Sustainable Dive Tourism in Curacao and The Ocean Encounters Pledge
By Bryan Horne

Sustainable Dive Tourism in Curacao

Sustainable Dive Tourism in Curacao

Sustainable Dive Tourism is important because our environment is constantly being attacked by numerous factors that include overfishing, coral reef degradation, air and water pollution, single use plastics and much more on a daily basis. Largely, we are facing these impending natural disasters because of apathy and an unwillingness to change our daily routines or “rock the boat” to implement environmental conservation policies that force societal responsibility. At Ocean Encounters this is our private sector point of view. We believe it is our societal responsibility to create eco-policies internally that provide immediate solutions and a lasting effect externally for our business, our employees, our divers, our coral reefs and most importantly for the future of our beautiful Dutch Caribbean Island. This is why we are completely committed to Sustainable Dive Tourism in Curacao.

What is Sustainable Dive Tourism?

By definition, “Sustainable Tourism refers to sustainable practices in and by the tourism industry. It is an aspiration to acknowledge all impacts of tourism, both positive and negative. It aims to minimize the negative impacts and maximize the positive ones.”

By extension, “Sustainable Dive Tourism” then refers specifically to the dive tourism industry where we acknowledge all the impacts of dive tourism, both negative and positive. It is Ocean Encounters’ aim, including our dive industry partners, to minimize the negative impacts and maximize the positive ones.  

Negative impacts to our dive destination include: Economic leakage, damage to the natural environment, and coastal development to name a few.

Positive impacts to our dive destination include: Job creation, cultural heritage preservation, wildlife preservation, landscape restoration, and more.

Sustainable tourism is defined by the UN Environment Program and UN World Tourism Organization as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.”

Additionally, they say that sustainable tourism “refers to the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, and a suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability” (UNEP & UNWTO, 2005: 11-12. Making Tourism More Sustainable – A Guide for Policy Makers).

Why Commit to Sustainable Dive Tourism?

With each passing year, we see new new environmental challenges. Here are 5 examples of the biggest threats to our ocean.

  1. Water pollution coming from improper sewage treatment resulting in contaminated waters that harm our marine life.
  2. Plastic pollution coming from land-based or marine sources. Land-based sources include mismanaged waste and inadequately disposed plastic waste. Marine sources include fishing fleets that leave fishing nets, lines and ropes behind.
  3. Water temperatures getting higher. Marine animals are twice as likely to lose their habitats due to climate change as they have fewer ways to find refuge from the heat and are less capable of adapting to a warming planet.
  4. Reef damage due to toxic sunscreens. A 2015 study found that just a small amount of sunscreen containing oxybenzone builds up in coral tissues, affecting especially juvenile coral and causing DNA damage, abnormal growth and increased susceptibility to bleaching (causing eventual death).
  5. Ocean acidification due to excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Some organisms will survive or even thrive under more acidic conditions, but others will struggle to adapt and may even go extinct. Ocean acidification affects fishing, threatens food security, as well as tourism and other sea-related economies.
Economic Value of the Diving Industry in Curacao*

Another important reason to commit to Sustainable Dive Tourism in Curacao for the dive industry and other marine recreation providers is income possibilities. There are around 6 million active scuba divers and 20 million active snorkelers worldwide. According to the 2017 Economic Impact study of the Curacao Diving Industry, conducted by the Curacao Hospitality and Tourism Association (CHATA), concluded that the diving industry contributes approximately $41,319,914 annually to the local economy.

Furthermore coral reefs, such as the 104 square kilometers of extremely bio-diverse systems that surround Curacao, provide $375 billion USD globally in goods and services including $130 billion USD in coastal tourism. Yet, the estimated total investment in coral reef management and conservation is approx. $350 million USD worldwide.

That means that for every $100 US dollars that the tourism industry generates in coastal areas, only about $0.27 US dollars goes toward marine protected areas management and conservation.

*Source: Curacao – A Dutch Caribbean Coral Island, by Dr. Mark Vermeij (Carmabi) and Bryan Horne (Dive Curacao)

Sustainable Dive Tourism in Action

If we are to be true leaders in Curacao in the fight to protect what we love then together we must understand that our dive sites and shallow water reef systems that ultimately protect our shorelines are under immense environmental pressures. We also must realize that conservation, and by definition Sustainable Dive Tourism, cannot be done in isolation. It takes the collaborative efforts of everyone to really make change.

Green Fins in Curacao

As a leading sustainable dive tourism operator in Curaçao, Ocean Encounters has become a Green Fins Digital Member to reinforce the absolute need to create change in order to provide future generations with an opportunity for a healthy and sustainable environment, both above and below the waterline.

There are different ways one can lessen the impacts on the environment. Here are some simple steps you can take at home. Be conscious of the waste you produce and minimize it. Use less energy by turning off electronics when you are not using them, use energy efficient appliances and light bulbs. Refuse single use plastic in your day to day life.

At Ocean Encounters, we believe in educating, setting an example and making a change.

It is for this reason, that we have committed to making a strong eco-friendly presence with our green initiatives and have taken these to another level by becoming a Green Fins member.

This is our commitment to sustainable tourism in Curacao. 

“Marine tourism plays an important role in Curaçao’s economy and as the industry grows, it is critical to establish practical approaches to protect the marine environment. By adopting Green Fins, dive operators are taking vital steps in ensuring Curaçao’s dive market is sustainably managed to increase corals and marine life’s resilience to wider global threats and protect the valuable marine ecosystems for future generations.” said JJ Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation

This process is seen as the first step to implement Green Fins in Curaçao on a national level with a government-led team to enable dive operators to become Green Fins Certified Members where they will receive annual in-person assessment, on-site training for staff and consultation to help the business develop and implement best practice to improve the sustainability of the marine tourism industry.

Sustainable Dive Tourism in Curacao | Ocean Encounters Pledge

“At Ocean Encounters, we believe it is our societal responsibility to create eco-policies internally that provide immediate solutions and a lasting effect externally for our business, our employees, our divers, our coral reefs and most importantly for the future of our beautiful Dutch Caribbean Island. This is why we are completely committed to Sustainable Dive Tourism in Curacao.”

At Ocean Encounters, we are actively protecting our local waters, marine life, and community.

Ocean Encounters registered as a Green Fins Digital Member, successfully completed our online self-evaluation and developed our own action plan. As mentioned above, Ocean Encounters is committed to taking steps to reduce our environmental footprint whilst carrying out daily activities.

At Ocean Encounters in collaboration with our Dive Resort partners we use solar panels, LED lighting and water timers to reduce our daily energy consumption and water usage. Additionally, we use only eco-friendly or biodegradable disinfecting soap in our rinsing tanks, we discourage single-use plastic and we encourage recycling.    

To this day, the war against Lionfish rages on and continues to challenge hunters who give up their free time to help prevent more damage to the reefs and in turn, the local economy. The Lionfish Scuba Dive Experience includes a short introduction presentation about the Lionfish invasion and safe shooting lessons. Following the practical session, we will board one of four custom dive boats and head out for a dive to hunt lionfish!

Local human capital affects economic growth and can help to develop an economy by expanding the knowledge and skills of its people. At Ocean Encounters we support “local” human capital and are proud to enable “our local staff” to become valued Dive Team members that includes dive masters, dive instructors, boat captains and administrative personnel.

