• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Curacao Trip Report Lagun and Westpunt

Discussion in 'Curaçao' started by tkaelin, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. tkaelin

    tkaelin Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: CT
    1,556
    751
    113
    4-5 per day is just as doable on Cur as Bon if that is your goal. For me on either island, the key to doing 4-5 is staying at a place on or really close to a house reef. You can get in those early morning and late afternoon/evening dives more easily. This last trip I did 3-4 per day and I was happy with that. Sometimes its nice to just relax.
     
    drrich2 and AdivingBel like this.
  2. AdivingBel

    AdivingBel Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Missouri
    1,513
    1,348
    113
    I agree with @tkaelin. If you want to run up a dive count similar to Bonaire, it's critical to have a good house reef. You also need to do a bit more site planning than Bonaire which also helps for dealing with tanks. IMHO, it's still beneficial to do a tank package especially if you can work a deal like we did on our last trip (see earlier post #37). We also planned day trips to some of the more secluded sites (like the San Juan area) where we would pack a lunch, several tanks, and do multiple dives at those sites. It is different than Bonaire where you can hop in the truck and run to a large choice of sites during your SI. I can see doing 4 dives/day. 5 dives/day is doable but would be tough without doing a lot of repetition just due to the added distances and access to some of the sites.

    Like I said, Curacao is fundamentally different than Bonaire in many ways, some good and some not so good depending on your perspective. It goes a bit against my grain to try to make any dive locale like another because in doing so it's easy to miss out on what makes each individual locale shine. If dive count is your goal, I hope I helped. All IMHO, YMMV :)
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  3. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
    5,047
    1,073
    113
    Speaking of solely, maybe that's another good reason to bring your own tanks then you don't have to deal with resistance from some vendors about solo diving.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  4. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
    5,047
    1,073
    113
    I must have missed something... who is trying to make Curacao like Bonaire in what way?
     
  5. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    8,797
    1,350
    113
    Historically most threads here on Curacao contain constant comparisons to Bonaire. This thread actually not too much so far, but a few. Give it time. :) And it doesn't actually make that much sense to compare, since aside from both being Dutch islands and having a lot of of shore diving, they're really hardly alike at all. Comparisons may be helpful to someone who's been to Bonaire in describing how some things are on Curacao. But if they weren't sort of next door to each other with political ties and some geological similarities, I'm not sure people would even think to compare them.

    In the past the comparisons used to go mostly like "this aspect of Curacao is different than Bonaire, and Bonaire is wonderful and perfect, so that's not good." It's always bugged me, and probably other Curacao fans, to hear that constantly instead of it being treated like the unique dive destination it is. It's nice that this seems to be changing, with more people recognizing it's got pros and cons like anyplace, and those mostly depend on what you like.
     
    AdivingBel likes this.
  6. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
    5,047
    1,073
    113
    Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? I think the fact that shore diving is not only present but dominant in both countries is a huge similarity that supercedes any differences, given how rare it is generally to find easily accessible and high quality shore diving pretty much anywhere in the world. For most divers I know, it's the shore diving that attracts them to Bonaire and a common question they then have is "where else is there as much shore diving?" The kind of diver that is attracted to one will be attracted to the other. I think if Bonaire and Curacao were at opposite ends of the earth, with different governments, currency, and language, they would still be directly compared by divers. This is a scuba forum so I'm only talking about divers not cruisers. Name one country on the planet that you think Curacao would be better compared to, as far as divers are concerned.

    What exactly are the differences that are of any relevance to divers?
     
  7. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    8,797
    1,350
    113
    Actually, I do not think shore diving is dominant in Curacao, although I think it's increased quite a bit over the years as word has gotten out. To someone focused on shore diving it may be seen as dominant. To someone who prefers mostly boat diving, it is not. I don't have statistics, and I don't even know if statistics exist, but I would say there has been more of a balance between the 2 on Curacao than Bonaire.

    The diver that is attracted to Bonaire for shore diving may also be attracted to Curacao. But the reverse is not necessarily true.

    Divers do more than dive - they still need to get there, stay someplace, eat, and probably get around. Sometimes they would like to do something else for a bit. For better or worse there's a ton more stuff on Curacao. Some people care about these things more than others, but they're certainly relevant to divers.

    Access to shore diving is different. There's fewer places on Curacao with a good and easy access house reef. For diving around the island, people have long complained that you could just drive along the shore in Bonaire and hit multiple sites, but on Curacao you had to drive along inland then head out on spur roads to the coast. Used to be most folks saw this as a big negative because of the time it took to travel between sites. Eventually, people also figured out that on Curacao those spur roads ended at pretty little beaches, with easy entries instead of ironshore, and often facilities, where any non-divers could come along and enjoy the day too. And that often they should stay put for a half day or day and do a few dives, instead of traveling site to site with a truck full of tanks. It's a different model.

    The underwater topography, whether boat or shore diving, is pretty different. If you only care about the critters and being wet, you may not care. But there is a lot more similarity among the sites in Bonaire. If you are into topography at all, there is more variety in Curacao. Bonaire is off the continental shelf, and Curacao is on the edge. Since the islands are relatively close one could easily assume they're the same underwater, but they're not. (Aruba looks like it ought to be the same too, but it's completely on the shelf, and we all know it ain't the same.)

    Curacao tourism is not nearly as much about diving as Bonaire is. Bonaire does a lot better with real, convenient dive resorts and tank pickup options. Being smaller helps. Curacao has always struggled with this - good places have come and gone, and the compromise between distance to resorts and better dive sites and anything else is real.

    oops, turned it into another comparison thread...
     
    drrich2 and AdivingBel like this.
  8. ReefHound

    ReefHound PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Houston, TX
    5,047
    1,073
    113
    With all due respect, you sound like someone that people doesn't understand why people think you look just like your twin, since you can easily tell yourselves apart and one of you clearly has 7 more nose freckles and weighs 5 pounds less. I get that Curacao is bigger, more populated, more industrial, and more diverse in activities. Bonaire is a subset of Curacao but the diving segment is extremely similar, relative to difference to most other places. I don't think it was said that Bon and Cur are identical. One can find differences between any two countries on the planet.

    Walking over rocks versus coral shell beach to go shore diving is a trivial difference. In both cases, you're shore diving. Getting around is very similar although the dive-n-drive with tanks package in Bonaire is usually a truck while in Curacao often a car, but where else do you even have drive-n-dive with tanks packages?

    You didn't answer my question - what country do you think Curacao would be better compared to, as far as divers are concerned?
     
  9. Damselfish

    Damselfish Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Boston
    8,797
    1,350
    113
    I was trying to address your original question - "I must have missed something... who is trying to make Curacao like Bonaire in what way" - explain where I thought that was coming from. Obviously I failed, and shouldn't have tried.
     
  10. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    7,510
    4,516
    113
    Thanks for this and glad to see it put out there. For the dive planner, considering Curacao's greater size, it does raise a question. Many non-divers are apt to be happier to the east, where the more civilized amenities are, and those seeking the reputably 'better' diving out west may be more likely to be 'diver only' or 'low-maintenance non-diver' types, who are more likely to be focused on the diving. More like the typical Bonaire customer?

    That said, there area number of Scuba Board threads where someone posts loving a place but after a few trips interested in trying another destination, albeit looking for some of the same advantages (I think we hear this about Cozumel from time to time).

    Richard.

    P.S.: Any Caribbean destination with good shore diving is going to be compared against the other few. Bonaire, Curacao, Grand Cayman, to some extent St. Croix.
     
    AdivingBel likes this.

Share This Page