Caribbean,  Curacao,  Experiences

15 Best Beaches in Curacao Near Cruise Port

Looking for the best beaches in Curacao near the cruise port? Then I got you covered!

The beaches in Curacao are somewhat next level. Not only is the water crystal clear, but you can also spot the most beautiful fish or be amazed by the high cliffs surrounding the bays.

Curacao beaches belong to the finest ones in the entire Caribbean, mainly because of the soft white sand, turquoise water, and very active marine life. According to Curacao officials, the island has 38 (!) different beaches.

Being your first time on the island, it can be a pretty tough choice which ones to visit. Especially if you only have one day in Curacao on your Caribbean cruise, you might wonder about the best beaches in Curacao from cruise ship.

Therefore I have created an ultimate guide with the ins and outs of all the important beaches in Curacao – and how to reach them from the cruise port.

Let’s get to it!

author on klein curacao beach

Table of Contents

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Things You Need to Know About the Beaches in Curacao

  • Most of Curacao’s most stunning beaches are located all over the West coast of this island. The Western coast is calmer and more protected from the strong winds and therefore perfect for a day of beach fun!
  • Most of the beaches are quite far away from the cruise port and can only be reached by car. Make sure to rent a car for your shore excursion since there is no proper public transport and cabs can be very expensive. For the best rental cars on the island click here.
  • Most beaches are sandy, but some of them have quite some dead coral on the way into the water. Make sure to bring swimming shoes if you have sensitive feet.
  • Some of the beaches in Curacao are privately owned, so you may need to pay a small entrance fee.
  • Most beaches are only a short driving distance away from each other, therefore you can do some beach-hopping and visit more than one beach per day.
  • If you only have one day on the island, as many cruise passengers do, make sure to book a beach-hopping tour via Viator. This is your best chance of seeing the most stunning beaches in a relatively short time.
  • If you need more help planning your day in Curacao, refer to my One Day in Curacao Itinerary
  • The most beautiful beaches in Curacao are located on a smaller island, called Klein Curacao. You can reach it with a Curacao Boat Trip
  • A Private Curacao Tour will offer a great and personalized experience for beach hopping
  • If you want to go scuba diving on a Curacao beach, make sure to research in advance or book a diving excursion

Curacao Cruise Port Map

As you can see on this Curacao Cruise Port Map, the three terminals are in the middle of the city of Willemstad. This means, there are no beaches in walking distance of the cruise port in Curacao.

The Renaissance Wind Creek Curacao Hotel is located right by the pier, and they do have an artificial beach. This is your best option if you don’t want to take transportation.

curacao cruir post map
Curacao Cruise Port Map with Beaches

Best Beaches in Curacao Near Cruise Port

Sadly, there are not that many beaches in Curacao super close to the cruise port.

If you are looking for a beach near the Curacao cruise port in walking distance, your only option is to buy a day pass at one of the resorts in the area.

The Renaissance Wind Creek Curacao Resort is located right next to the cruise port. They do have an artificial infinity beach that can be a great option for your day in Curacao.

Apart from that, the closest public beach to the cruise port is Mambo Beach. You can reach it with a cab, but it is too far to walk. Keep in mind that most cruise passengers flock to Mambo Beach, so it is quite crowded.

If you have the chance, grab a rental car and explore some of the other beaches near the cruise port (not farther than 45 minutes drive) I have listed below.

Find here my favorite beaches near the Curacao Cruise Port (ranked by distance to the port):

1. Mambo Beach

Mambo beach is one of the most lively beaches in Curacao mixing stunning blue waters with cute little shops, nice restaurants, and plenty of fancy beach clubs. It is located right next to the sea aquarium and is the beach near to the Curacao cruise port. The beach is very nice and clean and the water is very easy to enter and nice for swimming.

Mambo beach is our beach of choice if we want to spend a relaxed day, being pampered and comfy. Head over to our favorite beach club, Cabana Beach, where you can rent super comfy beds with umbrellas and be served delicious meals and cocktails right to your bed. Ambient music in the background makes for a very relaxing mood.

In the evenings, Mambo beach transforms into a lively party boulevard, since most of the beach clubs offer live music, concerts, or theme parties. The restaurants on Mambo offer a wide variety of dishes for a great price.