Sustainable Dive Tourism in Curacao | Ocean Encounters Pledge

Reef Renewal Curacao is an initiative of Ocean Encounters and supported by our community, sponsors, volunteers and Reef Renewal International. The dedicated coral restoration team also works closely with Reef Renewal BonaireSECORE International and the Carmabi Foundation to constantly improve restoration techniques, innovations and share the data collection to benefit the shallow water reef systems of Curaçao and the greater Caribbean region.

Reef Renewal Curacao envisions a future where the shallow water reef systems around Curaçao are no longer threatened and ocean stewardship and protecting our coral reefs is at the heart of Curaçao’s culture. So, when you are in Curacao, Dive for a Purpose with Reef Renewal Curacao and help make difference by supporting this valuable coral restoration initiative.

Reef Renewal Curacao at Ocean Encounters

All aspects of our beautiful Dutch Caribbean island depend on coral reefs, from coastal protection and food on our table to revenue from tourism. The existence of coral reefs is intertwined into much of the infrastructure and revenue on the island. However, these coral reefs are threatened by human impacts and reef restoration is only part of the solution.

For Reef Renewal Curacao to effectively build back and restore the shallow water reef systems of Curaçao, we need the support of a variety of private stakeholders and the support of the Curaçao government.

We need to take the importance of coral reefs out of the water and make it something that is valued by the whole community of Curaçao.

Rated #1 – The Best Reef-Safe, Eco-Friendly Sunscreens

“This brand earned the seal of approval from Downs and Haereticus. In short, you can feel good about dousing yourself with the water-resistant (up to 80 minutes), biodegradable, paraben-free broad spectrum sunblock before diving into the deep end of the ocean. The active ingredient is non-nano titanium dioxide while green tea, tulsi leaf, seaweed, aloe, and coconut oil make the Sport line less harsh on skin. Bonus points for using 100-percent recycled or recyclable packaging.”

Visit our dive shop at LionsDive Beach Resort or Sunscape Curacao Resort and wave goodbye to sunscreens with harsh chemicals that pollute the ocean and beach. LEARN MORE about Stream2Sea Products today!

Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao is a non-profit foundation based in Curacao that protects sea turtles and marine wildlife by taking direct action. They focus on rescue, rehabilitation, and research activities as well as on raising environmental awareness.

At Ocean Encounters, we support Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao through direct sales of their merchandise and provide assistance for their direct actions.

To reject the use of single-use plastics, we sell reusable bamboo cutlery.

Unlike plastic or metal cutlery sets, bamboo utensils require absolutely no chemicals to make! They are 100% natural and completely non-toxic. Therefore they are safe for children and adults alike!

Additionally bamboo cutlery is extremely durable, but as with all products, there will eventually come a time to throw your cutlery set away. So, when it is time to throw away your bamboo cutlery set –  not only can you recycle it but if you purchase sets sold at Ocean Encounters, they are organic which means that they are compostable as well!

By purchasing a 4Ocean Bracelet, a One Pound Promise is included to pull one pound of trash from the ocean, rivers, and coastlines. Every pound pulled helps fund a global ocean cleanup operation, it supports a growing movement to end the world’s reliance on single-use plastic, and advances a mission to end the ocean plastic crisis. 4Ocean Bracelets are available in our dive shops located at LionsDive Beach Resort and Sunscape Curacao Resort.

Adopt A Dive Site is a unique and powerful program to involve dive centers, resorts and leaders around the world in ongoing, local protection and monitoring of our favorite underwater playgrounds. It is an opportunity dive operators to take ownership of their dive sites.

At Ocean Encounters we have adopted our house reefs at LionsDive Beach Resort and Sunscape Curacao Resort.  For more information how you can get involved, contact us.

LionsDive Beach Resort Curacao named as one of the Best Eco-Friendly Dive Resorts in the Caribbean

At LionsDive Beach Resort Curacao, an environmentally sustainable approach has been completely integrated into the daily resort operations and this is why Ocean Encounters is proud to be located, on site, at one of the best eco-friendly dive resorts in the Caribbean.

Dive in to learn more about the Eco-initiatives at LionsDive Beach Resort Curacao!

Eco-Conscious Facility AWARD

Stream2Sea named Ocean Encounters as an “Eco-Conscious Facility”. Stream2Sea recognized our commitment to the environment, providing environmentally-safe products and encouraging divers to actively work to have a positive impact on the marine environment.


The PADI Green Star™ Dive Center Award is granted to PADI Dive Centers and Resorts that demonstrate a dedication to conservation across a wide range of business functions, including water conservation, energy use, environmentally friendly transportation practices, use of sustainable materials, conservation leadership and a donation to conservation through the PADI AWARE Foundation.

At Ocean Encounters, we are proud to identify our dive business with The Green Star Award because this recognition further underlines that we care about the environment and we are acting to protect it.

By Bryan Horne

Top 5 Reasons to Visit the Caribbean Dive Destination of Curacao

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Curacao

Discover the Top 5 reasons WHY you should be considering Curacao as your next Caribbean diving vacation destination with Ocean Encounters. Why? Because as soon as the plane lands on the islands dry, flat land you will realize that Curacao is not a typical Caribbean island. 

Top 5 Reasons to Visit the Caribbean Dive Destination of Curacao

# 1: Curacao is not a typical Caribbean island

Although the history of Curacao has many different European influences, the island has been part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since it was colonized by the Dutch.

Many refer to the group of islands off the coast of Venezuela – Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao – as the “ABC Islands”. But often, Aruba and Bonaire eclipse the “C”, Curaçao. No one is sure how this curious island got its name, but one theory is that it comes from the Portuguese word that means “heart”, since the island was the center of commerce in the seventeenth century. Although the name has remained, Portuguese is only one of the languages that you will hear on the island of Curacao: Papiamento, Dutch, English and Spanish are the others.

You will notice it even before leaving the airport: blue and white porcelain dishes and delicious Dutch snacks are sold throughout the island as souvenirs, and the capital, Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, features a recognizable Dutch architecture of gabled roofs and curved eaves.

Curacao has a population of approximately 160,000 inhabitants and a modern infrastructure, including the highest bridge and the largest shipping port in the Caribbean. Many natives of the island take advantage of their European passport and travel throughout Europe and attend university in Holland if they can. You will also see many Dutch working, living or vacationing on the island.

Like other Caribbean islands, Curacao has a mega cruise terminal, but you won’t feel like it’s in Disneyland wherever you go. The pier is adjacent to the historic Rif Fort and the Renaissance Mall, which offers cruise ship passengers an easy option to experience the history of Curacao.

# 2: The island is a big party

Any night of the week and at any time of the year, you can find some kind of nightlife in Curacao. Nightlife is one of the best things to do in Curacao, with weekly events and annual festivals such as Punda Vibes – Every Thursday, Carnival and King’s Day.

Music festivals, such as the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival, arrive on the island frequently, and many of the beaches such as Mambo Beach have become popular sunset gathering areas where happy hours are offered at the bars and restaurants which include include DJs and live music. There are also many discrete lounges and bars, especially in the historic Pietermaai District.

