Competing for the TOP 25 spots with 78 world class destinations and 470 dive centres or resorts, Curacao has been nominated along with the CHATA - Curaçao Hospitality & Tourism Association Dive Task Force members Ocean Encounters, The Dive Bus, Curacao and GO WEST Diving Curacao for the 2019 Dive Magazine DIVE TRAVEL awards.
Congratulations and now voting starts for the TOP 10 spots in each category so get your VOTES IN!! Voting will remain open until 31 October. The overall winners will be announced at this year's DEMA Show, held between 13 - 16 November in Orlando, Florida!
Largest of the ABC (including Aruba and Bonaire) Islands, Curaçao is as steeped in history as it is excellent diving. Home to some of the most bio-diverse reefs in the Caribbean, the sheltered southern coast is rich in coral, and suitable for divers of all levels, with little in the way of adverse conditions at any of the popular dive sites.
HOTSPOTS - Mushroom Forest - years ago the hard coral formations on this reef were attacked by disease leaving them deformed and looking like giant mushrooms. The disease died out and now this is one of the most vibrant and striking reefs on the island. Westpunt - the dive sites around the north-west tip of the island such as Alice in Wonderland and Playa Piscardó are some of the best. Tugboat – this small wreck near the southern end of the island is overshadowed by the dramatic drop-offs nearby, lots of coral and fish.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS - The island is a great spot to witness the wonder of coral and sponge spawning. It normally occurs for a few nights each year in September or October the week after a full moon. Millions upon millions of eggs are released by corals, brittle stars, sea urchins, sponges and worms.
WRECKS - One of the best wrecks in the Caribbean, the Superior Producer sits upright at 30m (100 ft ) with a penetrable wheelhouse and cargo holds - it had been off-limits to divers while a new cruise ship jetty was being built, but is now open.
Check out Curaçao with DIVE WORLDWIDE
Go West Diving Westpunt, Curaçao
Go West Diving is located at Playa Kalki towards the western end of the island of Curaçao, a full-service dive centre with accommodation close by. The self-catering All West Apartments are equipped with storage lockers, rinse tanks and an air-filling station, meaning guests can wake up, paddle onto the house reef of Neptune's Garden, enjoy a quiet dive and spend the surface interval sunning themselves on the white sand beach, without having to move any distance from their accommodation. Boat dives are available to several locations, including Mushroom Forest, one of Curaçao's best dive spots, or simply enjoy the dive centre's own house reef at Alice in Wonderland. Vehicle rental to explore the island and other shore diving sites is also available.
MUST SEE: Watamula is the most northerly dive spot on Curaçao, home to a spectacular and extensive hard and soft coral garden. Turtles are regular visitors as are large Caribbean stingrays and, every now and then, something larger passes by.
Ocean Encounters, Curaçao
Ocean Encounters main offices and marina are located at Lions Dive & Beach Resort, just a short drive away from the capital of Willemstad. Ocean Encounters offers both PADI and SSI courses in several different languages, and a flexible range of dive packages, with accommodation available at alternative hotels and guest houses if preferred. Diving is a mixture of shore and boat, or experienced divers can rent tanks and explore the island independently. Ocean Encounters run regular 'Weekly Highlights', including night dives from the boat, trips to the Blue Room at Mushroom Forest, or enjoy a fluorescent night dive.
MUST SEE: Klein Curaçao is a tiny island off the east of Curaçao and home to one of the most pristine reefs in the Caribbean. Famous for its population of turtles and lush reefs, large rays, schooling fish and sometimes sharks are spotted around the island.
The Dive Bus Marie Pampoen, Curaçao
The Dive Bus is located directly opposite Pierbaai Beach in Marie Pampoen, Curaçao. Owner-operators Mark and Suzy Pinnell set up their first 'dive hut' right on the beach in 2005, and have never looked back. They don't take themselves too seriously (as evidenced by the video), but they take their diving very seriously indeed. Now located in a larger establishment across the road from the beach, the 100% Project Aware dive centre is at the forefront of Curaçao's scuba diving community. Divers are picked up from their hotel in the morning with the Dive Buses (they have two now), which is loaded with gear and packed with snacks before driving through Curaçao's spectacular scenery. There are a number of hotels close to the Dive Bus dive centre and the island capital of Willemstad is a short ride away. The team has recently introduced a 'drive and dive' package, where divers who prefer their own company can dive independently, with the Dive Bus providing vehicle rental and daily tanks as required. where to find us.
MUST SEE: Not so much a case of 'must-see' as it is 'will see', Pierbaai house reef and the Car Pile are the reasons why the Dive Bus is located where it is. A gently-sloping sandy bottomed reef leads to a steep drop-off filled with coral and a fantastic array of marine life. A little way to the east is a small plateau with another drop-off at 30m, where somebody dropped a barge load of vintage automobiles but missed the open sea. Look out into the blue for huge tarpon and the occasional eagle ray. Other great sites include Tugboat, Directors' Bay and one of the Caribbean's top wrecks, the Superior Producer.
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