Some places have historical low temperatures as we speak. That means the world can use an update on summer vibes! Here is a list of my favorite Curaçao beaches, for whoever is in need of that extra bit of Vitamin Sea. Are you traveling through the Caribbean? Awesome! This guide will tell you all about the best beaches to go to while visiting Curaçao.
There are two types of beaches – the ones that have an entrance fee & the once that are free of admission. Let’s start with the later ones. To be honest, these beaches are the most beautiful in my opinion anyway!
A keyword for the most gorgeous beaches on the island? WESTPUNT. The beaches located on the west side of the island are the most pure – it even looks like the water has more shades of blue & the sand seems whiter..
This small, cozy beach is a must visit. As you can read in my previous Sea Turtle Hotspots post, Playa Lagun is an underwater treasure. With some cute fisherman’s boat’s on the side it really hints the island vibes. A snorkel valhalla & personal favorite. Climb the stairs to the restaurant above – not only do you have a great view from here overlooking the bay & the ocean, but you’ll be surrounded by Curaçao’s not so little dragons: Iguana’s!
This beach gives you the Caribbean vibes right upon arrival. Never have I ever seen an ocean with so many shades of blue. A tropical bounty beach with an endless view of the Caribbean sea. This location you visit for the view – not so much it’s underwater world. For snorkeling I’d recommend to go to a different spot. Go to Grote Knip to catch your tan lines & to soak up the sun!
The beach has a small building which provides food & some drinks. In the weekends locals come here and bring their cool box & BBQ’s.
You can reach Playa Lagun & Grote Knip within 40 minutes per car if you’re driving from Willemstad. Or take the bus (3C to Lagun/Knip) which takes an hour to get here. This bus leaves from the Otrobanda bus station every 2 hours.
This beach is for the daredevils. It provides as a hotspot for the adrenaline seekers – you can go cliff jumping from 12 meters height! From above it seems very high, but once you make the leap you’re in for a rush – I jumped several times.
There’s restaurant on top as well which gives a marvelous ocean view.
All the way up at the point of Westpunt there is another hidden gem. Playa Kalki is a small quiet bounty beach. It is never too crowded which gives it its charm. For facilities it does provide a restaurant, tho it’s quite pricey. My advise: bring your own food & drinks and enjoy the afternoon on this quiet off road beach.
Playa Piskado / Playa Grandi
SEA TURTLES SEA TURTLES SEA TURTLES – I can not emphasize enough how great this beach is for snorkeling with these lovely animals. Want to know more about it? Check out my Sea Turtle article right here!
Playa Santu Pretu
Also known as the Black Beach. This one is another snorkel paradise – it’s off the beaten track & therefore a hidden gem. It doesn’t have Curaçao’s typical white sand – it’s full of black/red mini stones – hence the name. Not so much a beach to lay on but rather to enjoy the afternoon in the water or to hang around if you want some peace & quiet. Great spot to bring a BBQ!
The awesome part about this beach is that it’s coral is still so colorful! If seeing a lot of different kind of fish is your goal, you should definitely pay this beach a visit.
What’s also perfect about this beach is that’s just a 10 minute hike away from the famous ‘Blauwe Kamer’ – Curaçao’s Blue Room. The Blue Room also got it’s name due the colors it provides. It’s a cave you can snorkel into – the water inside this cave lits naturally blue!
It’s easier to get into this cave when the water is a bit lower. Go later in the day, after 1PM when the lights will color the room this amazing spectrum of blue. You can either take a hike from Santa Cruz (20 min.), Playa Santu Pretu (10 min.) or you take a boat trip there.
This Beach is one of Westpunt’s more close by beaches. You can easily get here by car in 25 minutes. It has a cute bar where you can order some basic beverages & snacks. If you’re into typical Dutch treats, they serve Frikandelen & Bitterballen! Trust me, you’d like to try these.
You can rent a beach bed – you get half of the amount returned if you carry your beach bed back yourself! Fair enough deal. This beach is great for snorkeling along it’s sides. Go here for a laid back afternoon & to forget time itself.
Some people might be surprised, but this is indeed a commission free beach. Although a restaurant is located here, you can still enjoy the beach facility without paying a dime. However, they do provide lovely service on the beach – it wouldn’t harm to order a nice drink or two. Don’t bring your own beverages, it is kind of rude. You can also rent a beach chair if you’d like.