# 3: Curacao has been a "FOODIE PARADISE" for decades

Curacao has a lot to offer when it comes to your culinary experience. The restaurants on Curacao have a variety of local dishes, but the international cuisine is also well represented on the island.

Dive In & Taste it for Yourself… because eating is an important part of Antillean culture, and it would be a shame if you didn’t enjoy it. One of the nicest things about vacation is discovering new dishes from the local kitchen. Lunch is just as important on Curacao as dinner. There are plenty of restaurants and eateries on Curacao, but where is the best place to go? Here is the top 10 of the best – and sometimes less well-known restaurants for lunch and dinner on Curacao!!

Avila Beach Hotel Curacao

# 4: Any type of traveler will love it

Cruises, families of all ages, divers, adventure travelers, couples and groups of friends can find things to do in Curacao, and accommodation offers range from five-star resorts to hostels.

There is something for everyone with activities ranging from restaurants to shopping, street parties and beach clubs. In addition, with more 70 pristine dive sites and 40 beautiful beaches on the island, you will have no trouble finding your own personal paradise.

# 5: Curacao is a diver's paradise

The fringing reefs of Curaçao are some of the healthiest and most bio-diverse in the entire Caribbean region, so it is no surprise that this Dutch Caribbean island is one of the Top 10 dive and vacation destinations in the World.  Whether you are a snorkeler, a novice diver or if you have an open water certificate, you will find a perfect dive site for your level.

The Tugboat wreck, as an example, is a dive site located in only five meters of water and is feasible as a diver or snorkeler; You can also do a dive along the wall and explore an underwater cliff. Other major dive sites include the MV Superior ProducerKlein CuraçaoMushroom Forest, and of course, The Blue Room which is an essential Curaçao experience!

Under the water and depending on the time of year, you will see an incredible array of life and colour which will include sea turtles, rays, dolphins, sharks, eels, lion fish and species of fish that are exclusive to Curacao.

Boat Diving in Curacao with Ocean Encounters
The Superior Producer - Curaçao's Iconic Shipwreck

Start Planning your Next Diving Vacation to Curacao

Are you ready, after reading these Top 5 Reasons, to start thinking or planning your next dive vacation to Curacao? Then take the next step and discover our complete Sleep and Dive Packages with the Best Dive Resorts in Curacao! 

Are you still not convinced about the world class diving that is available here in Curacao? Are you looking for more reasons why you should dive in Curacao?  Then check out our Top 10 Fun Curacao Diving facts!

As mentioned earlier, Curacao is not your typical EAT, SLEEP, DIVE, REPEAT Caribbean island!  Of course, diving in Curacao is the number one thing to do but when you are not diving there are unlimited top-side possibilities too. So, don’t wait! Take a giant stride in and start planning to experience Curacao for yourself, to discover, why our Dutch Caribbean island is a world class dive vacation destination. 

LionsDive Beach Resort Curacao - Best Eco Dive Resorts in the Caribbean
By Bryan Horne

LionsDive Beach Resort Curacao Named One of the Best Eco Dive Resorts in the Caribbean

LionsDive Beach Resort Curacao - The Natural Place to Stay

As scuba divers we are inherently passionate about protecting our blue planet. We love diving vacation destinations that respect the environment so we can, repeatedly, experience spectacularly healthy coral reefs full of color and life. But we also appreciate when dive resorts, such as LionsDive Beach Resort Curacao together our own eco-friendly initiatives at Ocean Encounters, seriously commit to evolving a GREEN MISSION without “blue and/or green washing it”. 

LionsDive Beach Resort Curacao named as one of the Best Eco-Friendly Dive Resorts in the Caribbean

At LionsDive Beach Resort Curacao, an environmentally sustainable approach has been completely integrated into the daily resort operations and this is why they are one of the best eco-friendly dive resorts in the Caribbean.

Dive in to learn more about the Eco-initiatives at LionsDive Beach Resort Curacao!

About LionsDive Beach Resort Curacao

LionsDive Beach Resort is built with a typical Dutch-Caribbean style. Located directly on the beach, the 2 and 3 story buildings are all surrounded by beautiful tropical gardens with the water’s edge only footsteps away from your room.

With a warm and friendly Caribbean hospitality, the amazing service is their #1 priority. Their attentive staff is always there for your every need so that you can have a wonderful vacation. You can relax on their shaded private beach, dive in for an incredible boat or shore dives, train in the 50-meter sports pool, enjoy the many wellness options or just take a relaxing stroll on the adjacent Mambo Beach Boulevard, visiting along the way any one of the 4 wonderful bars and restaurants.

Travelers Tip: Take advantage of the sunset “Happy Hours” along the Mambo Beach Boulevard, it is something that you do not want to miss!

In short, LionsDive Beach Resort, is so much more than just a beautiful resort, it is an experience that you really need to dive into and feel it for yourself!

In addition to this, Ocean Encounters, the on-site Curacao Tourist Board (CTB) approved Dive Operator, is also committed to ocean conservation and sustainable tourism.   Ocean Encounters is not only a PADI Green Star Award recipient, but they also joined the Project AWARE’s “Adopt a Dive Site program” which mandates 1 monthly underwater clean-up on the house reef where they maintain the main nurseries of Reef Renewal Curacao.

Are you planning a Caribbean Dive Vacation?

If you are planning a Caribbean diving vacation then you should be considering LionsDive Beach Resort!

Why?  Because it is considered one of the best Caribbean resorts to book your complete ‘Sleep & Dive’ package, including accommodations and multi-day dive packages.

LionsDive Beach Resort is a perfect launch point for discovering some of the Caribbean’s best reefs. This 4-star resort is located on an idyllic, palmtree studded private beach overlooking Curaçao’s clear waters and the fringing reef of our underwater park.

So whether you are traveling to Curaçao for an ultimate Caribbean dive vacation, a romantic honeymoon, an adventure filled family holiday, or even a group diving adventure with friends: LionsDive Beach Resort offers the right accommodation to suit everyone’s budget.

Snorkeling Guide for Curacao | Snorkel Boat Trips with Ocean Encounters
By Bryan Horne

Snorkeling Guide for Curacao

Snorkeling Guide for Curacao

There are many beautiful places in the world where you can go snorkeling. One of the most beautiful places for anyone who wants to organize a snorkeling holiday is Curaçao. If you want to snorkel in Curaçao, it is not a bad idea to take the time to read this Snorkeling Guide for Curacao.

We have listed important information below that can be useful when snorkeling in Curaçao.

Snorkeling Trips and Private Boat Charters

Curaçao, a favorite holiday destination, is an exotic island in the southern Caribbean Sea and part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands.

The temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius, the coziness of the island, the bays with pearly white beaches, the varied landscape and the underwater world ensure that the largest island of the so-called ABC islands is very popular.

There are more than 60 locations where you can dive and snorkel. The crystal clear water ensures that you have a view of more than 30 meters.

The water temperature is around 27 degrees Celsius all year round. The usually weak currents and calm waves allow you to enjoy the marine life and from the beach you can reach most snorkeling locations.

Arguably, some of the most beautiful snorkeling spots in Curaçao are located in Bandabou, commonly referred to as the Southwest side of Curaçao. There you will find sheltered bays, coves, and of course – famous beaches like Cas Abao, Porto Mari and Playa Kalki!

