When my wife & I retired, we ran away from home and moved to Curacao! That certainly could be a story for another article, but many of the reasons behind our choice might easily apply to selecting Curacao as a scuba diving destination!
Whether you are a seasoned diver or completing a certiﬁcation course, Curacao has a variety of dive operations and over 50 superb dive sites that will keep you happily occupied. That is truly what makes the island of Curacao so attractive as a scuba diving destination.
From Klein Curacao to the West End, there is such an incredible variation in the underwater topography it would be difﬁcult to cover all of it in one trip. After four years and more than a thousand dives I often feel like I have just scratched the surface! The abundance of choices extends to the above water experience as well. Dive operations on the island vary in size and resources but they are for the most part well- staffed, friendly and can meet most diving needs. Whether you are traveling with a group that wants structured boat dives, a couple that prefers relaxed shore dives, or you are looking for a Technical diving experience, Curacao has dive operations to cover your vacation!
Underwater, one can ﬁnd all the usual Caribbean suspects, but Curacao is a “macro” haven and an amazing destination for the most discernible underwater photographer. Still, there are wonderful “wide angle” opportunities due to coral vistas and the occasional large animal sightings such as Turtles, Manta Rays, Stingrays, Dolphins and even Sharks. Curacao is a true alternative to Bonaire!
What is most encouraging is that the island has started a real effort to protect its natural underwater resources and to manage sustainable development. Like most Caribbean islands it will not be an overnight change, none the less, reef protection is getting needed attention by the Curacao Government and non-profit Foundations such as CARMABI, Blue Halo Curacao, Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao, SECORE International, Clean Up Curacao and Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) Curacao and the CHATA Dive Task Force to name a few.
A trip to Curacao is not complete without taking in some of the top side attractions. This may well be what separates Curacao from most other Caribbean islands. Even hard core divers that dive ﬁve times a day need a mid- trip “deco” day! From Willemstad (the Capital of Curacao is a UNESCO World Heritage Site full of pastel colored buildings and local cuisine) to the coral beaches and Christoffel National Park, there is an overabundance to see and do!
Although we have moved back to the United States now, a day simply does not go by that my wife and I don’t reminisce about our island friends and adventures that we discovered. I am happy to share these images of my time spent underwater; not seen are the great memories of the person I was diving with or the special spot on a favorite reef.
On Curacao you have every opportunity to make your own incredible adventure! Dive Curacao & enjoy!
To see more of Stanley Bysshe's incredible photography, visit his website!