Trip Report Playa Lagun, August 21-26, 2022

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RumJunkie

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Day 1, 8/21 We arrived in Curacao airport with no issues from MIA on AA. Immigration control coming off of plane is done digitally. You go to the Curacao immigration website and enter your trip and passport information here. We didn't do this beforehand but most tourists arriving with us were in same boat. Airport worker will help you do it on your phone. Turn off your cell data and hop on airport wifi. No worries. After clearing immigration and baggage pickup, our taxi driver picked us up outside. This is part of deal if you rent vehicle from Lagun Blou (LB) as we did. After getting to resort, we asked about a supermarket. We started out going to the closest store (Sunshine) which was close by but not adequate for 5 days of groceries. So, based on prior intel we headed down the road to Centrum market…nice, clean, air con, good selection. If memory serves, about a 25 minute drive from LB. After shopping and airplane travel, we were blown out and had dinner at Discover Lagun, a great little restaurant and short walk downhill from LB. We each had whole grilled snapper, rice, salad, and washed down with cold Amstel beers. Closed out day stargazing into epic night sky. Tips: try to get your Embarkation Card completed on Curacao website beforehand, have a ride from airport pre-arranged, and food shop at Centrum market on day 1 if time allows, use Google Maps offline, as this worked flawlessly our entire trip.

Day 2, 8/22 Wakeup was 7am with a little rain but it pushed out quickly and we had a beautiful rainbow. Thankfully, bfast was easy since food shop was done, and LB has quite a few nice tiki huts looking out on water for your daily cup of coffee or two. We eased into the diving with a snorkel trip on house reef as it had been 11 months since our previous dive. So today was all about snorkeling the house reef and lounging at awesome resort pool which looks out on the water. The snorkeling was easy jump in from the steps that navigate down the cliff into the water. You can enter the water here with your scuba equipment if you choose. However, we chose to do our scuba diving from Lagun beach a short walk down from resort. Our preference was a smooth beach transition into the water. There was only one other couple staying at resort and they were entering house reef for diving by way of steps and ladder. After some fun snorkeling on house reef and pool lounging, lunch at tiki and then headed out for island exploration. We went to Playa Jeremi which was a beautiful beach without very many people here. We snorkeled here. After a few hours at Jeremi, we headed back to LB and prepared for dinner. We headed out and had dinner at Blue View. This was good place for watching sunset. The sunset was amazing here and made up for my overcooked tuna but my wife's garlic shrimp was spot on. Closed out day stargazing. Tips: A tough 4x4 vehicle helps. If you don't want to go down steps with gear then just snorkel house reef. Rain won’t last long and you might get a rainbow. Local beaches nearby are def worth exploring, earmark time in your routine for this.

Day 3, 8/23 Usual 7am wakeup with bfast and coffee under tiki hut on the water. Today is our first dive in Curacao. We brought BCs, mask, fins, snorkel, and wrist computers with us. No wetsuit needed, just a surf shirt. We walked downhill to Bahia Divers to get set up with tanks, octo, and weights. They are a super nice and helpful dive shop and have everything you need to shore dive at Playa Lagun. They will provide some excellent guidance. We got set up and eased into water footsteps from dive shop, swam to the left and headed to dive our house reef at Lagun Blou. Super easy. This is a shallow dive, seemed like no more than 25ft, very easy and relaxing with mostly small typical reef dwelling fish but very good variety along the cliff at LB. We took our time, and turned around at 1500psi and headed back to beach, we were both around 900psi. Enjoyed first dive. We rinsed and hung up gear at the shop. They give you bins, hangers, and your own little space in equipment room for next day of diving. We walked back uphill to LB and had some lounging and pool time, then planned our dinner. We had a special dinner at Cactus Cafe, for me it was shrimp curry and wife had the surf and surf, 2 kinds of fish one of which was Barracuda. This was the best meal we had during our stay and glad it lined up with anniversary night. Headed back uphill to LB for some star gazing. Tips: I would recommend Bahia Divers for shore diving. Bring some bug spray with you for dinner at night as everything is open air, we used unscented Off. Trade winds blow all day but if wind shuts off, then bugs come around. Air was fine for this shallow diving.

