These Caribbean Beaches Are So Beautiful, You’ll Never Want to Leave!

Grote Knip beach, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles - paradise beach on tropical caribbean island

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The Dutch East Indies evoke images of far-off, exotic islands with stunning wildlife and pristine beaches. Curacao, in particular, boasts some of the most breathtaking beaches in the Caribbean, if not the entire world! Now, the question remains, which of these beautiful beaches is your perfect match?

We’ve handpicked the most exquisite beaches on this stunning island and categorized them to cater to different types of travelers. With a touch of adventure and relaxation, you’re bound to discover your personal beach haven or, at the very least, soak up the much-needed vitamin sea!

Best Beach for a Boat Trip

Small Curacao March 2021, Island famous for day trips and snorkeling tours on the white beaches and blue clear ocean, Klein Curacao Island in the Caribbean sea.
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Klein Curacao, or Little Curacao, is one of the most beautiful beaches in all of the Caribbean. Going to Klein Curacao is a full-day adventure with options for scuba diving, snorkeling, visiting the lighthouse and shipwreck, and, of course, beach time. The sand is deceptively soft, the water is hypnotic blue, and the laid-back island vibe is everywhere you look. The short, hour long boat trip to Klein Curacao will transport you to another world where all the Caribbean colors are just a little bit brighter.

Best Beach for Adults

Sandals Royal Curacao Resort Beach
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Santa Barbara Beach is located on the inlet of Spanish Waters Lagoon and home to the newly remodeled Sandals Royal Curacao Resort. Sandals guests will enjoy the full beach services of the all-inclusive resort, including kayaking, paddleboarding, SUPing, sailing, and diving.The white sand beach is quite nice, with excellent protection from a dock that runs the length of the beach that makes for some excellent snorkeling. With no kids and all beach drinks included, what’s not to love.

Biggest Beach

Grote Knip Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Grote Knip is the iconic Westpunt Beach and one of Curacao’s largest beaches. If you ordered a beach from central casting, it would look just like this one. The parking area is up on the cliff with a staircase descending down to the sheltered bay. The traffic circle is large enough to handle buses, and this beach gets quite busy on the weekends.

Most Laid Back Beach

Playa Kalki Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Playa Kalki is an uber-relaxed beach at the end of the paved road in Westpunt. Reaching Playa Kalki is like getting to Key West. There are chickens everywhere and not a care in the world.

The beach itself isn’t as stunning or secluded as others in Westpunt, but there’s an undeniable feeling in the air. It’s also home to one of the best “advanced dives” in Curacao – Watamula. The dive is off the island’s west point, but Go West Scuba on Playa Kalki is the classic dive operator to get you there.

Most “Upscale” Beach

Blue Bay Beach Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

With its beautiful blue bay, white sandy beaches, and upscale amenities, Blue Bay is perfect for a high-end beach day. The day pass to Blue Bay is the most expensive beach on the island (other than all-inclusive resorts), but, in return, everything is very nice. You’ll have clean restrooms, soft sand, a yummy restaurant, and views that rival Westpunt Beaches.

Beach Beach for Kids

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Mambo Beach, aka Seaquarium Beach, is just down the road from Marie Pampoen Beach, so this is where you’ll go for the quintessential “beach experience.” You’ll find a white sand beach entirely protected by a sea wall with every beach amenity you could ask for, plus plenty of shopping and dining options.

The gentle water and abundant resources make Mambo Beach an excellent choice for families. Not to mention, you’re right next door to two family-friendly adventures: the Curaçao Sea Aquarium and Substation Curacao.

Best Party Beach

Jan Thiel Beach Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Jan Thiel Beach is a more “grown-up” version of Mambo Beach. Like Mambo, it’s a full-service beach with all the amenities you could ask for. You can find rum drinks and kid swim areas on both beaches, but there’s a definite party vibe at Jan Thiel Beach, even when there’s not a full moon party going down.

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Jan Thiel is on a small bay with many shore diving and snorkeling options. Plus, there are flyboard rentals and a casino right off the beach.

Best Beach to Bike To

Parasasa Beach Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Parasasa Beach is the resort beach for the Curacao Marriott Beach Resort, but there’s still free public access plus paid amenities like snacks and a dive shop. It’s on the fringe of walking distance from the Cruise Terminal (3 miles), but it’s a nice walk along Mangrove Park and the beachfront path of JFK Boulevard.

With the amenities, sandy beach, and small blue bay, Pasacara is a solid “nice” beach and an excellent place to visit if you’re looking for a walk, ride, or run from Willemstad.

Best Beach for Snorkeling

Tug Boat Wreck Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Caracas Bay was home to an oil terminal before being dismantled in 1996. It’s a deep-water bay open to the ocean, home to some rocky beaches and distinctive snorkeling sites. These beaches are the most relaxed beaches east of Willemstad, but they lack the white sand and sheltered aquamarine bays you’ll find in other locations. They do have a couple of top-notch snorkeling sites, including a tugboat wreck and the remains of a shark cage at Director’s Bay. You can even arrange for an underwater scooter tour of the tugboat wreck if you want a little thrill with your chill.

Best Local Beach

Boka Sami Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Boka Sami is the best “local beach” because it’s fairly close to Willemstad with a decent little beach club but retains its local flair. The beach is a little rocky, but it’s the first natural cove west of the city.

