On a Dutch island in the Netherland Antilles just 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela, you’ll find the top 10 best beaches in Curacao. There are over 21 beaches in Curacao and up to 40 beaches including the private Curacao hotel beaches. These are some of the nicest beaches in the Caribbean, each differing from the others.
You can spend your holiday beach hopping or choose the beach you like the best and spend your entire vacation at that beach. From swimming and sunbathing or diving, snorkeling, kayaking, or quiet remote beaches to party beaches, Curacao has beaches for every taste. On your first day in Curacao consider going on this Curacao beach tour for $49 to check out 3 of the top beaches on the island.
Check out my picks for the 10 best beaches in Curacao. Each beach I consider a ‘Best Beach’ has different highlights that qualify it as a ‘Best Beach.’ There is no specific order since the beaches all offer something different.
1. Cas Abou Beach
Cas Abou in Bandabou is a top pick! If you crave white sand beaches and crystal clear aqua water, you’ll find it at Cas Abou.
For relaxing, sunbathing, and swimming in clear blue seas, Cas Abou is the place to go. There are some palapas and palm trees for shade, chairs for rent, and food and drink available. Cas Abou is a favorite among beach-loving tourists. By noon the beach could be fully occupied, and it may be difficult to find lounge chairs. Arrive early to choose your spot. While the chairs and shade areas fill early, the beach and ocean here never seem too crowded.
For snorkelers and divers, there is a dive and watersport shop on the beach. We like diving here; this year we saw a frogfish on one of our dives. The shop supports snorkeling, shore diving and runs boat dives to more remote sites. They have everything you need for most of the water sports, including paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling and of course diving.
*There is a small fee for beach entry and for lounge chairs.
2. Playa Grandi (Playa Piscado)
Playa Grandi, also called Playa Piscado, is a great free beach to see the sea-life close to shore or from the dock. Visit Playa Grandi for swimming and sunbathing, but most people come for snorkeling or diving; you are almost always guaranteed to see turtles, especially between 10 AM – 4 PM. The water entry is rock and coral, but that makes the snorkeling and diving very good.
It’s the place to go in Westpunt, about 45 minutes from Willemstad, to swim with the turtles and lots of colorful fish in the wild and in shallow water. Local fisherman clean and sell their catch here; that draws turtles, lots of fish, pelicans and other birds. It’s a sea life mecca.
We frequent this beach to buy fresh fish to cook for dinners, and I love to snorkel here to see the turtles. Lounge chairs and umbrellas are available for rent. On weekends you can buy food here.
3. Blue Bay Beach Resort
Blue Bay Beach Resort (on the southwest coast) in Willemstad is a large one of the best beaches in Curacao. Blue Bay Beach is a white sand beach with Caribbean blue ocean water. It’s a great beach for swimmers and sunbathers; it has lounge chairs that are set up on the beach and umbrellas or palapas for shade. It is quite a beautiful tourist beach very similar to Cas Abou. However, Blue Bay Beach offers more upscale restaurant and bar choices. They have the best coffee on the island, and the food is very good.
Blue Bay offers lots of water sports that can be arranged through the dive shop on the beach, like fishing, catamaran sailing, and kayaking. They sell packages for one or several sports. We often dive at Blue Bay beach; one of our favorite shore dives is swimmable from the beach here. It’s a great beach to snorkel since the ‘Coral Gardens’ site is to the left as you swim around the jetty.
Fees apply for entry and chairs unless you are using the dive shop or staying in the resort.
4. Porto Marie
Porto Marie in Bandabou, west of town, is a busy touristy white sand, fee-based, public beach. The blue sea and sandy bottom are inviting for swimming and water play. Tourist families spend all day sunning and playing at Porto Marie.
Every time we have gone to Porto Marie it has been crowded. So if you like the energy of many tourists in a remote and beautiful spot, go to Porto Marie. There are beautiful views from this beach and from the bar and restaurant. You’ll see various beautiful local birds around the birdfeeders by the restaurant.
Also, you’ll find good scuba diving and snorkeling here on the double reef. There is a dive shop, a good restaurant, and a bar. Free bathroom and shower facilities are available. Beach chairs can be rented.
5. Playa Kenepa
Playa Kenepa, also called Grote Knip, is a gorgeous white sand beach, not far from Westpunt in a less populated part of the island. The views are beautiful, and it draws snorkelers, swimmers, and those wanting to walk on the beach. Personally, I think this is the most beautiful beach in Curacao, especially when few people use it. It is a free public beach with lounge chair, kayak, and snorkel rentals; coins are needed for the restrooms.
This is a popular beach with the locals, and there are fewer tourists. It seems to be the least crowded of the large white sand beaches. If you are a strong swimmer, you can swim to the reef for great snorkeling; the rocks along the beach boundaries are good for snorkeling too.
At times local food is available for purchase. The Curacao sun is hot, and there aren’t any concession stands on this beach so bring lots of drinks.
6. Playa Kalki
Playa Kalki is a free public beach at the Kura Hulanda Lodge, accessed from the small free public lot just before the Lodge. It’s a small beach with limestone cliffs. While the beach itself has lots of coral underfoot and only a few chairs and umbrellas, it sits on a beautiful reef for snorkeling and diving.
