Having just returned from a splendid dive vacation in Curacao La Bonne Vivante can’t wait to bring you the very latest of this gorgeous island.
Sparkling turquoise beaches, idyllic coves and a cultural melting pot represent this windy island. Curacao’s turbulent past which included Spaniards establishing themselves on the island in 16th Century and the subsequent arrival of the Dutch has led to a diverse culture and an impressive linguistic diversity. The local language spoken is the Caribbean Papiamento however Curacao’s residents are also fluent in Dutch, English and Spanish. Willemstad, the island’s capital city looks like a minituare Amsterdam with colorful houses. The city has two parts, Punda and Otrabanda (Papiamento for “the other side” ) are separated by a floating bridge.
Curacao’s Top 5 Dive Sites:
With a coral reef surrounding pretty much most of the island, Curacao has a variety of dives accessible from the shore. As you don’t need a boat to reach most sites simply rent a car, grab a map, gear and your buddy and explore Curacao’s underwater wolrd.
This is a great, easy warm up dive. Start your dive at the pylons and further down you’ll see the tugboat. On your way to tugboat watch out for Seahorses, there is one which always hangs out here! The boat itself hosts a rich marine life and is encrusted by corals and you can spot large Tarpon Fish.
Tip: At the dive site you’ll come across lots of litter and bumpy streets. Don’t be put off by the uninviting surrounding . The underwater world is stunning.
The Superior Producer
This dive site has been ranked as one of Caribbean’s best reef dives and we think this is justified.In 1977 the superior producer was heading to Isla Margarita, and had planned on a stop in Curacao to stock up on fuel and supply. Heavily overloaded the ship ran into trouble and finally sunk just of the coast of Otrobanda. The wreck measures about 50 meters in length and sits upright on a sand plateau only 60 meters away from the shore, at a depth of about 30 meters. The shallowest part of the wreck is the top of the superstructure.
What is there to see: Orange cup corals, tube corals and sponges as well as large Tarpon Fish and Barracudas can be found.
Tip: Be aware that the entrance can be a bit rough with slippery stones and strong waves as well as currents and you’ll need booties. As this is a bit more challenging it is recommended for experienced divers. Less experienced divers should visit the site with a dive instructor
Playa Kalki or Alice in Wonderland
This dive spot is located on the western tip of the island. The dive site is beautiful, full of a rich marine life including lobsters, lion fish and colorful corals. This is a very relaxed dive which feels like a Sunday afternoon walk in the park. The entrance is fairly easy too.
Tip: There is a dive center just in front of the beach so you can rent your tanks right there or use the facilities for 5 USD per person.
Another easy dive. This is also a popular beach which hosts a dive center and a restaurant. The site consists of a double reef with a sandy plateau in between.There is a good chance to see eagle rays here although were weren’t so lucky . The reef has a very varied coral growth with hard and soft corals with an abundance of lion fish and other rich marine life.
Tip: Rent your bottles at the local dive site and have a Deco beer at the restaurant just by the beach
Another relaxed dive site easily accessible. The parking spot is located above the beach. The reef is at a very steep face that is grown with many different kinds of soft and hard corals like branching vase sponge, murrays and a large amount of fire fish.
Tip: Alternatively, start your dive at Barbara Beach further down the street and drift to Director’s bay. Make sure you stay shallow at around 6 meters and watch your air consumption carefully as the dive will take approx. 80 minutes. This is only an option for more experienced divers.
In general it is recommended not to leave anything of value in your car. The poverty rate is pretty high. Some leave their cars unlocked to prevent from broken car windows.
Santa Barbara’s 5 star Beach hotel is a secluded, lovely hotel situated within the plantation of Santa Barbara. It hosts spacious rooms, two pools and a white sandy beach, a golf and tennis court and 2 restaurants. The staff is very forthcoming and will make you feel welcome. www.santabarbararesortcuracao.com/