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World | Caribbean | Diving Curacao:

Curacao overview


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Curacao dive site map


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Scuba Diving in Curacao, Caribbean


Water temperature:

27°C (81°F) in Februaryto 29°C (84°F) in summer

Suit:

3mm-5mm shortie

Visibility:

10 - 30 metres (30 – 100 feet)

Type of diving:

Some wrecks, reefs and walls

Marine life:

Turtles, manta rays,stingrays, eagle rays, groupers, barracuda, moray eels, jacks, octopus, crabs, lobsters, seahorses, brain coral, star coral, sea fans, barrel sponges, tropical reef fish

When to go:

Anytime of year, prime time is from January to April

How to get there:

From the UK - Fly with KLM Airlines via Amsterdam

Curacao - Courtesy of Ian Lovett

Curaçao is a small volcanic island located just north of Venezuela. Along with its sister islands of Aruba and Bonaire, it is part of the Dutch Caribbean. Curaçao is much drier than some of the other Caribbean islands and lies just below the hurricane belt. There is not much in the way of vegetation except for cacti, and the Curaçao orange, which is used to make the liqueur of the same name. What the island lacks in beauty in the interior, it makes up for with its pretty beaches. The capital of Willemstad was built by Dutch merchants and is full of brightly coloured houses, reminiscent of Amsterdam. The official currency is the Antilles Guilda and US dollars are also widely accepted. The first language spoken is Dutch, but English is also widely understood.

Curaçao has much to offer for divers, especially beginners, but it is frequently overshadowed as a diving destination by the more popular Bonaire to which it is very similar. The best of the dive sites are located to the west of the island and forty out of the islands sixty sites are accessible from shore, keeping the cost of diving down. The reefs have suffered from over fishing in the past, so are depleted compared to some of the other Caribbean islands and commonly only small fish are found. However, Curaçao Underwater Park promotes conservation along its 12 mile (19km) reef with coral beds, walls and shallow wrecks. It is great for divers and snorkellers alike. Entrance into the marine park costs US$10-15, which goes towards the upkeep of the park. One of the islands best dive sites is the wreck of the Superior Producer, a seventy-metre long boat that has been resting on the seafloor for the past thirty years.

When not diving, there are secluded beaches and a nature reserve to explore. Christoffel National Park is home to protected species of iguana and the tiny Curaçao deer. There is also an ostrich farm and a sea aquarium where it is possible to swim with lemon sharks. Water sports such as fishing, windsurfing and water-skiing are readily available and there are golf courses if you fancy getting away from the sea. Curaçao is a good family destination, particularly for divers who have non-diving partners as dive sites are close to shore, so you will not be away for too long!

 


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