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The boat trip to Klein Curacao, a small coral island just 10 miles off the main island, is one of the most popular day tours around Curacao. The leeward side of the island, fringed by a half-a-mile long white sand beach, provide good snorkeling opportunities. The seabed is not spectacular (with very few coral and fish at snorkeling depths), but it is visited by many sea turtles – maybe the best snorkeling spot in Curacao to meet them.
The island of Klein Curacao is lying some 10 miles off the southeast point of Curacao. Several local operators offer full-catered day boat trips to the island. Most boats are departing from Caracas Bay or Spanish Water early in the morning (around 6:30-8 am) and are back in the afternoon.
Some operators can arrange optional pick-up and drop-off in main Curacao’s hotels and resorts. Prices start around $100 per person for the day, all-inclusive. If you suffer from seasickness, be aware that the boat trip to the island is quite long (1:45 to 2 hours each way) and can be rough and wavy, especially on the way to Klein Curacao.
You can enter the water anywhere from the half-a-mile long sandy beach. However, to reach the snorkeling area drawn on the map below (where you’ll have the best chances to spot sea turtles), we advise you to enter the water just past the last beach hut, when coming from the pontoon (see map above).
The recommended snorkeling location covers the area between the beach and the reef, some 150 meters away. The seabed is made up of seagrass and sandy beds (↕3-15ft/1-5m), sprinkled with some small rocks and coral bommies. Among the (few) fish you may encounter in this area are juvenile blue tang, bluehead wrasse, sergeant major, and some inquisitive smooth trunkfish.
The main reason why visitors snorkel Klein Curacao is the opportunity to see the sea turtles – mainly green sea turtles. By crisscrossing the area, you should not have to wait too long before seeing them. They are generally feeding or resting on the seagrass meadows.
Do not disturb or touch the turtles, and keep a distance when they are coming up to the surface to breathe.
At a 120-150 meters distance from the shore, you will reach a slope covered with corals (↕25-30ft/8-1-0m), but the reef is too deep to be fully enjoyed while snorkeling from the surface of the sea.
The reef is by far the fishiest area, and you may come across dozen of fish species here, including hogfish, butterflyfish, barracuda, Bermuda chub and French angelfish.
There are no permanent residents on the island. All day tours to Klein Curacao include water, refreshment, and a BBQ lunch on the beach. Check when booking.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Wreck and coral reef with many fish
Level: Free shore access
Reef drop off with coral and colorful fish
Reef drop off with fish and turtles
Small shallow fringing reef with colorful fish
Vibrant coral reef with sea turtles and colorful fish
Shallow lagoon with staghorn coral and colorful fish
Level: Free shore access Resort nearby