Discover the mesmerizing underwater realm at the Eastpoint Dive Sites. Here you will find several sites nestled along the pristine southeastern tip of the Curaçao National Marine Park. Renowned for its vibrant coral gardens and diverse marine life, this underwater paradise beckons adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike. Immerse yourself in crystal-clear waters, where a tapestry of colors unfolds beneath the surface. From thriving coral formations to elusive sea creatures, the Eastpoint Dive Sites promise an unforgettable exploration of Curaçao’s rich aquatic wonders.
Eastpoint is a MUST dive site in Curaçao
Several Eastpoint Dive Sites are located at the very eastern tip of Curaçao’s National Marine Park. Only accessible by boat, these sites are some the most pristine and unblemished fringing reef systems on Curaçao, if not the entire Caribbean.
Eastpoint is an uninhabited area measuring approximately 60 km2 near the eastern tip of the island of Curaçao. The area, which is currently privately owned harbors various ecosystem types. Whether it is the Salinas, inland bays, seagrass beds, mangroves, or the fringing coral reefs; they all remain in a untouched state. This is largely due to the lack of terrestrial development.
At these sites you will find large colonies of lush gorgonians together with hard corals and sponges. Additionally, you will encounter large schools of tarpons that inhabit Tarpon Bridge. This is a natural bridge that was formed by coral formations throughout time.
There has been very little human impact at Eastpoint. Therefore there is a high probability to encounter Sharks, eagle rays, large barracuda, and sea turtles.
Note: The southern shore of Eastpoint represents the Curaçao National Marine Park which was established in 1982 and covers 600 hectares. However, the park is currently not actively managed due to lack of funding and infrastructure.
Diving at the Tarpon Bridge Dive Site
Tarpon Bridge is a natural underwater formation at Eastpoint that lies at a depth of about 20 meters. The bridge itself is approximately 7 meters high and about 12 meters wide.
What makes this impressive is that it is covered with an abundance of hard and soft corals, and of course, you can always find a school of tarpons there.
Diver Tip: The area around Tarpon Bridge is only accessible by boat – and due to the strong currents and surge – it is not always accessible. Contact us or consult a Dive Shop in Curacao for more information.
Dive Site Recommendations
- Dive Type: Boat diving
- Snorkel Site: No
- Experience Level: Drift (Min)
- Depth: 40 -120ft (12-36m)
- Please dive responsibly in Curaçao.
- Explore the top 10 eco-diving tips for Curaçao.
- Due to recreational & commercial boat traffic, an inflated surface marker buoy is mandatory.
- Discover the essential Shore Diving Safety Tips.
- Consult a recommended Curaçao Dive Operator for additional details & recommendations.
Effectiveness of the Curaçao Marine Park
Eastpoint contains five former plantations; Klein St. Joris, Oranjeberg, Fuik, Duivelsklip, and the Eastpoint Plantation. This integral to the history of Curaçao and the history of the Caribbean.
Conservation of Coral Habitats
The beautiful coral reefs that surround Curaçao are very important to the island economy and dive tourism. The Curaçao Underwater Park was established in 1983 to help preserve coral reefs present offshore from the Breezes Hotel (now known as Sunscape Curacao Resort, Spa and Casino) to Eastpoint.
The purpose of work carried out by Benjamin J. Greenstein (Department of Geology, Cornell College, Iowa U.S.A.) is to learn whether the park has been effective in protecting the reefs inside its boundaries since they were established more than a quarter century ago.
One of the problems with determining the “health” of a coral reef is that many reefs were harmed by human activities before scientists had the opportunity to study them. A solution to this problem is to use the fossil reefs exposed in the cliffs of Curaçao as “ecological baselines” for comparison.
The fossil coral reefs exposed in the cliffs lived 125,000 years ago, long before humans could have disturbed them. They are conducting extensive surveys of several fossil reefs to determine what corals were present and how abundant they were and compare those results surveys of modern reefs inside and outside the Underwater Park.
Their results indicate that the modern reefs inside the park are more similar to the fossil reefs than those outside the park. This indicates to us that the reefs inside the park closely match what was “natural” along the shores of Curaçao before extensive human occupation occurred.
Thus establishment of the Curaçao National Marine Park seems to have thus far been effective in fostering the development of relatively pristine coral reef communities.
Learn more – download “An overview of the ecological values of the Eastpoint area on Curaçao” via the Carmabi Marine Research Station in Curacao, authored by Prof. Dr. Ben Greenstein (Cornell College, U.S.A.) and Dr. Brigitte Sommers (University of Queensland, Australia)
Read more about sustainable dive tourism in Curaçao