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.
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.
If you're looking forward to seeing what's below the surface you should consider a visit to 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 option. 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 place 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 found in Lagun, in the northwestern part of Curacao.
Playa Kenepa is a fifth location 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 table just below enables you to learn some details concerning 26 of the best locations where you can experience snorkeling in this area.
|Playa Jeremi||1.3 mi. North of Central Lagun|
|Klien Curacao||0.2 mi. South of Central Klein Curacao|
|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|
|3.5 mi. South West of Central Barber|
|Playa Shon Moso||3.5 mi. South West of Central Barber|
|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|
|2.1 mi. South-Southwest of Central St. Willibrordus|
|1.8 mi. South West of Central Grote Berg|
|Varsenbaai||1.4 mi. North-Northwest of Central Sint Michiel|
|0.8 mi. West of Central Sint Michiel|
|0.3 mi. South West of Central Sint Michiel|
|0.8 mi. West of Downtown Willemstad|
|1.5 mi. Southeast of Downtown Willemstad|
|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|
|5.9 mi. East-Southeast of Central Otrabanda|
Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.
If you want to combine some snorkeling with a boating adventure, you might want to contact Captain Boots. Skip the big tourist boats and opt for a more private tour of the south coast. Sailing, snorkeling, fishing; this charter boat does it all!
Another option to investigate is Bounty Adventures. The only catamaran day sail charter on the island, they have more than 15 years of experience showing guests the beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea as they sail to Island Klein during either a half day sail and snorkel adventure or a sunset cruise. They're located in southeastern Curacao.
A third good 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.
A few details about day sails and boat trips that offer snorkeling are provided directly below.
|Bounty Adventures||(999) 767-9998||6.5 mi. East-Southeast of Central Otrabanda|
|Captain Boots||(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|
If you looking for a business that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you should check out Adrenaline Tours Curacao. 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. They are located in the vicinity of Willemstad, Curacao.
Another company catering to snorkelers is Cas Abao Beach Water Sports. This center has the market cornered on all watersports that take place at the beach for which it is named. If you need to rent your snorkeling gear or participate in any other watersports, they have it all easily accessible for you right on the shore.
A third place to consider is Ocean Encounters at Lions Dive Hotel. Afternoon snorkeling trips are combined with one tank scuba diving to the Director's Bay or The Tugboat. They're situated in the vicinity of Willemstad, Curacao.
Glance through the following chart to see 11 companies that provide snorkeling related services.
|Adrenaline Tours Curacao||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|
|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|
|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 concerning snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for both "old pros" and beginners, check out our detailed 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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