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Curaçao Beaches

A Beach with a View
Curaçao Beaches
Curaçao has over 30 beaches, making it easy for even the pickiest visitor to turn their Caribbean fantasy into reality. Go snorkeling and kayaking, leap off a cliff into clear-blue waters, or venture to uninhabited Little Curaçao to unwind on the island's loneliest waterfront.
By Ashley Castle Pittman, AFAR Contributor
Photo by Ashley Castle
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    A Beach with a View
    A Beach with a View
    Visitors and residents alike flock to Curaçao’s west coast for its peaceful waters and life-changing sunsets. If you want to feel like you're on the edge of the earth, head to Playa Lagun for its remote vibe. Or make your way to Playa Kenepa for snorkeling, people-watching, and sunbathing with the locals. Playa PortoMari charges a $3 entrance fee, but it's worth it to dive deep or fly high (our fancy term for parasailing).
    Photo by Ashley Castle
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    Romantic Beach Hideaways
    Romantic Beach Hideaways
    The dating-profile cliché "I like long walks on the beach," sound less corny when you experience Curaçao’s west-side beaches. For an unapologetically romantic getaway, stay near secluded Playa Forti or Playa PortoMari. Want to honeymoon like a celebrity? Book a day at Baoase Luxury Resort to get the VIP treatment.
    Photo by Ashley Castle
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    Family-Friendly Beaches
    Family-Friendly Beaches
    On Sundays, you'll find people of all ages picnicking and barbecuing on Westpunt's beaches. This spectacular stretch is perfect for families who want to relax together or embark on a tropical adventure. Check out Playa PortoMari's shallow, clear waters for snorkeling; Playa Lagun's quiet cove; or Playa Kenepa's friendly vibe, with cheap snacks sold right by the entrance. For a couple hours of exploring (or doing absolutely nothing) without the kids, try the Renaissance Curaçao Resort: They offer childcare.
    Photo courtesy of Lions Dive & Beach Resort
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    Beach Adventures
    Beach Adventures
    Can't wait to get in the water? You can snorkel, dive, and even kayak on most of the island's western-shore beaches. Or if you feel like staying on land, Playa PortoMari has three hiking and biking trails you can explore right from the beach parking lot. To work off some Curaçao's amazing food, hike for an hour through Shete Boka National Park's jaw-dropping cliffs and turtle-nesting beaches.
    Photo by Ashley Castle
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    Local Beach Life
    Local Beach Life
    The best way to experience Curaçao like a local is to get away from the resorts, so rent a car and head to the western part of the island, where many locals have weekend houses. Try touring Playa Knip, Playa PortoMari, and Playa Lagun to see what beach life is like for the people who call this place home. Note that if you visit during the week, you will likely have these places to yourself, but make sure you stick around for a Sunday to experience a truly authentic vibe. This is the day that residents gather on the sands to eat, relax, socialize with their families and friends, and attempt a daring cliff dive or two.
    Photo by Ashley Castle
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    Beachfront Dining
    Beachfront Dining
    Perched on the edge of a cliff, the Blue View Sunset Terrace offers a spectacular view over Westpunt's iridescent turquoise waters, with Playa Forti directly below. The mood is chill and the atmosphere friendly, with a mix of visitors and residents. Try Karakter for a loungy atmosphere, or get as close as you can to the sea in Willemstad at BijBlauw. Book a table at Baoase and prepare for the swankiest waterside dining experience in Curaçao.
    Photo by Ashley Castle
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    Little Curaçao
    Little Curaçao
    Curaçao has two landmasses: the main island and its offshore sibling, Klein Curaçao (Little Curaçao). Located southeast of the mainland in the Caribbean Sea, Klein Curaçao is tiny—it covers less than a square mile—and uninhabited; if you want to leave civilization behind, consider a day trip there. You'll be assured of peace and quiet: The only structures on the diminutive isle are a few huts, an old lighthouse, and a beach house. Book passage on a private charter to avoid the large boat trips that head to the island throughout the week, and spend a day snorkeling and swimming off Klein Curaçao’s deserted stretch of sand.
    Photo by Karin Claus/age fotostock
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    Scuba Diving
    Scuba Diving
    Underwater enthusiasts fly thousands of miles to experience the Caribbean's unparalleled marine life, and Curaçao has numerous first-class dive sites, many of which are right offshore. If you need instruction, you won't have any trouble finding it; there are many schools and teachers all over the island. Playa PortoMari has an on-site dive shop, which offers shore plunges to explore the area’s double reef system, and the popular Dive Bus is situated beside the Tugboat snorkeling spot. You can also take a boat out to more-remote locations on the west coast. Playa Lagun similarly has an on-site dive shop, as does the Rancho El Sobrino hotel.
    Photo courtesy of Curaçao Tourist Board