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Playa Cas Abou

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A large, full-service beach between Playa Porto Mari and the beaches of San Juan, Playa Cas Abou is not a recommended destination when you feel like getting away from it all. But if you want an easy day on the sand, with food and drinks readily available, you could certainly do worse.

Cas Aboa

Cas Abou is yet another of Curaçao’s unfairly beautiful beaches. This long stretch of sand, with palm trees and crystal clear waters draws equal numbers of locals and tourists. You can walk right into the sea without worrying about hurting your feet on dead coral, and the sand is soft and comfortable. All the services you might expect can be found here, including a dive shop and a massage hut located right against the water.

Perhaps the only problem with Cas Abou is that it’s too nice, and attracts too many people. We visited twice, and both times had problems finding shade; there are no umbrellas, so everyone competes for the few areas protected by palm trees. The afternoon hours can get hot, and we even saw people laying right up against the side of the massage hut, trying to get into its shadow.

But if you don’t mind the sun, no problem. This is the kind of beach you’ll be happy to spend all day at. The entrance costs a little, as do the lounge chairs, but it’s not expensive, and you’re free to bring your own drinks and snacks.

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We Used This Camera For the Underwater Photos

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February 24, 2016 at 9:47 pm Comments (0)

Playa Jeremi

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Crystal blue waters, soft white sand, a laid-back atmosphere in a gorgeous natural environment… you know, it feels like I’ve been using this description a lot, doesn’t it? It’s getting boring. Come on, Curaçao! Why don’t you surprise us with an ugly beach?! Actually, on second thought, scratch that. Just keep the beauty coming and we’ll try not to complain. Next up: Playa Jeremi.

Playa Jeremi Curacao

Playa Jeremi is a medium-sized beach, just north past Lagun, perfect for when you want to be mostly left alone. There are a few palapas and a couple picnic tables. No lounge chairs, no beach bars. It’s moderately popular; rarely empty but almost never crowded. There are cliffs on either side of the blue water (which local kids often jump from), and the beach itself is both simple and beautiful.

Playa Jeremi Curacao

What else can I say? The snorkeling here is not magnificent — but that hardly even qualifies as a negative. After all, Playa Jeremi feels more like a place for hanging out with your friends and relaxing, and not so much for activities. Bring your own cooler with refreshments and snacks, and come for sunset; Jeremi is perfectly situated, facing west.

By the end of our time here, we’re going to be able to match each of Curaçao’s beaches to our current mood. Mambo for when we want to party, Santa Pretu for when we’re introspective, Knip when we want to have fun… and maybe Jeremi for when we want to do nothing but chill and simply enjoy being alive.

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List Of Underwater Cameras

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February 2, 2016 at 10:55 pm Comments (0)

Kleine Knip

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A couple kilometers south of Grote Knip, you’ll find its little brother, Kleine Knip. Grote Knip was the first beach we visited in Curaçao, and had already secured a place in our hearts. Would Kleine Knip be able to compete? In a word: yes.

Kleine Knip Curacao

“Kleine” is Dutch for “little,” but although this is the smaller of the two Knip beaches, it’s of a decent size. Even when there are a lot of people here, it’s easy to find a shady spot to sit, whether it’s under a tree or a palapa. The parking lot is right next to the beach, in the presence of a hot-dog stand which does brisk business, so it feels more secure than Grote Knip’s lot, which is more secluded.

The view, as we’re already learning to expect from our Curaçaoan beaches, is enchanting. I’ll never get used to the startling color of the Caribbean, and Kleine Knip doesn’t disappoint in this regard. It’s also a great spot for snorkeling; we checked out both the southern and northern cliffs, and found each one stunning.

As proof of our affection for it, Kleine Knip is the beach on which we chose to spend Christmas Day. We had already been here and, for Christmas, we wanted to relax and enjoy ourselves somewhere we knew would be great, without having to bring the camera and take pictures. Kleine Knip was the perfect choice.

Entrance to the beach is free, and you can rent lounge chairs for a small fee. Apart from the hot-dog stand, there aren’t any other services.

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January 4, 2016 at 8:08 pm Comments (0)

Playa Porto Mari

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After scratching wounds into our arms and legs during a prickly hike that started at the parking lot of Playa Porto Mari, we returned eagerly to the beach. Soft white sand, cool blue water, and incredible reefs for snorkeling… if this were always the reward, I would go hiking every day.

Playa Porto Mari is a large beach near Sint Willibrodrus, with all the conveniences you might want or expect, including a dive shop, a bar/restaurant, lockers, showers and bathrooms. We usually prefer beaches that are less developed, such as nearby Daaibooi Beach, but after the hike we had just endured, we didn’t mind the convenient comforts at all.

