The Best Beaches in Curaçao


© Photo by Simon Dannhauer/Shutterstock
The Best Beaches in Curaçao


Photo by Simon Dannhauer/Shutterstock With its stunning white sand, Playa Kenepa Grandi is as picture-perfect as a screensaver. High on the list for sun-seeking travelers, Curaçao’s 38 beaches offer more than just white sand and palm trees. Located along the protected Curaçao Underwater Marine Park, the beaches on the island’s southern side provide exceptionally clear waters and an abundance of marine life, making swimming, snorkeling, and diving here a memorable experience. With a number of hidden bays splashed along Curaçao’s coastline, visitors have ample opportunity to enjoy a different stretch of sand every day for over a month. 

To get you started, here’s a list of beaches that are not only well-loved by locals but also mostly free to the public. 



© Courtesy of Curaçao Tourist Board
Cliff jumping is a popular activity at Playa Forti, located on Curaçao’s northwest coast.


Courtesy of Curaçao Tourist Board Cliff jumping is a popular activity at Playa Forti, located on Curaçao’s northwest coast.

Playa Forti

Playa Forti is located on the northwest of the island in a village called Westpunt, which is popular for weekend getaways. While lounging in the pebbly sand is always nice, many visitors here prefer jumping insteadstraight from the cliff into the turquoise water below. If cliff jumping isn’t your thing, grab a seat at nearby Restaurant Playa Forti and watch the divers from a distance. As with most beaches on the island, Playa Forti can get quite busy on Sundays. 



© Photo by NaturePicsFilms/Shutterstock
Follow the steps carved into rocks to Playa Jeremi, a local secret near the village of Lagun.


Photo by NaturePicsFilms/Shutterstock Follow the steps carved into rocks to Playa Jeremi, a local secret near the village of Lagun.

Playa Jeremi

Also located in the northwest of Curaçao near the village of Lagun, Playa Jeremi is a popular choice for locals but relatively unknown to tourists. Steps carved into rocks lead the way to this narrow cove that also includes a reef wall with grand coral formations. With little vegetation to offer shade, we recommend you bring along your umbrella as well as your cooler and snacks, because like many of the beaches on this list, there are no facilities. But, if you ask us, that’s just part of the charm—and the shimmering ocean water doesn’t hurt either. 

Video: This Popular Hawaiian Wellness Retreat Is Opening a New Location in the California Desert (Travel + Leisure)

  • a wooden bench sitting on top of a picnic table

    The Coolest Airstream Resorts in the U.S.

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • a large building with a clock on the side of a road with Citi Field in the background

    One Lucky Mets Fan Will Have the Chance to Stay Overnight at Citi Field With Airbnb

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • a group of people standing in front of a large ship in the water

    Large Cruise Ships Are Set to Return to Key West

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • Get a 'Backstage' Peek at the Colosseum As Underground Levels Open to Tourists for the First Time

    Get a 'Backstage' Peek at the Colosseum As Underground Levels Open to Tourists for the First Time

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • a group of palm trees next to a pool

    How to Plan the Perfect Long Weekend in Miami Beach

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • Richard Branson sitting in front of a plane

    Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos Both Plan to Travel to Space This Month — and Branson Is in the Lead

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • a close up of a bottle and a glass of beer on a table

    Corona Is Giving Away $1 Million in Expedia Vacation Vouchers

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • a close up of a logo

    U.S. Passports to Add a Third Gender Option

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • a large passenger jet sitting on top of a mountain

    Southwest's 4th of July Sale Has Flights As Low As $39

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • a body of water with a mountain in the background

    Alaska's Extreme Heatwave Just Triggered an Ice Quake

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • a rocky area

    Israel Delays Entry for Individual Vaccinated Tourists As Delta Variant Spreads

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • Hawaii to Waive Testing Requirements for Fully Vaccinated U.S. Travelers

    Hawaii to Waive Testing Requirements for Fully Vaccinated U.S. Travelers

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • a hotel room with a bed and a window

    This Luxury Cruise Line Just Unveiled Gorgeous Solo Suites Without the Extra Fees

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • This New European Rail Company Is Launching Sleeper Trains That Are Basically Like a 'Hote

    This New European Rail Company Is Launching Sleeper Trains That Are Basically Like a 'Hote

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • a view of a large body of water with Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro in the background

    Phuket Launches 2-Week Travel Program With No Quarantine Necessary

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • a boat sitting on top of a sandy beach

    Bali Delays Its Reopening to Tourists Amid Surge in COVID-19 Cases

    Travel + Leisure Logo

    Travel + Leisure

  • a wooden bench sitting on top of a picnic table
    The Coolest Airstream Resorts in the U.S.
    From Cape Cod to Colorado to Oregon, these Airstream resorts offer a cool, retro getaway.

    Travel + Leisure Logo
    Travel + Leisure

  • a large building with a clock on the side of a road with Citi Field in the background
    One Lucky Mets Fan Will Have the Chance to Stay Overnight at Citi Field With Airbnb
    The stay is being hosted by former All-Star Bobby Bonilla in celebration of Bobby Bonilla Day.

