Curacao is known as a tropical destination for a beach holiday. I have to confess: in the nearly 2 weeks I stayed in Curacao, I did not spend one second on the beach. Something about not being a beach person. I did visit many beaches. Rarely on a trip have I seen such beautiful beaches and such clear blue waters. Many beaches have viewpoints to marvel at the beautiful blue sea. As a photography enthusiast, I can spend hours there. And what about snorkeling: a must do in Curacao. In this article, I take you to the most beautiful beaches in Curacao. For snorkeling, good food or sunbathing. And as a bonus: an unknown beach off the beaten path & Jan Thiel beach tips.
Beaches in Curacao
Curacao has about 40 beaches. In all shapes and sizes: small, large, sandy beaches, coral stone beaches, deserted beaches and tourist beaches. And all equally beautiful. Beach person or not: this is beautiful nature.
These beaches are scattered around the south coast of the island. Generally easy to get to by car and free parking is available everywhere.
You won’t find the same amenities on every beach. Sometimes there is a restaurant, sometimes not. On some beaches you won’t find beach beds, on others you will. Also, not all beaches are free to visit, sometimes you pay a small entrance fee. Beach beds are almost always paid for by the way.
Whatever you love as a beach lover, in Curacao you will find your perfect beach. Everywhere you look you see clear blue water, really impressive.
And also fun: beach hopping. As I did. From beach to beach, looking for the most beautiful spot. To discover beautiful Curacao, I give you a top 7 of my favorite beaches in Curacao.
My 7 favorite beaches in Curacao
1. The Directors Bay
Directeursbaai is ranked number one most beautiful beach in Curacao. You have to drive for it, there are no amenities and it is small. But gosh how wonderful. This beach used to be a private beach for the directors of Shell, who came here to enjoy their leisure time. Hence the name.
The Directors Bay is full of pebbles, so bring a bed if you want to lie down a bit comfortably. This beach is truly beautiful; it took my breath away. Small, but terribly beautiful. And not just above the water. Indeed, Directors Bay is a popular spot for diving and snorkeling.
Bring your own everything as there are no restaurants or anything. And enjoy this beautiful piece of Curacao.
2. Playa Lagun
Another gem: Playa Lagun. A beautiful little beach with all kinds of amenities. And a great place to snorkel. In fact, this was my favorite place to snorkel. An underwater world to die for. The bay is quite extensive, and you can swim on both sides of the cliffs to the end of the bay. On both sides you will find coral and many exotic fish. This is the place where I’ve been in the water the most time, and next time in Curacao I will definitely go back.
This is also the beach where you can encounter turtles, if you are lucky. In a good way, without feeding them as on Playa Piskadó (Playa Grandi) in the village of Westpunt.
Besides snorkeling, this beach with the high cliffs on both sides is just beautiful.
Karakter is a restaurant and beautiful resort in Curacao. In Westpunt in Willibrordus. Here I spent quite some time sitting on the terrace, enjoying good food and the sea. You can snorkel well over here, it is beautiful and if you want you can rent a beach bed. There are also restrooms and ample parking.
Karakter is located at a beautiful and quiet resort, where you can also stay. Click here for more information about the hotel.
4. Playa Forti
Playa Forti at Westpunt (more or less next to Playa Piskadó) I especially loved because of the beautiful views. The small beach is located at the bottom of a cliff. Which you can jump from, by the way, if you dare. I did not visit this beach and thus did not snorkel, but drove there twice to have lunch at both restaurants.
Not because those restaurants are so special (good food though), but mainly for the views. In both restaurants I simply sat, ate and marveled at this beautiful place.
The little beach is very quiet and I have the idea that it is mostly used by locals. If there are few/no people I would not sit there alone.
5. Kokomo Beach
Kokomo Beach also features beautiful views. And the famous swing for your Instagram photo. Here you can sit and enjoy the sea breeze. The beach is small, but quite crowded. Especially in high season, the place will fill up quickly.
I enjoyed eating ice cream and drinking watermelon juice. And, of course, snorkeling. You have all the amenities here, even a nice place for a massage at the sea, if you wish.
6. Kleine Knip
Kleine Knip is a well-known beach near Westpunt, the far west of Curacao. Not massive, but very beautiful. Here I spent some time snorkeling and enjoying the underwater world. The couple where I left my luggage told me that this is their favorite place to snorkel. I don’t blame them. Imagine yourself in the clear blue water and enjoy.
Want to lie on the beach? Rent a beach bed with an umbrella. No idea how much it costs, but the service is there.
7. Grote Knip
Opposite Kleine Knip, of course, is Grote Knip. And as the name suggests, this beach is a bit bigger than at Kleine Knip and also a lot busier. A piggy on the beach, and some street dogs. But a beautiful underwater world and views from the cliff.
Here too you will find all the amenities you need, including a restaurant, beach beds and a large parking lot.
Curacao beach off the beaten path
Ever heard of Playa Carara? I was at the Santa Martha viewpoint and saw on the map that just down the road is another beach. I hadn’t read anything about it, but thought: I’m in the area anyway. Up on arrival, there was almost no one. The people who were there had parked the car on the shingle beach. I followed their example and went snorkeling.
With the sun almost setting, the view was extra beautiful. The water glistened in the sun and stood out beautifully against the black shore.
There are not many amenities, so bring everything you need yourself. So in any case, beautiful at the end of the day and to combine with the Santa Martha viewpoint.
Jan Thiel beach tips
At Jan Thiel Bay, you have several restaurants right on the beach. I visited two of them and sat there wonderfully. The first was Koko’s. They have good food, there is shade and if you want you can rent a beach bed. It was not crowded, nor is it a massive beach. Perfect if you like conviviality, but not too crowded.
Close to Koko’s you’ll find restaurant Zest, right on Jan Thiel Beach. Here you sit at a table on the beach. It is cozy and you can eat well. In the evening you can enjoy a beautiful sunset here.
Jan Thiel is a popular place to stay in Curacao. Here you will find many hotels and apartments, from where you can walk straight to the beach. Check out the hotels and apartments in Jan Thiel Curacao.
What is your favorite beach in Curacao?
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