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're looking forward to exploring below the water's surface 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 located in Willemstad.

Oswaldo's Dropoff is another place 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 location 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 want to check it out, you'll find this site located in southeastern Willemstad.

Snake Bay is a fifth site 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.

The table just below provides more details concerning 9 of the best places to 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

For some people, the best snorkeling is located off shore.

If you're hoping to snorkel during a boat trip, you might want to check with Bounty Adventures. The original catamaran day sail charter on the island, Bounty Adventures 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.

Another option to consider is Smallfield Adventures. No matter what type of sailing adventure you sign up for, you'll find snorkel equipment, floating noodles, and towels aboard. Their half day trips include an open bar, snacks, and fruit, while their full day trips also include a barbecue. They're located in Willemstad.

Still another option is Mermaid Boat Trips. A few times a week, up to 60 guests travel aboard the Mermaid, sailing to Klein Curacao and other locations along the southern coast including Duivelsklip, Fuik, and Oostpunt. The trip includes a beach barbecue buffet, snacks, and drinks.

Be sure to look through this table to see boat operators that offer snorkeling.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Willemstad
Name Phone Location
Bounty Adventures (999) 767-9998 2.4 mi. Southeast of Central Willemstad
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 a place that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you should check out 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. They are located in western Willemstad.

A second place that offers snorkeling related services is 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.

A third company worth contacting is Curious2Dive. This operator offers both snorkel trips and trips that combine snorkeling and diving. Klein Curaçao, the Tugboat, and Playa Lagoon are their top snorkeling destinations. They're found within Willemstad.

The following table enables you to get information with regard to 7 places that offer snorkeling services.

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 concerning snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for both "old pros" and beginners, read our comprehensive Caribbean snorkeling page.

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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