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Curacao all suggestions are appreciated

Discussion in 'Lesser Antilles' started by srkmrd, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. srkmrd

    srkmrd Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Central Texas
    13
    1
    0
    We have a long time to recieve suggestions. The Bottom Time Dive Club is coming to Curacao December 1st - 8th. We have a small group this year with 12 divers and one non-diver. We will be staying at Kura Hulanda Lodge and diving with Go West. I am eager to hear all suggestion on buying food at the grocery, local resturants, shore dives, boat dives, night dives, best drinks after diving. Best excursions and all suggestions. I have already learned a lot on SB. We were in Curacao years ago at Habitat, I am sure like everywhere some things have changed since we were there. Part of us are in the Garden View Rooms and Part of us are in the Ocean View Rooms, I would love to hear comments aboutg the accomadations, everthing I have read so far has been good.
    One thing I have not read yet is the climate, is it consistant year round?
    As of right now we are not renting a car at the airport but will likely rent one at the dive shop or lodge for on the days we want to go on excursions or shore dive.
    We want to pick up snacks, light meals and liquor to have in our room. I am in a 2 bedroom Ocean View with hubby and a couple of friends, so we should have kitchenettes or a kitchen I believe.
    Thanks in advance for all suggestions:):texas:
     
  2. Bryan.

    Bryan. Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    194
    63
    28
    Hey there srkmrd!! GO WEST Diving and the Lodge is looking forward to having The Bottom Time Dive Club dive and stay with us!!

    So let me answer some of your questions and I am sure that Sunshine will add her thoughts to this thread aswell... her notes are extensive!! ;)

    Groceries: There are a few options... I believe you have had your transfers pre-arranged through your tour operator with Watamula Services. Your drivers will be more than happy to stop @ California (local market located in Tera Kora... half way to Westpunt from the airport) so that you can pick up some supplies. This of course depends on your arrival time but I believe they are open until 7pm. Failing that, you can rent a vehicle from Watamula Services @ the Lodge (Truck or Car) giving you the ability to travel back to California (20min from the lodge) or to Centrum (about 40-45min from the lodge) which is a larger market with more selection.

    Local Restaurants: Kura Hulanda Lodge (has two main restaurants plus a beach bar), SOL Food, Landhuis Misje, Jaanchies, Rancho el Sobrino, Lanturnu, & Landhuis Daniel. The first two are within walking distance however transportation and reservations can be arranged for your group by my staff.

    Shore Dives, Boat Dives and Night dives: All are available and we will make sure you are fully briefed on all possibilities as part of the group orientation we will provide on arrival!!

    Drinks: Well, your best best is to check with your bartenders for the possibilities! ;)

    The climate is pretty consistent all year... however it really depends on what happens in the fall. Basically, it should be awesome!!

    You are correct too about the kitchenettes... you have all the basics you need!

    If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to email directly!!

    Thanks again and we will look forward to seeing you in December!!
     
    srkmrd likes this.
  3. jdcpa

    jdcpa Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Beautiful Downtown Palm Harbor, FL
    702
    35
    28
    Wow, lots to answer.

    You should stop at Centrum on your way out to the Lodge. Best selection on the island. There is a small store in Barber, about 15 minutes from the Lodge in case you run out of something.

    Landhuis Misje, Sol Food, and Jaanchies are the closest restaurants. Not all are open everyday, so plan accordingly. We like the lunches on the beach at the resort. We have not had the best luck with dinner at the resort. Others may disagree. Maybe just our experience. If you like adventure, try No Stress BBQ.

    The resort is nice, but lately they seem to be paying more attention to developing real estate than to keeping the property and rooms up. That said, it is still the nicest property on that end of the island. It is not bad, just not as nice as it was.I will still stay there.

    None of the rooms has what I would call a kitchen. The garden has an outdoor closet, so to speak, that includes a burner. The oceanfront one bedroom also has a burner and it is inside. No oven in either. Refrigerators are small in all of the rooms.

    Shore dives, Playa Kalki (house reef at Go West), Porto Marie and Cas Abou are all real easy to access. The fisherman's dock area (All West) is Playa Forti and next to it is Playa Grande, or did I get it backwards? Both are nice. Usually turtles on Playa Forti. I really like Playa Grande, we usually find a large number of post larval Smooth Trunkfish, Juvenile French Angel Fish, Slender File Fish, High Hats, Fireworms, and other small critters there. Very shallow, 30 feet max and there is some trash that gets thrown in from the restaurant above. Enter at the bottom of the steps from the restaurant parking lot.

    December is the start of the rainy season as I understand it. Rain is a little different there. Doesn't usually get in the way of what you want to do during the day. It can mess up your evening dinner plans if you are planning on eating outside.

