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The best snorkeling in Curacao: Carracasbaai

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View of Carracasbaai, Curacao from the beach

One good thing about a cruise port day in Curacao is that you can visit the town, eat some lunch, and still hit the beach and do some snorkeling.  Some really good snorkeling can be found in Carracasbaai, Curacao – a rather plain and in some places rocky, beach a good $30 taxi ride from the town center of Willemstad.  But well worth a nice drive out there if you’re in Curacao for a day on a cruise ship or visiting one of the resorts.  If you’re looking for a place that is off the beaten path and will provide you with the best snorkeling experience possible, this is for you.  If you feel more at home at a resort hotel with a few hundred other cruise ship passengers then this definitely is not the place for you.

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View through the palm trees of Carracasbaai, Curacao, with Pop’s Place just on the right.

There is plenty of parking at the beach here and there are tables and umbrellas there also along with Pop’s Place for any soda, food or beer needs you might have.  As for the beach, we were a little concerned as it wasn’t the cleanest and there was some trash about and it was a bit rocky.  We entered the water at one of the sandy bits along the beach and started off not far from the entrance to Pop’s Place for our snorkeling trip.

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View of Pop’s Place, Carracasbaai, Curacao

There were plenty of fish to see close in and we snorkeled almost the entire width of the bay.  There is a fairly steep drop off not too far out and we didn’t go beyond where the water was deeper than more than 12-15 meters deep.  (roughly forty feet) which was perhaps no more than 30 meters from the shore (about 100 feet). We did see a green sea turtle here and some squid and no shortage of other fish.  The amazing thing was there was some live coral, very purple, when we got out into further deeper water that was quite large and it was great to see that.

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Pop’s Place, located right on the waterfront of Carracasbaai, Curacao.

A great thing about this beach was the services, including the picnic tables and umbrellas but also the ability to sit and have a nice cold beer after snorkeling.  The shade was great and the service good at Pop’s Place and we saw others eating here and the food looked great and they do have toilets though the only door that was unlocked where we were directed looked more like a long sink that even had a bar of soap – I wouldn’t want to touch the soap for fear it had fallen in the “sink.”

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View of Carracasbaai, Curacao from the water.

We passed by Carracasbaai on our cruise ship, the Norwegian Sun, on the way out and it was nice to see it from the water.  All in all, it was a terrific snorkeling adventure and a totally relaxing time that allowed us to pass by some great views on the way and stop at a supermarket on the way back to the ship – this is our favorite place to get souvenirs from any trip – the supermarket.  And what better way to finish thinking about our day in Carracasbaai than to watch the sun set.

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Sunset off the coast of Curacao
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