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Top 5 Dive Sites of Western Curacao

Top 5 Westside Dive Sites in Curacao

Recently we provided some insight on the “Top Dive Sites of Eastern Curaçao” that are littered with wall dives, wreck dives, shore dives, and lush coral gardens.  More importantly though, these sites have quickly become not only Curaçao icons, but also some of most sought after dives in the Caribbean. BUT there is another side to Curaçao that deserves exploring too. It is the West side, known to locals as “Banda Abou”. So let’s dive into the Top 5 Westside dive sites to give you a complete perspective on the world class diving that awaits you here in Curacao!

Near Perfect Year-Round Conditions

The West side is a bucolic haven for boat and shore diving that offers near perfect conditions year-round.  The calmness of the area is due to the natural shielding from the easterly trade winds offered by the mountain range running through the middle of the Christoffel National Park.

The western side of Curaçao stretches from Bullenbaai, near St. Willibrordus to the north west fishing village of Westpunt.

Along this rugged and ancient coastline, you will discover some of the best beaches in the Caribbean such as Cas Abao and the famous Kenepa Plantation.

These world class locations, among others, provide you with an exceptional opportunity for incredible shore diving and snorkeling.

However, this is just to get your feet wet because to truly “sea” the BEST of the WEST, then you need to dive into these essential dive experiences to feel it for yourself!

Playa Manzalina at the San Juan Plantation | Curaçao Diving Guide | Dive Travel Curacao
Photo courtesy of Ocean Encounters

What are the Top 5 Westside Dive Sites in Curacao?

The BEST of the WEST

Alice in Wonderland at Playa Kalki

Shore diving at Alice in Wonderland is quite a bit like reading Chapter One – “Down the Rabbit Hole of Lewis Carroll’s 1865 novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”!

As you descend you literally feel yourself getting smaller and smaller as the hard coral formations rise up to become larger and larger, growing in some cases to over 60 feet/18m in height encompassing a host of hiding places for the unusual characters we have in our story like the pair of resident frogfish and octopus!

Of course, we regularly see Turtles, Eagle Rays, large schools of Boga’s being hunted by Yellow Fin Tuna and so on… but really the attraction of Alice in Wonderland is the beautiful coral formations and all that hides within!

GO WEST Diving Curacao | Boat Diving | Dive Travel Curaçao
GO WEST Diving at Playa Kalki in Westpunt, Curaçao

The key to diving Alice in Wonderland at Playa Kalki is to dive it “SLOW”.

“Believe me, you will be amazed at what you find and we are sure you will quickly understand why this is considered the #1 Shore Diving site in Curacao!”

Watamula on the Northwest Coast

Watamula derives its name from the Dutch word “Watermöllen” (Water Mill) because of the how the currents flow in this #1 Boat Diving Site!!

Understanding the currents is essential and it is important to check them before taking a giant stride in because sometimes they are flowing North/South, other times South/North and other times they are flowing in a circle!!

Watamula offers the diver an intense and sometimes overwhelming spectacle starting with a hard-coral field, then a soft coral patch, then finally ending with another hard-coral field! It is so intense that the diver really does not know where to look first!

In addition to the mind-blowing coral formations at this Top 5 Westside dive site, the intensity of the macro life combined with Ocean Trigger fish, Schools of Chubbs and Porcupine Fish will leave you surfacing wanting to don another tank for more!!

Watamula in Westpunt | Curaçao Diving Guide | Dive Travel Curacao
Watamula Dive Site, Photo courtesy of NaturePicsFilms

Mushroom Forest at Santa Cruz

Mushroom Forest is one of the most famous dive sites in Curaçao and in the Caribbean. Over time, hard coral formations have grown in such a way that they resemble mushrooms, hence the name. Underneath each one of these coral formations an abundance of marine life awaits to be looked at, admired, and photographed.

Don’t miss diving this Top 5 Westside dive site!  You will love it especially combined with a surface interval at the Blue Room!

The Blue Room - An Essential Curacao vacation Experience

The Blue Room is the perfect place for off gassing between dives or just enjoying one of the many snorkel trips offered!

Located next to Mushroom Forest, the Blue Room is easily explored by snorkeling through a narrow opening that reveal a large air-filled chamber lit up by the sun reflecting off the white sandy plateau in front of the opening.

The reflecting sunlight creates a brilliant glow of ambient light in vivid blue!!  Inside the “room” you will discover schooling glass-eyed sweepers, lobster, and hordes of silversides! Occasionally you might even get buzzed by fruit bats!! 

Blue Room Curaçao is an essential Dutch Caribbean vacation experience
The Blue Room - An Essential Curaçao Experience

Seldom Reef at Bullenbaai

Seldom Reef is appropriately named because this spectacular dive site is rarely visited. It is a drift dive and offered as a boat dive on calm days which are rare at this point of land. The landscape of this dive consists of a series of sheer deep walls and sandy valleys which are loaded with large Elephant Ear sponges, fans and often turtles.

If you are an intermediate or advanced diver craving sites offering more than the average wall dive, you should consider trying to include this Top 5 Westside dive site in your itinerary.

Curacao Diving and Snorkeling Guide

The Curacao Diving and Snorkeling Guide has over 70 world class dive sites plotted on an interactive map that also includes the BEST dive operators and the BEST dive accommodations the island has to offer.

As we have mentioned many times before and regardless of where you choose to stay, the decision should not be to dive either East or West, the decision should be to discover all of Curaçao (warning:  many attempts may be necessary) to truly uncover the magic that lies below the waterline because there is a depth to our island that you really do need to see for yourself.

Now start discovering the Top 5 Dive Sites of Eastern Curacao… and more including exploring the endless possibilities with the Curaçao Dive Travel Guide to create your own dive vacation experience here in the heart of the Dutch Caribbean!

Sleep, Drive and Dive Packages

Sleep, Drive and Dive Packages at All West Apartments and Diving
Complete shore diving freedom and incredible sunsets are waiting at All West Apartments and Diving

The photography and videography are courtesy our Dive Curaçao partners: Stan Bysshe, NaturePicsFilms, and, Turtle and Productions HD.

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