Curaçao. You can simply walk in with your gear from the beach, or take a boat trip to more remote spots. We listed 12 of the best dive spots in Curaçao in random order. We also listed a few great dive shops we have been diving with over the years down below.
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The Best Dive Spots in Curaçao
This is the most beautiful beach on the island in our opinion, and it offers great diving too! It’s actually the place where we started with diving and did our Padi Open Water Course back in 2011. It’s great for beginners because you can walk into the water from the beach. The first part is sandy so great for getting used to the gear and everything. A bit further, where the light blue changes into dark blue is a steep wall down full of corals. It’s also easy navigating if you are diving by yourself, half a thank one way along the wall and back again a bit shallower.
Cas Abou has a dive shop on-site for rentals and courses. On the beach is also a snack bar for food and drinks and you can rent sunbeds. The entrance fee is 10 Nafl ($6) Mon-Sat and 12,50 Nafl ($7) per car (up to 4 persons) on Sundays and Holidays. The road itself is really bad after the pay booth, and you might wonder where you will end up, but then you’ll arrive at the most beautiful beach of Curaçao.
In front of the stunning beach of Playa Porto Marie, you can find a double reef with a ‘valley’ in between. It’s a great spot if you want to do two dives without the trouble of moving around because you can simply walk into the water and do two loops around both sides of the reefs. Navigating around is fairly easy. There is a dive shop on-site where you can rent your gear and who you can ask for directions. Once in a while, you can spot a manta ray in this area, but it’s very rare. We had the luck of seeing it once though, so it’s definitely around sometimes!
At Porto Marie, you can also hire sunbeds and there is a restaurant to chill out after and in between diving. The entrance fee for the beach is 5 Nafl ($3) per person.
Right next to Playa Porto Marie there is a small private beach called Playa Hunku. In front of this beach is a stunning reef with very lively corals. We have been diving around Curaçao for over 10 years and at some places, you can see that the coral has become less, but at Playa Hunku we found the corals as we saw them 10 years ago! It’s really beautiful, probably because it’s a private beach and you can only do guided dives here. We went with the dive shop Porto Marie Sports and it was well worth the trip. While diving we made our way back to Playa Porto Marie again.
We love that you can do easy shore dives around Curaçao, it makes diving way cheaper and easier, especially if you are certified and you only have to rent gear or use your own gear. But Sandy’s plateau is one of the best dive spots in Curaçao and therefore a good reason to do some boat dives as well! It’s located in front of the Jan Thiel salt lake in between Jan Thiel and Mambo Beach. It’s a beautiful area for hiking as well, but not with your diving gear on your back so you’ll need a boat to get there. The corals are simply amazing, it’s one of the best places we have been diving in Curaçao.
Playa Grandi is also called Playa Piskado, which means fisherman’s beach. You can always find fishermen here, cleaning their catch and throwing back the residue back into the sea. Sea turtles are attracted by it, and that’s why you can always see a few in front of this beach. If you go out a bit further you’ll find beautiful corals again. We were happily surprised. The beach itself isn’t the most beautiful one, compared to others around the island, and to find such a beautiful underwater world was simply amazing!
The entrance to the beach is free. You can hire sunbeds and there is a small restaurant (cash only).
Playa Kalki is the most western beach of Curaçao where you can go by car, located in Westpunt. It’s worth the drive though, diving here is very beautiful! Big corals are along a big wall for a true Curaçao dive experience. You can walk in from the beach. From the parking lot, there are some stairs going down so a bit of lifting will be involved when you bring your diving gear.
The entrance to the beach is free and there is also a dive shop here. You can rent sunbeds and there is a small restaurant.
The Superior Producer is a 50m long (165ft) cargo ship that was going down in the port back in 1977. When it was beyond saving the ship was towed out of the harbor. It’s located just outside the harbor in front of Otrobanda at a depth of 25 meters. It’s an amazing place for wreck dives, however for safety reasons the location is only open for divers when there are no cruise ships at the pier.
Another ‘ship wreck’ along the coast of Curaçao is the Tugboat. This small boat only lays 5 meters deep and it is great for diving and snorkeling. It is overgrown with corals. It’s located in the Caracasbaai, in front of the historic ruins of the Quarantine house. There is a small rocky beach close to the boat with a little beach bar. The entrance to this beach is free. From the beach, you can swim out towards the pillars in the water, and beyond those pillars, you can find the tugboat.
A visit to the Tugboat can be combined with a visit to Directors Bay which is pretty close to the Tugboat. The name of this bay comes from when the Royal Dutch Shell Group was operating from Curaçao the beach was considered private for the directors of the Shell Group. Nowadays it’s open to the public for free. It’s a beautiful dive site that has a pretty steep drop immediately. There are no facilities on this beach so don’t forget to bring some water.
A big part of the East Point is a private area where you can’t go. Not by land at least, you can still dive in the surrounding waters. Since barely anyone has access here you can only go by boat, but it also means that the corals are less touched by human impact which makes it one of the best dive spots in Curaçao as well. We can definitely recommend doing a boat dive on this side of the island.
The Mushroom Forest is one of the most famous dive spots of Curaçao. Here you can find hard coral formations which look like mushrooms. The location is only reachable by boat. Often this boat dive is combined with a visit to the blue room. You can snorkel into this cave and from the inside, you’ll notice that you are in a blue room.
And last, but definitely not least: Klein Curaçao (Little Curaçao). This bounty island is located a bit further away from the island and is worth a day trip. The island is surrounded by white beaches and clear blue waters like you’ve never seen before. It’s also beautiful for diving and there is a big chance of spotting turtles here.
Of course, there are many more beautiful dive sites around Curaçao to explore. We’ll keep updating this list when we discover a new gem that should be on this list as well! If a dive site is not in this list it doesn’t mean that it’s not beautiful! For information about almost all the dive spots in Curaçao, you can check out this website.
The Best Dive Centers in Curaçao
There are so many dive centers on Curaçao, it’s hard to choose. We listed a few of the dive centers we have been diving with and we know they are great and reliable to dive with:
- The Dive Bus, located on the eastern end of Playa Marie Pampoen.
- Porto Mari Sports, located at Playa Porto Mari
- Ocean Encounters, located at the eastern end of Mambo Beach at the LionsDive resort
- Scubacao, located in Marie Pampoen
- Bdiving, located at Cas Abou beach (we started our diving adventure here back in 2011)
- Scuba Lodge, located in Pietermaai
Where to Stay
If you’re mainly coming to Curacao for diving you’ll want to be close to the ocean! Somewhere around Mambo Beach or in Pietermaai is great to be close to the best dive centers but staying in Westpunt is great to stay close to the best dive sites.
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Diving around Curaçao is truly amazing. The clear warm waters make it a pleasure to discover all the underwaterlife. We sincerely hope this blog will help you plan your dive and find the best dive spots in Curaçao. Feel free to leave a comment below.
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