Curaçao is internationally well-known for its clear blue sea and white sand. With 35 different beaches to explore on this tiny island, each of them has its own distinct vibe.
The Seaquarium Beach has a great atmosphere and alluring charm on one single strip at the southern part of the island. You can find a number of water sports activities, shop till your drop and mouthwatering restaurants to eat and beach bars for refreshments and cocktails.
At the Mambo Beach BLVD, there is more beach and bars, plenty of boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs set on two levels to satisfy every taste.
Jan Thiel Beach, located a little further south, offers great facilities as well. A few years ago this beach was transformed in a real Oriental gem with cement quays near the large open bay. Just a little further into the deep blue sea many types of fishes can be admired, which makes Jan Thiel a paradise for snorkelers. A small entrance fee is levied for this beach, in order to maintain the facilities and services. It is no wonder many tourists have found their way to these Caribbean pearls.
The most breath-taking beaches in Curaçao are on the western half of the island.
So why not add a little beach-hopping as you go on your tour out west?
Grote Knip (Playa Kenepa Grandi)
The Western side of the island are dotted with coves that make each succeeding beach a new discovery. Grote Knip is a local and tourist favourite on the weekends, but during the week this beach is practically deserted. Before going down to the shore, stand on the cliff above to gaze down at this picture-perfect beach of Curaçao. Then walk down to the beach to enter the aqua-emerald water that you can only find in the Caribbean. Also a paradise for snorkelers who want to see coral reefs nearby.
Some of the beaches carry an entrance fee and provide facilities, restaurants and beach amenities, like for example: Kokomo Beach with its beautiful sunsets and Instagram-ready swing suspended over the water; Porto Marie with the friendly wild pigs-in-residence; and Cas Abao with watersports available and relaxing massages right on the beach. They’re not to be outdone by some of the other beaches in the west that are free of charge. Daaibooi is a small family-friendly beach with ample shade; Groot Knip with its famous picture-perfect vistas from the cliffs above, and the laid-back fisherman’s beach called Playa Piskado where you can have the chance to snorkel with the wild turtles swimming around the fishing boats. These are just a few, there are so many more beaches to explore!
Cas Abao Beach located at the Northwest coast of Curaçao combines a natural setting with pristine sandy white beach, crystal clear waters, waving palm trees and gazebos for shade. This beach is right on top of the islands list of most popular beaches to visit. It is an ideal beach for families and water sport lovers. You can spend the entire day frolicking on this beach enjoying a snack or lunch at their “laid-back feet in the sand” restaurant that includes bar service, or treat yourself to a massage while listening to the sound of nature all around you.
The visitors who would rather take pleasure in hanging around the locals or simply want to experience the unique feeling of being on a private beach, need to travel towards Westpunt. The ride to this part of Curaçao in itself is marvelous. As you drive west of the island, you gradually leave the inhabited world and merge right into the impressive wilderness typified by green, cactus and rocky hills. In between that exciting nature, paths will lead you to find stunning beaches, each with its own distinctive charm. Curaçao has a variety of intimate bays, typically the romantic and rocky ones with the clear turquoise water or the high hills surrounding the beaches making you feel very well sheltered.
One beach that certainly resembles these characteristics is Playa Kenepa. Playa Kenepa has nice soft white sand and is partly shaded by manchineel trees, which forms a perfect cover for the many locals who put up camp in the untouched nature next to the beach during weekends and holidays.
Another beach where local people love to spend their days is Boca Sta. Cruz. This beach looks quite different from the other ones. It has an exceptionally wide sandy strip with towering palm trees. The dense inland lagoons are well suited to observe birds and nature.
Playa Kenepa and Sta. Cruz are just a few of the many public bays located all along the sheltered south. They may have a limited number of facilities, yet they are always open, are easy to find and levy no entrance free.
At the more remote beaches, such as Playa Jeremy and Santu Pretu, the nature is intact, which means that no facilities are available. Depending on the vegetation, little shade can be found. But one thing is certain: you will appreciate the quiet crystal-clear water beach and magnificent landscapes. The best way to discover these beaches is to drive along the coast, using a map to pick the name of the smaller beaches you want to visit. However, you will depend on your adventure streak to go on a discovery journey, since most of these beaches are accessible only through bumpy dirt roads, with few or no signs at all showing the way.
In conclusion it is safe to say that the dynamic mechanism of nature, intervention of man and history has greatly contributed to the development of the sea, bays and beaches on Curaçao, providing for many distinctive experiences for visitors with all types of interests. Multifaceted as they are, the Curaçao water and shores offer great diversity: something unquestionably unique in the Caribbean area.
Some beautiful beaches in Curaçao link an adventurous past to the present, testifying that beaches were not used for leisure purposes. Around 1824 many of these areas were used as ports, around which fortifications were built for protection against assaults by foreign adversaries. Until today, some of these fortifications can be seen, a few still in their original state, whereas of others only bits and pieces of a heroic past remains. These remainders of 17th century fortifications can be seen at Daaibooi and Playa Forti. Daaibooi is a wide sandy beach, highly appreciated by both locals and tourists. On one side of the beach there are rocks and small fishing boats and on the other side you may find visitors barbecuing or relaxing under the new palm leaf covered huts. This certainly is a fun beach that can get very crowded in the weekends. Playa Forti, unlike most beaches on Curaçao, has brown sand mixed smooth pebbles and offers very little shade, but that genuine feeling of peace that overcomes you while observing humble fishermen bringing in their catch of the day in the late afternoon, is irreplaceable.