When researching things to do in Curaçao for my solo trip back in 2015, I knew I wanted to do something adventurous. The island of Curaçao is well known for water sports and since I find myself to be
boring safe most of the time, I decided to go outside of my comfort zone and take an adventurous underwater journey. After hours of research on sites like Instagram and TripAdvisor, I discovered the Aquafari Curaçao. If you’re planning a solo, family, or group trip to Curaçao and looking for an activity that will bring a lifetime of memories, here’s a guide to everything you need to know about visiting the Curaçao Aquafari including the location, prices, safety information, things to know before booking, and my overall experience.
What is the Aquafari Curaçao
Aquafari is a fun way for non-scuba divers to experience a colorful coral reef and a variety of beautiful fish in the underwater paradise of the Caribbean. It is one of the top things to do in Curaçao while on a cruise and one of seven underwater tours in the entire world that uses an underwater scooter.
The Aquafari meeting point is at Boka Sami Beach, a popular scuba dive and snorkel site in Curaçao. I used the taxi provided by my hotel, but the company offers pickup service from the cruise port or your hotel if needed. You can also drive to the location if you used a rental car. When I took my solo trip to Curaçao, the meet-up was at Pirate Bay so the photos in this guide would be different.
Aquafari Curaçao Cost
I chose the standard package for $115 which included access to the submersible scooter, access to Pirate Bay Beach, and a non-alcoholic drink while we waited for them to set up. For an additional $10, I added a photo package and they were sent via WeTransfer a few days later. When booking online through their official website, there are different tiers of the photo package whether you’re solo or in a group and there is also an option to include lunch.
How to Book the Aquafari Curaçao
The easiest way to book the Aquafari Curaçao is online. You can make reservations here or reserve a spot and pay later on travel booking sites Viator. On their official site, a credit or debit card is needed. On Viator, you can pay with your debit, credit card, or Paypal. Cancellation with a full refund is guaranteed up to 24 hours in advance.
Safety is a top priority at Aquafari and lockers are available to secure your personal belongings. The total time under the water for me was about an hour and submersion was at 9 ft. & 21 ft. When I arrived at the meeting point, I shared my confirmation information, was greeted by our instructors who are professional divers, placed my belongings in my locker, and waited on the beach for others to arrive. Before actually getting in the water and on my personal water scooter, we were given a full briefing which included an overview of the tour, directions for getting in and out of the submersible scooter, and instructions on communicating with each other underwater.
Important Things to Know Before Booking
Here are some restrictions and other important things to know before booking this excursion:
- The tour has a maximum of 8 travelers
- Not wheelchair accessible
- The minimum age requirement is 10 years old
- The minimum height requirement is 4 ft
- Maximum weight limit of 275lbs (125 kg).
- The tour is not recommended for pregnant travelers, travelers with heart conditions, people suffering from a recent neck or back injury, heart conditions, respiratory ailments, epilepsy, claustrophobia, or diabetes (a doctor’s consent letter is required to be allowed on the excursion if any of these restrictions apply to you)
- Participation is denied if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs or if your departure flight is within 18 hours of your Aquafari trip.
- A different date or a full refund is given if weather conditions are poor.
What to Bring
Below is a list of items you should bring when going on the Aquafari:
- Bathing Suit – Since this is a water activity, a swimsuit is required. You can wear a one-piece, rashguard, or two-piece.
- Water shoes – Water shoes aren’t necessary, but you can buy some water shoes with non-slip soles.
- Hair tie – If you have long hair, bring a hair tie and put it up in a bun to keep your hair out of your face.
- Underwater Camera – If you don’t purchase the photo package or want some photo and video footage on your own.
- Something to carry wet clothes – Bring along a plastic bag to put your wet clothes in when you’re done.
- Waterproof phone pouch – Don’t have enough money for a waterproof camera, get a waterproof phone pouch. Check restrictions on how far underwater you can go before using.
Operating the Submersible Scooter
So how does one breathe while operating an underwater scuba scooter? The Aquafari scooter features a bell-shaped glass container that supplies enough oxygen for the entire duration of the trip from an oxygen tank attached to the front of the scooter. The illustration given during our overview of how we’ll be able to breathe was by placing a full cup of water into a bowl of water where there is always air at the top. The logic and actually seeing it made sense, but I was still nervous about getting in. To operate the scooter there were buttons for moving up, down, left, and right. While underwater, the dive instructors used hand signals to show us where to go.
Do you need Swimming or Diving Experience for Aquafari?
You do NOT need to know how to swim to do this excursion, but knowing how to swim does help. I am not a strong swimmer. Prior to this trip, I NEVER swam in the ocean and don’t know how to tread water, but I can float. In fact, I underestimated the depth of the crystal clear waters, so I fell in when going down the pier stairs to get to the scuba scooter. I immediately turned around to swim on my back and one of the guides was close to assist just in case I needed help. Once I got on the scooter, I felt completely fine.
Aquafari Curacao Review
My overall experience with Aquafari Curacao was great. I have never had any experience with the underwater world before this trip and I had so much fun. I also felt safe. Seeing the tropical fish, turtles, and other deep-sea creatures all around me was AMAZING and I’m happy I came out of my comfort zone for this experience. 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. Here are some of my favorite photos from the tour.
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 Curaçao Aquafari underwater adventure is a MUST. It is definitely on my list of special moments of one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.
Check Out These Posts for Planning a Trip to Curaçao
Have you taken a submersible scooter scuba tour before?