Welcome to episode 13 where we are visiting All West Apartments and Diving in Westpunt with a long-time friend, Sarah Wuensche, who is a passionate travel blogger, a diver and a special contributor to Taucher.net. Although, we cannot experience the incredible sunsets, starry skies, and dive the mind-blowing house reef together right now, our combined passion and experience at this location will hopefully provide you with inspiration to visit Curaçao.
The village of Westpunt is around a 45-minute drive from the capital Willemstad. In Willemstad, tourist shops seemed to be lined up, where one bar is in competition with the next and tour operators are always advertising “better daily offers”. Well, in Westpunt, you will honestly not find this. In fact, it is completely the opposite.
Located behind the Curaçao National Park and Mount Christoffel, the selection of possible evening activities is more than manageable. In fact some excellent restaurants could be even considered hideaways, such as Sol Food and Sunshine’s Getaway, where you can watch the sunset while enjoying the tasty dishes in the wonderful company of ex-pats. Then, when you wake up to stretch your legs, make coffee and ease into your day, you will undoubtedly be visited by exotic birds waiting to get a piece of the fresh fruit at your breakfast table. Bottom line, the clock ticks at a slower pace in Westpunt where the common thread seems to be of, no hassle and no stress.
It is the same with scuba diving and snorkeling. Only a few steps separate the well-secured dive locker and drying room of All West Apartments and Diving (managed by GO WEST Diving) from the large house reef called Playa Piskadó. The impressive clear view is convincing as soon as you descend. Again, and again one hears about coral bleaching and dead reefs. This information was apparently not transmitted via social media channels to this reef: colorful sponges grow in competition, corals claim their place and Damselfish vehemently defend their territory from the intruders, while the majority of the resident fish world remains completely unimpressed.
Travel Tip: Green Flashes are real! Start the BBQ and grill comfortably while watching the inconceivable sunset from your own terrace with your favorite beverage. Here, you will enjoy the sound of the waves lapping against the cliffs and with a little luck, you might even see dolphins playing on the horizon. All the while, the silhouettes of the fishermen slowly disappear into the dimming brightness of that big descending ball, that possibly could become that elusive flash of green. That is what life is all about in Westpunt. The freedom to enjoy and to discover – whenever and wherever you want without prejudice or concern.
Located below All West Apartments and Diving – Playa Piskadó (also known as Playa Grandi) is a working fishermen’s beach that is home to turtles, a statue of King Neptune and an interesting, vibrant reef. Due to its proximity to the West point of the island, the reef is mostly hard corals and usually teeming with hundreds of types of fish.
Neptune’s Kingdom, located at Playa Piskadó, is an inspiring scuba diving or snorkeling experience on Curaçao as the regal King Neptune watches over his underwater kingdom at the top of the drop-off, and is a must-do photo opp.
For years, the local fishermen have been cleaning and selling fish at this beach which is also a Fisherman’s Wharf. These daily activities resulted in a group of sea turtles feeding on the remains of the fish and becoming residents at the beach. If you are lucky, you may see trigger fish and larger pelagics, more common on the wild North side, and rare on the protected South side.
Nowadays, Playa Piskadó has become a popular spot for our island’s visitors and snorkeling ‘with’ the turtles is in high demand. BUT before you get in the water, we would like to invite you to first read the signs and information made available at the beach by Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao.
Travel Tip: Please respect our sea turtles and our local fishermen at Playa Piskadó. Do not touch nor feed the turtles, do not chase after them but respect their natural environment and help us conserve this beautiful and unique experience.
All West Apartments and Diving is simply a picture-perfect postcard: The light breeze lets the palm trees sway in front of turquoise water and further out, the deep blue color certainly testifies to the nearby reef edge. Children of all ages will have a great time on the small sandy beach, while the adults wait for the approaching sunset with a cocktail in hand. It is beautiful all over the world – but nowhere is it more beautiful than here in Westpunt, at All West Apartments and Diving.
Tune in for Episode 14, that will release on June 24th, 2020, when we are visiting the Curaçao Sea Aquarium, diving at Shipwreck Point then descending into the unknown depths with Substation Curacao beyond recreational dive limits.
We hope you have enjoyed this Postcard from Curaçao and we also hope to see you soon. Don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list and to the Dive Curaçao YouTube Channel to be automatically notified.
Sincere Love from Curacao,
Bryan Horne, Dive Curacao
Tilo and Yvonne Kuhnast, Nature Pics Films