Curacao is a destination that flies under the radar, but those who eventually find it, flock here year after year to enjoy its warm weather, Caribbean landscapes and sparkling waters. So don’t be surprised to find some of the world’s best beaches in Curacao.
The island is a Dutch-Caribbean settlement, meaning you can also find fascinating history and great food. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the European vibe and architecture in many towns and villages. However, the island is most well-known for its stunning beaches and waters and prime snorkelling and diving territory, so there are also plentiful resorts and hotels to set up base. Whether you’re simply looking to relax, do some water sports such as jet skiing, parasailing or kayaking, or discover the abundant marine life underneath the waves surrounding this beautiful island, you can find it all on these amazing Curacao beaches.
- Curacao Beaches
- 20 Best Beaches In Curacao
- 1- Mambo Beach
- 2- Playa Grandi
- 3- Caracas Bay
- 4- Blue Bay Beach
- 5- Kokomo Beach
- 6- Playa Lagun
- 7- Playa Forti
- 8- Playa Jeremi
- 9- Daaibooi
- 10- Playa Kalki
- 11- Cas Abao
- 12- Playa Porto Mari
- 13- Little Curacao
- 14- Playa Santa Cruz
- 15- Karakter Beach
- 16- Jan Thiel Beach
- 17- Playa Santa Pretu
- 18- Parasasa Beach
- 19- Pirate Bay
- 20- Santa Barbara Beach
- 20 Best Beaches In Curacao
20 Best Beaches In Curacao
1- Mambo Beach
Mambo Beach is Curacao’s most well-known beach and is also known as Sea Aquarium Beach, which gives an indication of what you’ll find offshore.
The beach is a long stretch of white sand covered in deck chairs, beach umbrellas and sports shops where you can get out on the water via kayak or paddleboard.
It’s popular with tourists, as it is close to several prominent hotels and has its own boulevard, filled with loads of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars.
During the day, this is the place to come if you’re searching for a fun, activity fuelled time, and in the evening, the bars and clubs come alive with good drinks and great music.
2- Playa Grandi
Playa Grandi, also known as Playa Peskadi, is located in Sabana Westpunt and is one of the most famous beaches in Curacao for its very friendly locals.
These are the many turtles who swim just offshore, which visitors can swim and snorkel with.
Around midday, local fishermen will often throw fish into the water, which attracts the turtles, meaning you can sometimes see tens of them all around you.
The beach is not ideal for walking barefoot as it doesn’t have soft white sand but rather gravel and coral, which can be sharp, however, most people come here for marine life.
There is also a pretty fishermen’s pier which is great for taking photos, and you can often find a stall or food truck cooking up some tasty local food too.
3- Caracas Bay
Caracas Bay is just off Curacao’s southeast coast, within the stunning Curacao Underwater Park.
The beach has a desert island feel, overlooked by the historic fort Beekenburg and is a windswept stretch of sand perfect for water sports.
The Underwater Park is extremely popular for snorkelling and diving, where you can find shipwrecks and an array of marine life in the waters, as well as other adrenaline water sports such as sailing, kayaking and more.
Hiking and walking around the fort and surrounding bluffs are also popular, although arranging a tour to discover the area’s history is best.
4- Blue Bay Beach
Blue Bay Beach is one of the best beaches in Curacao for its classic postcard-perfect look, with powdery white sands and sapphire blue waters.
The beach is around a 25-minute drive from Willemstad but is consistently popular with visitors and locals.
You can find plenty of beach bars, restaurants, cafes and beach-side shops here, and places for renting sports equipment, deck chairs, or umbrellas.
Most of the beach is part of the Blue Bay Beach and Golf Resort, but it is open to everyone, and the resort is great if you want a nice meal, a round of golf or if you’re looking for somewhere to stay in the area.
5- Kokomo Beach
Kokomo is an ever-popular beach made famous by the Beach Boys’ hit song of the same name.
Unsurprisingly, they didn’t pick any old beach to write about but one of the prettiest on the island.
The beach is classically beautiful, with golden sand and gentle blue waves washing up on the shore.
