Klein Curacao is a tiny island, which merely features a lighthouse, a few huts, and a beach house. It is located southeast of Curacao, and the island belongs to Curacao. Therefore, visitors in Curacao can easily access Klein every day in order to experience a quiet island like no other.
Although many people, especially those who travel the world in search of the most beautiful islands, have heard of Curacao, not many individuals have heard of Klein Curacao.
Even though there may not be a whole lot to do on the island itself, Klein Curacao is considered one of the best diving destinations in the Caribbean Sea, thanks to its diverse ecosystem that features everything from colorful reefs filled with corals to exciting underwater caves to swim through.
What is Klein Curacao?
Klein is a very small, pristine, uninhabited island in the Caribbean Sea. In fact, its name translates to “Little Curacao” in English. The island is only 1.7 square kilometres, or less than one square mile in size. It is a perfect getaway for beach parties, cookouts, swimming, and feeling like you are really getting away from it all.
Every day, visitors get boat charters out to the island, where the sand is a bright white color and the water is crystal clear, warm, inviting, and full of marine life.
How to Get to Klein Curacao
Located 11 kilometres, or about 7 miles, off the south-eastern coast of Curacao, you can get to Klein easily by boat, but the journey may take up to two hours. Whether you want to visit the island in order to spend a day on its pristine beaches or you want to explore the underwater world by snorkeling or scuba diving, you will need to enlist the help of some locals who operate boat charters and dive shops in order to get you to the island safely.
Photo Credit: Breuls
History Behind Klein Curacao
Buildings on the island of Klein Curacao were used when slaves were brought from Africa during the 17th and 18th centuries. Those who were ill and needed to be quarantined were housed on the island in an effort to keep them away from the healthy population, but many did not survive. Burial grounds for some of these slaves can still be found in the southern part of the island.
Though today it is a barren island, it used to be lush and green, and farmers were even able to keep their goats healthy there. Seabirds thrived on the island as well, and their droppings actually converted limestone found on the island into phosphate, which was then harvested and sold throughout Europe by individuals like John Godden, who landed on the island in 1871. As a result, the island’s greenery disappeared and the seabirds went with it.
In 1888, the island served as a German naval base. But the historical lighthouse that is found on the centre of the island of Klein Curacao was built originally in 1850. Later, in 1879, it was rebuilt. And then it was rebuilt yet again in 1913. While it was abandoned for quite some time, the lighthouse has since been reactivated and it now uses a solar-powered LED light, keeping it functional yet environmentally friendly.
Diving in Klein Curacao
One of the great things about Klein Curacao is that it is not one of the really well known diving locations in the Caribbean. Most people think of Curacao, but they do not realize the natural beauty found on this nearby island that is uninhabited and, therefore, pristine.
For those who are looking for something a little different, including a day out on a deserted island, for their next diving trip, this location could be the perfect choice.
The reef surrounding Klein Curacao is perfect for all levels of divers who wish to be immersed in an underwater world filled with color and beauty. Sea turtles are common in these waters, and between the months of May and August, you may even find baby sea turtles making their way from the sandy beach into the clear ocean water.
Once in the water, you can explore the pristine reef easily, thanks to the calm currents that surround the island. You can also swim into underwater caves and check out the vertical drop-off. Watch for eels that may poke their heads out from the rock formations within the reef, and take in the breathtaking sights of massive schools of tropical fish of all sizes that surround you.
Would you like to scuba dive Klein Curacao or have you been already? Let us know in the comments below
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Blog written by: Rutger Thole who founded bookyourdive early 2012 because he saw that there was no simple and easy to use platform where divers could go to, to read scuba blogs, browse dive centers within locations and where they could read reviews from other scuba divers.