12 Best Curacao Beaches You Can’t Miss
Last Updated on March 23, 2023 by Dana Berez
Best Beaches in Curacao
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Curacao beaches are just incredible! After returning from my trip, I still can’t get over the crystal clear waters, awesome snorkeling, and relaxed vibe.
Curacao has nearly 40 beaches, and each beach has its own unique vibe. Some beaches are quiet & natural, while others are more lively with bars and restaurants reminding me a little bit of Greece.
Where are the Curacao Beaches Located?
The beaches in Curacao are located on the calm Western side of the island spanning almost the full length of the island. Many beaches are located near the northern part of the island, only a 45-minute drive from Willemstad.
There is one beach, Klein Beach, that is located on Little Curacao a 2-hour boat ride from Curacao. More details are below.
How to get around Curacao?
The short answer: rent a car. Renting a car will ensure that you will be able to see as many beaches as you want, without depending on a bus schedule, or a taxi.
Taking a taxi from Willemstad to the beaches in the North can cost more than your whole car rental for one day.
You can rent a car from the airport, or some larger hotel resorts have car rental desks in the lobby for short-term rentals. It is so worth it to get out and see the amazing beaches, even if it’s just for one day!
P.S. For more information on how to visit Curacao, including where to stay, things to do, and more read my Curacao Island travel guide
Here are the 12 best Beaches in Curacao you can’t miss!
Sorted by location, North to South.
Playa Piskadó / Playa Grandi
Playa Piskadó, also known as Playa Grandi, translates to ‘Fishermans’ Beach’ known for its amazing snorkeling and diving. The beach itself is a small laid-back beach with no frills, with clear calm waters.
Located in the northern part of the island, in Sabana Westpunt, you will find fishermen catching & selling local fish, throwing the fish scraps back into the water to feed the turtles.
And do you know who loves those scraps? Sea Turtles! You can spot the turtles coming close to shore for a snack and are beloved by the local fishermen here. Each turtle has a name. While you can snorkel to see these amazing creatures, it’s important not to touch them.
The sea turtles make this beach a must-stop, and it’s best to arrive earlier in the morning before noon to spot them.
Parking: Free, no entrance fee
Amenities: Chair rentals, small snack truck (open on weekends), dive shop, and restrooms open for a small fee.
Playa Kenepa, also referred to as Grote Knip on Google Maps is the largest beach in Curacao, and is one of the local’s favorites.
This beach has a relaxed, laid-back vibe surrounded by cliffs on each side with incredible clear calm waters great for snorkeling. To reach the beachfront, you’ll have to walk down a few steps.
On the weekdays this beach has a more secluded feel, with not too much action. In fact, I visited on a weekday and there was hardly anyone there. But on the weekends, Playa Kenepea beach gets pretty busy with people enjoying the sun and barbecuing.
There is a snack bar, but there are no posted hours on when they open. If you plan on visiting for a few hours, it would be best to bring your own food and water.
Kenepa Beach was one of my favorites in Curacao for its relaxed feel, soft white sand, and calm waters. I highly recommend a few hours here.
Parking: Free Parking
Amenities: Small snack bar, chair rentals, restroom
This natural beach is quiet and serene, a real escape from the public. There are no amenities or an entrance fee and has a very secluded feel. You might even be lucky and have it all to yourself!
Playa Jeremi can be reached by some uneven steps cut into the rocks, making the experience here really unique. Be sure to bring a towel, snacks, and water if you plan on spending a couple of hours here as there are no nearby restaurants.
This beach also is a bit rocky, so water shoes would help if you plan on swimming.
Parking: Free Parking
Playa Lagun is another Fisherman’s beach in Curacao and is popular with divers, snorkelers, fishermen, and locals. The rocky cliffs that frame this beach provide homes for a large variety of reef fish, and if you’re lucky you might spot some turtles.
The beach itself is smaller than other beaches in Curacao, offering an intimate relaxed feel.