The Best Snorkeling Sites in Curacao

The Famous Tugboat Wreck

More towards the middle of the island, is the famous Tugboat Wreck in Caracasbaai. This boat was tugging a bigger boat when the big boat threw out anchor on the tugboat upon which it sank instantly. The boat rests at about 5 meters of depth on the bottom and is a popular diving and snorkeling spot. 

The Tugboat can be reached by boat with Ocean Encounters with the 2-tank morning boat, the 1-tank afternoon boat or the afternoon snorkel trip.

Once there, you can see the wreck through the clear azure blue water. It is covered with corals and you can find moray eels, trumpet fish, angel fish and tube coral. If you succeed you can even spot the seahorse living there. The Tugboat is great to enjoy because it is in a protected bay with a weak current and a little wave action.

Mushroom Forest and the Blue Room

The Blue Room, located next to Mushroom Forest, is a cave along the cliffside. Because the sunlight shines through the entrance of the cave, it creates a beautiful blue glow. It is true underwater light show. You can encounter turtles, rays, nurse sharks, moray eels and lobsters.

An additional fact is that the cave is called Boka Flute by the locals. This is due to the whistling sound coming from the cave. 

Ocean Encounters organizes private charters to this part of the island. Snorkel gear is already included and additional discover (try) scuba dives for non-certified divers or dives for certified divers can be added on.

Diving and Snorkeling at Klein Curacao

If you could imagine a picturesque deserted Caribbean island surrounded by warm aquamarine waters, then welcome to Klein Curaçao.

Located approximately 6.5 miles off the eastern tip of Curaçao, this is a very special trip for divers and for snorkelers alike. The locals say that the underwater habitats of Klein Curaçao is where everything is bigger and there is more of it with almost the guarantee of turtle sightings, ocean triggerfish and large groupers.

Dive into this true Caribbean island, a pristine location for scuba diving and snorkeling in Curacao, and feel it for yourself.

Snorkeling Guide for Curacao | Snorkel Boat Trips with Ocean Encounters
Photo courtesy of Frank Do, Playa Piskado in Westpunt, Curacao

Playa Grandi / Playa Piskadó

But, what about swimming with Turtles? Well, if that is what you are in search of, then you will need to head to Westpunt, a small fishing Village, and visit Playa Grandi, also called Playa Piskadó. At one time, this local fisherman’s beach was pretty quiet and not frequented by many tourists. 

However, over time, Playa Piskadó has become quite a famous location to swim with turtles. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you decide to swim or snorkel with Turtles in Curacao - Do Not Touch, Feed, or Harass these magnificent sea creatures. Please respect all life including sea turtles! It is important not touch nor feed the turtles, don’t chase after the turtles -  by respecting their natural environment, you are helping to protect, and ultimately conserve, this beautiful and unique Curacao experience for future generations.

Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao

Not far from Playa Grandi is a quiet and small beach called Playa Forti. The sand contains many pebbles. You can spot the same animals here as Playa Grandi. If you are a real daredevil you can jump off a 12 meter high cliff into the clear water.

Playa Kalki is in the vicinity. This is a narrow and beautiful white beach to the west of Curaçao. The name Kalki is characterized by the lime in the cliffs. The reef next to Playa Kalki is called “Alice in wonderland” because of the lush coral landscapes that form a maze.

Snorkeling in Curacao provides unlimited Enjoyment

Everyone can snorkel in Curaçao. Still, there are a number of basic helpful tips you can follow to increase your enjoyment while snorkeling the beautiful fringing reefs here in Curaçao.

The most important tip to remember is: Never touch the corals! Also very important is to have a mask that fits. For specialist advice, come to Ocean Encounters where we can fit one especially for you!

Here are some general tips and advice for fitting a mask and choosing the right snorkel.

  1. Hold the mask against your face. Make sure it fits comfortably around your eyes and nose and remove all hairs from the mask. Choose a different size if necessary. Inhale through your nose with the mask against your face. The vacuum created in the mask must ensure that it stays against your face when you take your hand away.
  2. When choosing a snorkel, you can choose from a dry vs semi-dry vs wet snorkel. A dry-snorkel has a valve that closes when the snorkel dips into the sea, preventing water to fill up the tube, a semi-dry snorkel has a splash protector, preventing waves to constantly fill up the tube, but this does not help when dipping the snorkel in the sea; and a wet snorkel which does not have any protection.
    • Note: Snorkels always have an air pocket and a purge valve. This small pocket of air in the bottom of the snorkel underneath the mouthpiece collects water that comes into the snorkel so that the collected water does not get into your mouth. With the purge valve, you can blow water out that way so you do not have to blow it all the way up the snorkel. That can be hard to do after diving down to take a closer look at a coral or fish.
  3. An alternative to a regular snorkel and mask is a full face snorkeling mask. The advantage is that it covers your full face, so you can breathe through your nose and mouth and because of the large window, visibility is amazing.
    • Note: Not all full face snorkeling masks are manufactured equal. Consult the Ocean Encounters Dive Team to explore the possibilities and to learn how to safely use full face snorkeling masks.
Snorkeling Guide for Curacao | Essential Trips with Ocean Encounters
Unlimited Shore Diving in Curacao | Ocean Encounters

Snorkeling in Curacao – what does it cost?

Snorkeling, generally speaking, is considerably less expensive than scuba diving.

But that is obvious right? Let’s face it, you only need a set of fins, a mask and a snorkel! So, anyone who wants to explore the “surface of the underwater world” and can swim – can snorkel! 

If you have now forgotten to bring your snorkeling set, as mentioned above, this will not have to be a problem – visit our fully stocked Dive Shop at LionsDive Beach Resort. Our professional Dive Team at Ocean Encounters can equip you with a choice of high quality gear from leading manufactures like Cressi, Mares, TUSA and Scubapro!  

What is the difference between Snorkeling and Freediving?

If you think freediving is just like snorkeling (but going really deep) – think again. Freediving is an entirely different way to experience the underwater world. You’ll dive deeper, stay down longer, and feel part of the ocean itself.

Freediving can also be a competitive sport. Divers around the world train for years to set world records in static apnea, dynamic apnea, free immersion and constant weight freediving.

Diving into deep waters on one breath and without any breathing apparatus is referred to as ‘freediving’. Freedivers use inward control, discipline and power to descend into the ocean while holding their breath until they resurface. Freediving is both a recreational and competitive sport, with many freediving competitions being held regularly around the world.

If you are interested in Freediving while in Curacao – the best place to start exploring this incredible experience is at Cas Abao Beach with Freediving Curaçao!

Their professional team of instructors can safely introduce you to this sport and expand your skill set at your own pace.  Want to know more about Freediving before you dive in? CLICK here to find out more information!

When is snorkeling in Curacao ideal?

Snorkeling is possible 365 days of the year in Curaçao. Located 12 degrees north of the equator, Curaçao is an arid island that has warm and sunny climate generally cooled by easterly trade winds – except during the months of August and September. The average air temperature is around 27 ° C

There are occasional showers during the rainy season however the average yearly rainfall is less than 22 inches or 55 centimeters – this period lasts from October to January.

