When researching things to do in Curacao, I wanted to do something adventurous for my last day. Curacao is well known for water sports and since I find myself to be
boring safe most times, I decided to tackle another item on my 30 Before 30 list to go snorkeling or scuba diving. After scrolling through Instagram and searching on Trip Advisor, I discovered the Aquafari Curacao.
What is the Aquafari Curacao + Aquafari Location
According to their website, “Aquafari is a fun way for non-scuba divers to experience the underwater world and experience the great sensation of breathing underwater.” It is also one of seven locations around the world that offers tours via submersible scooter. Aquafari Curacao is located by Pirate Bay Beach; about 30 minutes from the Royal Sea Aquarium Resort and one of the top things to do in Curacao while on a cruise. Since I was already staying on the island, I used the taxi provided by my hotel. If needed, they offer pickup service from the cruise ports
Upon arrival, I was greeted by Suzy and her dog Chica. The reservation was done via email and Suzy knew who I was right away. Since I was early, Suzy gave me a pass to relax on Pirate Bay Beach. Not long after, two visitors from Holland arrived to reserve their spot for the tour. I was also greeted by our underwater scuba guides: Andy and Emelton (who introduced himself as Charles).
Aquafari Safety: Operating the Submersible Scooter
Suzy brought the three of us in for a brief overview of the tour, instructions on how to communicate with each other underwater and directions for getting in and out of the submersible scooter. Since the helmet was completely opened (and I already paid), I wondered how on earth I would breathe. The underwater scuba scooter features a glass container that supplies oxygen from a scuba-dive tank attached to the front. The analogy given was placing a full cup of water into a bowl of water; there is always air at the top. The logic made sense, but I was still nervous and Suzy said it SHOWED.
While the three of us waited for the guides to finish setting up, we spoke about my experience living in NYC and their experience living in Holland. I was so happy they spoke English because my Dutch skills were super limited. It was a first for me, but I was also asked about how I felt during 9/11, my views on how much NYC and travel on a global scale have changed since, and what it is like to go to the Barclays Center and Yankee Stadium. They also gave me tips and suggestions for visiting Holland.
Do you need Swimming or Diving Experience for Aquafari?
You do NOT need to know how to swim to do this excursion, but it does help. I NEVER swam in the ocean to tread the water before and underestimated the depth, so going down the pier stairs to swim to the scuba scooter put me in somewhat of a shock. I immediately turned around to swim on my back and one of the guides was also close to assist just in case. Once we were in, I was completely fine and smiled from ear to ear from start to finish. Seeing the fish, turtles, and underwater life was AMAZING. My favorite part was feeding the fish. I thought I’d feel their fins on my hands and toes, but they just swam around me.
If you ever take a trip to Curaçao via cruise ship or for an extended stay and want to experience underwater life up close, the Curacao Aquafari is a MUST. It is definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. The Aquafari Curacao site offers lockers to secure your personal belongings and you can opt to get the photo package for a few dollars more. The total time under the water is about an hour and submersion is at 9 ft. & 21 ft. Follow the Curacao Aquafari on Facebook or visit their official website for pricing, restrictions and specific requirements.
Have you taken a submersible scooter scuba tour before?