If you get hungry, you can head up to the Bahia Beach Bar open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This restaurant overlooks the beach offering a great view and casual cuisine for the perfect stop for lunch.
Parking: Free Parking, no entrance fee
Amenities: Beach Chair rental ($3 USD) restaurant, & dive shop
Cas Abao Beach
Cas Abao Beach has to be one of my top favorite beaches in Curacao, and I’m not alone. It’s been ranked ‘One of the Best Beaches in the World‘ by National Geographic.
This beach is a true gem with its white sand and clear turquoise waters, easily swimmable for all levels. It gives me a ‘beach club’ feeling without the crowds or loud music. I could easily spend a whole day here soaking up the sun or swimming in the waters.
If you like to snorkel or dive, you can find spot plenty of fish & reefs underwater.
The restaurant serves burgers, fries, healthy salads, and sandwiches. Be sure to check out the bar for frozen cocktails. The mango flavor with rum is a must!
In addition, this beach is a full-service beach and has plenty of amenities from beach chairs, showers, a bar, a restaurant, snorkel & dive shop with water sport rentals like kayak & SUP boards, lockers, and even massages on the beach!
Open: 8AM- 6PM
Parking: Monday – Saturday per car up to 4 people: $5.60 USD (10 ANG) Sunday: $7 USD (12.50 ANG)
Amenities: Full-service Beach: beach chairs ($3 USD), Palapa rental (large palm umbrellas), showers, locker room, bar, restaurant, dive shop, massages.
Tip: Remember to have cash on hand to pay for parking & beach chairs. Some beaches may not accept cards. Cash can be the local Netherlans-Antillean Guilder ANG or USD. Just note using USD, change may be in ANG.
Playa Porto Mari
Playa Porto Mari is another local and tourist favorite for its large natural beach bay, clear and calm waters, white coral sand, and it’s unique ‘double reef’ that is easily accessible from the shore creating a great snorkel and dive.
Relax at the open-air restaurant and bar to try colorful tropical cocktails and more!
If you enjoy hiking, you can access 3 nature trails (the Seru Matteo Trail, the History Trail, and the Bird Trail) starting from the Playa Porto Mari parking lot.
And you might be in for a real treat if you visit in the late afternoon. You might spot the occasional wild pigs that call this beach home. They wander throughout the beach and lie in the sand, just like us!
Note: This beach offers an excellent view of the sunset!
Open: Everyday 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM
Parking: Free Entrance Fee: $3 USD (5 ANG) per person. Children up to 4 are free.
Amenities: Full Service: chair Rental, beach bar & restaurant, restrooms, parasols, massages, showers, changing rooms, lockers, and a dive shop.
Kokomo Beach is a beautiful natural bay located 15 minutes from downtown Willemstad, Curacao. This beach is on the smaller side with plenty of beach chairs available for rental ideal for a relaxing day at the beach.
As with all the beaches in Curacao, you’ll find crystal-clear water and great snorkeling at Kokomo beach. However, there are rocks as you enter this beach, so water shoes will be helpful here.
Kokomo Beach has a great open-aired restaurant & bar on site serving fresh locally caught food and unique cocktails.
And P.S. don’t leave the beach without taking a photo at the photogenic swings in the water.
Parking: Free, no entrance fee
Amenities: Beach Chair rentals, restaurant & bar, and dive center.
Blue Bay Beach
Apart from the Blue Bay Curacao Golf & Beach Resort, Blue Bay beach is a gorgeous calm beach that has a resort feel, great for a relaxed day at the beach and great for families!
While Blue Bay Beach is part of a resort, it is open to the public for an entrance fee of $8 per adult & $4 for kids When you drive to reach this beach, you will pass the resort security and will have to just show I.D. to enter the property.
Once at the beach, you will be in for a treat with the soft sand and calm clear waters, amazing for snorkeling! The fish come close to shore so renting a snorkel mask is a good idea for optimal viewing!
Blue Bay has all the amenities including a beach bar (the margarita was fresh & delicious) restaurant, chairs, showers, massages, and a dive center.