The beach is of fine white sand, and overlooks a gorgeous natural bay. The Dutch had protected the Portmaribaai with a fort atop Seru Kabayé, a hill south of the bay, but it was captured and destroyed by the English during their 1805 invasion of Curaçao. I’m not sure if there are remains of the fort, but we weren’t about to climb the hill and check. Not today, anyway.

The Plantation Porto Mari was a big one, dedicated to livestock and produce, and it had over 200 slaves before the 1863 emancipation. Today, most of the former plantation grounds have been returned to nature.

Porto Mari prides itself on its natural double reef, and the snorkeling here is fantastic. We spent nearly an hour kicking around, spotting hundreds of fish. The reef was damaged by a hurricane in 1999, but they’ve placed artificial “reef balls” on the ocean floor to encourage regrowth. The people in charge here seem to take nature seriously, as well they should. The restaurant might be great, and the lounge chairs comfortable, but visitors come to Playa Porto Mari primarily for the unspoiled nature.

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Affordable Snorkel Gear

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December 30, 2015 at 8:51 pm Comment (1)

Laid-Back Daaibooi Beach

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Once you drive past Sint Willibrodrus, you’ll arrive at Daaibooi Beach. Although it’s privately-owned, Daaibooi has remained free to the public, and boasts a natural, uncommercial vibe. The moment we sat down on the sand, we realized that we had fallen in love with yet another beach on Curaçao.

Daaibooi Beach Curacao

One end of Daaibooi is still reserved for the fishermen of Sint Willibrodrus; it’s nice to see that not everything on Curaçao has been given over to tourism. We stationed ourselves under a Manchineel tree, and wondered about the all the warning signs. Later, we would do some research. Manchineel trees produce fruits which look like tiny apples, but are poisonous enough to kill. And the tree’s sap is poisonous, as well. In case of rain, it’s better to seek alternative shelter; water dripping from this tree can cause blisters.

We spent a couple hours relaxing and snorkeling on Daaibooi; the visibility in the water was fantastic, and the coral was in great condition. We went around the point of southern cliff, where the underwater world really came to life. Giant elkhorn coral, angel fish, parrot fish, brain coral, trumpet fish, and hundreds of other things I didn’t yet know the names of.

There’s also a small restaurant on Daaibooi Beach, which is well-known for its french fries. They’re good, the beer is good, the beach is good, the snorkeling’s good. In fact, I can’t think of anything to complain about. Except perhaps for those death trees.

Location on our Map

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December 29, 2015 at 1:34 pm Comments (0)

Grote Knip – Our First Beach in Curaçao

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We pulled our car into the parking lot and, for a few stunned seconds, sat in silence. We had found the perfect beach. The one which your optimistic mind envisions whenever you set off for the ocean. But Grote Knip was the very first beach we were visiting in Curaçao! Was it just luck we had already found the best one? Or… we allowed ourselves to hope… would all the island’s beaches be this spectacular?

Grote Knip Curacao

Grote Knip is found on the northwestern tip of Curaçao, near the Knip Landhuis and a smaller beach called Kleine Knip. It’s one of Curaçao’s most popular places, and we were visiting on a sunny Saturday afternoon, but even so, it wasn’t very crowded. We grabbed lounge chairs, set ourselves up in the shade of a tree, and leaned back to appreciate the Caribbean beauty.

There was an appealing mix of people around us, most of them locals. Dozens of crazy teenagers were crammed onto a floating dock in the middle of the bay, and were hard at work singing, dancing, laughing and throwing each other into the water. The foreigners at the beach, like the foreigners all over Curaçao, were almost entirely Dutch. I got the sense that a lot of them live here at least on a semi-permanent basis, as most of them were grilling. Tourists generally aren’t equipped to grill.

Grote Knip Curacao

Grote Knip is set within a cove, protected by rocky cliffs from which the more daring kids will occasionally leap. I considered joining in, but was spooked by how shallow the water seemed. It was probably an illusion, because of the water’s astounding clarity, but I wasn’t about to risk my life on that theory.

There’s a small snack shop on the beach, which serves basic grub like hamburgers and fries, and you have to rent the chairs for a reasonable price, but otherwise the beach is free to use. Our original plan was to just stay for an hour, and then check out Kleine Knip… but we soon decided that Kleine Knip could wait for another day. We were in no hurry to leave the perfect beach.

Location on our Map

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December 21, 2015 at 9:26 pm Comments (0)
Playa Cas Abou A large, full-service beach between Playa Porto Mari and the beaches of San Juan, Playa Cas Abou is not a recommended destination when you feel like getting away from it all. But if you want an easy day on the sand, with food and drinks readily available, you could certainly do worse.
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