Deep Blue: Gay Curacao Scuba Diving Trip

dive boat in curacao on the HE Travel gay scuba dive trip

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A Gay Travel Curacao Scuba Diving Adventure

Physical Challenge:

Our gay scuba diving tour in Curacao offers a perfect opportunity to scuba dive or snorkel at the most pristine dive locations, with very few other divers. And at night we will relax in the comfort of our suites at an upscale beach-side resort, with a friendly gay dive group.

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  • Dive Alice in Wonderland, also known as “Playa Kalki,” a magnificent reef featuring green moray eels, lobsters, star coral and a vivid array of brightly colored reef fish.
  • Visit the Mushroom Forest, one of Curaçao’s most popular dive sites, with a sloping reef and huge mushroom-shaped coral formations. Average visibility is 90 feet.
  • Explore the historic capital city of Willemstad, the 1500s city famous for its blue liqueur.
  • Spend the week in one of the finest diving resorts in the Caribbean, Lodge Kura Hulanda & Beach Club.
  • Enjoy diving with a small, fun group of gay travelers.
  • For non-divers, there is excellent snorkeling from the shore or a boat, and we can also arrange for an interesting alternate program for the week.

Dive or snorkel off Curacao with a small gay group

Curaçao is a gay-friendly oasis in the colorful Caribbean. Our land-based week-long holiday is based in one of Curacao’s finest luxury resorts, Lodge Kura Hulanda and Beach Club, a secluded beachfront hideaway situated on the Island’s West End. Our lodge was the featured location for the grand finale rose ceremony during a recent season of the TV show The Bachelorette.

The waters surrounding Curacao win awards for their diving and snorkeling, offering the best of the Caribbean, including diverse sea life, soft coral, and abundant healthy fish all relatively close by with great visibility. Our gay scuba trip features a week on this beautiful tropical island including visits to the best local dive sites and afternoons free for shore diving or visits to some of the island’s many landside attractions.

Curacao, a gay-friendly Caribbean island 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela, has many pleasures for divers and their non-diving partners as well. Beautiful beaches, rich history, impressive architecture and lively nightlife are just some of the highlights Curacao offers. Our gay scuba trip features a week on this beautiful tropical island includes visits to the best local dive sites with time to enjoy numerous land-based activities.

 

Day 1: Arrival

colorful town on the HE Travel gay scuba diving trip to Curacao

Upon arrival you will be transferred to our hotel. Our week-long adventure will start with a welcome dinner and orientation. Depending on your arrival time you can relax and soak up the sun until the group arrives.

 

Days 2-7: Diving, Day Tripping and Seaside Delights

tropical hotel in curacao on the HE Travel gay scuba dive trip

The following is an overview of the activities included or available during our tour.

Diving: each day will include two-tank dives with excursions to the best dive sites. Popular sites we may visit include Alice in Wonderland, also known as Playa “Kalki,” just a shore dive away. There are magnificent reefs featuring green moray eels, lobsters, and mushroom shaped star coral formations, as well as a vivid array of brightly colored reef fish. Visibility averages 100 feet.

Mushroom Forest, one of Curaçao’s most popular dive sites, is only 30 minutes away by boat from the resort. The site features a sloping reef with huge mushroom shaped coral formations. Average visibility is 90 feet. Watamula, which some say is one of the most untouched dive sites off Curaçao, is only a 5- to 7-minute boat ride from the resort. The site features spectacular formations of hard corals, coral gardens and a large variety of maritime life. Visibility averages 90 feet. These are just a few of the many boat and shore excursions available.

colorful sealife on the HE Travel gay scuba diving trip to Curacao

During our stay there will be opportunities to explore the island as well. Sightseeing on Curaçao comes in many flavors. Walk on ancient cobblestones past homes and shops that date back to the 1500s. Willemstad straddles an ocean-shipping channel laid out like a busy Amsterdam canal. When freighters and cruise ships are passing through the narrow channel, a miniature ferry carries pedestrians back and forth between the twin banks of the colonial Old Town. A floating pontoon bridge is hauled into place the rest of the time, allowing strollers easy access to both halves of downtown.