To be honest, there is very little impressive nature around and the beach is super touristy. I would not recommend spending your entire vacation there, since there are many more you can discover. However, it is also definitely the beach with the highest service quality, therefore I do recommend a day or two of fun and relaxation at Mambo Beach.

Amenities: restaurants, beach clubs, toilets, beach chairs for rent

Distance to Cruise Port: 10 minutes

Entrance: free

Notes: you may not bring your own food or drink in most of the beach clubs

Mambo Beach Boulevard

2. Blue Bay Beach

This magnificent bay is definitely one of my favorite beaches in Curacao. Blue Bay beach is located near the fishermen’s village Sint Michiel North West of Willemstad. The beach is part of the famous Blue Bay Resort, named after the plantation “Blaauw” nearby.

Even when you are not staying at the resort, you can get a cheap day pass to Blue Bay Beach. The beach has all the amenities you could possibly need, such as water sports, a restaurant, and a toilet/shower. You can treat yourself to a nice massage or order a cocktail right to your beach chair.

Most of my memories from this beach are really great, however, it can get quite crowded later in the day. Lots of families with small children visit this beach later in the afternoon because the waters are very calm there.

Blue Bay Beach is one of the best Curacao beaches for swimming.

Amenities: restaurant, dive shop, showers, massages, beach chairs

Distance from Cruise Port: 15 minutes

Opening times: 08:00 to 20:00

Entrance: 7,20 EUR pp

Notes: popular among families

Blue Bay Beach Curacao

3. Kokomo Beach

Kokomo is a small natural beach located in the Vaersenbaai, roughly 15 minutes outside of Willemstad. The beach is only roughly 200 meters long, but you can find all amenities there that you might need.

Kokomo is one of the most famous spots on the island, because of the water swings with the Komomo sign on top. Therefore, is definitely one of the most instagrammable places on the island.

Sundays on Kokomo are family days. Above all, this means nice music throughout the day and great live music with cocktails and happy hour in the evening. Make sure to stop by!

Entrance: free, 3,50 USD for a beach bed

Distance from Cruise Port: 20 minutes

Open: daily from 09:00 to 18:30 and Sundays from 09:00 to 22:00

Amenities: Restaurant, Showers, Dive Shop, Beach Chairs

Note: Live Music on Sundays, Great picture spot

4. Jan Thiel Beach

Jan Thiel is a very famous party beach among Dutchies. However, it is still nicely in vicinity of the cruise port.

If you book a nice bed at Zest Beach Club or Papagayo Beach, you can have a very relaxed experience there. I have enjoyed this a whole lot. They have super comfy beach chairs and lounge chairs at Jan Thiel Beach.

For many Dutch visitors, Jan Thiel is the best Curacao beach.

However, the public Jan Thiel Beach is quite crowded and loud. Keep this in mind before you go.

Entrance: depends on Beach Club

Distance from Cruise Port: 20 mintues

Open: daily, depends on Beach Club

Amenities: Restaurant, Showers, Dive Shop, Beach Chairs

5. Playa Porto Mari

This beach is my favorite beach and one of the best Curacao beaches. Playa Porto Mari is a very large, natural beach. The waters are very calm, which makes it a great place for swimming. The marine life is very diverse, so make sure to bring your snorkel.

The amenities around the beach are great. There is a cute restaurant serving delicious meals, cocktails, and ice cream. You can find a small shop with beachwear, a dive shop, and a driftwood painting workshop near the beach. There are modern showers and restrooms that can be used free of charge.

My by far favorite thing about the beach, however, are the two pigs Willy and Woody that roam the sand and entertain the visitors. Sometimes they take a small swim in the ocean, otherwise, you can find them chilling in the sand somewhere.

There are also some colorful fishing boats on the beach – perfect for some pictures.

Opening times: the beach is open from 09:30 am to 06:30 pm. Make sure to hang around till the evening, to see a stunning sunset.

Distance to Cruise Port: 30 min

Entrance fee: 3 $ p.p.

Beach chairs and umbrellas: Can be rented at the beach for a small fee, umbrellas are pretty scarce so coming early is key.

