Question Curacao Itinerary - Feedback Requested

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First of all, SB is a great forum and as a newish scuba diver I've found the posts and trip reviews to be invaluable and helped me pick Curacao for this trip

I am heading to Curacao for the first time with a scuba buddy and wanted to see what folks thought about the tentative plan.

We are staying at the Renaissance in Willemstad since I'm using points as a Marriott Titanium. We have a rental SUV and the spouses plus kids are coming along as well so there needs to be a balance between Scuba and hanging with the Fam's. Plan is to do morning dives to accommodate . Dive goal is to see lots of underwater species and the bigger the better...

Never shore dove so looking forward to building that skill set . Plan is to drive to Westpunt / beaches at least three times.


Arrive late evening at Renaissance


Chill and relax beach day explore Willemstad


Two tank dive Westpunt – Go West Diving

Go West Diving Schedule
DayFirst Dive Second Dive
SundayMeguel’s ReefRed Bush City
MondayRedihoElvin’s Plane Wreck
TuesdayMako’s MountainKortape
WednesdayDuane’s Release/ScooterParadise
ThursdayBlack Coral GardenWatamula
FridayMushroom ForrestJeremi
SaturdayPlaya HuluBlack Sand Wreck


Shore dive – Tugboat – Good beginner shore dive


Shore Dive –East end or West End Playa Porto Mari / Grote Knip / Cas Abao are options ?


Two tank boat dive Willemstad area -Goby Divers or Ocean Encounters ? Is boat diving in East End worth it or should we shore dive ?

OE boat dive schedule


Relax beach day/ explore national park

A.M. departure to Miami

Thanks in advance

Hey Matt,

Looks like you've put some research into this.

I've only dove the West end, so I can't speak to most of your East end choices. That being said, I've heard great things about Tugboat. That should be a really good shore dive.

Regarding Sunday, and I'm sure others will chime in, but you may consider skipping the boat dive and doing a couple of shore/dock dives from Go West's dock on their house reef, Alice in Wonderland, given that the boat dive is not Watamula. Alice in Wonderland is a fantastic dive!

If you do the national parks on Thursday, make sure to include both parks. Shete Boka is well worth the time.

Whatever your decide in the end, have a great time, and make sure to do a trip report for the rest of us!

directors bay was a great dive. very secluded though. dont leave anything in the car.

we also enjoyed playa lagun reef and kokomo beach.
We were in Curacao for a brief stay (long weekend) last October. Just in case you are still open about lodging, one thing I'll mentioned is that we were using Marriott points also, so we took a good look at both the Marriott Beach Club and the Renaissance, as discussed in this thread: Marriott Resorts in Curaçao

As discussed there, some of the rooms in the Renaissance are "inside" rooms in the cruise ship sense -- no actual windows. We ended up going with the Marriott Beach Club, not just for the better room situation (the view did end up being better than expected) but also because the Renaissance does not really have any good area to snorkel on-site.

The Marriott Beach Club has a nice beach, and the water there was actually clearer than the water during my boat dives, and there are coral formations that are an easy swim from the beach (really good amounts of brain coral, among others). The Marriott Beach Club does have a dive op on site, but I chose to dive with Caribbean Sea Sports (which is close, and picked me up) and we also had a nice Snorkel with Turtles + Island Tour with them also (my wife does not dive, but likes to snorkel).

While the Renaissance is nice for walking around Willemstad, personally for what we like (nice beach with clear water and stuff to see snorkeling on-site) I would chose the Beach Club every time. YMMV.

Oh, and for family activities you may want to look at Curacao's open-to-the-sea aquarium. We heard good things about it, but it didn't work out for our schedule. They are closed Sunday and Monday.
Keep in mind that go-west didn't do the mushroom forest every day, they had a weekly schedule whereas you could do most of the shore dives at will. Perhaps already built into your schedule, but in case not, do book that one first and work around it. Also be sure to stay and do the Go-West house reef while you're there. They let us stick around after the 2 tank boat dive to do the house reef before heading back.

A small teaser/preview for you to get you even more excited about your trip @Kingcobra777 . It sounds like you've done a lot of research and picked some great sites already. Here are some pics and a writeup of the sites we did when visiting last summer., we had a blast! Diving the Clear Waters of Curaçao

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