    Travel + Leisure Logo
    Travel + Leisure

  • a group of people standing in front of a large ship in the water
    Large Cruise Ships Are Set to Return to Key West
    Florida lifts its ban on large cruise ships in Key West.

    Travel + Leisure Logo
    Travel + Leisure

UP NEXT

Santa Cruz

South of the village of Lagun sits the wide bay of Santa Cruz. Popular with locals on the weekends and during holidays for camping, Santa Cruz Bay is a beach that offers not only welcoming water but also the perks of shaded areas, restrooms, and a restaurant called Captain Good Life. Hiking aficionados will enjoy the seven-minute trail, which starts at the left of the bay near the restaurant and leads to the hidden beach of Santu Pretu, as well as the popular Blue Room underwater cave. Depending on the tide and because of its narrow opening, you may have to place your hands along the rocks to feel when you’re in the clear to enter the cave itself, where you can enjoy snorkeling in electric blue water. The Blue Room is not recommended for those who are claustrophobic.



© Photo by Gail Johnson/Shutterstock
Rent a beach char and umbrella and set up shop on the sand at the picturesque Playa Kenepa Grandi.


Photo by Gail Johnson/Shutterstock Rent a beach char and umbrella and set up shop on the sand at the picturesque Playa Kenepa Grandi.

Playa Kenepa Grandi

Also known as Grote Knip in Dutch, this picture-perfect beach between the villages of Westpunt and Lagun is one of the most popular images that pops up in internet searches for “best Curaçao beach,” likely because of its stunning white-sand shoreline. Here, you can rent an umbrella, beach chair, and even kayak, plus purchase drinks and food. There is also a restroom available. Do note that these facilities may not be open during the week.



© Photo by Z. Jacobs/Shutterstock
Head to the left side of Playa Kenepa Chikí for some stellar snorkeling.


Photo by Z. Jacobs/Shutterstock Head to the left side of Playa Kenepa Chikí for some stellar snorkeling.

Playa Kenepa Chikí

Next to Grote Knip lies the lesser known Kleine Knip, or Playa Kenepa Chikí. While this beach is definitely smaller than its famous neighbor, it’s beloved for its white sand and memorable snorkelingthe best is on the left side of the beach near the cliff. You’ll find an impressive biodiversity of coral, home to squid and fish of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Manta rays and turtles are often spotted here as well. 



© Photo by G.van der waals
One of the few beaches where barbecuing is allowed, Daaibooi is a favorite local hangout on Sundays.


Photo by G.van der waals One of the few beaches where barbecuing is allowed, Daaibooi is a favorite local hangout on Sundays.

Daaibooi

Just a 30-minute drive from Willemstad, close to the village of Sint Willibrordus, is Daaibooi. It’s one of the few beaches where barbecuing is allowed, making it very popular with the locals. You are guaranteed to be welcomed on Sundays with whiffs of grilled meat, which undoubtedly will be served next to a healthy portion of potato salad. But for those who don’t feel like dragging their grill to the beach, there is a small snack bar and beach chairs for rent. And you’ll glimpse Daaibooi’s history in remnants of walls from when the bay was a harbor for small boats, which would collect salt from nearby plantations to be shipped to Europe.



© Photo by Joke van Eeghem/Shutterstock
Lined with limestone cliffs and colorful fishing boats, Playa Lagun is one of Curaçao’s prettiest beaches.


Photo by Joke van Eeghem/Shutterstock Lined with limestone cliffs and colorful fishing boats, Playa Lagun is one of Curaçao’s prettiest beaches.

Playa Lagun

Colorful wooden fishing boats line Playa Lagun’s shore, making it one of the most striking beaches on the island. This narrow cove protected by limestone cliffs is popular with fishermen, divers, and snorkelers alike. It has a rich underwater world with little coves in the cliff wall, plenty of fish, and even seahorses. Visit early in the morning for a better chance to spot turtles, and look for iguanas jumping from the cliffs in the early afternoon hours. These prehistoric-looking lizards, native to the island, are known to be remarkable swimmers. 

Playa Manzalina

Although it’s not free, Playa Manzalina is unquestionably worth a visit for its seclusion and wild beauty. It’s one of four undeveloped beaches on the private San Juan plantation and a favorite for Curaçaoans because of its accessibility and many manzalina trees lining the shore. Although these treeswhich the beach is named afteroffer the only shelter from the hot sun, stay away from the poisonous fruit and leaves. If you prefer a more secluded and shaded area, come early to claim the only spot available in the nearby shallow cave located all the way to the right of the beach. The road to the sand can be bumpy in the rainy season, so it’s best to travel in a Jeep or pickup truck. Each car entering the private estate is required to pay 10 guilders, or US$5.50, to the gentleman standing by the ruins of the old San Juan plantation house. 

>>Next: The AFAR Guide to Curaçao

Source: Read Full Article