Snorkeling Around Curacao

Photo Credit: © Paul Asman and Jill Lenobel CC BY
 

The great thing about Curacao is that the coast is lined with natural beaches perfect for snorkeling.  You'll have a hard time finding a beach that you can't just walk right into the water and begin your underwater adventure.  

Maps

Curacao has been rated has having the healthiest marine environment in the Atlantic and the Caribbean among many other accolades, thanks to the fact that these waters include 60 named scuba diving and snorkeling sites, water temperatures that never dip below 75 degrees Fahrenheit, visibility that sometimes goes beyond 100 feet, 500 different species of tropical fish, and 57 species of coral.  And that's just the start of it.

If you're planning to snorkel off the southern coast of the island, you'll find the Curacao Marine Park takes up most of this landscape.  This is the top place to snorkel on the island because it is kept so pristine and offers all of the sites that snorkelers who to see, from coral gardens to ship wrecks. 

Elsewhere around the island, you needn't make any special plans for sites to see.  As previously mentioned, nearly every beach is a great beach to explore the underwater world from.  Just keep in mind that the east coast has virtually no beaches, so you'll spend most of your time on the north, west, and south sides.  If you prefer to know what you're getting in to, or you're on the hunt for something special you can get an idea of what each site has to offer below, rent a snorkel kit for between $10 and $20(USD) and go to it.  The waters near the shore rarely get deeper than 20 feet and they are typically very calm.   You can also sign up for a snorkel tour with a local dive shops and see some of the deeper water snorkeling sites.  

Snorkeling Sites

If you'd like to explore what's below the surface you might enjoy Playa Jeremi. This quiet beach is hardly ever crowded, so your friends and family who aren't snorkeling will have a great time relaxing in the sand. Meanwhile, stick to the left side where there is a rocky cliff face for the best underwater sites. This snorkeling site is located within the northwestern part of Curacao.

Klien Curacao is another place you might enjoy. The swim out to the reef here takes about 10 minutes, but you can snorkel the whole time and see amazing sea life including eagle rays hiding in the sandy bottom. When you arrive, you'll be entranced by the numerous interesting coral formations and all of the fish, from tiny to large, that live in them.

A third place to consider is Playa Kalki. Also known as "Alice in Wonderland," this site features a vibrant and colorful underwater landscape of oddly shaped corals and sponges. The beach connected to it is soft and sandy, great for families to spend a day on.

A fourth location where you can go snorkeling is Playa Lagun. The swim out to the reef is a little long, but possible and you can snorkel most of the way. When you arrive, you'll be treated for views of not only school upon school of fish, but also squid, sea snakes, eagle rays, eels, octopus, and turtles. If you want to check it out, this site is situated in Lagun, in the northwestern part of Curacao.

Playa Kenepa is a fifth site to consider. The reef is located about eight to 10 minutes off shore if you swim, but you can wear your snorkel the whole way, taking your time to see all of the sea life that lives in the sand along the way. When you arrive at the reef, in addition to coral and sponges, you'll be able to interact with barracuda and squid among other creatures.

The following table summarizes a few details regarding 26 of the best places where you can go snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Curacao
Site Location
Playa Jeremi 1.3 mi. North of Central Lagun
Klien Curacao 0.2 mi. South of Central Klein Curacao
Caracas Bay 5.6 mi. East-Southeast of Central Otrabanda
Playa Kalki 0.5 mi. Northwest of Central Westpunt
Playa Lagun 0.3 mi. South of Central Lagun
Playa Kenepa 1.3 mi. South of Central Westpunt
Boca Santa Cruz 3.7 mi. West-Southwest of Central Barber
Boca Santa Cruz 3.7 mi. West-Southwest of Central Barber
Playa Manzalina 3.5 mi. South West of Central Barber
Playa Shon Moso 3.5 mi. South West of Central Barber
Playa Largu 3.9 mi. South-Southwest of Central Barber
Cas Abao Beach 1.9 mi. West-Northwest of Central St. Willibrordus
Playa Porto Mari 1.4 mi. West of Central St. Willibrordus
Daibooibaai 1.4 mi. West of Central St. Willibrordus
Saint Marie 2.1 mi. South-Southwest of Central St. Willibrordus
Pestbaai 1.8 mi. South West of Central Grote Berg
Varsenbaai 1.4 mi. North-Northwest of Central Sint Michiel
Boca Sami 0.8 mi. West of Central Sint Michiel
Snake Bay 0.3 mi. South West of Central Sint Michiel
Superior Producer 0.8 mi. West of Downtown Willemstad
Oswaldo's Dropoff 1.5 mi. Southeast of Downtown Willemstad
Bapor Kibra 2.8 mi. Southeast of Central Otrabanda
Jan Thiel Beach 3.9 mi. Southeast of Central Willemstad
Barbara Beach 6.6 mi. East-Southeast of Central Otrabanda
Jan Thiel Beach 0.4 mi. Northwest of Central Sint Michiel
Tugboat 5.9 mi. East-Southeast of Central Otrabanda

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Smallfield Adventures

Some people believe the best snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.