Snorkeling versus Diving in Curacao

Snorkeling in Curacao is amazing.  But if you have reached this point then you certainly need no more convincing of the fact that snorkeling is an essential experience when visiting our Dutch Caribbean island! However, there is a depth to Curacao that simply cannot be appreciated unless you dive in and experience it for yourself. 

If you would like to dive in to “try scuba diving” or start exploring the possibilities of becoming a certified PADI / SSI diver, then click here to discover the scuba diving courses offered by our professional Dive Team here in Curaçao.

Why Dive in Curacao?

Our good friend Bryan Horne from Dive Curaçao sums it up best!

“Largest of the ABC (including Aruba and Bonaire) Islands, Curaçao is home to some of the most bio-diverse reefs in the Caribbean.  The sheltered southern coast is rich in coral, and suitable for divers of all levels, with little in the way of adverse conditions at any of the popular dive sites.  Divers and snorkelers never seem to be able to stop talking about the beauty of scuba diving Curacao.  Let us assure you, this is with good reason.”

Top 5 Things to Do in Curacao | Ocean Encounters Vacation Tips & Advice
By Bryan Horne

Top 5 Things To Do in Curacao

Top 5 Things to Do in Curacao

As much we love taking people scuba diving in Curacao to explore and discover the underwater beauty of Curacao, we are well aware that you may be traveling with non-divers too! Not to mention, Curacao is not a typical Caribbean island either because there is a lot of things to do in Curacao.  So, if are you looking for the essential top-side activities while vacationing in Curacao, then keep reading to dive in to the Top 5 Things To Do in Curacao! 

Top 5 Things to Do

Essential Non-Diving Tips and Advice when vacationing in Curacao

Sit Back and Relax

What better way to spend your Caribbean holiday than at the beach! We are located at the LionsDive Beach Resort right next to the Mambo Beach Boulevard. A long beach strip awaits you for a relaxing day of soaking up some sun and swimming at the beach.

Dive in to the Flavors of Curacao

There are various restaurants and bars in the area. Right outside our dive shop you’ll find Hemingway which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have an international menu so you can rest assured you’ll find something of your taste. Other restaurants within the LionsDive Beach Resort are Piazza, Chill Beach Bar & Grill, and Nemo Restaurant. There are also several options available at the Mambo Beach Boulevard fit for any budget.

Bonus tip: If you want to get in touch with some locals, check out “Coco Guy”, a local coconut vendor. You’ll find him by the Mari Pampoen Recreational Area at the speedbump across from the former Miramar Restaurant. Stick around, after you finish your coconut water, he’ll crack open your coconut so you can eat the fresh fruit later!

LionsDive Beach Resort | Ocean Encounters Curacao
Hemingway Beach Bar and Restaurant at LionsDive Beach Resort

Explore the Historic Streets of Willemstad

Exploring, shopping, and discovering the unique flavors of Curaçao in the historic epicenter of downtown Willemstad is an adventure that should not be missed.  The easiest way to see it and feel it all at once is to join Punda Vibes every Thursday!

More than just a street gathering, Punda Vibes celebrates, every Thursday night, the history and heritage of Willemstad with the help of Curacao’s culture cultivators and locals. The event gives new light to the streets and alleys, promoting a homegrown love and appreciation of the locale’s diversity.

Also known as the “heart of Curacao”, Punda was first established in 1634 with the original name “de punt”. This vibrant district with pedestrian-only streets had since grown and evolved in to one of Curacao’s most popular destinations within the capital, Willemstad, holding the title of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Punda is also home to the Mikve Israel Emanuel Synagogue, the oldest surviving synagogue in the Americas. The quaint alleys of Punda lead you to the island’s top shopping destination where you can get everything from local crafts to electronics. On Thursday nights, Punda transforms.

A fairly new and interesting event turned weekly habit has been making waves in Punda on Thursday nights with Punda Vibes. A celebration of Punda’s booming art scene wherein the town showcases work from local artists. Pop-up craft markets, live theater, and historic dancing as music fills the alleys and people dance under the stars. Afterwards, a stunning fireworks display decorates the sky.

Afternoon Snorkeling or Private Boat Trips

If someone in your party is diving with us on the afternoon boat, you can join too! We take both snorkelers and divers on our afternoon boat trips. We will take you to two of the most popular snorkel sites on the island, the Tugboat and Director’s Bay.

The tugboat is a cute little wreck that is over a quarter century old and sits in just 17ft/5m of water.

Director’s Bay is home to some amazing creatures like seahorses, frogfish, a large octopus and more. At Director’s Bay you’ll also see some of the corals that have been out-planted by the Reef Renewal Curacao.

We also offer a weekly trip to the west! Join our full day trip to snorkel the famous Mushroom Forest & the Blue Room with lunch included.

Discover the Deserted Island of Klein Curacao

If you could imagine a picturesque deserted Caribbean island surrounded by warm aquamarine waters, then welcome to Klein Curaçao.

Located approximately 6.5 miles off the eastern tip of Curaçao, this is a very special trip for divers and for snorkelers alike. The locals say that the underwater habitats of Klein Curaçao is where everything is bigger and there is more of it with almost the guarantee of turtle sightings, ocean triggerfish and large groupers.

This tiny, rugged, desolate island of volcanic rock is located off the southeast coast of Curaçao – about one-and-a-half hours by boat.

This is essential day trip while visiting Curacao and a prime location for scuba diving, snorkeling or just simply chilling out on the beach!  When you arrive at Klein Curacao, you will quickly realize that this a pristine and unspoiled Caribbean paradise!

Top 5 Things to Do in Curacao | Ocean Encounters Vacation Tips & Advice

Sea and Learn at the Curaçao Sea Aquarium

If you want to learn more about Curaçao’s marine life, the Curaçao Sea Aquarium is a great way to do that. Just a 1-minute walk from our shop! The Sea Aquarium is known for having created natural habitats for all its marine creatures without using sophisticated technical equipment. Due to an open-water system all the aquaria are in immediate contact with the open sea.

Off-Roading in Curacao with Eric's ATV Adventures

If you’re feeling up to a little for adventure, you can find Eric’s ATV Adventures right around the corner offering Curacao tours. Their ATV’s are suitable for experienced and inexperienced drivers. All you need is a normal driver’s license and you are ready to go! They have various tours available varying from 1.5 hours to up to 6 hours. Minimum age for passengers is 5 years.

Top 10 Fun Facts for Diving in Curacao | Ocean Encounters Diving
By Bryan Horne

Top 10 Fun Curacao Diving Facts

Top 10 Fun Curacao Diving Facts

It might not come as a surprise that here at Ocean Encounters, we love to go diving and have fun doing it! So, with the help of some international dive media partners, we rounded up a list of the Top 10 fun facts to dive in Curacao.
There are SO MANY reasons to come diving in Curacao not to mention the fact that USA Today ranks scuba diving as the #1 Thing to Do in Curacao! Generally speaking whether it is our passionate staff, new clients or our regular repeating customers, trying to contain their enthusiasm to get wet is pretty difficult.
Simply put – it is hard to find a reason NOT to come diving in Curacao. But let’s face it, we could be a little biased! Or are we? That’s why we have compiled this Top 10 list. So keep reading because this list will provide you with an unbiased overview of reasons why you should start planning your next scuba diving vacation to Curacao! 