Beachgoers can use the food establishments at the Lodge, adjacent to the beach, which has a restaurant on the beach and additional bar and restaurants overlooking the beach. The Lodge rents lounges and palapas. Bring your own towel or blanket to sit on in case no lounges are available.
Those who snorkel in the swimming area will see lots of fish near some of the older corals but you must venture beyond the swimming area to see some of Kalki’s beautiful fish and live corals. For good snorkeling swim out to the reef past the swim ropes to where the water turns dark blue or to the other side of the dock past the dive shop. The visibility is generally good enough for snorkelers to see the reef drop off, colorful fish, and corals in the deeper water.
Snorkelers – keep your eyes peeled for the schools of squid that can often be seen in the swimming area. I have also seen an octopus in the deeper part of the swimming area around dusk.
Divers and snorkelers like Playa Kalki situated on the beautiful Alice in Wonderland coral reef. It’s more remote, less crowded, and a great spot to snorkel or dive. There is great diving from the shop’s dock. Just follow the line on the bottom to the edge of the reef and descend from there. Go West dive shop serves visitors and offers rentals for various water sports. They run a great snorkel trip on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons to the Blue Grotto.
We have spent the majority of our Curacao vacation time diving at Playa Kalki or on the boat with Go West.
7. Mambo Beach
For those interested in partying on the beach, head to the man-made Mambo Beach. It is also known as Seaquarium Beach, east of Willemstad, for everything from white sand, blue waters, dolphin academy, large dive operation, a music stage to a shopping mall with free parking. Entering the sandy beach requires a fee; beach chairs are lined up all over this beach and are available for rent. Different color chairs belong to different establishments or resorts on the beach.
Food and drinks are available from many of the beach stands or food establishments in the mall. Beach-goers have many restaurant choices. We’ve had good meals at restaurants on Mambo Beach.
On the east side of the large beach is Lions Dive, a resort/dive hotel associated with Ocean Encounters. The beach by Lions Dive is more relaxed but still filled with beach chairs; Hemingway’s Restaurant is on the beach here. Just past Lion’s Dive, find the harbor with the dive shop, boats, and Sea Aquarium.
Every type of beach amenity that you can think of is available at Mambo Beach. If you really want a party, come to Mambo Beach on Sunday nights.
8. Jan Thiel Beach
Jan Thiel Beach in Southeastern Curacao is often likened to a European-style beach. It is closer to Willemstad than Mambo Beach. Some high-end resorts are served by this beach. It’s a long narrow beach with resorts immediately adjacent. For sunbathing, beach sports, lounging or dining, Jan Thiel Beach offers an upscale environment and lovely restaurants. There is a large pool that fronts the ocean in front of the Papagayo Resort that all beachgoers can use.
While Jan Thiel Beach has similar amenities to Mambo Beach, it is smaller, quieter, and seems more family oriented. It offers all types of water sports; it’s beautiful, although a bit crowded. During happy hour and after sunset there is often music on the beach. There are at least 5 restaurants serving the resorts and beach-goers at Jan Thiel Beach, plus an ice cream shop.
Fees apply for parking, chairs, and beach entry unless staying at a participating resort. This may be the highest priced beach in Curacao. Once you pay, the pool, restrooms, and showers are included.
9. Sint Joris Bay Beach
Sint Joris Bay Beach is not a typical beach nor is it a typical tourist setting. However, if you love kiteboarding, want to learn, or want entertainment watching kiteboarders doing their tricks on the water, head to St. Joris Bay Beach. There is a kiteboard lesson shack on the beach; find kite-boarders at all levels from beginners to experienced. A few old chairs and sofas are set out to sit on in a bit of shade.
It’s located on the northern side of the island not far from the eastern tip of Curacao. The beach and parking are free; everything here centers on the sport of kiteboarding.
10. Klein Curacao
Klein Curacao, also known as Little Curacao, is a remote uninhabited island 15 miles off the southeast tip of Curacao. It’s the longest and whitest beach in Curacao with the most gorgeous crystal clear aqua water. There is an old lighthouse, huts, and a beach house on this island. Several tour companies run daily snorkel or dive trips with picnics to Klein Curacao where tourists play in the water. For $109 take a catamaran to Klein Curacao open bar, breakfast, lunch, snorkel, and a ton of fun.
The only way to access this beach is by boat. Either take a trip with one of the tour operators that offer beach parties on Klein Curacao, or a snorkel and dive operator or rent a boat to go on your own boat. It takes approximately 2 hours each way to visit Klein Curacao from the main island. Some of the tour companies have huts, umbrellas and bathroom facilities on the beach.
Klein Curacao offers beautiful diving and snorkeling, with lots of colorful fish, corals, underwater caves, and sometimes sea turtles. The beaches are quiet and serene. It’s a great place to spend a day.
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We have done 9 trips to Curacao and spent a total of 24 weeks in Curacao over the last 10 years. In our experience, with the 10 best beaches in Curacao and all the activities, you are guaranteed to enjoy your stay. Also, the local people are lovely, food is excellent, the sea life is beautiful, and the main town is adorable and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you want to learn more about our Curacao experiences click here.
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