    I hope that helps.
     
    srkmrd likes this.
  4. srkmrd

    srkmrd Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Central Texas
    13
    1
    0
    Thanks Bryan. You answered one question that I had on the list for Jan, our agent..... About stopping at the grocery on the way from the airport. Yay that is good, does the California also carry liquor?
    We will be getting into Curacao at 3:30 I beleive, we are hoping to make the stop for some provision and then make our way to the Lodge and have our orientation so we are ready to dive Sunday morning!!!!
    Another question that I was going to present to Jan, but you will know the anwer.........is there lionfish hunting allowed in Curacao, my husband and one other diver were able to hunt last year and they had a blast. they have the hawaiian sling type spears, I know some places allow this and others due not.
    Looking forward to a great trip, so far I have only heard good things about the dive operation and the Lodge.
    I am looking forward to Sunshines suggestions. I have gone to her website and read the things to do page and the links page.........there is a lot of info there:cool2:
     
  5. Kukuisa

    Kukuisa Barracuda

    # of Dives:
    Location: Curacao, Southern Caribbean
    335
    8
    18
    Srkmrd,

    December is in the mid of the ´rainy season´ which begins in late October. Most of the time there are showers but occasional the wet stuff comes down all day long. Bring some bug spray or buy them at the grocery on youw way from the airport. Long trousers and socks are also helpfull.

    The water temperature is lower than in august, but still 76 degrees or higher. In case of any doubt between 3 mm of 5 mm: be on the safe side, especial if you´re doing more than 2 dives a day. The sun may not be there to warm you up in between dives.

    Any spear fishing on Curaçao is illegal. There is an exemption on the Lionfish, which may be caught by authorised persons with an numbered ELF and a personal permit. The gouvernement handed out a hundred of them to known local divemasters and instructors. So no need to bring down any spear, and avoid possible troubles with airport and airline securities.
     
    srkmrd likes this.
  6. diversteve

    diversteve mod

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Phoenix
    20,764
    2,961
    113
    some comments:

    Landhuis Daniel is probably the nicest on the list that Bryan posted.

    Rancho El Sobrino has an open air bar - Pretty dead mid-week the night we were there. IIRC you could walk there from LKH but we drove. IMO it wouldn't be worth a special effort.

    LKH also has a daily free shuttle to Hotel KH downtown - maybe the non-diver might want to go shop/tour the port area?

    Playa Lagun is a good dive not too far east - often see turtles there. Nice beach also. You can double it with Playa Jeremi nearby. There are no facilities at Jeremi. Discover Dive is at the entrance to Lagun beach if you don't want to haul tanks. Porto Mari is another but it's also a locals beach so might be busier. Good double reef and there's a small restaurant also. Tank rentals also.

    The best boat dive near Westpunt - maybe on all of Curacao is Watamula - Go West does it 2x week iirc.

    Habitat was closed and taken over by the HOA there. I'm not sure what the current status is.

    If you go east to dive one day, there's a Dolphin Dive ($200pp) at Ocean Encounters next to the Sea Aquarium - past Willemstad to the east.

    A little farther east is the Tugboat site - one of the better known Curacao dives. The best way to dive it is around the point to the east, there's a shallower plateau that leads down the wall - lots of eels and other life - then come back across the Tugboat - it's in 20' just off the beach. If there's no ship tied up, the pier is also supposed to be excellent - we couldn't dive it.

    You might ask your driver to stop at Centrum first. It's about 2 miles south of the rotary by the airport. They sold small $1 disposable styro coolers - on top of one of the display cases.

    At LKH kitchenette is an accurate description.
    If you want a real kitchen, you'll need to upgrade to one of the 3BR Kalki villas:

    pic-kalki-villa6.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
    srkmrd likes this.
  7. RJP

    RJP Scuba Media & Publications

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Jersey
    13,464
    5,977
    113
    SOL FOOD

    (I'm just saying...)
     
    srkmrd likes this.
  8. MrB

    MrB Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Belgium
    4
    1
    0
    Hi,

    I've travelled 3 times to Curacao.

    shore dives I can recommend:

    Cas Abou : Eagle rays if you're lucky
    Tug Boat + Directors Bay: Small wreck, 2nd dive next to is is Directors bay: fantastic wall!
    Superior Producer: 100 feet wreck at 100feet depth. In the centre of Willemstad.

    I always stayed in the south east, so I dove mostly in that area.
     
    srkmrd likes this.
  9. Bryan.

    Bryan. Master Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Curacao, Dutch Caribbean
    194
    63
    28
    Based on your arrival time, our driver will be more than happy to take you to Centrum... they close at 7pm too!! Most markets sell liquor, beer and wine... failing that all local snacks do too with a limited selection.

    Regarding Lionfish... currently the law prohibits all spearfishing and only government issued licenses allows individuals to spear Lionfish specifically. However we hope by this time next year this will change to include a blanket licenses for diveshops to teach and guide tourists to spear lionfish.
     
    srkmrd likes this.
  10. jd950

    jd950 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location:
    1,114
    141
    63
    Liquor selection at California not real good and prices a bit high. What do you need and I might be able to tell you if they have it.

    Lionfish spearing is illegal, but rumor has it that it does sometimes happen and some people eat them. As far as I can tell, government does not hassle tourists about bringing polespears. I would not bring a speargun.
     
    srkmrd likes this.

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