Heading to the beach can be quite an experience on this beautiful island. Tiny though it be, it has over 35 “beaches”, which are actually bays, and all of them are unique in size, landscape, marine life and accessibility, which makes looking for the ideal beach day an exciting adventure. Whether you’re looking for more secluded beaches, a hike followed by a refreshing dip, the iconic Caribbean ocean views, or the commodities of the more popular privately-owned beaches, Curaçao has it all.
Playa Porto Marie
Situated on the Western side of the island, this beach has a large strip of white sand, turquoise blue water, beach chairs, restroom/shower and a restaurant. An ideal family beach, that is if you don’t mind crowded beaches.
Over the past years, the beach has become more and more popular because of its hoofed mascots. Wild pigs out for strolls from the surrounding bushy area, were fed often enough by the beach visitors, to make this beach their permanent home. You can spot them strutting their bulky stuff on the sandy strip, or taking a nap in the shade, you might even have to stand in line to take a picture with these celebrities.
Playa Kenepa Grandi
Upon arrival you will immediately realize why this beach is Curacao’s most popular beach, known from many a top 10 Caribbean beach lists all over the world: a wide and scenic cliff view offers a great photo opportunity of the bright turquoise water, white sand and surrounding green hills. The crystal clear water is great for snorkeling or for floating around and cheering the cliff jumpers on.
All of the basic amenities are present, don’t be late, this beach gets crowded early.
One of of the most Northern beaches on the island is called Playa Grandi (Big Beach) or Playa Piskado (Fisherman’s Beach), known for the numerous fishermans boats that are permanently tied up there. Every day local fishermen bring in their catch of the day and clean the fish on the beach, before taking off on their way to hopefully cash some hard-earned money. Well aware of the daily cleaning routine are the nearby sea turtles who have decided to permanently nestle in this bay, hanging around waiting for fish scraps.
Fish is also weighed and sold on the spot if you fancy cooking it yourself, but there are also food shacks that offer a cold beer and local fish dishes, like “awa di playa” (Bay water), a clear fish soup, or fried fish with funchi(local polenta).
The beach is not particularly one of the nicest beaches with its pebbled shore, brown sand and sometimes murky water, but still a popular tourist attraction because of the turtles; visitors arrive by busload to stand and watch from the pier, or to snorkel in groups, hoping to catch a glimpse of- and a picture with these majestic creatures.
Blue Room (Playa Santa Cruz)
One of Curacao’s most famous snorkeling spots, this experience is known to exceed expectations. Originally known as Boca Fluit (Flute Bay) the Blue Room was given this name because of the whistling sounds that it emits as the water splashes against the rocks.
Reached after a 20 minute moderate hike from Playa St. Cruz beach and ending in an exhilarating jump that will bring you right in front of the cave. Depending on the water level, you can either swim right in or will have to freedive a bit to enter the cave. Once inside, you will understand the reason behind the name. Bathed in blue light, you will not get enough of this magical display of different shades of blue. Watch as the other swimmers also light up blue, different schools of fishes enter and exit and if you’re lucky you will even get to spot lobsters walking on the bottom.
Located just off the Caracasbaai Peninsula is one of Curaçao’s most popular snorkeling spots. Although there are some beach chairs and a small dive center, this beach is void of any other amenities, it’s mainly popular as a shipwreck diving spot. Enter the pebbled beach and just a few meters off-shore, a set of huge pylons in the water mark the spot. Although the tugboat is completely submerged, it’s just a few meters under water and easy to spot. Resting in its watery grave you’ll find the tugboat which came to its end when an anchor was accidentally dropped through its deck. Covered in corals, the tugboat houses several species of colorful fishes.
Follow the coast to the east and head to Director’s bay (also accessible by car). Swim a few meters off-shore along the vertical reef wall covered in several corals and sponges. Watch out for the current as it can be particularly strong between these two beaches, but don’t let it stop you from swimming closer to the coast as you’ll get to see some nice elkhorn corals and if you’re lucky perhaps even a resting squid.
The ultimate beach experience has to be a boat trip to the 1.7 km² uninhabited island, Klein (Little) Curaçao. Situated about 8 miles off the southeast coast of Curaçao, this small piece of paradise is just a 2 hour boat ride away. Characterized by its long stretch of white sandy beach and crystal clear waters, Klein Curaçao is a mecca for divers
Although it’s deserted and barren, there are some palapas that offer much needed shade. Besides your swimsuit and other beach necessities, we recommend you also take your hiking gear to explore the island on foot.
Spending the day at the beach is an incredible experience on its own, but if you want to up the ante, plan a stay-over for a unique getaway. Watch the sunset and marvel as the stars appear, shining brightly in the night sky unobscured by the usual light pollution. Fall asleep to the rhythmic pounding of the waves and howling wind and wake up to an early morning deserted beach, breakfast on the beach, anyone?
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