Curaçao Dive News

Curaçao, Best Overall Caribbean Diving Destination

Curacao ranked as a World Class Dive and Vacation Destination

Are you thinking, planning or just dreaming of your next dive travel vacation?  With so many incredible destinations available to choose from it is understandable that you may be unsure, or even confused, where to start?  Well keep reading because diving in Curaçao should be on your list.

Why?  Because Curacao was once again voted as a Top 10 Diving Destination in Scuba Diving Magazine’s 2022 Readers Choice Awards that ranks the World’s Best Diving!

Curacao is a Top 10 Dive Destination in the Caribbean

Every year, Scuba Diving Magazine asks their readers to “pool their collective knowledge by ranking a variety of categories, like destinations and operators, on a 1 to 5 scale.

According to Scuba Diving Magazine, “This year’s awards are a little different. With pandemic travel restrictions preventing readers from visiting some of their favorite spots for almost the entirety of the past two years, survey respondents found they had relatively little to vote on. That’s why, rather than listing the winners solely from our 2022 survey, we averaged reader-submitted data from the past three surveys (2020, 2021 and 2022)—totaling 14,043 responses—to try to give you an idea of not only which dive operators, liveaboards and resorts have been exceeding divers’ expectations during the pandemic, but which ones are poised to bring back that level of excellence once steady travel returns to their particular destination.”

Curacao is one of the Best Dive Destinations for 2022
Curaçao is a Top 10 Dive Destination in the Caribbean

Once again in the 29th Readers Choice Awards, our Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao in combination with Ocean Encounters was named as one of the Best Overall Caribbean and Atlantic Dive Destinations for 2022 ranking highly in the following categories: Best Value, Quality of Dive Operator and facilities, Underwater Photography, Macro Life, Advanced Diving, Wreck Diving, Cavern/Cave/Grotto, Shore Diving, Snorkeling, Beginner Diving, and the Health of Marine Environment.

World Class Diving in Curacao

Best Value

Scuba Diving on Curacao is the number one thing to DO – but of course there are plenty of things to do on Curacao and no right way to experience any of them.  All travelers can make the island their own experience while embracing its authentic, unforgettable spirit that clearly distinguishes Curaçao from other Caribbean and worldwide destinations.

Ocean Encounters – Top 10 Best Dive Operators for Quality

Ocean Encounters, with on-site facilities at both LionsDive Beach Resort and Sunscape Beach Resort, Spa and Casino, is committed to delivering the highest-quality dive experience. The facility is the biggest on island, catering to the highest number of repeat guests.

Divers return to Curaçao and Ocean Encounters for a handful of reasons, starting with the lineup of famous sites, such as Mushroom Forest, Klein Curaçao, Eastpoint and Blue Room, where visitors can’t help but be wowed by the health of the reefs and the density of the fish schools flowing over top.

Another big reason that divers get hooked on Ocean Encounters is the staff because they continually deliver above and beyond what is expected to ensure that every guest has the ultimate dive vacation.

Underwater Photography and Macro Life

As an alternative to Bonaire, Curacao is a macro scuba diving paradise.  Shark and Ray (Manta’s, Stingrays, Mobula) sightings are rare but that makes those encounters incredibly special.  But all the photogenic small stuff is here on Curaçao.  Some fan favorites are the Frogfish, Longlure and occasionally Ocellated, plus trunkfish, banded coral shrimps and so much more. These can be great subjects for wide-angle close ups and of course Seahorses are for the sharp eyed.  Also, if you are good with your camera and buoyancy, the dive masters are more likely to share their little secrets.

Advanced and Wreck Diving

When you think about wreck diving or snorkeling around wrecks, your immediate attention turns to shipwrecks. Right? It’s true! What bubbles to the surface is a combination of speculation and an excited fascination because wrecks are simply cool plus they also offer nature new habitats as incredible artificial reefs sites.

Here in Curacao, the variety and the depth of the wrecks to snorkel or to dive is quite vast.  Not only is there shipwrecks to explore, but there are also cars, trucks, and even airplanes!

In fact – whether you are a snorkeler, a recreational or advanced diver, a technical diver, or just a land lover interested in wrecks – here in Curacao, there are wrecks for everyone to discover that even includes a deep exploration dive in a mini-submarine.

So, if you love wrecks keep reading as we dive into the 10 famous wrecks of Curacao!