There are actually two beach areas here. Boka Sami is sheltered by a sea wall and is home to the Bocabeach Oceanclub. Boka Sint Michiel is just a little farther up the coast at the mouth of Sint Michiel Bay. There’s also a nice natural area north of Boka Sint Michiel with a mile-long trail to Kokomo Beach and several paths to viewpoints where you can see the flamingos on Sint Michiel Bay.

Best Influencer Beach

Kokomo Beach Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Kokomo Beach is very much an “Influencer Beach,” complete with a swing fit for the ‘Gram and drive by flamingo photography.. It’s a budget alternative to Blue Bay, with similar amenities like a beach restaurant and dive shop (albeit not as swanky). It sits on a natural bay called Vaersenbaai with the ruins of an old fort on the cliffs. There’s a trail south to Boka Sint Michiel and one north to a small, undeveloped beach called Boka Playa Uniko.

Best Beach to See Pigs

Porto Marie beach - white sand Beach with blue sky and crystal clear blue water in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, a Caribbean Island
Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

You might have heard about the famous swimming pigs in the Bahamas. Curacao has a version where the wild swine wander down to the shore to just hang out. Since they’re wild, they can show up anywhere, but the appear most often at Playa Porto Marie and Daaibooi Beach

Daaibooi and Porto Marie are only 1/3 of a mile apart on small nature bays with the bluest water you can imagine. They’re full-service beaches with a nominal day usage fee and the option to rent a palapa. They each have beach bars and are a little slice of paradise. What makes this area truly unique is that a drove of wild pigs roam this area and routinely come out to the beach. In the water, a unique “double reef” formation attracts snorkelers and scuba divers alike.

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Best Beach for a Hike

Playa Santa Cruz Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Playa Santa Cruz is a classic Westpunt beach at the mouth of Bahia Santa Cruz. It’s a white sand beach at the back of a sparkling blue bay. You can find snacks, shade, and watersports, or a spot on the sand with plenty of elbow room.

Playa Santa Cruz is absolutely beautiful, but the path to Playa Santu Pretu (and beyond) differentiates it from other Westpunt Beaches. A wooden sign guides you onto a small path on the east side of the beach. A five-minute walk takes you to Santu Pretu, but the trail continues to Boka Spanjo and Playa Hulú beaches. Santa Cruz is by far the most beautiful and well-equipped of all these beaches, but the overland adventure exists for people who love hiking on sharp rocks and through thorny brush.

Best Beach For Sealife

Playa Lagun Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Playa Lagun is a public beach in the town of Lagun. The bay is relatively deep and narrow, which makes for a smallish beach and well-protected swimming/snorkeling area. There are restrooms, a dive shop, a restaurant behind the beach, and a few tables with shade on the beach.

What makes Lagun stand out is the unique shape of the bay, which makes it some of the calmest water in Westpunt, with some interesting snorkeling along the walls.

Best Beach for Backpackers

Playa Jeremi Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Playa Jeremi has a couple of new housing complexes going in, but there’s still access to this rocky, local beach. Jeremi has a parking lot and one palapa, but that’s it for development. This is the sort of beach where local families go to enjoy a picnic away from the tourists. The water’s beautiful and great for snorkeling, but the beach and amenities make it more of a backpacker’s “hidden gem” than a traditional tourist beach.

Best “Overlooked Beach”

Kleine Knip Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Kleine Knip is the beach you’d get if Grote Knip and Playa Jeremi had a baby. It’s in a smaller, sheltered bay like Jeremi, but it has the white sand of Grote Knip. It also has just the right amount of amenities to get you what you’ll need without taking away from the beach. Because it shares the same access road as Grote Knip, Kleine Knip is a wonderful alternative if you’re finding Grote Knip just a little too much.

Best Beach for Cliff Diving

Playa Forti Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Playa Forti is a rocky beach that’s more famous for its cliff jumping than beach play. Adventurous souls can test their mettle, while sane and normal people can watch the excitement from the cliffside restaurant. Not only is Restaurant Playa Forti the best view in Westpunt, but it might be the best dinner with a view of the entire island.

Best Beach for Turtles

Playa Grandi Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Playa Gradi (aka Playa Piskado) is the most active fisherman’s beach in Westpunt. Small boats dot the beach and bay, but something else about the fishing makes Playa Grandi stand out. A regular population of sea turtles inhabit this bay, waiting to feed on the fish parts left over from the cleaning. Playa Grandi is where you want to snorkel for a little turtle time.

Most Remote Beach

Playa Guepi Curacao
Photo Credit: Jenn Coleman.

Even though the pavement ends at Kalki, a rough dirt road continues to the island’s westernmost point. Even a wimpy rental car can make it to the end on dry days, but you might want to check that “extra insurance” box. Your reward? A beautiful water hole (Watamula Hole), a natural bridge, and a deserted beach.

You’ll need a beefier vehicle to go the final 100 yards to Playa Guipi, but the walk from the Watamula Hole parking area isn’t bad. The beach is (usually) empty and makes for a cozy cove that’s “just big enough.”  Be careful in the water out here as you’re close to the dropoff, and strong currents can kick up suddenly.

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