By Wouter

5 Things to do in Curacao for Non-Divers

We love diving! As much as we’d love for everyone to join us in exploring the underwater beauty of Curacao, we are well aware that diving is not for everyone. Are you looking for things to do in Curacao while one of your loved ones is diving with Ocean Encounters? Here are our top 5 things to do in the area of Mambo Beach Curacao!

Life is a Beach

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.

Sip & Bite

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!

Feeling Adventurous

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.

Exploring Sea Life

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.

Afternoon Snorkeling

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 Coral Restoration Foundation Curaçao.

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.

By Wouter

Ocean Encounters’ pledge to sustainability in Curaçao #OEPledge

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.

What exactly is happening?

We all want to give a helping hand to help the environment. With each passing year, we see new challenges. Here are 5 of the biggest threats to our ocean.

  1. Water pollution coming from improper sewage treatment resulting in contaminated waters that harm our marine life.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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).

 

  1. 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.

What can we do?

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 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. Find out what we do in the graph below!

By Wouter

5 Ways to be Kinder to our Ocean

5 Ways to be Kinder to our Ocean

Did you know that 80% of marine pollution comes from land-based sources?  If you’re ready for your beach getaway, here are 5 ways you can be kinder to the ocean.

Produce minimal trash

Be conscious of the trash you are using and make sure to clean up after yourself. If you have a reusable water bottle, make sure to bring it! Curaçao’s tap water is safe to drink, it’ll save you a couple of bucks not having to stock up on bottles. Have an empty bottle? Check if there are any areas where you can recycle. If you’re visiting us, we have recycle trash bins right outside our shop.

Beach friendly gadgets you should know about: paper or bamboo straws, reusable water bottles, eco lunchboxes or snack containers, recycled beach bags.

Eat or hunt Lionfish

Curaçao has been one of the islands affected by the lionfish invasion. Studies have shown that lionfish can reduce native fish by 65%. It’s not shocking as these creatures can lay up to 30,000 eggs every few weeks and live up to 30 years. They also prey on the grazers and cleaners that ensure the health of corals!

If you see it on the menu try it out! Planning to dive and want to go hunting? We offer a weekly Lionfish Scuba Experience where we cull lionfish to help control its invasion. Get ready for some fresh sashimi at the end of your trip!

Be nice

Protect the underwater life! Please do not feed, touch, chase, or ride anything underwater. Animals can feel threatened and stressed due to your actions. Your actions can also interrupt feeding or mating. This can all result in aggressive behavior.

Use safe sunscreen

Did you know that recent studies have found that there are chemicals in many popular sunscreen brands that harm our corals?

Look for sunscreen that don’t contain biologically toxic chemicals such as Stream2Sea, Amavara, and All Good. Our beach shop only sells Stream2Sea products in our efforts to protect our ocean.

Support local leaders in sustainability

Support our leaders in sustainability. There are different entities working towards increasing awareness on sustainability and protecting the island’s marine life. Usually these tend to be non-profit organizations dependent on donations to keep moving forward.

Some of the entities we support are Coral Restoration Foundation Curaçao, Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao and Limpi Curaçao. We have a variety of items for sale that contribute financially to these organizations. Check out our conservation corner!

These are just 5 simple steps you can take on your next vacation. But ultimately educating is one of the key elements! At Ocean Encounters we try our utmost best to be an example and commit to various practices promoting sustainable tourism.

Join our movement #OEPledge!