6. Daaibooibay

This beautiful bay is one of my favorite beaches in Curacao for many reasons. Daaibooibay is nestled in between two huge limestone cliffs, which not only make for a stunning view but also great snorkeling spots. It is one of the best beaches in Curacao for swimming.

The water is (like anywhere in Curacao really) crystal clear and light blue. You can see a lot of fish even without a snorkel. There is a little beach hut selling snacks and drinks and it is possible to rent chairs.

For the adventurous people among you, make sure to hike up a small trail on the left side of the bay. You will have an amazing view of the bay and the ocean.

Amenities: small restaurant and toilet

Distance from Cruise Port: 30 min

Entrance: free

Beach chairs and tanning beds: available for a small fee

Note: great for snorkeling, quiet

7. Tugboat Beach

Tugboat beach is one of the must-visit places for snorkelers and divers, and one of the top beaches in Curacao. The beach is named after a 30-year-old tugboat shipwreck, that is lying there on the ground. Tugboat beach is also a good beach for swimming.

The tugboat is a bit of a swim from the shore, however, it is doable. It can be easily seen with, snorkel gear, so it is not necessary to rent diving gear. The wreck is surrounded by beautiful corals and marine life, which makes it extra stunning to see.

The beach itself is (one of the only on the island) a rocky one. Make sure to bring water shoes if you are sensitive. It is also possible to rent beach chairs and spend some time on the beach itself or visit the quirky little restaurant.

Super close to the Tugboat beach you can find Fort Beekenburg, so you can nicely combine the trip with some sightseeing.

If you don’t feel like driving, many Curacao Snorkel Tours lead you to Tugboat Beach.

Entrance: free

Distance from Cruise Port: 30 minutes

Beach chairs: available to rent

Amenities: restaurant and toilets

Notes: rocky beach!

Drone shot of a boat underwater
Sunken shipwreck at Tugboat Beach

8. Cas Abao Beach

This beautiful beach is truly a gem on the southwest coast of the island and for many the best beach in Curacao.

Cas Abao beach was recently voted one of the 21 best beaches in the world by National Geographic. And I could not agree more. The water is crystal clear, there is endless white sand and you can see so many beautiful fish during the snorkels.

The beach is fully serviced, therefore you really don’t need to worry about bringing a thing. There is a small restaurant with takeaway food, showers, a dive shop, and a massage parlor. You can rent beach chairs and use the lockers.

Cas Abao is definitely one of my favorite beaches for snorkeling. The water is super shallow around the cliffs on both sides of the bay and it is easily accessible.

Make sure to get there early though, because the beach chairs and umbrellas are limited.

Entrance: 6-7 USD (per car)

Beach chairs: 3 USD

Distance from Cruise Port: 35 minutes

Amenities: restaurants, toilets, showers (paid), massages, dive shop

Notes: going early is key for a good spot

9. Playa Lagun

This beautiful bay will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first place where I casually swam with sea turtles. Playa Lagun is a small, non-touristic beach on the west of the island.

Also, it is very famous among snorkelers and divers because the marine life there is simply stunning. Playa Lagun is one of the best Curacao beaches for swimming.

Playa Lagun is sadly not a great place for a relaxing beach day, since there are very few beach chairs and no amenities whatsoever. I suggest dropping by Playa Lagun for a snorkel followed by lunch in the small restaurant Bahia right above the bay. The food there is great and the view is stunning.

Entrance: none

Distance from Cruise Port: 45 minutes

Amenities: toilets, there are some beach chairs around for rental but we never actually managed to find out from whom

Note: amazing for snorkeling and diving (there is a dive store up the street), great restaurant nearby, amazing sunset spot, good spot to see sea turtles!

Playa Lagun Curacao Iguanas

10. Kleine Knip Beach

Kleine Knip is one of my favorite non-touristy beaches in Curacao. This beach is located far west on the island and is mostly visited by locals. There is no entrance fee to the beach.

Tanning beds can be rented there, and they actually always come with an umbrella (which is not usual at Curacao’s beaches). Sadly, there are no other amenities there, so you do need to bring your own food and drinks or only stop by for a few hours.

