Playa Chiki at the San Juan Plantation
Playa Chiki is not mentioned generally in any Curaçao Dive and Drive guides, but this small bay between Playa Manzaliña and Boka Grandi is absolutely beautiful and worth the effort.
This small strip of sandy beach, a small distance to the left (looking out to the sea) of Playa Manzaliña. Swimming out and looking backward you can see this beach.
There is some coral close to the shore so you have to be a bit carefully going into the water. There is a stretch of sand till the drop-off. It is not really a drop-off because the slope is very gradual. What is immediately obvious when swimming over the drop-off is that there are lots of height differences in the coral growth. This creates a nice landscape of tops and valleys.
Similar to the other dive sites within the San Juan Plantation, there is an abundance of sponges at Playa Chiki including large groups of rope sponges. It is a very nice place to dive.
Dive Site Recommendations
- Dive Type: Shore
- Snorkel Site: Yes
- Experience Level: Open Water (Min)
- Depth: 40 -120ft (12-36m)
Due to recreational & commercial boat traffic, an inflated surface marker buoy is mandatory when shore diving. Consult a recommended Curaçao Dive Operator for additional details & recommendations.
Location of Playa Chiki
San Juan Plantation Beaches
The main draw of the San Juan area are the beautiful and undeveloped beaches that exist on the fringes of the plantations coastline. Although many sources only refer to three beaches, there are in fact four in total. From west to east these include this small cove called Playa Chiki, then the better known beaches of Manzalina, Shon Mosa, and Largu.
How to get to Playa Chiki
Coming from the Eastern side of the island you have to go to the Western Part. Driving along the only road to this part of the island, “road to Westpunt”, you drive past Landhuis Daniel and past the small village of “Terra Kora” until you see the sign to “Soto”. There, turn left and follow this road past the entrance to “Cas Abou”, a few kilometers more and you see a sign “San Juan”. Slow down because you have to make a turn to the left at the red rock with the number 20 till 23 (dive site numbers).
Follow the dirt road till you see the plantation house of San Juan. Enter through the gate and drive to the right side of the plantation house. There you have to pay the entrance fee, which is currently Nafl 5.00 per car (about US$ 2.75).
Follow the dirt road. It is a winding road. It can be in bad condition in the rainy season so you better use a jeep or pick-up to get to the beach. When you reach the first split in the road you see two stones, one of which points to Shon Mosa, the other to Playa Manzalina. Follow the direction to Playa Manzaliña. After some time you reach a dirt road where you can go right. Follow that road. It brings you to the Western side of the hill. The last part is very steep down, so if you have any doubt that you car can make it back when you go down. Stay on the top and park your car there. Otherwise go down and park your car at the beach.
It is a small beach and the chance that you are the only visitor is high.