Parking: Free, Entrance Fee $8 adults, $4 children
Amenities: Beach chairs, umbrellas, restaurant, beach bar, showers, restrooms, massages, dive center
Mambo Beach mixes the calm blue waters with plenty of shops, entertainment, and restaurants making it a one-stop-shop for entertainment for the whole day.
Here you can find adorable boutique shops, great restaurants, and chair rentals. And while it has a similar feel to Jan Thiel, Mambo beach is better for families.
Mambo Beach is another great area to stay in Curacao for things to do within walking distance. LionsDive Beach Resort is a great option!
Hours: 8:30 AM around 5 PM
Parking: Free, Entrance Fee $3.50
Amenities: Chair rental, bars, restaurants, volleyball court, restrooms, snorkel rental
Probably the liveliest beach in Curacao, Jan Thiel is more like a beach club offering great energy with a bohemian vibe, with different bars, restaurants, activities, and events for a truly unique day at the beach.
Jan Thiel is one of the more popular beaches, so don’t expect it to be too relaxing. Instead, you will be right in the action with other guests. However, if you veer off to the right side of the beach, you can find a more calming beach setting.
Zanzibar Restaurant is my favorite spot for lunch at the beach, and don’t miss the popular Saturday Night Happy Hour from 6PM-9PM!
If you’re looking to stay where the action is, check out Papagayo Beach Club Hotel located right on Jan Thiel beach.
Hours: Daily 8 AM- Close
Parking: free, Entrance Fee $3.50
Amenities: Chair Rentals, Umbrellas, 5 Food & Beverage outlets, boutique shops, beach tennis, dive shop, boat charters, restrooms
Named after the 30-year-old tugboat wreck under the water, Tug Boat beach is a favorite amongst snorkelers and divers wanting to see what lies beneath the surface.
You can see the tugboat by just snorkeling, so renting dive equipment isn’t necessary to view it. It is a bit of a swim away from the shore, but reachable.
The beach itself is a more secluded hidden beach that has an eclectic feel. You can rent beach chairs, and enjoy the small beach bar serving food and drink. Just to note, this beach is a rocky one, so water shoes are a must!
Amenities: Chair rental, Beach Bar
Klein Beach on Little Curacao
One of the most beautiful beaches in Curacao is on the small inhabited island of Little Curacao, at Klien Beach.
The only way to get there is to book a day trip boat execution. There are multiple companies to choose from, and I’ve linked the best below.
The boat ride itself is around 2 hours, and once you arrive at pristine Klien Beach, the trip will become worth it. You can find excellent snorkeling, and a relaxing day at one of the best beaches in Curacao.
Note, If you are prone to seasickness, be sure to take medication as the journey to Little Curacao is on choppy waters.
What to Pack for Curacao Beaches
- Snorkle Gear: If you plan on doing lots of snorkeling, I would pack your own snorkel gear. You’ll save some money in the long run vs renting gear at every beach! Plus, some of the secluded beaches won’t have the option to rent gear.
- Reef Friendly Sunscreen: To help protect your skin from the sun & protect the amazing marine life, a reef-friendly sunscreen will help both parties and keep waters clean.
- Water Shoes: Because of the rocky surfaces in some of the Curacao beaches, water shoes will help you enter and exit the beaches.
- Wireless Charger: To avoid a dead phone situation (which you might need as a GPS to get back to your hotel) bring a wireless phone charger.
- Go Pro: If you want to photograph the amazing underwater sea life during a swim, a Go Pro waterproof camera is a must! Also, adding a Go Pro Dome will also allow for some unique photography.
How many beaches can you visit per day?
Many of the beaches are 5-10 minutes from each other, so you can see more than 2 per day depending on how long you want to stay at each one. The crystal clear water at each beach will tempt you to stay longer than planned, so plan your beach hopping in advance.
Related: Curacao Island Travel Guide
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Hope you enjoyed the best beaches in Curacao. Have you been to Curacao?
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