Snorkeling Around Willemstad

Photo credit © Animal Encounters

Although you can wade in and begin snorkeling at pretty much any beach in Willemstad, this destination is unique because there is a designated snorkeling park that spans 12 miles of coast where you can be certain you'll see something amazing.  

The snorkeling park is called the Curacao Marine Park, and includes healthy reefs, shallow shipwrecks, steep calls, over 30 species of coral, ad millions of different types of fish – everything a snorkeler could hope to encounter under the surface of the sea.  

But you don't have to visit this park to get in some good snorkeling.  The waters of Willemstad are always between 75 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit, visibility ranges from 60 to 150 feet, and the currents often remain calm, making any area shallow enough great for poking your head under and looking around.  

If you choose to head out on your own, you can typically rent a snorkel kit for between $10 and $20(USD).  Most dive shops also let snorkelers accompany them when they take scuba divers out, so you can visit some of the area's deeper waters through this means.

Snorkeling Sites

If you want to experience what's down below you might enjoy Superior Producer. Although it is against the law to dive and snorkel at this site when there is a cruise ship in port, this wreck has been sitting at the bottom of the sea since 1996. Because it is relatively shallow, snorkelers can see it when the conditions are good. This snorkeling site is found within Willemstad.

Oswaldo's Dropoff is another snorkeling spot you might enjoy. A very healthy reef with a great deal of active marine life, this site is a good once when the conditions are right, but the current can be rough at times.

A third site to consider is Bapor Kibra. Almost a century old, this wreck allows snorkelers to catch glimpses of a barge sunk with a crane, cars, trucks, and telephones aboard. All of this can be seen as schools a tropical fish swim in and out creating their home here.

A fourth place where you can go snorkeling is Jan Thiel Beach. Because it is a located off the shore of a beach club, you'll have to pay an entrance fee to snorkel here, but most agree it is worth the price. The reef system is healthy and swimming with sea life including seahorses and octopus. If you're interested, you'll find this site located in southeastern Willemstad.

Snake Bay is a fifth option to consider. After a short swim, snorkelers have access to a reef with a nice amount of young, active fish. Although the site is thought of more as a dive location, it is shallow enough to make it worth it.

Take a minute to read the following table for a quick overview of 9 of the most popular locations where you can enjoy snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Willemstad
Site Location
Superior Producer 0.8 mi. West of Downtown Willemstad
Oswaldo's Dropoff 1.5 mi. Southeast of Downtown Willemstad
Bapor Kibra 2.2 mi. Southeast of Central Willemstad
Jan Thiel Beach Jan Thiel, 3.9 mi. Southeast of Central Willemstad
Snake Bay Sint Michiel, 5.2 mi. West-Northwest of Central Willemstad
Jan Thiel Beach 5.5 mi. Northwest of Central Willemstad
Boca Sami Sint Michiel, 5.8 mi. West-Northwest of Central Willemstad
Varsenbaai 6.3 mi. Northwest of Central Willemstad
Caracas Bay 5.0 mi. East-Southeast of Central Willemstad

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Smallfield Adventures

Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is located off shore.

If you're hoping to go snorkeling during a boat trip, you can check with Smallfield Adventures. Explore the island by boat and see just why these waters are so beloved around the world. Interested in snorkeling, fishing, or sailing into the sunset?

Another option to consider is Mermaid Boat Trips. Experience parts of Curacao that are otherwise inaccessible when you sign up for a sailing tour operated by one of the most hospitable tour groups around: Mermaid Boat Trips. They're situated in Punda.

Still another option is Pelican Boat Trips. Tuesday is the Harbour Trip, where you'll sail by Punda and Otrabanda. Wednesday is the Caribbean Sunset trip which cruises to Spanish Waters and Willemstad.

Some information with regard to day sails and boat trips that offer snorkeling are displayed right below.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Willemstad
Name Phone Location
Mermaid Boat Trips (599-9) 560-1530 Punda
Pelican Boat Trips (999) 527-0747 Willemstad
Smallfield Adventures (999) 663-4848 Willemstad

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for someone offering snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you might want to contact 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 southeastern Willemstad.

A second place worth knowing about is Caribbean Sea Sports. Offering the full service watersports experience, this center invites you to explore the world underneath the surface with their guidance and instruction.

A third place to consider is Ocean Encounters at the Sunscape. An afternoon snorkeling trip that is offered takes guests to Director's Bay, which has a combination of beach and reef snorkeling. This dive site is an old decaying shark fence that is now covered in sponges and corals and a large octopus calls this bay home. They're situated in southeastern Willemstad.

The chart directly below lists some information concerning 7 places that offer services related to snorkeling.

Snorkeling Services In Willemstad
Name Type Phone Location
Caribbean Sea Sports Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (599-9) 462-2620 Piscadera, 2.7 mi. West of Central Willemstad
Curious2Dive Snorkeling Tour Operator (999) 513-2265 Willemstad
Duikcentrum Van de Ven Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (999) 514-1267 Willemstad
Goby Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator (999) 662-2853 Willemstad
Ocean Encounters at Lions Dive Hotel Snorkeling Tour Operator (999) 461-1831 2.6 mi. Southeast of Central Willemstad
Ocean Encounters at the Sunscape Snorkeling Tour Operator (999) 461-8131 2.2 mi. Southeast of Central Willemstad
Scuba Store and More Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (999) 738-6640 Willemstad

To learn more about snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, check out this comprehensive Caribbean snorkeling article.

With a seascape that is often acclaimed as one of the best in both the Atlantic and the Caribbean, Willemstad is one destination where making snorkeling a priority is a must.  


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