Sixth in a series of inspirational postcards from our friends at Dive Curacao.
Welcome to Episode 6 where we are visiting with GO WEST Diving in the small fishing village of Westpunt and diving into some of the best scuba diving sites of western Curaçao.
Westpunt is the name of the westernmost point of the island of Curaçao and is also the name of the island’s northernmost settlement, home to the famous dive site called Watamula, that lies two kilometres to the northeast. Close by you will find the incredible coral beaches of Playa Kalki, Playa Forti, Playa Piskádo, Grote Knip and Kleine Knip.
Westpunt is known for excellent scuba diving and is home to several shore and boat dive sites including the submerged airplane wreck, known as Elvin’s Plane Wreck and beautiful reefs. Most of the tourist accommodation in Westpunt caters to scuba divers and offers excellent infrastructure such as the Kura Hulanda Lodge and All West Apartments. GO WEST Diving, is the onsite recommended Dive Operator for both of these recommended accommodation options.
Travel Tip: for lunch or dinner, your visit simply cannot be complete without diving into the mouth-watering flavors of Sol Food and Sunshine Getaway. You will be served a great meal that could include the best pizza you can find on Curacao or a perfectly pan fried filet of freshly caught lionfish, which will undoubtedly be served with a side of enthusiasm from Sunshine. They are only open Friday to Sunday, so it is recommended that you make a reservation.
The house reef of GO WEST Diving is Alice in Wonderland, a simply remarkable top 10 shore diving and snorkeling site that is located at Playa Kalki. What makes this site so special is the massive hard coral formations that rise up, growing in some cases over 60 feet/18m in height encompassing a host of hiding places for the unusual characters like the pair of resident frogfish and octopus! Of course, Hawksbill Turtles, Eagle Rays, and large schools of Boga’s being hunted by Yellow Fin Tuna are regular visitors too. But, the real the attraction of Alice in Wonderland is the beautiful coral formations and all that hides within!
Another signature dive site is Elvin’s Plane Wreck. This is wonderful nearby site that commemorates Elvin, an incredibly passionate underwater enthusiast and a cousin to the owner of GO WEST Diving. Together, they formed the original dive shop at Playa Kalki, known then as All West Watersports. (Did you know… the original dive shop still stands today and is the now the Playa Kalki Beach restaurant)
Today, the wreckage lies on a sandy patch surrounded by stunning hard coral formations. Regularly, this is a drift dive that can finish around the point of Watamula where schools of barracuda can be found. Turtles, ocean triggerfish, lobster, porcupinefish and green morays plus large schools of bogas are also seen here.
There are numerous dive sites within a thirty-minute boat ride from GO WEST Diving that are an absolute must when visiting Westpunt. They include Mushroom Forest, The Blue Room, Black Sand Beach and of course, Paradise.
But, just like Sol Food, a visit to Westpunt would not be complete if you do not dive, what is argueably the number one boat dive on Curaçao, Watamula. This mindblowing site is an intense and often overwhelming spectacle starting with a hard-coral field, then a soft coral patch, then finally ending with another hard coral field! It is so intense that the diver really does not know where to look first! In addition to the imposing coral formations, the intensity of the macro life combined with Ocean Triggerfish, Schools of Chubbs and Porcupine Fish will leave you surfacing wanting to don another tank for more!!
Tune in for Episode 7 that will release on May 6th, 2020 where will be heading back east to visit with Ocean Encounters and LionsDive Beach Resort to discover more about their combined “Green Mission – Sustainability Pledge”. We will also be diving into the Coral Restoration Curaçao nursery plus the outplanting site located on their house reef known as the Stella Maris.
We hope you have enjoyed this Postcard from Curaçao and we also hope to see you soon.
Sincere Love from Curacao,
Bryan Horne, Dive Curacao
Tilo and Yvonne Kuhnast, Nature Pics Films