Playa Largu at the San Juan Plantation
Playa Largu is the first dive site from the east on the San Juan Plantation. As the name says in Papiamentu, the local language of Curaçao, this is a “long” beach. But, beach is maybe not the correct word because there is hardly any sand here as area is covered with coral rubble.
Find a spot where you can easily enter the water. We found one close to the eastern side of the beach. You can easily recognize such a spot because the water is clear and you can see if there is any coral blocking your entrance. This is a beach where the coral comes very close to the shore.
You can go left and right depending on the current (if any). On our first dive here we went to the right. The drop-off is close to shore so you don’t have to swim far to reach it. And although the next dive site, Playa Shon Mosa, is just around the corner, the drop-off is steeper than on that site. The slope is around 45 degrees. The coral density is not very high although well above 50%. There are sandy patches in-between and it becomes more and more sandy below 30 meters. Also above 10 meters it looks as if you are looking at an underwater beach. The sand that is missing on shore is here.
There is a great variety of sponges. Elephant Ear sponges, large Touch-me-not sponges, Tube and Stove-Pipe sponges, Barrel sponges, Vase sponges, several types of Encrusting sponges and large Rope sponges. So if you like sponges this is definitely a place to go.
On the shoulder of the reef there are large amounts of soft coral. So all in all this is a very nice dive site. Quiet and maybe for that reason unspoiled.
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 Largu
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 a small cove called Playa Chiki, then the known beaches of Manzalina, Playa Shon Mosa, and Playa Largu.
How to get to Playa Largu
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 (see middle part of the picture). Follow the sign to Shon Mosa. This brings you at the second split in the road where you can choose between Playa Largu and Shon Mosa. Take the direction to Playa Largu. This brings you after a while at the beach. There is a good chance that you are the only one here. Park your car and gear up.