The water and the beach have an amazing quality, mainly because it is so scarcely visited. Keep in mind that many locals do go there, so there can be loud music and party vibes. I have always liked the atmosphere there, but it is not something for everyone.

Kleine Knip is, like many Curacao beaches, amazing to snorkel. Make sure to bring your own gear, because they do not supply any there.

Entrance: free

Beach chairs: for rent

Distance from Cruise Port: 45 minutes

Amenities: none

Note: great place to meet locals

Blonde girl at Kleine Knip beach in Curacao

11. Playa Gipy

For all the adventurers out there in need of some serious hidden gem – I got the solution. Playa Gipy is what I would call paradise on earth. A super small secluded bay, nestled right in between huge cliffs and completely hidden away from the tourists.

Playa Gipy is located on the northern tip of the island, close to the village of Westpunt. You can find it by heading on the dirt road leading towards the Watamula hole. If you park your car at the Watamula hole parking spot, you are only a 10 min walk away from Playa Gipy. Walk along the cliffs to the northwest and you will find it immediately.

Disclaimer: the walk is quite dangerous because it is completely unsecured. Make sure to wear good shoes (there are a lot of thorns that will painfully penetrate your toe if you are stupid enough to wear flip-flops like me) and bring some water because there are no amenities close by. The last part of the walk is a climb down some rocks, so make sure you are physically able to do that.

Most likely, you will have the enchanting little bay to yourself. Be careful though, the current on this side of the island can be quite strong and there will be no one close by to rescue you.

Amenities: none

Distance from Cruise Port: 45 mintues

Entrance: free

Note: bring good shoes

12. Grote Knip (Kenepa Grande)

Grote Knip beach is, just like Kleine Knip beach located in the western part of the island and very popular among locals. It is far bigger than Kleine Knip beach and you have an amazing view over the bay from the top.

Make sure to also bring your own food and drinks to Grote Knip beach, because there is no restaurant on the beach. The entrance is free and you can rent beach chairs on the beach.

The shallow waters are amazing for snorkeling. Experienced swimmers like the openness of the beach, since you can easily swim far out.

Entrance: free

Distance from Cruise Port: 45 minutes

Beach chairs: for rent

Amenities: none

Note: great place to meet locals

Grote Knip beach in Curacao

13. Playa Kalki

Playa Kalki is a small secluded beach close to Westpunt. The beach has a small part filled with pebbles, the rest is covered in white sand.

The beach is very small and usually very quiet. It is an amazing spot for snorkeling and diving. There is a diving school right up the stairs, so it is a very popular spot for divers.

There are little umbrellas and beach chairs, so I would not really count on a beach day full of relaxation there. You can, however, use the restaurant of the Kura Hulanda resort upstairs.

Entrance: free

Distance from Cruise Port: 45 minutes

Amenities: none really

Note: mainly for divers and snorkelers

14. Playa Forti

Playa Forti is a mixed sand-pebble beach close by the village of Westpunt. The beach is quite big and the view is super picturesque. You can see the endless blue ocean with small fisher boats floating away.

There are several snack bars and one really great restaurant close by the beach (called Playa Forti also and is right upstairs). Right next to the restaurant there is a cliff-jumping point, where you can (safely) jump down 10 meters right into the sea.

The amenities there are not really great, there are some picnic tables and some umbrellas to rent. The most interesting thing about the beach is definitely the fact, that sea turtles sometimes go for a swim there and you can nicely snorkel alongside them.

Amenities: snack bar, restaurant, umbrellas for rent

Distance from Cruise Port: 45 minutes

Notes: cliff jumping point, sea turtles

Entrance: free

15. Playa Grandi/ Playa Piskado

Playa Grandi is a small beach that is famous for its frequent visitors the sea turtles. It is a small fisherman’s beach. The fishermen clean the fish on the shore and throw the trash right back in, therefore attracting the sea turtles.

In my opinion, the beach is not worth the hype. The fish trash attracts the turtles and the devour the bloody meat right next to you in the water. Not the kind of wholesome experience you want to have with the turtles.

Amenities: none

Distance from Cruise Port: 45 mintues

Entrance: free

Notes: sea turtles

sea turtle under water

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Unsafe roads, water sports accidents, and food poisoning are only a few examples of when travel insurance could come in handy. EKTA offers worldwide travel insurance with 24/7 service and no hidden fees or restrictions.

