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Scuba Diving and Snorkeling on Curaçao

Curaçao’s underwater world has always been referred to as the Caribbean’s best kept secret and too few know about the treasures that lie just below the surface.

According to Jeremiah Peek, the General Manager of Ocean Encounters; “Our Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao is the “hidden gem of the Caribbean”. You will find a wonderful assortment diving and snorkeling on a diverse healthy fringing reef system that surrounds the island. With generally calm waters and great visibility, you will encounter incredible biodiversity and an abundance of coral formations making it an ideal year-round environment for snorkelers and divers alike because Curaçao is located outside the hurricane belt.”

But, these factors alone can be experienced at other world class dive and vacation destinations too. What makes Curaçao so different and why should you decide to bring your family, your buddies or your dive group to LionsDive Beach Resort and dive with Ocean Encounters here on Curaçao?

environmentally sustainable

photo courtesy of Ocean Encounters, taken by Turtle and Ray Productions HD

Jeremiah says it best; “LionsDive Beach Resort Curaçao and Ocean Encounters are clearly distinguishing our exceptional resort from other world class accommodations and destinations by focusing on not only the blue factors but also highlighting the topside richness of our island, to experience the essence of Curaçao through the culture, language, music, history and sustainable tourism initiatives.”

These factors that are underlined in the LionsDive Beach Resort “Green Mission” and the Ocean Encounters #OEPledge reaffirm their community commitment to not only be environmentally sustainable, but also economically and socially responsible.

Another fact is that Curaçao has some of the best dive sites in the Caribbean where thriving coral reefs provide divers and snorkelers alike with colorful and breathtaking experiences.

TRAVEL TIP: Ocean Encounters is the LionsDive Beach Resort premier 5-Star dive and snorkeler operator that is Curaçao Tourist Board approved. At Ocean Encounters, both Scuba School International (SSI) & PADI courses are available for all levels; from beginner to dive professional.

Whether you choose to join one of Ocean Encounters on a, regularly scheduled, daily 2 tank boat dive, a family snorkel trip or one of the special dive trips, the underwater world is completely different and unique. These aquatic wonderlands that are available for you to discover are truly unspoiled, and largely still unexplored. On these trips you will see sheer walls covered extensively in healthy coral and sponge colonies while the shallow plateaus are overrun by magnificent examples of Elkhorn, Staghorn and Pillar coral communities.

Dive Spot East Point

photo courtesy of Ocean Encounters, taken by Turtle and Ray Productions HD

Now, let’s dive into the LionsDive Top 10 Dive and Snorkel Picks

1. Klein Curacao and Eastpoint Special Trip: This all day 2-tank special dive trip, including lunch, will undoubtedly be the highlight of your vacation. On this special trip you will have the opportunity to dive Eastpoint, that is arguably one of the best reefs of the Caribbean then cross over to Klein Curaçao, a deserted island, where the turquoise water, white sandy beaches, shipwrecks, and abandoned light house create the perfect backdrop for this Caribbean paradise.

2. Mushroom Forest Special Trip: Rated as one of the ‘Caribbean Best Dives’ by Sport Diver Magazine, this all day 2-tank special trip, that includes lunch, to the western side of Curaçao will leave you wanting more. At this site, you will experience some of the most majestic star and brain corals rising up to form mushroom shaped domes full of underwater life. After the dive, you will visit the nearby Blue Room, a famous and essential Curaçao experience.

3. The Stella Maris: This is the house reef of LionsDive Beach Resort and Ocean Encounters Diving that is ideally located inside the Curaçao National Marine Park. Due to the abundant health of this beautiful fringing reef, this site is the perfect spot on Curaçao for a leisurely shore dive or a wonderful snorkeling experience. Additionally, we recommend visiting Coral Restoration Curaçao to learn more about the coral nurseries located at this site that are being used to rebuild the shallow water reef system outside the wave breakers. Coral Restoration Curaçao, an initiative of Ocean Encounters that is supported by LionsDive Beach Resort, is a wonderful investment in sustainable tourism that educates the community while protecting and preserving Curaçao’s natural ecosystems.

Shipwreck Superior Producer

photo courtesy of Ocean Encounters, taken by Turtle and Ray Productions HD

4. The Superior Producer: The Superior Producer is one of Curaçao’s most popular dive sites, and one of the Caribbean’s top wrecks. Dive in to the history of this iconic Curaçao shipwreck to discover how it came to meet its untimely end.

Shipwreck Tugboat

photo courtesy of Ocean Encounters, taken by Turtle and Ray Productions HD

5. The Tugboat: This famous Curaçao Tugboat wreck is located next to Directors Bay in just 5 meters (15ft) of water below the steep facing cliffside leading up to the infamous Quarantine House. Purposely wrecked just a few yards offshore of Tugboat Beach, in Caracasbaai, this site is absolutely perfect for divers as well as snorkelers.

6. Eastpoint: Located at the very eastern tip of Curaçao’s National Marine Park, this is a MUST DIVE!! Only accessible by boat, this site is largely one of the most pristine and unblemished fringing reef systems on Curaçao, if not the entire Caribbean.

7. Director’s Bay: This historic landmark is perfectly suited for divers, snorkelers and beach goers looking to relax. This site includes an old decaying surge protection fence (or what locals say, a shark fence) which is now encrusted in many beautiful corals and sponges. Additionally this site is a perfect example of sustainable tourism at work because of the regular out-planting of shallow water corals by Coral Restoration Curaçao.

8. Saba Tugboat: Another dive and snorkel location where you will find a beautiful shallow water tugboat sunk in about 5 meters of water.

9. Shipwreck Point: This is like diving inside an Aquarium! Oddly enough, this incredible fringing reef is the house reef of the Curaçao Sea Aquarium that is located next to LionsDive Beach Resort, and it is one of the healthiest reefs around Curacao.

Turtle swimming towards the divers

photo courtesy of Ocean Encounters, taken by Turtle and Ray Productions HD

10. Barracuda Point: This special dive site, locally known as Punt’i Piku, is almost completely saturated in dense hard and soft coral formations, and a favorite location to spot sea turtles.

11. Smokey’s and Kathy’s Paradise: At these dive sites, you can literally fly between these two spectacular locations witnessing incredible coral formations and a 360 degree kaleidoscope of vivid colors and a plethora of life!

All photography courtesy of Ocean Encounters, taken by Turtle and Ray Productions HD.