Anyone that has dived in the Caribbean knows that you can’t really get too much better than the scuba diving in Curacao. Located in the southern Caribbean Sea, north of the Venezuelan coast, Curacao consists of the main island as well as the uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao.
Scuba diving in Curacao offers chances to see the normal highlights of the Caribbean including tons of sea turtles, dolphins, and schooling fish, but also epic white sand beaches and beautiful top-side scenery.
But we are also aware that sometimes planning the PERFECT dive holiday can be somewhat stressful, with the lack of useful information online.
But it doesn’t have to be.
In this guide, it is our goal to show you all of the best dive locations in Curacao, how to get there, what to expect, who to dive with, visa information, and more.
There are a ton of options when it comes to diving here, so we will tell you what makes each one unique and special, and once you decide where you want to go in Curacao, we’ll give you all the information you’ll need to make it happen.
Without the stress of not knowing what to expect!
Best Dive Sites In Curacao
THE MUSHROOM FOREST
A favorite Curacao diving spot. Over the course of time, its coral formations have grown to resemble mushrooms, which is where it gets its name. All of them have an abundance of marine life living underneath them.
THE BLUE ROOM
Divers frequently visit this site along with the Mushroom Forest. This shallow, underwater cavern practically glows with an eerie, blue light. The inside is filled with a variety of marine creatures, including a school of glassy sweepers and several species of shrimp.
In this case, “The Valley” refers to a valley in between two parallel reefs. This area is absolutely teeming with colorful corals and schooling fish, some of which are difficult to find anywhere else. It’s a good place to find nurse sharks, parrotfish, groupers, and many other tropical marine species.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Also known as Playa Kalki, this is one of the most popular diving sites in Curacao. It’s aptly named, as the site features many mushroom-shaped coral colonies, and contains a number of different species of fish and rays. This dive is appropriate for beginning and advanced divers and is also a great place for a night dive.
This dive site features the largest pillar coral formation in the entire Caribbean Sea. Here you can spot barracuda, groupers, and jacks. Please be aware that the depth and currents here make it a spot for intermediate and advanced divers only.
This site isn’t visited as often as some of the others on this list, but it’s definitely worth checking out.This is one of the rare places in Curacao where you’re likely to see sharks and stingrays. Its out-of-the-way location also means its reef is as close to virginal as you’ll find in Curacao.
Don’t let the name scare you. This dive site is appropriate for divers at all skill levels. It was named for the strong current that was present at its original location. This is a good place to find tube sponges, brain corals, mushroom heads, barracuda, and sea turtles.
Because of the strong currents present at this dive site, it’s a spot for experienced divers only. If you feel up to the challenge, you can find an underwater cave at 24m where Nurse sharks are often found inside.
This site was originally named for the fact that divers rarely went there. This is a bit of an ironic name nowadays as it’s becoming more and more popular. It’s a very deep dive that features a sheer 90-degree wall. The depth of this site makes it suitable for intermediate and advanced divers only.
A popular wreck dive in Curacao. As you might expect, it features a sunken tugboat lying at a depth of only 5m, covered in sponges and corals. You can also find a shallow reef on one side of it, which is home to a wide variety of magnificent macro life.
Sometimes referred to as the 18th Hole. Part of the fun of this dive is its close proximity to the Blue Bay Golf Resort. This means you can search for lost golf balls while also swimming among barracudas and huge schools of fish. This dive is appropriate for both beginners and advanced divers.
Also known as Punt’i Piku, barracudas are known to follow divers at a distance at this spot. This is also a great place to find sea turtles and jacks, along with beautiful coral formations. Great for beginner and experienced divers.
This wreck dive features a tugboat lying in less than thirty feet of water. Even though parts of the boat itself are falling apart, a number of critters have made it their home over the years. These include blue chromis and rock beauties, among others.
This is just a taste of some of the great places to explore while scuba diving in Curacao. When you arrive in Curacao, your dive center or resort will tell you the best sites to dive, based on your experience level and what you want to see.
What To See When Scuba Diving In Curacao
Curacao is considered to be one of the best places in the Caribbean for photographing macro life. More than likely, you’re not overly likely to spot sharks here. However, you are likely to see turtles and definitely going to see a plethora of tiny critters that will be difficult to find anywhere else.
Here’s a small sample of what you can expect to see on your Curacao diving holiday:
Frogfish: These guys like to hide, so keep your eye out for them.
Arrow Crabs: Can be identified by their long, spider-like legs.
Seahorses: Seahorses can be hard to find, but you’re likely to see at least a few of them.
Lettuce Sea Slugs: A gorgeous nudibranch that can be seen in three different color phases.
Spotted Snake Eels: Likes to bury itself in the sand with only its head showing.
Gobies: See if you can get a picture of these little guys.
Pygmy Angelfish: Gorgeous, sapphire-colored fish.
Moray Eels: The largest of all eels.
Blennies: Tiny fish that are fun to photograph if you can.
Many different species of shrimp: You’ll find several different kinds on nearly every dive.
Along with many other species of fish. Again, Curacao is a dream come true when it comes to macro life. If you enjoy photographing the smallest critters of the sea, then you won’t be disappointed.
Best Time To Dive In Curacao
Diving in Curacao is pretty much good all year. The dry season runs for most of the year, with the rainy season only running from October to December, so conditions and visibility are generally very good throughout the year.
If you want to see the coral spawning in Curacao, then you want to visit between September and October. Akin to the other Caribbean islands, the high season is between December and April. So if you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit outside of this window.
Best Times To Visit:
People typically arrive for Curacao diving all year round. It lies outside of the hurricane belt, which means its weather is largely unaffected by the seasons. In fact, the weather changes very little throughout the year. Even its rainy and windy seasons bring very small variations to the climate.
In general, the best time to visit Curacao is during the months of May to November. This has nothing to do with the weather itself, but simply because Curacao can be extremely busy during the holiday months.
You won’t have to fight as many crowds during the offseason. You’re also likely to find lower rates on hotels and airline tickets during this time.