Top 10 Fun Facts for Diving in Curacao

Top 10 Reasons – #1: Because Curacao is not only a world class scuba diving and vacation destination, it is also one of the best Caribbean destinations to travel to for 2022! Scuba Diving Magazine, 2022 Readers Choice Award

About Curacao

Curaçao is located 43 miles (70km) off the North Coast of Venezuela, outside of the hurricane belt in southern part of the Caribbean. Curaçao is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of The Netherlands and, together with Aruba and Bonaire, it constitutes the “ABC” islands. Curaçao is considered part of the Dutch Caribbean that also includes St. Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius, also known as Statia.

Located at just 12° north of the Equator, Curaçao’s consistently warm and sunny climate creates the perfect scenario for year round tourism. That coupled with the average temperature around 27°C (81°F) plus the cooling winds blowing constantly from the east (strongest in the spring months) provide excellent conditions for adventure travelers and beach goers alike.

Top 10 Fun Facts for Diving in Curacao | Ocean Encounters Diving
Photo courtesy of Gail Johnson Photography

Dive Travel Trip: Visit Punda Vibes – Every Thursday in downtown Curacao! This is more than just a street gathering, Punda Vibes celebrates, every Thursday night, the history and heritage of Willemstad with the help of Curacao’s culture cultivators and locals. The event gives new light to the streets and alleys, promoting a homegrown love and appreciation of the locale’s diversity.

Curacao’s Best Quality Dive Shop

Top 10 Reasons – #2: Ocean Encounters in Curacao was voted as one of the BEST quality dive operators in the Caribbean in the 2022 Readers Choice Awards.

“With on-site facilities at both LionsDive Beach Resort and, Sunscape Beach Resort, Spa and Casino, Ocean Encounters is committed to delivering the highest-quality dive experience. The facility is the biggest on island, catering to the highest number of repeat guests. Divers return to Curaçao and Ocean Encounters for a handful of reasons, starting with the lineup of famous sites, such as Mushroom Forest, Klein Curaçao, Eastpoint and Blue Room, where visitors can’t help but be wowed by the health of the reefs and the density of the fish schools flowing over top.” Scuba Diving Magazine

Another big reason that divers get hooked on Ocean Encounters is the staff because they continually deliver above and beyond what is expected to ensure that every guest has the ultimate dive vacation.

Curacao is a Macro Paradise

Top 10 Reasons – #3:  Curacao is a macro scuba diving paradise.  Shark and Ray (Manta’s, Stingrays, Mobula) sightings are rare but that makes those encounters incredibly special.  But all the photogenic small stuff is here on Curaçao.

Curacao is a Macro Photography Paradise | Ocean Encounters
Spotted Cleaner Shrimp, photo by Pol Bosch
Curacao is a Macro Photography Paradise | Ocean Encounters
Peacock Flounder, photo by Pol Bosch
Curacao is a Macro Photography Paradise | Ocean Encounters
Hermit Crab, photo by Pol Bosch

Some fan favorites are the Frogfish, Longlure and occasionally Ocellated, plus trunkfish, banded coral shrimps and so much more. These can be great subjects for wide-angle close ups and of course Seahorses are for the sharp eyed. 

Also, if you are good with your camera and buoyancy, the diver masters at Ocean Encounters will most likely share their little secrets.

Wreck Diving in Curacao

Top 10 Reasons – #4: If you are a snorkeler, a recently certified diver or an advanced open water diver – you are in for a treat because Curaçao is world renowned for our shipwrecks! 

Most notably is Curaçao’s iconic shipwreck, the MV Superior Producer – an advanced dive – because it is truly a dive into history!

The famous Tugboat of Caracasbaai or the Saba Tugboat in Jan Thiel are also excellent as entry level dive or fun family snorkel trip.

Wreck Diving in Curacao | Ocean Encounters
Wreck diving at the Superior Producer

Continue your Adventure: The PADI Advanced Open Water Course is the ultimate program to help you get the most out of your diving.

Cavern, Cave and Grotto

Top 10 Reasons – #5: Discovering “The Blue Room” on Curaçao is one of the coolest and most talked about experiences in the entire Caribbean and a perfect place for off-gassing between dives or for a wonderful snorkel trip. Today, The Blue Room has become an essential Curaçao experience. And, that light… unforgettable.”

Dive at Mushroom Forest – Rated as one of the ‘Caribbean Best Dives’ by Sport Diver Magazine – then spend the surface interval exploring the unique, and equally special “Blue Room”. 

Mushroom Forest Private Boat Trip with Ocean Encounters in Curacao
Experience Mushroom Forest and the Blue Room in Curacao on your own terms with Private Trips from Ocean Encounters

Shore Diving and Snorkeling

Top 10 Reasons – #6: Curacao is a unique shore diving and snorkeling haven for divers looking to take the advantage of a more leisurely schedule.  On the south side of the island, the fringing reef in most cases is within 60-feet (20m) from the shoreline which leads to incredible drop offs that allow divers to venture a little bit deeper into the aquatic wonderland.  Of the seventy popular dive sites the island has available, over half of them are reachable from the shore.

Dive in and start exploring the limitless possibilities with our unlimited shore diving packages, private trips and of course, our fun family snorkeling trips.

High Quality and Superior Customer Service

Top 10 Reasons – #7: Whether you are a new diver, or a well saturated veteran, we are dedicated to providing you with the best possible vacation experience while in Curacao. As a knowledgeable & responsible dive operator, it is our pleasure to take care of your every need while on vacation – but especially while you are enjoying one of our signature trips!

But these experiences alone can also be said about so many other world class destinations too, such as our better-known sister Bonaire.  

However, our beautiful Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao is “clearly distinguishing ourselves from these other world class destinations by focusing on not only the blue factors but also highlighting the topside richness of our island where you can experience the essence of Curacao through the culture, language, music, and history.” says, Jeremiah Peek, the General Manager of Ocean Encounters.

Jeremiah went on to say, “The fact is that Curaçao is one of the most unique islands in the Dutch Caribbean, if not the world, that offers everyone who visits something different because it bridges all the gaps, intrigues all the senses and allows you all the freedom to experience it, on your own terms.  I guess that is why we say that all you need is to dive in and feel it for yourself”.

Best Diving Vacation Value in the Caribbean

Top 10 Reasons – #8: “Scuba Diving on Curacao is the number one thing to DO – but of course there are plenty of things to do on Curacao and no right way to experience any of them. 
All travelers can make the island their own experience while embracing its authentic, unforgettable spirit that clearly distinguishes Curaçao from other Caribbean and worldwide destinations.”

Best Dive Resorts in the Caribbean

Top 10 Reasons – #9: Ocean Encounters has partnered with LionsDive Beach Resort and, Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa and Casino to bring you high quality “Sleep and Dive” Packages. Whether you are individuals, family, friends or Dive Groups – these packages are sure to meet and exceed your expectations.
If you are you looking to customize your dive travel experience, our reservations team is ready to assist you too. Contact us today to start exploring the possibilties. We are ready when you are!
Best Curacao Dive Resorts in the Caribbean | Ocean Encounter Diving
Click Here - 360 Tour of the Best Dive Resorts in Curacao

Ocean Encounters’ Sustainability Pledge

Top 10 Reasons – #10: It’s no secret that our environment is facing a lot of challenges. Unfortunately, the biggest wrong-doer is human kind and now the ocean’s survival is being threatened. At Ocean Encounters, we believe in educating, setting an example and making a change.

