Curacao vs St Croix for first time/non-diver

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RIHappyDiver

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+1 for Cactus Cafe in Westpunt. Fantastic African Peanut soup! Every fish dish we had was wonderful, as well. If you happen to be there when the fish of the day is delivered you’ll get to see the cats follow their favorite person.
Another good restaurant in the west end is Discover Lagun in Playa Lagun. We didn’t try it until Thursday night , leaving Saturday, or we would have been back for more.

Topside nature exploring, I agree with @tkaelin. Shete Boka is a great explore. If it’s really hot, most of it can be accessed by car. If you don’t want to climb Christoffel, we found that the drives in the park, with lots of pull offs, were very rewarding.
Another great topside spot we stumbled on was Boka Ascension, shortly before you get to Barber. Lots of turtles hanging out in the inlet, but your looking down on them from a cliff. That was, for me, so much better than Playa Piskado.

All that being said, you may have so much to do around you that you might not even make is to the west end. But, in case you do, hope this info helps.

Have a great trip!
Erik
 
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Rearviewmirror

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+1 for Cactus Cafe in Westpunt. Fantastic African Peanut soup! Every fish dish we had was wonderful, as well. If you happen to be there when the fish of the day is delivered you’ll get to see the cats follow their favorite person.
Another good restaurant in the west end is Discover Lagun in Playa Lagun. We didn’t try it until Thursday night , leaving Saturday, or we would have been back for more.

Topside nature exploring, I agree with @tkaelin. Shete Boka is a great explore. If it’s really hot, most of it can be accessed by car. If you don’t want to climb Christoffel, we found that the drives in the park, with lots of pull offs, were very rewarding.
Another great topside spot we stumbled on was Boka Ascension, shortly before you get to Barber. Lots of turtles hanging out in the inlet, but your looking down on them from a cliff. That was, for me, so much better than Playa Piskado.

All that being said, you may have so much to do around you that you might not even make is to the west end. But, in case you do, hope this info helps.

Have a great trip!
Erik
Awesome - thanks a lot Erik!
 

Redtwo

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If you and your wife can stomach that you stay a bit longer away for diving definetly do a 2 tank dive to the eastpoint with www.divechartercuracao.com . They have an awesome rib and are one of the few who actually dive the eastpoint. Amazing coral and abundance of marine life! Also one of the few places where seeing a shark is possible.

Superior producer is also a great dive of course. And lots of great shore dives for your wife or a limited time away (go to the beach for a day, rock up to the local dive shop on the beach and within 1,5 hours your done with a great dive and ready to join the wife again :)

Enjoy either way and great island. Make sure you hit the beaches west of willemstad. By far the best!
 

Redtwo

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Oh and for nice local food, go to plasa bieu in the centre of Willem stad between 11h-13h for some great local food. Furthermore we had a great dinner at coral estate last time. Bit in the middle of the island.
 

drrich2

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Nice - thank you! I'm kind of surprised there isn't more online about Curacao - i.e. nowhere near the buzz of Bonair.
Historically Bonaire has been more dive industry focused; Curacao is larger and more diverse. Years ago someone pointed out a general fitness device wasn't doing well, till it got re-branded as the Thigh Master. Bonaire is heavily marketed as a great shore diving destination, and it's got strong recognition for that. Curacao has shore diving, but the coastal road is said to be farther inland, requiring turn offs/branches to get to some sites. Basically, Bonaire is smaller, less diverse, and yet may be easier to conceptualize and get around. That matters to hardcore divers looking to rack up a big dive count with little regard for the topside.

You'll notice not many Curacao trip reports describe 'just' shore diving, but many Bonaire trip reports do. And with Bonaire, often when there are boat dives, they're in the minority - basically a way to get in some Klein Bonaire sites.

Curacao has some advantages over Bonaire, depending on what you're looking for, and it's quite a worthy dive destination. But unlike Bonaire, when you shift toward more boat diving, you shift toward competing with Cozumel, the Caymans, Roatan, Belize, etc...
 

arew+4

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Playa Porto Marie, nice dive nice beach bar nice sunsets.


PC230197.JPG

Fort by tugboat

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Cliff top restaurant, dine and ditch

PC260473.JPG
 

BoltSnap

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Would you recommend many particular other sites/things to do on the island?

For dive sites, I usually start with site no. 1, Playa Kulky/Alice in Wonderland, and work my way down to the other end of the Island. Now, if your stay won't allow you to do all the sites, make sure that you change the order of the sites to accommodate the very popular sites on the east end of the Island. I buy an island dive map and just follow it from one end to the other. Porto Marie is a very special dive site. I usually stay there for the whole day to do 3 or 4 dives. The scenery at the beach is great for the SIT period. There is a restaurant there for after dive meals and snacks. Other sites, I do 1 or 2 dives in the same site going to different directions depending on the u/w topography. I have breakfast and dinner at the resort we stay at but lunch is usually at small restaurant we find when driving from one dive site to another. I buy a disposable cooler first day I get there for water and cold drinks and, perhaps, snacks to drink/eat between dives especially chocolate :)


Non-diving activities: Personally I only do diving, eating and sleeping when I am there. I vaguely remember going to town in the first two trips there but I don't remember/know exact details. Both occasions were to dine at special places. The non-divers that go with me manage their itinerary on their own with the help of the resort where we stay, closer to Westpunt. Unfortunately, I am not much of a help with non-diving activities :)
 

BoltSnap

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great dinner at coral estate last time

How is the resort, facilities and restaurant there?
 

Redtwo

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Sorry, can't help you on that one. Only went there for a very nice dinner. But by the looks of it it is a great resort/conplex. A bit of a drive from most things, but right in the middle of the island and in their resort they seem to have everything (pool, beach entry, dive shop, normal shop, restaurant etc).
 
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