Day 4, 8/24 Usual 7am wakeup with bfast and coffee under tiki hut on the water. We planned our day with a little more island exploration for today. After bfast, we loaded up and headed down the road in search of Flamingo viewing. We found them at Salt Lake Willembrordus. Hung out here for pictures and vids, and then got down the road. Next up was Playa Porto Marie, not sure if I spelled that right but very close to the Flamingo Area and I highly recommend checking it. We didn't swim or snorkel here but there is a viewing platform you can walk up and get great panoramic views of this beautiful beach. After some island exploration we headed back to LB for Dive # 2. For today, we decided to swim out to outside reef. This was a bit of swim across sand on a West heading. I used compass from dive shop, and you are there once in about 36 ft depth. We stayed at 36ft. I would say outside is a healthier reef, but it didn't seem as fishy as diving along LB wall, most likely because we couldn't dive as long on outside reef due to swim out. IIRC around 30+mins of diving. We swam back up, relaxed in chest deep water and talked about the dive. After dive it was lunch under tiki hut and pool time. For dinner we decided on Shelter Rock Paradise. Keep your eye out for the turn getting here as it is in the hills, not on the coast. Anyway, a very fun local place with beautiful views of mountains. Super chill dinner, I had oxtail stew and my wife had Mahi. It took a while, but well worth it as this was an excellent meal and great way to finish day after dive #2. After dinner, back to LB for stargazing to close out the day, see the pattern here :) Tips: Take time to see the Flamingos, and then nearby Porto Marie is def worth a look. I think it was around 9am for the Flamingos, it definitely wasn't sunrise like the internet said to do. Birds were easing into day, like me. Shelter Rock Paradise is a fun local place worthy of a check.

Day 5, 8/25 The dive shop opened at 9am and we were there when they opened. This was dive #3 for us and we tried something a different and went to the right side of Lagun and swam right along the cliff. We seemed to see more fish than our first 2 dives. Most likely because this dive was longer, no extra swimming needed. Our dive to the right side of Lagun was 47mins and we were back up on beach with 1000psi. I was hoping for 60mins but we were satisfied with our dive time. After swimming at LB pool we had lunch at our tiki hut, then loaded up for Snorkeling at Playa Grandi. This was around 2:30 as out neighbors had said they dove there after 3pm and crowd had dropped way down. I agree. This was fun place to snorkel as we saw turtles here. This is a local fisherman's beach and you will see the small boats anchored up. The locals throw the fish remains off of the concrete pier and it attracts the turtles and other fish. Fun little snorkel that is worth a look. We only spent an hour or so here and headed back to LB. We had pre-arranged rental flashlights from dive shop. So, at sunset we headed down to beach for a sunset snorkel. This was very cool as we started at beach right at sunset and swam to the left side and got out at ladder at resort, as they have a spotlight shining down on water. Our last island dinner was at Discover Lagun, the same place as Day 1. I had ribs, and my wife had a burger, another excellent meal. Tips: For only having 3 dives, we covered the left side of Lagun, the outside reef, and the right side of Lagun. I would have liked to have had a better dive on the outside reef but the swim out sort of chewed up air. Take time for Playa Grandi but do it later in the day, word is out on this spot. Night snorkel was very cool, but a night dive in Lagun would be one more and final dive if had time.

Day 6, 8/25 After coffee at tiki hut we headed to dive shop to pack gear and pay bill. After this, we kept on going to Mambo Beach Blvd. to kill time. This is a long drive from Lagun Blou, at about 50mins so plan accordingly. We didn’t spend much time in city, it didn’t interest us and glad super happy we stayed where we did, outside of tourist district. Anyway, we gassed up the vehicle at the last chance gas station before returning back to LB. We turned in keys and got ride to airport from Tom the super nice Manager at resort. Final tips: Lagun Blou worked out excellent for us who are vacation divers, the bedroom is upstairs with air conditioning but there is no ac or tv downstairs. This was ok as you open the door and slider and get a daily cross breeze from trade winds and we had no desire to watch tv. The grounds are amazing. There is birding, iguanas, kitty cats, and 2 pools, easy access to the water, beautiful landscaping, dive shop, on and on. We saved $ by eating bfast and lunch at room, rental vehicle is needed, credit cards are good everywhere, we only brought 100 cash each and change was given back in usd. Most places to eat close early, by 8pm if not sooner. Have mindset for heat and bugs, we are Floridians, so not a problem for us. Do all of your research well in advance on SB, listen to podcasts, watch Scuba Nation. Take your intel and put in a little notebook and carry it with you on adventures.
 