What makes this beach special are it’s floating raft rot & ocean swing. Or if you’re in for something special try to spot the pelican. Bonus points if you’re able to capture it on camera, those birds fly rather fast!
Technically Karakter is a restaurant. They’ll not charge you for the use of their beach or beds – so if you order something you’re good to use the beach facilities! It’s a lovely beach were you can easily spend all afternoon – the service is very good & there food is a delight as well. Spending a day at Karakter really gives you the vacay vibes.
Insider’s tip: rent a car! With a car you’d be able to hit multiple beaches in a day. Westpunt beaches are off the grid, and although you can go by bus, it’s rather inconvenient. By bus it will still take you at least an hour to get to the drop off point from where you’ll have to walk quite a long part in the sun to get to the actual beach. And let’s not start about finding your way back – it can take up for 2 hours in between buses – with not a stated timetable. Taking the bus is for the adventurous travels only.
This part will feature beaches that are located all across the island – including some Westpunt beaches that were not stated above. Most of these beaches include an admission fee. These beaches are wonderful as well!
Mambo Beach is probably on of Curaçao’s most popular beaches. It’s close to Willemstad and therefore easy to get there. Mambo beach offers a boulevard which is full of shops and restaurants overseeing the ocean.
Mambo is also known for it’s many beach bars & famous Happy Hours. Especially on Sunday it’s a crazy time to enjoy the sunset while enjoying several (half priced) drinks.. Cheers!
To use the beach and the beds during the day they charge an admission fee.
Insider tip: be adventurous and travel here by bike! You can rent one at Bed & Bike Curacao in Pietermaai – Mambo is only a 15 minute tour away!
Jan Thiel Beach
Jan Thiel Beach has a lot in common with Mambo. Jan Thiel also has several restaurant covering the beach area. Located near the Spanish Water this beach is the place to be on Saturdays. Why? Well Zanzibar Happy Hour & Pizza night of course! Pizza on the beach accompanied with a live music band.. Always good for a great time.
To use the beach and the beds during the day there is an admission fee.
If you don’t have a car to get here, best thing you could do is take bus 6A with destination Caracasbaai. Just get out at the last stop and you’re good to go.
One of the more close by Westpunt beaches: Playa Porto Marie. If you are into wildlife this is your beach! There are two adorable pigs wandering around the playa, curious enough to let you get really close by. This beach also got a lot of Iguana’s roaming around, or if you like to snorkel / dive this is a great spot to do so too! The underwater surface host so many moray eels.. and so many fish!
Next to the entrance there is a restaurant located. They serve bites, lunch, drinks.. a little bit of everything. It’s a beach you pay admission for to use & for the beds.
Cas Abou Beach
This is one of Curaçao most beautiful beaches. Cas Abou is even in the top 10 of most beautiful Caribbean beaches! It’s quite a drive to get there, but when you’re through the gate it is more than worth it.
Turquoise water and extremely white sand. Just like in the movies, a gorgeous place in paradise.
There is a daiquiri bar that serves drinks, lunch & bites.
You pay 10 guilders per vehicle as admission fee. Beds are for rent too.
I love that I can let my pups roam free at Playa Canoa – they always get so excited when we get there! Running around like crazy & having so much fun. Playa Canoa is the only beach on Curaçao at the Northern coast – waves roll high & wild so this is a perfect spot for surfers & adventurers!
Tug Boat Beach
A sunken tug boat with lots of sea creatures around. See more about this location (and awesome activities!) in my previous Ready for the Seabob adventure? post.
There are more!
Believe it or not, the list goes on. There are so many more beaches. Other beaches I’ve been are for example Director’s bay (great for snorkeling!) Caracasbaai (free, not really sandy, lot’s of people for get together & BBQ), Marie Pampoen (free, newly constructed right before mambo beach) Santa Maria (also know as the deserted resort – perfect to bring your dogs along) , Blue Bay (great for events) and so, so many more!
Even after 2 years of living in this Caribbean paradise, there are still beaches I have not visited yet. Curaçao has just so many to choose from!
I hope this post gives you the summer vibes & adds that bit of Vitamin Sea. I sommanly swear I’ll discover more Curaçao beaches to complete this guide. So in the meantime, you can find me under the palm tree! And tell me, which of these beaches would be your favorite?