There’s a cute jetty and water swings for that perfect Instagram photo.
During the week, Kokomo is fairly quiet, mainly visited by locals and knowing tourists, so this is the time to go if you’re just looking to relax.
On the weekends, it comes alive with live music and great food served at its many restaurants, plus there are a few excellent snorkelling and diving centres where you can get out into the water.
6- Playa Lagun
Playa Lagun is a small but picturesque beach known for its cute and colourful fishing boats, which often sit on the sand.
Venture into the water and discover why Playa Lagun is voted the best beach in Curacao to see green sea turtles, which you can swim and snorkel with if you visit at the right time.
You can also often spot the local iguanas basking in the sun on the steep rocks and cliffs surrounding this small cove.
Fringed with palm trees and a few good food stalls, this is the best Curacao beach to visit for peace and quiet.
7- Playa Forti
Playa Forti is locally known as ‘Daredevil’s Beach’, which may hint at what you can expect.
The beach is extremely popular for cliff jumping, and some people even jump off the 10m high cliff here, which is not recommended unless you’re an experienced diver.
The beach sand is unusually golden-brown and slightly rough, so you might need water shoes.
Although there aren’t many facilities here, it’s a great place to take a walk or go snorkelling as there is abundant wildlife in the area, however, there is a restaurant on the cliff with panoramic views over the area which you can climb to work up an appetite.
8- Playa Jeremi
Playa Jeremi is one of Curacao’s most secluded beaches, which makes it perfect for escaping the crowds.
The beach is quite sharp to walk on, as it’s covered in volcanic sand and debris, which only adds to its allure.
There aren’t any amenities here so you’ll need to bring everything with you, including a good picnic, drinks and snorkelling gear.
However, you’ll find that the waters are teeming with tropical fish and pretty coral reefs and are both warm and calm, perfect for swimming.
You can nap under beach umbrellas if you arrive early, as there isn’t much shade on Playa Jeremi.
Daaibooi is a paradise beach that has a truly local vibe.
The beach is a large sweep of white sand with a couple of umbrellas dotted around for good measure.
It’s loved by locals who come here to barbecue up some fresh seafood while listening to loud Caribbean music.
If you’re lucky, they might share their food with you, but if not, there are a couple of great local vendors who cook up fresh fish, fries, bread and salads.
This Curacao beach is around half an hour from Willemstad, and because barbecues are allowed, there isn’t much else here, however, if you bring some drinks and a towel, it’s a great and lively place to get a feel for the real Curacao.
10- Playa Kalki
Playa Kalki looks like the epitome of a remote tropical island beach, backed by a vast forest of palm trees, rocky outcrops and some thatched wooden huts.
You’ll feel like you’ve arrived in paradise.
The beach is most famous for being closer to the Alice in Wonderland coral reef (named because of its mushroom-shaped coral), which is one of the most popular places to dive in Curacao.
The reef is the main attraction here, and there’s a dive shop to supply you with everything you need.
Afterwards, head to the snack stand or a nearby restaurant to refuel with local food.
11- Cas Abao
Cas Abao is consistently voted one of the best beaches in Curacao, particularly for snorkelling.
Unfortunately, this is exactly why you’ll have to pay to access the area if you’re coming by car, and you also have to shell out if you want to rent a sunbed or umbrella.
However, once you get settled in, you’ll be rewarded with impossibly clear water and soft sand, which you can relax on all day.
There are loads of amenities here, from free WiFi to bars, restaurants, dive shops and changing rooms.
Everything you need is at your fingertips.
12- Playa Porto Mari
Located in Bandabou, Playa Porto Mari is a one-stop shop for all your beach needs, and you can while away your day without moving an inch.
Aside from the bright white sand, blue waters, and coral reefs to explore offshore, there are restaurants, a bar and a dive shop on the beach.
The beach sits on a private estate called ‘Plantages’, a common starting point for many of the island’s snorkelling and diving tours.
For a break from sunbathing, there are also a few nature trails you can hike nearby to explore more of the area.
13- Little Curacao
Often known by its Dutch name ‘Klein Curacao’, this is the beach you’ll see on postcards from the island.