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RIHappyDiver

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Glad you had a great trip! Thanks for the write up, I’ve been curious about Lagun Blou.

Erik
 

rick00001967

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we did a trip to curacao and stayed right across the bay from where you stayed. spent a week there and then a week in town. we also enjoyed it very much. had some really nice shore dives on the island.
i agree the bugs were really bad. at least when we were there. my legs and lower back etc were badly chewed and i had a pretty bad reaction for some reason. so bug dope is a must for me. i also try to wear long pants whenever possible.
getting the groceries done in town after arrival is def a must. it is too far of a drive from playa lagun to be going back and forth.
the other option may be to hire a grocery service. they can pick up what you need and it is in your room and waiting for you when you get there.
we had been offered one and regretted not doing it. it may cost a bit more but it sure would have made the first two days go alot better.
 

RIHappyDiver

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It’s interesting what you two are saying about the bugs. We stayed at Marazul last January and the bugs were out but not terrible, except for the night we went to Discover Lagun for dinner. Don’t know if it was location, or just that night, but they were definitely out in force.
 

drrich2

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Enjoyed your review. A few follow up questions/observations:

1.) If I understood correctly, you guys tended to do about 1 dive per day? Yet you stayed in a resort further out toward Westpunt, farther from the 'civilized' amenities of Willemstad. What led you to choose Lagun Blou at Playa Lagun?

2.) Appreciate the info. on where to eat. I've only been on a dive trip to Curacao once, at Sunscapes Curacao near Willemstad, and it's my understanding out toward Westpunt food options are a bit more scarce.

From a map, looks like Lagun Blous is a bit over 3 miles south or Marazul Dive Resort, which itself is a bit southeast of All West Apartments and Nos Krusero Apartments, all 3 names I recall mentioned when the Westpunt area is brought up.

Any particular 'selling points' or advantages you think someone looking at the region might find in picking Lagun Blous?

Richard.
 

tkaelin

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Nice report. Thanks. We have stayed at lb twice and we think it is a beautiful location. Bugs can be an issue on the islands especially around sunset early evening. Cactus cafe is our favorite restaurant on the island and it's new location is a big plus. If you dive from lb and go along the cliffs to the right there are some interesting small caves to explore.
 

tkaelin

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Any particular 'selling points' or advantages you think someone looking at the region might find in picking Lagun Blous?
I will give it a try. Property is gorgeous with oceanfront rooms. Great set up along the cliffs of tiki huts, sitting areas and hot tub. Diving right from the property. Onsite dive ops and tanks. Renting a car with the room means you are picked up at the airport with your car waiting for you at lb. No waiting in line at the Airport for a rental car and greatly reduced risk that after waiting in that line they have no car. Close to both westpunt and some of the beaches to the east like cas abou.
 
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RumJunkie

RumJunkie

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Enjoyed your review. A few follow up questions/observations:

1.) If I understood correctly, you guys tended to do about 1 dive per day? Yet you stayed in a resort further out toward Westpunt, farther from the 'civilized' amenities of Willemstad. What led you to choose Lagun Blou at Playa Lagun?

2.) Appreciate the info. on where to eat. I've only been on a dive trip to Curacao once, at Sunscapes Curacao near Willemstad, and it's my understanding out toward Westpunt food options are a bit more scarce.

From a map, looks like Lagun Blous is a bit over 3 miles south or Marazul Dive Resort, which itself is a bit southeast of All West Apartments and Nos Krusero Apartments, all 3 names I recall mentioned when the Westpunt area is brought up.

Any particular 'selling points' or advantages you think someone looking at the region might find in picking Lagun Blous?

Richard.
Richard,

That's correct, 1 dive per day. This was anniversary and dive trip, so had to allot time for island exploration and just kicking back. We stayed in Westpunt because when we travel to an island destination we don't like being around a deluge of tourists, and always seek out less convoluted options. LB is a dive resort but not like a Sandals type of resort. This place had soul. We chose LB because my instincts told me it would check the boxes for what we were after.

You asked about selling points. For us it was finding a chill out place, where we could dive, check out some local wildlife, and stargaze all while staying within our budget. It checked all those boxes.

I hope this helps and have good pics and vids would like to share on post but attach files says too big and not going to convert each one of my iphone heic files to jpg.
 
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