Updated: Jul 19
Curacao is home to some of the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean and is the "C" of the ABC Islands! (Aruba and Bonaire are the other islands) This colorful Dutch Caribbean Island is a popular destination for travelers seeking to soak up the sun and experience the vibrant culture of the island. Curacao is also famously known for it's incredible scuba diving and snorkeling sties!
In this post, we will explore seven of Curacao's most beautiful beaches and provide helpful tips for planning your next tropical getaway to Curacao!
GETTING AROUND CURACAO
The best way to explore Curacao is by car. Renting a car in Curacao is a simple process and visitors can choose from a variety of rental agencies located at the airport or around town. We personally used RW Rental, a local car rental agency and had a wonderful experience with them. We reserved our vehicle online and the car was waiting for us at the airport just outside the terminal, no shuttle ride offsite or waiting in long lines! We dropped off the car at the airport at the same place we received it and walked into the terminal to depart. It was the easiest and most convenient car renting experience I've had yet!
It is important to note that all drivers must have a valid drivers license from their home country and be at least 21 years old to rent a car in Curacao. Driving is on the right side of the road just like the United States and the roads are well-maintained. With a rental car, you can easily visit some of the top beaches like Cas Abao and Porto Mari which offer stunning views, snorkeling, and diving opportunities. Rent a car in Curacao and explore the island's hidden gems at your own pace!
1. CAS ABAO BEACH
This beach offers stunning views and crystal-clear waters perfect for a swim making Cas Abao one of Curacao's most popular beaches! Cas Abao is a full service beach offering free parking, restrooms, and a bar that serves light lunch options and drinks. Lounge chairs are available for purchase ($3USD) but remember to bring your own towels, the beach does not provide them!
Not only is Cas Abao Beach stunning, there is also a dive shop right on the beach! Rent kayaks, snorkel gear, or plan to go scuba diving. Cas Abao is known for it's excellent snorkeling and diving just right off shore!
2. PLAYA PORTO MARI
This was one of my favorite beaches while visiting Curacao. I found this beach to be a bit more built up than Cas Abou Beach because of it's beach club and bar. This beach boasts clear turquoise waters and white sand that's perfect for lounging in the sun. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities here including snorkeling and scuba diving.
There is a dive shop conveniently located on site and Playa Porto Mari features a unique double reef just offshore! The reef is easily accessible from the beach and offers a wide range of marine life, making it the perfect spot for anyone who loves to explore the underwater world! For those who prefer to stay on land, there's a lovely beach club that offers delicious food and drinks, as well as plenty of shade.
BEACH GEAR AND EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO VISIT CURACAO
We spent most of our time exploring the North West side of the island which is more remote and rugged, but where the best beaches and diving can be found! While visiting Curacao I recommend you bring water shoes, snorkel gear and bug spray! Most of the beaches we visited had a bit of a rocky shoreline and I was more comfortable entering and exiting the ocean with water shoes on.
If you're more of an adventure traveler and find yourself in secluded areas, then you know that having the right gear and equipment can make all the difference on your trip. That's why you should check out our recent post Beach Bum Essentials: What to Pack for a Tropical Vacation! These items have personally come in handy and has everything you need to make sure your next beach trip is a success.
3. PLAYA LAGUN
This beach is a sight to see with towering cliff sides making a stunning narrow cove. The waters are calm and offers a great opportunity to snorkel. Playa Lagun is known for turtle sightings and we did see one resting on the bottom of the ocean floor! You'll also see colorful fish, coral and sponges along the rock walls.
There's a set of stairs going up the cliffside that leads you to a restaurant that overlooks Playa Lagun! The restaurant is part of a dive resort where you can plan to scuba or rent snorkel gear. If you can't tell already, Curaçao should be on your list if you're into diving or snorkeling. The shore diving scene on this island is just out of this world!
It's free to park but remember to bring your own towels and you will be charged for lounge chairs ($3USD).
4. MAMBO BEACH
Mambo Beach is one of the most popular attractions in Curacao and for good reason. This stunning beach offers crystal clear waters, pristine white sand, and a vibrant atmosphere. I would compare Mambo Beach to a shopping mall but for beach clubs and restaurants! Whether your looking to lounge in the sun, take a dip in the ocean, or go on an exciting adventure, Mambo Beach has something for everyone. Snorkeling, jet skiing and paddle boarding are just a few of the many activities available here. When you're ready to take a break from the water, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and bars nearby where you can grab a bite to eat or a refreshing drink.
The nightlife at Mambo Beach is unmatched! You'll find a lively crowd dining at restaurants, enjoying live entertainment and dancing on the beach. Mambo Beach is definitely worth a visit when you're in Curacao!
5. KARAKTER BEACH
Karakter Beach was our home base during our stay in Curacao and it is absolutely stunning! The villa we rented is a part of Coral Estate Luxury Resort allowing us access to all of the properties amenities. Karakter Beach has lovely lounge chairs and tables with umbrellas to relax and soak up the sun. It also features a bar and restaurant with delicious food overlooking the ocean and is the perfect place to grab dinner and watch the sunset! The beach is perched on a cliff so you'll have to use a staircase (just a few steps down) to enter the water. There is a dive shop conveniently located to rent snorkel gear, paddle boards, or plan to go scuba diving!
6. PLAYA SANTA CRUZ
We specifically went to this beach to snorkel one of Curacao's best attractions! The Blue Room in Curacao is a natural wonder that is definitely worth visiting. It is a large underground cave that gets its name from the stunning electric blue color of the water inside, which is caused by the sunlight filtering through the water and reflecting off the limestone walls.
We toured with Captain Good Life who is apparently somewhat of a celebrity amongst locals. This guy was a character and definitely lives up to his name! On our snorkel tour we had an amazing experience at The Blue Room and also snorkeled the 120ft Black Sand Wreck, laying upside down on the ocean floor just 20 feet below! The beach itself is remote, offers amazing views and there is a good chance of seeing turtles. Play Santa Cruz Beach offers opportunity for adventure and relaxation.
7. GROTE KNIP
Grote Knip Beach in Curacao is a stunning slice of paradise that should be on every travelers bucket list. There is no entrance fee but there are lounge chairs available to purchase for a small fee to enhance your beach experience. The water is crystal clear and offers a great opportunity for cliff jumping, swimming, snorkeling, and diving with its colorful reef and abundant marine life.
One of the best things about Grote Knip Beach is the stunning scenery that surrounds it, making it an ideal location for photography. There are also plenty of shady spots to relax under palm trees and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch. There is usually a food truck in the parking lot but it is not always there so be sure to come prepared with your own snacks and water. This picturesque beach is definitely worth a visit for anyone looking for a tranquil and idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
GOOGLE MAP OF CURACAO'S BEST BEACHES
What better way to plan your beach hopping get away to Curacao than with a sharable Google Map! I've created a map of the best beaches in Curacao, so you can easily navigate to each one and make the most of your time on the island. With this map, you'll be able to see which beaches are closest to your accommodations. Plus, you can easily share the map with your travel companions, so everyone can stay on the same page when it comes to planning your beach days. As a bonus I've added the amazing restaurants we tried in Curacao and listed the reputable local dive shops we went scuba diving with. Take advantage of this handy resource and make your Curacao trip even more enjoyable!
Curacao boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, making it a must visit destination for beach lovers. Enjoy the endless shore diving and the gorgeous tropical scenery of Curacao, but don't stop here! The Caribbean is home to countless other stunning destinations that are just waiting to be discovered. So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your next Caribbean adventure and see all that this amazing region has to offer!