It’s entirely uncrowded because you’ll need to catch a boat to this tiny, uninhabited island eight miles off the coast to access the beach.
The journey takes around two hours, which is why it remains so deserted.
Once you arrive, you can enjoy the soft sands, blue waters and colourful marine life all to yourself.
There is nothing on the island besides some windswept grasslands, a single iconic lighthouse, and miles of untouched beaches to enjoy.
You will, of course, need to bring everything you need with you, but it will be worth it for a day on a virtually private beach.
14- Playa Santa Cruz
Playa Santa Cruz is most visited by those wanting to explore the Blue Room Cave, a small cave accessible by swimming.
Several tour providers can take you here on a snorkelling trip, or you can rent your own kayak and make your own way.
You’ll need to dive quite a way down before surfacing in the cave itself, so it isn’t recommended for weak swimmers.
The beach has plenty of space to relax after this adventure, with cute cabanas, massage huts, bars, restaurants and more.
15- Karakter Beach
Karakter is one of the few truly private beaches in Curacao, as it is owned by the Coral Estate Resort that allows day visitors.
Pay to visit for the day and receive ultimate relaxation with comfy deck chairs, free WiFi, a beach bar and equipment hire.
The restaurants here are stunning if you plan to stay for the evening, as tables are set up right on the sand surrounded by twinkling fairy lights for that ultimate romantic holiday feel.
While watching the sunset, you can enjoy a range of local food, tapas, fresh seafood and great cocktails.
16- Jan Thiel Beach
Jan Thiel is another of Curacao’s most popular beaches with tourists and locals, as it has developed into a whole area filled with great bars and restaurants.
It’s in a resort area, so many major hotels are nearby, a supermarket, a gym and a casino.
This isn’t the best beach in Curacao to come for peace and quiet as it is so developed, but if you’re looking for fun, sports or a party, then there’s nowhere better.
There is an entrance fee, but you’ll get to enjoy everything on offer, and you can find almost any cuisine here, as well as great cocktails and live music.
17- Playa Santa Pretu
Playa Santa Pretu is one of the most unique beaches on Curacao, which you would guess if you knew the literal translation meaning ‘Black Sand’.
It is one of the island’s least known but most special beaches and is only accessible by foot or boat since the road here was closed.
Although it’s not a stereotypical spot for sunbathing, the unique colour of the sand makes it worth a trip, and it also has excellent snorkelling, where you’re likely to have the waters to yourself.
There aren’t any facilities here, but it makes a great quick day trip or even just for a few hours.
18- Parasasa Beach
Playa Parasasa is a popular beach with locals but is still unknown to visitors.
The beach is rocky, and the ‘sand’ can be sharp, but there are quite a few huts and picnic benches where you can sit or enjoy lunch.
The beach is not ideal for relaxing or spending more than a few hours, as there are no facilities here.
However, it has great swimming, with very calm waters, and if you bring a picnic and grab a bench, it can be a great spot to enjoy a bite to eat while enjoying views across the water.
19- Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay is undeniably one of the most amenitised and resort-focused beaches in Curacao, but unlike Jan Thiel, this hasn’t made it overcrowded, and it is still a lovely place to set up camp for the day.
The beach has lots of local and international restaurants where you can grab a drink or a bite to eat, dive schools and sports shops and even a shop where you can rent an underwater scooter for a unique way to see the marine life here.
The golden sand is soft and backed by palm trees, and although it can get crowded with visitors from nearby resorts, there’s always a quiet space where you’ll find a place to spend the day.
20- Santa Barbara Beach
One of the island’s private resort beaches, Santa Barbara Beach, belongs to the luxury Santa Barbara Resort close by.
This is one of a few beaches in Curacao where you won’t find any sharp coral or rocks, only soft swathes of sand.
The beach features the usual amenities, many of which are part of the hotel, and you can visit on a relatively affordable day pass.
When you’re done swimming or sunbathing, the resort also has excellent bars, a restaurant and a golf course.
At the end of the day, stay put on the sand for some of the best sunsets on the island.
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