Curacao is one of the ABC islands of the Caribbean, along with Aruba and Bonaire. But unlike the neighboring islands, Curacao remains much less tourist-focused and somewhat of a hidden gem. With its beautiful Dutch colonial architecture, glorious beaches, wild coasts, and amazing water sports opportunities, it is the perfect destination for a holiday in the sun.
Curacao offers plenty of diving opportunities thanks to its rich biodiversity, amazing coral reefs, impressive walls, shipwrecks, good visibility, and warm waters throughout the year. Plus, most of the dive sites here are accessible from the shore. And there are over 80 dive sites to explore!
Diving off Playa Lagun. Picture by Laszlo Ilyes.
The peak season for diving in Curacao is September to December, but diving is a year-round activity due to the fantastic weather. The rainy season runs from December to March when the island may see some brief daily downpours, but diving is still very much possible.
The water temperature in Curacao ranges from 26° C/79° F in February to 29° C/84° F in September.
Curacao is protected from currents and if there are any, they are typically moderate at best.
The water visibility in Curacao is typically around 20 meters (70 feet), but there are places with murky waters as well as spots where visibility can exceed 30 meters (100 feet).
Often named the signature dive of Curacao, Mushroom Forest features a unique underwater seascape dominated by fungi-like coral structures. Boulder corals, soft sponge corals, whip corals, and staghorn corals are some of the main coral growths. This colorful Mushroom Forest attracts an abundance of marine animals such as nurse sharks, lionfish, parrotfish, and regal angelfish.
The other candidate for the disputed title of best dive site in Curacao is Watamula. Its name comes from Dutch and means “water mill”. Watamula got its name because of the two currents that meet here and bring along various species of marine life like schools of chubs, triggerfish, parrotfish, rays, and sea turtles. The seascape is defined by extensive coral growths, gorgonian sea fans, tunnels, and a stunning pillar collar.
The colorful Tugboat wreck. Picture by dronepicr
Although just a small wreck, Tugboat is one of the island’s most popular dive sites. Located in shallow and clear water, it is ideal for divers of all levels, including beginners. This photogenic wreck is covered in coral and features a wide array of macro life as well as larger species. Some of the sea creatures divers can encounter here include schools of fusiliers and tarpon, seahorses, octopus, and scorpionfish.
Superior Producer, sunk in 1977 a short distance from the mainland, is Curacao’s best wreck. The 50-meter (165-foot) long shipwreck sits in about 30 meters (100 feet) of water which is why only advanced+ divers are taken here. The Superior Producer is easily penetrable and those with proper qualification can explore its engine room and crew cabins. The wreck is covered in corals and sponges and fish life is plentiful.