300x204-db-curacao-drums

Diversity enlivens the island whose growing populations of immigrant Haitians, Colombians and Venezuelans contribute to a spicy ethnic stew. Old-timers speak Dutch or English, but Papiamento, a Dutch Creole mix, is the language of the street.

With one of the oldest Jewish communities in the Western Hemisphere, Willemstad boasts two synagogues, one founded by Sephardic refugees who arrived here from Spain in the 1650s; and the other, “new” congregation dating back to the 1930s arrival of European Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. Strolling the tiny 16th-century streets, you can enjoy shops dealing in Dutch crystal and high-end diamond jewelry, much of it imported from the Netherlands; fine restaurants; and art galleries, including some housed in the battery of stone forts built on either side of the harbor’s mouth. In addition, we will have a chance to visit the Museum Kura Hulanda, an anthropological museum that focuses on the predominant cultures of Curaçao, including a world-class exhibit on the African diaspora created by the slave trade.

There is plenty of nature and wildlife to see landside as well. Curaçao is home to many lizards, iguanas and tropical birds. Wild goats can be found everywhere, out on the street and in the neighborhoods. Since Curaçao is comparably dry, cactus trees in all shapes and sizes grow next to aloe plants and rough bushes. Curaçao is also famous for its Divi-Divi trees that always grow in the direction of the wind.

hotel in curacao on the HE Travel gay scuba dive trip

The island, formed by a volcano, has its highest point at Mount Christoffel (about 300 meters / 900 feet high) surrounded by Christoffel Park in the north-western part of the island, not far from our Lodge, so it is visible from many vantage points. The famous landhouses (once the land barons’ homes) are worth a visit for their architecture and history. Some are just ruins today, but many have been restored to give a nice insight into the early settlers’ lives. The Hato Caves are a great place to learn more about Curaçao’s geological history. Outside the cave Caquetios Indians carved Petroglyphs into the rock wall indicating that some of their religious ceremonies took place there about 1500 years ago. Last, but not least, simply walking around in Punda (the old town), crossing the Emma bridge, looking at the waterfront, and observing people and their activities is a nice way to pick up the flavor of the Caribbean and Curaçao.

The sun shines most of the time and the average temperature is 82° F / 27° C. It doesn’t get much colder at night than during the day, and in the winter it is hardly any colder than in the summer. The constant trade wind from the east keeps the island breezy and cool. Curaçao is fairly dry compared to other Caribbean islands and less tropical here as it lies south of the hurricane belt. Good weather, great diving, history, good food, lively nightlife and island hospitality make Curacao a great gay-friendly getaway and the perfect place for this HE Travel Adventure!

 

Day 8: Departure Day

a glimpse through the railings on the HE travel gay scuba dive trip in Curacao

Soak up the last bit of sun, taking an early morning plunge in the clear blue water, or relax until your transfer to the airport and safe travels home.

 

Price includes:

Seven nights accommodations in Ocean Front Suites of the award-winning Kura Hulanda Beach Club Lodge; Five days of two-tank morning dives, with afternoon unlimited shore diving, including tanks and weight belts; Reduced rate for non-divers and snorkelers; Breakfast each day and three dinners showcasing specialties of Curacao; Two half-day land excursions, including some local attractions and a visit to Willemstad, featuring a guided tour of the Kura Hulanda Museum, one of the finest in the Caribbean; Entrance fees; Transfers between Curacao Airport and our lodge at the end of the island; Assistance of HE Travel tour leader (subject to minimum participation). HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage. (Please note that this covers any medical needs during this trip, EXCEPT any medical situations related to diving. See below.)

Not included: Airfare to and from Curacao; Equipment (available for rental, or bring your own; no charge for air tanks and weight belt); Additional optional day of diving; Instruction fees, if requested; Crew gratuities; Lunches and four dinners; Personal items such as beverages, phone calls, faxes.