Conclusion: Best Beaches in Curacao Near Cruise Port

In this post we have closely examined the best Curacao beaches near the cruise port.

Sadly, there are no beaches super close to the port, so you will always need to rely on a cab, a shore excursion or on a rental car for your beach day in Curacao.

While Mambo Beach is the closest beach to the cruise port, I suggest also checking out some other beaches farther out west. Mambo gets quite crowded, when cruise ships are in town.

Curacaos beaches are next level – so it can totally pay off to rent a car and explore a bit off the beaten tracks.

If you are interested in snorkeling, check out my favorite Curacao beaches for snorkeling.

FAQ: Curacao Beaches Near Cruise Port

What is the nicest beach in Curacao?

Cas Abao Beach, Playa Porto Mari, Mambo Beach, Playa Lagun and Daaibooibay are the nicest beaches in Curacao.

What is the clearest beach in Curacao?

Klein Beach in Klein Curacao is the clearest beach in Curacao. The water quality there is stunning, and the nature is totally untouched. You can reach Klein Curacao with a boat from the main island.

Are the beaches in Curacao swimmable?

Yes, the beaches in Curacao are swimmable. Most beaches are located in nice little bays, which makes the water very calm and the current super soft. The beaches in Curacao are ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

Are Curacao beaches good?

Yes, Curacao beaches are extremely good. Most beaches have cliffs on both sides of the bay protecting the water from strong waves. The water quality is great and the beaches in Curacao are amazing for snorkeling and swimming.

What is the number 1 beach in Curacao?

Cas Abao beach is the number 1 beach in Curacao. It has been ranked among the top 21 beaches in the world. The water is crystal clear and shallow and there are lots of tropical fish for snorkeling.

Can you walk to a beach in Curacao from Cruise Port?

No, you can’t walk to a beach in Curacao from Cruise Port. The closest beach to the Curacao Cruise port is Mambo Beach. It is about 10 minutes away with the car. Other beaches in the area are Blue Bay Beach, Pirate Bay and Kokomo Beach.

How far is the beach from the cruise port in Curacao?

The closest beach to the Curacao Cruise port is Mambo Beach. It is about 10 minutes away with the car. Other beaches in the area are Blue Bay Beach, Pirate Bay and Kokomo Beach. There is no beach in Curacao within walking distance to the Curacao Cruise Port.

How do you get to the beach from the cruise port in Curacao?

You can either grab a cab at the cruise port in Curacao to go to the beach or get a rental car. Of course, you can also book a shore excursion. There are no beaches within walking distance of the Curacao Cruise Port.

What is the beach with pigs Curacao?

Playa Porto Mari is the Beach with Pigs in Curacao. The pigs are called Willy and Woody and they freely roam the beach.

Are there beaches in Willemstad Curacao?

Willemstad itself does not have any natural beaches in the city center. Mambo Beach, Sea Aquarium Beach and Piscadera Bay are close by and can be reached with a short car ride. The Renaissance Hotel in Willemstad does have an artificial beach.

Does Curacao have nice beaches?

Yes, Curaçao has beautiful beaches with turquoise waters, ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. While not known for long, sandy shores, its rocky coves and coral reefs create unique coastal landscapes. Popular spots like Mambo Beach and Jan Thiel offer a blend of relaxation and water activities, making Curaçao a beach lover’s paradise.

How far is Mambo Beach from Cruise Port?

Mambo Beach is relatively close to the cruise port in Willemstad, Curaçao. It’s approximately a 10-minute drive from the cruise port to Mambo Beach, depending on traffic conditions. Many cruise lines offer shuttle services or taxis are readily available to take passengers from the port to popular destinations like Mambo Beach.

blonde girl pink dress in front of blue door santorini

About the Author

Sabrina is a passionate travel blogger and content creator, based in the Netherlands. She spends about half of the year traveling to various destinations together with her husband.

She provides slow-paced itineraries that focus on quality over quantity. Sabrina wants to help her readers to get more out of their travel experiences – while doing less. Read more.

Curacao Bucket List

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