Superior Producer Curacao | Photo by Sheila Ott Photography | Dive Curaçao
Photo courtesy of Sheila Ott Photography

Cavern, Cave and Grotto

Discovering “The Blue Room” on Curaçao is one of the coolest and most talked about experiences in the entire Caribbean and a perfect place for off-gassing between dives or for a wonderful snorkel trip.  Once people started to regularly explore The Blue Room with scuba tanks, they discovered more than just the ethereal light.

They found surfaces covered by orange cup coral, filled with micro wonders. And then they saw that images of the blue were complemented by a flamboyant orange. Lurking in the shadows year-round you will find copper sweepers, a small gold-bronze fish that looks like it is swimming upside down. And, in the late days of August through September, The Blue Room fills with silversides, which light up the cavern as they move and flow like mercury.

Now, more than just an afterthought, The Blue Room has become an essential Curaçao experience. And, that light… unforgettable.

Curacao | Best Dive Destination for 2021
by Ty Sawyer, The Blue Room

Shore Diving and Snorkeling

In a sport where you often must charter a boat to see the best of the underwater world, Curacao is a unique shore diving and snorkeling haven for divers looking to take the advantage of a more leisurely schedule.  On the south side of the island, the fringing reef in most cases is within 60-feet (20m) from the shoreline which leads to incredible drop offs that allow divers to venture a little bit deeper into the aquatic wonderland.  Of the seventy popular dive sites the island has available, over half of them are reachable from the shore, and nearly all these shore diving and snorkeling sites are clearly marked along the roadway. Curaçao knows they have great access for shore diving and snorkeling, and they have gone out of their way to accommodate adventurers looking to take advantage of the matchless wonder.

Beginner Diving

The only thing better than easy shore access, is having a knowledgeable & responsible dive operator available to take care of your every need. At a good number of the popular sites along the coast you will find a Curaçao Tourist Board approved dive shop serving that area.  Part of the Curaçao Tourist Board selection is based on a strong commitment to quality, safety & sustainable tourism where many, in fact, have joined the Project AWARE “Adopt A Dive Site” Initiative, committing to conserve/protect these sites from marine debris by conducting monthly Project AWARE “Dive Against Debris” clean-ups.  Use the Curacao Diving Guide and ask to see the “Curaçao Tourist Board Approved” quality check to ensure when visiting the Island, you dive with only the best!

These Dive Operators also offer dive guided services too. Whether you are a new diver, or a well saturated veteran, a dive guide is always a good decision. The Curacao Dive Guides know the area and add an additional element of safety to your dive trips. They also know the hiding places of the critters you came to see. Shops will also have access to special types of dives and animal interactions that you will not be able to experience on your own.

World Tourism Day in Curacao
Photo courtesy of Ocean Encounters, taken by Turtle and Ray Productions HD

Health of the Marine Environment

Curaçao is a coral island in the heart of the Dutch Caribbean.  It lies just a little bit to the north of Venezuela and is surrounded by more than 40 square miles of some of the best coral reefs in the Caribbean. The coral reefs are normally found 65 to 1,000 feet from shore where they start at a depth of approximately 30 feet and then slope down to a depth of over 300 feet in some places.

In addition to its fringing reefs, large inland bays can be found around the island in which mangrove and seagrass communities thrive and serve as nursery areas for certain types of reef fish that are less abundant on similar islands that have no inland bays.

While coral reefs alive today are still growing around the island, coral reefs that were formed in the past and were raised above water due to sea level changes essentially form the island that we now call Curaçao.

The geological past and present of Curaçao rely on coral.  Its ecological and economic survival depends on it as well. Learn more about Sustainable Dive Tourism in Curaçao!

Oostpunt - Eastpoint Curaçao | Episode 4 | Virtual Postcards from Curacao
At Oostpunt Curaçao - manta ray swims over a reef dominated by star corals. Photo by Dr. Mark Vermeij

Now… Start planning your next scuba diving vacation to Curaçao, located in the heart of the Dutch Caribbean! 

Start thinking of packing your mask, fins, dive computer, certification card and your thirst for adventure as you consider traveling to Curacao, one of the best overall scuba diving destinations in the Caribbean and Atlantic region for 2022.

WHY?  Because we believe, like you, that Curaçao is an incredible Dutch Caribbean island that is a world class scuba diving and vacation destination! We invite you visit Dive Travel Curaçao and let us help you discover Curaçao so you can “feel it for yourself”!

Visit Scuba Diving Magazine today for Scuba Diving Magazine’s 2022 Readers Choice Awards where they rank a complete list of the World’s Best Diving destinations and operators!

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