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Swim amongst sea turtles, barracudas and manta rays: diving on Curaçao is a dream. Admire schools of angel fish, parrot fish and trumpet fish, or take a closer look at swaying marine sponges. But to explore this underwater world, one must first learn how to dive. There are around 30 diving schools in Curaçao so take your pick!
It takes a little effort to explore the wonderful underwater world: scuba diving can be a bit complicated at first. Most diving schools offer a 3 or 4-day course for beginners to obtain a basic PADI certification. On Curaçao you will not learn to dive in a cold pool or murky pond but in the lukewarm, azure waters of the Caribbean Sea. And although the official language is Dutch, English is widely spoken everywhere including at the diving schools.
For more than a quarter of a century, Atlantis Diving in Willemstad has been one of the best known diving schools in Curaçao. Located right on the ocean with a beautiful resident reef, Atlantis offers the perfect setting for PADI courses at all levels. The school also offers all the equipment from masks and fins to a dive computer. For a brief introduction to scuba diving book the half-day introduction course, which costs about 70 US dollars and includes a test dive. There are also a number of other affordable packages: how about a course combined with a stay in an apartment (with ocean view) right next to the diving school.
Curaçao’s largest diving school is Ocean Encounters. They have dozens of employees, 7 boats and 6 locations across the island, from Willemstad to Nieuwpoort. The school offers different PADI courses, from an introduction course to professional diving courses. In addition, the school offers other special options such as underwater photography and fish identification. Boat trips take divers to dive sites such as the reef at Nieuwpoort where you can see star, brain and horn coral, eagle rays and sea turtles. This reef is only accessible to Ocean Encounters – a real bonus for the clients of the diving school.