It is for this reason, that we have committed to making a strong eco-friendly presence with our green initiatives and have taken these to another level with our #OEPledge, our commitment to sustainability. The #OEpledge shares the many different ways we have been involved in protecting the local waters, marine life, and community.

Reef Renewal Curacao is an example of one of these sustainability initiatives. Supported by Ocean Encounters, our community, sponsors, and volunteers – the main objective is the restoration of our shallow water reef system, educating the community and protecting and preserving Curaçao’s natural ecosystems.

Plan to Dive for a Purpose in Curacao and play a part in the Curaçao coral restoration Strategy. By doing so, you will help Reef Renewal Curaçao restore the unique fringing coral reef systems around our beautiful Dutch Caribbean island.

Start Planning your next Caribbean Dive Vacation

Reef Renewal Curaçao - Dive for a Purpose with Ocean Encounters
By Bryan Horne

Reef Renewal Curacao

Reef Renewal Curacao

Ocean Encounters, Curaçao’s Premier PADI and SSI Dive Shop, is proud to announce that our coral restoration project is joining the Reef Renewal Foundation International (RRFI) network and changing its name to Reef Renewal Curaçao (RRC).

Dive for a Purpose with Ocean Encounters

Ocean Encounters established the coral restoration program in 2015 to grow and outplant endangered coral species, as well as to educate Curaçao’s divers about the need to protect coral reefs.

We established partnerships with leading resorts and dive operations including LionsDive Beach Resort, Avila Beach Hotel, Baoase Luxury Resort Curaçao, and Scubaçao Diving Adventures to expand coral nurseries across Curaçao.

Together, the organizations have outplanted more than 10,000 endangered corals back onto Curaçao’s reefs and taught thousands of guest divers, local students, and volunteers from the Curaçao diving community about the importance of coral reefs.

Reef Renewal Foundation International

Reef Renewal Foundation International (RRFI) recently offered the unique opportunity to join a larger community of coral restoration experts and reconnect with our friend, Ken Nedimyer, a pioneer in coral restoration and the architect of our coral restoration program.

Therefore, the former “Coral Restoration Foundation Curaçao” has joined Reef Renewal Foundation International and moving forward we will be operating as Reef Renewal Curaçao.

The RRFI network provides training and support to help coral restoration programs grow. Partner organizations benefit from advancements in coral restoration techniques and lessons learned from premier restoration programs across the globe. Reef Renewal Foundation International encourages and facilitates the exchange of information and best practices with participating programs, including Reef Renewal Bonaire, Reef Renewal Cayman Islands, Reef Renewal USA, and Reef Restoration Foundation Australia.

Reef Renewal Foundation International has 501(c)(3) non-profit organization tax status in the United States. By joining RRFI, we can now offer our supporters the ability to make a tax deductible charitable contribution directed to Reef Renewal Curaçao.

 “We loved working with Ken when he helped us establish our coral nurseries, and we look forward to working with him again and benefiting from all the advancements that Ken has implemented in Florida and across the Caribbean. We believe our continued collaborations with our island partners, coupled with our new partnerships within the RRFI Network, will allow us to scale our work to make an island-wide impact on Curaçao’s reefs.” says Jeremiah Peek, Ocean Encounters Managing Director  

Reef Renewal Curaçao announces Tripp Funderburk as New Manager

Ocean Encounters and Reef Renewal Curaçao are also excited to announce that Tripp Funderburk has joined our team as our Coral Restoration Manager. Tripp has a wealth of experience in coral restoration and a passion for teaching divers about the importance of coral reefs and encouraging them to participate in coral restoration.

Tripp is the former Manager of the Bay Islands Reef Restoration and the Roatan Marine Park coral restoration programs in Roatan, Honduras. Before working in Honduras, Tripp was the Director of Policy for Coral Restoration Foundation and Director of International Operations at the Coral Restoration Foundation International in Key Largo, Florida.

Pol Bosch, Ocean Encounters Manager, stated, “We are glad to have someone with Tripp’s experience and enthusiasm managing our coral restoration work. Tripp and Megan Beazley, our Marine Biologist and Coral Restoration Project Coordinator, form a terrific team that will help us implement the new techniques being developed by RRFI and its members. Tripp, Megan, and the rest of the Ocean Encounters staff are excited to expand our coral restoration efforts and teach more divers how to grow and restore endangered corals.”

Reef Renewal Curaçao - Dive for a Purpose with Ocean Encounters
Tripp Funderburk, RRC Manager

Are You Ready to Dive for a Purpose in Curacao?

Play a Part in the Curaçao Coral Restoration Strategy and help Reef Renewal Curaçao restore the unique fringing coral reef systems around our beautiful Dutch Caribbean island today!

By supporting valuable and sustainable coral reef initiatives, like RRC, you will be reaffirming your commitment to the island of Curacao so that future generations may benefit.

Supporting this initiative through sponsorship and charitable donations is integral for success and volunteers will be needed for regular nursery maintenance and care.

Learn more by visiting Reef Renewal Curacao because, together, we are making a difference for Curaçao!

Related Posts

Cruise Ship Excursions in Curacao with Ocean Encounters
By Bryan Horne

Cruise Ship Excursions in Curacao

Cruise Ship Excursions in Curacao

Cruise Ships arriving in Willemstad, Curacao

Are you looking for the best Cruises that explore the Dutch Caribbean? Are you planning a Cruise Ship vacation that includes an itinerary stop in Curacao? Are you maybe even thinking that you would like to enjoy a world-class Curacao diving or snorkeling experience with your family or friends as a shore excursion?

If you are, then we invite you to dive in with Ocean Encounters – Curacao’s premier PADI and SSI Dive Center! Our professional team is ready to welcome you to Curaçao when you port in with a wide range of fun diving and snorkeling experiences that include PADI or SSI courses, shore diving, boat diving and family friendly snorkel trips. 

The Best Cruise Ship Lines

Royal Caribbean Cruises

Experience Curaçao in full color with Royal Caribbean International. Cruise to the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao and experience underwater life up close and personal with a snorkeling or scuba diving adventure with Ocean Encounters.

Celebrity Cruises

Start planning your luxury cruise vacation that includes Curaçao as a port of call, with Celebrity Cruises! Bright, airy, and beachy Willemstad may feel like a Dutch city, but don’t let the colonial pastels and European-style streets fool you—you’re on the Southern Caribbean cruise of a lifetime. On cruises to Curaçao, beautiful beaches, clear waters, and incredible diving and snorkeling at Ocean Encounters will quickly steal your heart.

Cruise Ship Excursions with Ocean Encounters

PADI and SSI Diving Experiences or Courses

Are you interested in trying scuba diving, becoming a certified open water diver or continuing your underwater adventure with a specialty course? At Ocean Encounters, our professional PADI and SSI instructors are ready for you!

Interested in learning to scuba dive? You’ve come to the right place. Our scuba lessons will unlock the door to new adventures and amazing marine encounters. By the end of your scuba certification course, you’ll see our ocean planet through new eyes.

