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Exploring Curacao’s Best Dive Spots


Located in the Leeward Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, Curacao is one of the three westernmost islands in the group (along with Aruba and Bonaire, with the three collectively known as the ABC islands). Easily accessible from numerous international airports and via a number of different airlines, including KLM (reflecting the island’s Dutch history), Curacao is the perfect tropical escape from cold winters at home. It offers a wide variety of warm-weather, beach-centered activities, one of the more popular of which is snorkeling and scuba diving.

Curacao is renowned for its world-class diving, and has a number of different dive sites that are legendary amongst the dive community. Populated with diverse marine life, ranging from coral reefs and small reef fish to large sharks and manta rays, these dive sites are all unique and beautiful in their own way. Whether you are hoping to explore colorful corals or spot jovial cleaner shrimp, you have more than 60 options to choose from. Some of the best include:

  1. Alice in Wonderland: Located in the picturesque cove of Punta Kalki, this dive site is ideal for shallow-water snorkeling, but also features deeper dive opportunities, with reef walls that drop between 30 and 100 feet. Accessible from shore, this dive zone is the perfect day trip, as it’s possible to do multiple dives with on-shore lunch breaks in between. Scuba tours are available in the area, and the cove is backed by the newly built Playa Beach Club, which boasts a wide array of amenities, ranging from a pool and pool bar to various lounges, cabanas, restaurants, and a dance floor.
  2. Snake Bay: Home to a multitude of marine life, including large pelagic species such as dolphins and turtles, Snake Bay is best known for the eels that live in the area and give the dive site its name.
  3. Tugboat: Popular with wreck divers, this submerged tugboat lies in relatively shallow water, making it a great option for beginner and less-experienced divers. In addition to the ghostly wreck, the dive site sits near to a pier that is home to many popular, interesting marine species, such as octopus and seahorses.
  4. Elvin’s Plane Wreck: Another popular site for wreck divers, this submerged airplane fuselage is a local favorite. While it is possible to dive this wreck from shore, it is best to do so with a guide—and most people opt to dive it from a boat. The dive is a few minutes sail from All West Dive Shop, making it a convenient stop on the Curacao diving circuit.
  5. Watamula: One of the most popular dives on the island, Watamula is a drift dive that features huge, intricate coral heads that provide shelter to large, active bait balls—a treat for any diver. Turtles are also commonly encountered, and there is even the occasional whale shark in the area.
  6. Superior Producer: One of the best wreck dives in the Caribbean, this sunken ship sits at 100 feet, making it an intermediate to advanced dive. Over the years, the wreck has grown massive coral colonies, making it an incredibly beautiful dive experience.
  7. Paradise: A great experience for divers of all levels, Paradise is a cave diving site that boasts beautiful reef and an abundant turtle population. It is also rarely visited by dive boats, making it a more private, personal experience.
  8. Mushroom Forest: Coral has fascinated divers for centuries, and this unique dive spot is no exception. Featuring a number of huge coral heads that resemble underwater mushrooms, the site is 20 minutes boat ride from the west end of the island and is considered one of Curacao’s classic dives.
  9. Booby Trap: A great beginner dive, due to shallow water, mellow current, and convenient access, Booby Trap features an abundance of sponges and soft and. Hard corals. It is also a great option for macro photography.
  10. Klein Curacao: Also known as “Little Curacao,” this uninhabited, offshore island provides a classic Caribbean castaway experience. The water is crystal clear, the marine life is plentiful and unmolested, and the topside experience is as enjoyable as the underwater seascape. If you are looking to turn a dive into a day trip, Klein Curacao is a great option.

Wherever you end up diving, you are almost guaranteed to have a great time and see a side of Curacao that most people end up missing out on. Whether you are a keen diver or simply looking for a break from the beach and want to explore the scuba experience on a guided adventure dive, strap on a mask, fins, snorkel, and maybe even a tank and you’ll be amazed at what you find.

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