If you are planning on visiting Curacao with your family, I’m sure going to the beach will be on your priority list. The waters around the island are gorgeous and refreshing to cool off from the heat. There are a lot of beautiful beaches in Curaçao to choose from. The Curaçao Tourist Board has a nice alphabetical list of beaches you can check out to give you an idea. I also found this website where you can see the beaches on the map and there are more photos and videos you can check out. It is in Dutch but you can get an idea how it looks like.
If you look on this map you will notice that there are beaches on the upper and lower part of the island, and most of the beaches people swim at are on the west coast of the island. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing what beach you want to go to. Do want to have a more local experience? Do you want to have a restaurant/cafe to order food and drinks or you don’t mind bringing your own? Do you want to stay in the neighbourhood of your hotel so you can walk home if necessary? Do you prefer a larger beach to walk around? The beaches fall in different categories:
Beaches that are free for everyone
A couple of examples of these are: Caracas Baai, Marie Pampoen, Daaibooi Baai, Santa Cruz, Playa Kalki, Playa Piskado/Playa Grandi, Klein Knip and Grote Knip. These beaches get pretty crowded over the weekend, my advice would be to go early so you can get a good spot. Lots of locals go to these beaches so you can get a local experience. On the weekends there is usually a food truck or a bar where you can order something to eat and drink.
Beaches that require entrance fee
A couple of examples are: Jan Thiel, Sea Aquarium/Mambo Beach, Pirate Bay Beach Club (I know it as Hooks Hut), Kokomo Beach, Porto Marie, Cas Abou. Most of the beaches that require an entrance have a café/bar where you can order food and drinks, and have a restroom. When you are with kids this is always helpful of course. Usually you have to pay a separate fee for the beach chairs so keep that in mind.
Beaches that are part of a resort or hotel that are only for their guests
Beaches/waters for surfers, wind- and kite surfers
Playa Kanoa (on the east coast near the windmills on the map) is a bay where local people go to surf (or swim with their dogs like my friend used to do). St.Joris Baai is ideal for kite surfers and windsurfers. On the Spanish waters there are also all kind of water related activities available, like windsurfing and supping,
Beautiful beaches that we frequently visited:
1. Cas Abou
Cas Abou is on your way to “Banda Abou”, the road to Westpunt. It has beautiful, turquoise coloured waters and a white sandy beach. It’s big enough to stroll around from one point to the other to look for sea shells.
Go early because it get’s crowded as the morning passes and you will be happy to have a palapa for shade. There is an entrance fee and if you want a beach chair you have to pay that separately. There is a beach bar, restroom, shower (you have to buy a coin), dive shop and a spa beach massage. This is the beach we most frequently visited, but we always went very early and then the beach is completely quiet. We’ve seen manta rays swim here a couple of times but always kept our distance. That was not often by the way and the occasional times we did see one, there was never a problem.
2. Daaibooi Baai
Daaibooi Baai is a free entrance beach that doesn’t get as crowded as other nearby beaches. It is also on the road to Westpunt. It has palapas (like a palm umbrella) for shade and there is also a little snack bar where you can buy something to eat, although I would definitely bring something just to be sure. We’ve been here often and it was never as crowded as other nearby beaches. You get a nice sunsets here.
3. Santa Barbara beach resort – (now Sandals)
This beach is located on the east side (lower part if you look on the map) of Curaçao. When I was young this was called Barbara Beach and it was open to everyone and there was a small bar/restaurant on the beach with a wooden floor where you could order something to eat. Usually it was French fries lol. Years later it turned into a resort and has changed a couple of times over the years. Now recently it is a Sandals resort. I don’t know if it’s still possible to enter the resort if you are not staying there. When it was still St.Barbara resort it was possible and we would go often. It’s a beautiful place to swim but also the whole surrounding is relaxing and a nice place to walk around with your family.
4. Playa Kalki
Playa Kalki is on the West Side of Curaçao, right next to Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club. The beach is free for everyone and is especially popular with divers. It’s a smaller sized beach with beautiful white sand. there is a dive shop and a snack bar, and you can also climb up the stairs to visit the Kura Hulanda Lodge and have something to drink there. We enjoyed this beach, and you can also walk up the dock. Here is a nice video that you see how it looks like.
Whenever we wanted to stay closer to home, we would go to Kokomo beach. Formerly known as “Vaersenbaai” by the way, before it was renovated. It’s a free entrance beach but you do have to pay for the beach chairs. We always loved it here because it wasn’t very crowded usually and there is a big bar/restaurant. It’s a lovely place to sit and have a drink and look over the water. There is also a fun swing in the water and of course a dock where all the kids always want to jump off from. Lots of divers come there too because there is a dive shop there.
5. Klein Curacao
Klein Curaçao is located about 13 kilometres off the east coast of Curaçao. We have never sailed to Klein Curacao with our kids because life was just busy with 4 kids under the age of 7. But I think that it’s the most beautiful beach of Curaçao. It takes some effort to get there (and you might get see sick) but it’s totally worth it once you get there. Make sure to bring along plenty of sunscreen, hats and drink enough water. There are many options to get there and I would recommend to choose one that includes a bbq. This website has a nice video you can see.
Of course there are many more beautiful beaches on the island. These are a couple we went to often (except for the last one) and have enjoyed as a family. If you want to read more about Curaçao, check out the following blog articles. Let me know if the article has been helpful and until next time!