If you'd like to snorkel during a boat trip, you should consider Captain Boots Tours. Whether you want to relax, amplify the fun, or learn a new skill, they can arrange it for you. In addition to watersports activities such as kayaking, wake boarding, sailing, knee boarding and water skiing, Captain Boots also offers the following adventures: HALF DAY OR FULL DAY BOAT TRIP - Make your choice between a boat trip for half a day or a full day of relaxation and fun in the beautiful surroundings of Fuik Bay and Spanish Waters .

Another option worth investigating is Bounty Adventures. Bounty Adventures offers a Sail, Snorkel & Lunch Cruise providing a memorable day of sailing and snorkeling. The cruise departs from Restaurant Pirates Nest at the Caracasbaai at 10a.m. They're found within southeastern Curacao.

Still another option is Miss Ann Boat Trips. A fleet of several yachts specializing in different types of sailing adventures, you'll find that fun and excitement is readily available when you travel local waters by boat. Whether you want to relax and sail into the sunset, throw a party, or participate in watersports like snorkeling or fishing, they can make your dreams come to life.

You can look through the following table to find out more about boat trip providers that provide snorkeling opportunities.

Day Sails and Boat Trips On Curacao
Name Phone Location
Bounty Adventures (999) 767-9998 3.1 mi. Southeast of Central Otrabanda
Captain Boots Tours (999) 513-2747 5.8 mi. East of Central Otrabanda
Mermaid Boat Trips (599-9) 560-1530 Punda
Miss Ann Boat Trips (999) 767-1579 6.1 mi. East of Central Otrabanda
Pelican Boat Trips (999) 527-0747 Willemstad
Smallfield Adventures (999) 663-4848 Willemstad

Snorkeling Services

Adrenaline Tours Snorkeling

If you're looking for a business that offers snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you can check with Ocean Encounters at Lions Dive Hotel. Snorkeling trips are available for those who want to see the wonders of underwater from the surface. Snorkeling trips are combined with the one tank boat diving trips in the afternoon, so this is perfect for groups who have divers and non-divers. They are found in the vicinity of Willemstad, Curacao.

A second company catering to snorkelers is Adrenaline Tours Snorkeling. So well liked that most cruise lines work with them to create snorkeling trips for their passengers, this adventure tour guide is the largest watersports company on the island.

A third place to consider is Cas Abao Beach Water Sports. You can rent your snorkel, mask, and find for a half day or a full day. They also have additional equipment for rent like life vests. They're located in the western part of Curacao.

Some key facts about 11 firms that offer snorkeling related services are summarized below.

Snorkeling Services On Curacao
Name Type Phone Location
Adrenaline Tours Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (599-9) 767-6241 5.5 mi. East-Southeast of Central Otrabanda
Caribbean Sea Sports Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (599-9) 462-2620 2.0 mi. West-Northwest of Central Otrabanda
Cas Abao Beach Water Sports Snorkeling Tour Operator (999) 864-9899 1.9 mi. West-Northwest of Central St. Willibrordus
Curious2Dive Snorkeling Tour Operator (999) 513-2265 Willemstad
Duikcentrum Van de Ven Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (999) 514-1267 Willemstad
Go West Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (999) 864-0102 0.4 mi. Northwest of Central Westpunt
Goby Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator (999) 662-2853 Willemstad
Ocean Encounters at Lions Dive Hotel Snorkeling Tour Operator (999) 461-1831 3.2 mi. Southeast of Central Otrabanda
Ocean Encounters at the Sunscape Snorkeling Tour Operator (999) 461-8131 2.8 mi. East-Southeast of Central Otrabanda
Porto Mari Sports Diving Snorkeling Tour Operator (999) 864-7539 1.4 mi. West of Central St. Willibrordus
Scuba Store and More Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (999) 738-6640 Willemstad

For more information about snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, check out our comprehensive guide to snorkeling in the Caribbean.

Stunning blue waters and a whole world of sites to see await you off the coast of Curacao.  If you travel from the north tip down to the south along the west coast, there is one stunner after another sure you leave you breathless as you spend as much of your island getaway snorkeling as possible – and believe me, you'll want to.  

 

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