Interested in continuing you adventure?
Whether you want to access more dive sites safely with an Advanced Open Water Diver certification or improve your skills with a wide range of PADI or SSI core specialties (underwater photography, videography, fish identification, deep diver, or become an enriched air nitrox diver), the Ocean Encounters team of professional instructors are ready to advance your diving education and skill set! CLICK here for all the specialty courses available.

Shore Diving in Curacao

Curacao is laid out in a way that makes the southern side of the island almost perfect for shore diving. Thanks to the geographic location, the winds in the area come from the Northeast, meaning that almost the entire southern shoreline is protected from heavy sea winds.

The lack of strong winds means that divers can get their feet wet almost any time of year, and the diving from shore is calmer and safer.

Guided Shore Dive at LionsDive Beach Resort

The Ocean Encounters Dive Team consists of highly trained Dive Masters that know the best spots to take you and have alot of fun doing it! And there is not better place than our house reef at LionsDive Beach Resort

Our house reef is a beautiful fringing ecosystem that is home to an incredible array of biodiversity, macro life it supports shallow water coral nurseries set up by Reef Renewal Curaçao.

Although this this site is named after the Stella Maris shipwreck (a wreck located far below recreational depth limits on deep water plateau), this this dive site is very special because of the abundant health of the beautiful fringing reef system due to the constant easterly currents pushing rich nutrients along the shoreline.

Boat Diving in Curacao

Let Ocean Encounters take you to the best diving sites in Curaçao! Our fleet of custom dive boats and our professional staff are ready!

Ocean Encounters offers you a complete schedule that allows you to dive many world class dive sites in Curaçao.

These dive trips for certified divers and all our Dive Trips can be booked online immediately. Just pick your favorite(s) below and click ‘Book Now’. Of course, one day may not be enough… and the more you dive – the more you save with our multi-day diving packages! 

Curacao Snorkeling Tours And Private Boat Trips

These essential trips and tours for you, your family or your friends can accommodate not only snorkelers and swimmers but also divers too! All private boats trips offer customized activities especially for you!

All these trips can be booked online! Just pick your favorite(s) below and click ‘Book Now’. We will contact you for any further information we might need from you to join.  All Private Trips are customizable, so if you have special requests, please contact us directly.

Maybe you don’t want to spend your holiday learning how to dive, but you are interested in trying out a dive? In that case our Discover Scuba Diving or Dolphin Dive for Non-Divers might be the thing for you!

Essential Curaçao Experiences

Frequently Asked Questions about Cruise Ship Excursions

Do you pick up at the terminal?

No, we are not allowed to pick up guests at the cruise ship terminal. A taxi can take you to our shop. It’s a 15 to 20-minute drive from the cruise ship terminal.

My ship is docking after 7:30, can I make it for the two-tank boat dive?

It can take about 1 hour from docking time to disembark from your Cruise Ship and get to our dive shop (a 15 to 20-minute drive). If you dock after 7:30, you will not be able to join the 2-tank morning dive, which departs at 8:30AM (check in at 8AM)

I’m thinking of leaving my equipment back home. Can I rent?

Yes. Whether you are leaving all of your equipment behind or just bringing a couple of items, we have plenty of equipment available for rent.

Contact our Dive Team for More Options

There are many options for transportation, diving, snorkeling, PADI / SSI courses and of course, specialty trips that can be customized for your needs and the Cruise berthing schedule. So, please contact our Ocean Encounters reservations team to dive into the endless opportunities to experience Curaçao. 
Coronavirus in Curacao Update - Ocean Encounters is ready to go diving!!
By Bryan Horne

Coronavirus in Curacao – Ocean Encounters Travel Updates

Coronavirus in Curacao - Travel and Vacation Updates

Are you planning your diving vacation to Curacao? Are you wondering what the current Coronavirus travel requirements are for Curacao including COVID testing requirements, testing locations and the essential links for Curacao immigration?


Note that per February 21, 2022, the third day antigen test is no longer required. Per March 10, 2022, a PCR test is no longer required to enter Curacao. Per June 5, 2022, the Passenger Locator Card is no longer required.

Prior to departure, all visitors must still complete the Digital Immigration Card online as was the case prior to Covid-19. Please check the government portal for the latest changes.  

Please note for some countries testing is still required to return home:

A PCR or Antigen test can be done onsite at LionsDive Resort and Sunscape Resort for hotel guests only (this may change at short notice).

 When you add it all up, Ocean Encounters together with our accommodation partners, are ready to provide you with the perfect vacation here in Curacao because together we have not left anything to chance.


Are you ready to dive safely and securely back into Curacao?

We are READY TO GO DIVING in Curacao!

Here at Ocean Encounters, we want to re-assure you that we are taking Coronavirus seriously and that we want to do everything we can to keep you and our island community safe.

We are urging guests to practice good personal hygiene, frequently wash hands, sneeze or cough into your elbow, and avoid shaking hands. If you feel you have any symptoms before traveling to Curaçao, please consult your doctor immediately.

The Ocean Encounters professional Dive Team has put in place a complete program of Coronavirus Safety Protocols to ensure you, your family and your friends have the ultimate “SAFE” dive vacation experience in Curacao!

Upon entering the shop, touch free hand sanitizer is available, while our new logo on the floor guides guests to the reception to ensure social distancing. We’ve incorporated plexiglass barriers and tablets to fill in digital waivers to eliminate human contact. 

Our rental gear is disinfected before and after use and we have specially disinfected rinse tanks for divers with their own gear. On the boat, each diver sets up at least 6ft apart and individual fresh-water buckets are available for masks, cameras, or anything else you need to get wet. Once underwater, everyone is safe, and the diving has been epic lately!

Ocean Encounters has always taken a great deal of pride in providing a quality service and “ultimate dive experience” to our guests, while ensuring their safety, and the safety of our employees, always. With this in mind, we have amended our standard health and safety procedures to include a more stringent protocol, as follows:

  • Employees & guests are reminded to wash hands frequently. Signs have been placed in the bathrooms, kitchens, and water stations as friendly reminders.
  • Hand sanitizer placed at all shop counters – upon availability.
  • Rinse tanks cleaned and disinfected twice daily.
  • Mask buckets removed from all boats.
  • All counters cleaned & disinfected 3 times daily.
  • Guest sitting areas are cleaned & disinfected twice daily.
  • All rental equipment is sprayed with disinfectant when given out.
  • All rental equipment is placed in large buckets filled with bleach and disinfected upon return.

It is important that our guests have peace of mind because we want you to feel comfortable and confident while enjoying our services. However, be assured that we do understand that cancellations may occur due to change of travel plans, travel restrictions, or personal choice. Therefore, we are offering free rescheduling and gladly welcome you later.

 Once again, we want to reassure you of our dedication to ensure a safe, healthy, and quality dive or snorkel experience. Thank you for your continued support and loyalty. We are looking forward to welcoming you to Ocean Encounters soon.

Warm regards,

Jeremiah Peek
General Manager

Related Articles 

Sustainable Dive Tourism in Curacao and The Ocean Encounters Pledge
Curacao Eco Dive Travel News

Sustainable Dive Tourism in Curacao

Sustainable Dive Tourism in Curacao Sustainable Dive Tourism is important because it is not a secret that our environment is constantly being attacked by numerous

Read More »