Question Curacao Itinerary - Feedback Requested

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!



Reaction score
# of dives
0 - 24

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!


Appreciate the feedback , really hoping to dive Watamula but their morning sked doesn’t track with my itin , may have to do afternoon dive with them . Is it worth it ?
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.

I did read your posts regarding Marriott properties on Curaçao . A bit of a toss up but it’s proximity to town won over the true decision makers . Ocean view booked , no vampire rooms for us .
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
We didn’t dive Mushroom Forest when we were there. How would you compare it to Watamula?
You have a good point with the special pricing of the 2 tank dive combined with unlimited shore dive. Add $11 to the cost of the morning boat dive and get unlimited shore diving. That makes it easy to do another dive or 2 right there on their house reef.
Appreciate the feedback , really hoping to dive Watamula but their morning sked doesn’t track with my itin , may have to do afternoon dive with them . Is it worth it ?
In my mind, yes. Think of it as the coral version of Jurassic Park. However, I did limited diving on Curacao, so let’s see what @Jaan has to say on the matter.

You may want to check with Go West and see if they’ll give you special pricing for a shore dive if you book an afternoon dive. My depth on Watamula was 53’, so you could easily dive Alice in the morning, have lunch at someplace like the Cactus Cafe, and do the afternoon trip.

This is one of the great things about Curacao, so many possibilities!
Do whatever you can to re-arrange the schedule to dive Watamula, it is worth it. It is one of the best sections of reef you'll see anywhere in the Caribbean.

Don't bother with Mushroom Forest, not there is anything wrong with it, but there isn't anything special about it either. Shore dive at Alice In Wonderland is better choice.
In my mind, yes. Think of it as the coral version of Jurassic Park. However, I did limited diving on Curacao, so let’s see what @Jaan has to say on the matter.
We only made it to the west point for a day of diving and all 3 dives (including the house reef) were amazing. We didn't get to Watamula so I can't compare to Mushroom forest but again, you can't do it all with limited time and all the dives there were fantastic. I think Nat's article summed up all the sites we did in our one-week stay. If I were to do it again, I would spend more time on the West side as the reefs did seem more pristine. Of course, Tug boat and other sites were great too. I'm sure you're going to have a fantastic time
Make the effort to dive Watamula. Mushroom Forest is ok but nothing to go out of your way for (anymore, used to be quite something but after years of storms and diver pressure not so much.)

Free tanks for the day with a morning boat trip is pretty common. I don’t know if that applies with an afternoon boat. But boat dives with All West then some shore dives there at Alice is a good idea. It’s actually a good beginner shore dive place, with a dock and everything you need right there and easy navigation.

I wouldn’t dive east unless it is a matter of time/distance (which I get) or a very specific site you want to see. Like if you can get a trip to the very east end or Klein Curacao great, but just doing regular east end dives with someone like OE doesn’t really get you more variety like you might think, and probably not better diving, than sticking with the west end. And there’s something to be said for sticking with an op for a few days instead of a day here a day there.

Top Bottom