By Tom and Jan Turner
My wife and I had the opportunity to finally enjoy an extended trip in January 2024, and here is our Curacao snorkeling report. We had a great time, the snorkeling was great and the water was absolutely spectacular.
Where We Stayed and Snorkeled
We stayed at the Marazul Dive Resort in Westpunt and wound up spending all of our time at the west end snorkel spots: Santu Pretu, Playa Santa Cruz, Playa Lagun, Playa Jeremi, Playa Kenepa Chiki, Playa Abou, Playa Forti, Playa Grandi and Playa Kalki.
From where we were staying, we could enter the water east of Playa Forti and swim west beyond Playa Grandi. We almost made it to Playa Kalki but didn’t realize it until we went in at Playa Kalki and saw how close we had gotten.
Our favorite spot for snorkeling was either Playa Kalki or Playa Abou, but our favorite location after the snorkel was Playa Kenepa Chiki, because there were substantially less people at this beach.
On one day, we ventured downtown to go to West Caracasbaai and found that the wind was way too contrary to even attempt it. We looked at going in at Playa Caracasbaai, but decided that it was too bouncy to go in there also, so we went over to Tugboat and Directors Bay. It was too rough over there also.
We have snorkeled Tugboat and Directors Bay three other times when in Curacao on a cruiseship, so we knew what to expect there. They are both great snorkel sites, but the sea was too rough the day we were there. Since the wind was about the same for the rest of our trip, we never tried to go back again. We will save it for the next time.
What We Saw While Snorkeling Curacao
In our Curacao snorkels, we saw all of the expected reef fish, and were surprised at the size of some of the various species, particularly the Rock Beauties. They were huge. We saw turtles almost every time we went in, with Green Sea Turtles being the most abundant, but many Hawksbill Turtles also. We were able to spend time with six or seven octopus at different places on different occasions.
We had the unique experience of having a pod of dolphins (we counted 15) come in and play with us for about 45 minutes. When they got bored, they left, but that had only happened to us once before in Hawaii. It was truly a unique experience.
All in all, our trip was a great success and we are already booked at a place for next year. Galen and Nicole’s Curacao Snorkeling Guide was an absolute benefit. We used it daily and found all the information to be of great use. We did find a shipwreck between Playa Santa Cruz and Santu Pretu that is not in the guide, but you have to swim from one to the other to find it. We had a great time!