Optional Tour Choices:

TBA Single Supplement (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom)

Dive insurance is not included in the tour price. One of the best dive insurance deals we know of is provided by DAN (Diver’s Alert Network), a dive safety organization that provides evacuation services (for both diving and non-diving related needs) for just $40-$125 per year, depending on what plan is chosen. We strongly recommend purchasing DAN or similar insurance for divers. For details call them at 800-446-2671; or see their website:

http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/insurance/

“As a first time client, I went on this trip expecting something nice and what I received was something fabulous!”— R.H., Morgan Hill, CA

“After three dive trips, I still can’t get enough. Each trip has been rewarding with friendships that now have lasted over three years. I love exploring new destinations especially with a great group of people that love to have fun.”— Bob Weston, Greensboro, NC

Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends.

You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself.

This tour starts and ends in Willemstad, Curacao.

Physical Challenge Level 2

This trip is designed for SCUBA divers and snorkelers, but may also be enjoyed by those who want a leisurely tropical island experience.

The diving on Curacao’s West End is spectacular. Beautiful beds of soft and hard corals are all within about 20 minute boat rides. We usually do two dives in the mornings, with optional afternoon and night dives on the house reef right off the pier. The diving is rarely deeper than 80 feet, as the reef drops off quickly once it passes that point. Most of the coral and fish life stays in the 50-80 ft range.

How many dives will I get to do?

We offer an average of two morning dives daily for five days. However, there may be situations, such as sea conditions or tide changes, which will prevent us from doing so.

Tanks, weights and air fills are included. (Additional charges apply for Nitrox.)

It’s highly recommended, at least in the winter months. You might be able to do a single dive or two in these waters without needing a wetsuit. But over the course of a week, you want the extra thermal protection.

We recommend you contact DAN, the Diver’s Alert Network, which has several programs available for scuba divers, including medical insurance. Their TravelAssist program even covers emergency medical, travel, and personal assistance for non-diving as well as diving needs. You can call them at 800-446-2671; or see the Diver’s Alert website.

Dive safety experts suggest a minimum of 24 hours between your last dive, and any high-altitude flights. Only two dives are scheduled for the last full day, ending at 11:00 a.m. So you could schedule a flight after 11:00 a.m. on the next day (the day the trip ends), without losing any dives.

Instruction, dive equipment rentals, photo equipment rentals, gratuities, and souvenirs or personal items purchased on Curacao or from our dive shop are your responsibility. See Tipping Guidelines for more information about gratuities on this tour.

Crew

We feel confident that the crew will work hard to make this trip a pleasure for you! Gratuities represent a significant part of the crew’s compensation. A common practice is to tip the crew $10 per 2-tank dive day, or $50 for five days of diving. Each dive shop has their own policy but this is typically divided among the dive pros and boat captain.

HE Travel Tour Director

Tipping your HE Travel tour director is at your discretion. Rest assured that he or she works hard behind the scenes to ensure that your vacation is a wonderful, adventurous, once-in-a-lifetime experience.  Your HE Travel host is there to deal with any snags or hiccups so that you can enjoy your well earned holiday. We suggest $5 to $10 per day depending on the level of service you receive.

Restaurants

Your restaurant bill may show a “service charge”, which can include a gratuity for your waitstaff in Curacao. Feel free to ask your server about this, or just round up by 5-10%, or more if you receive truly excellent service. When dining independently, you can use that guideline. For included meals we share together, your HE Travel host will take care of the bill and tips, unless stated otherwise before the meal.

The lodge has a beautiful small white sand beach, with an adjacent cafe/bar for drinks and snacks. Snorkeling from the beach is beautiful, with the house reef located directly off the pier. There is a pool overlooking the beach also, with its own amenities. The hotel offers spa and massage services for those wanting a relaxing day off of diving and the wifi is fairly dependable. There are some local points of interest a short drive away, and the resort can arrange rental vehicles if desired.

 

We schedule dives for the mornings, so we’re usually back by lunch. Non-divers enjoy a leisurely morning, meet up with the group for lunch at the beach cafe and then the afternoons are open for snorkeling or relaxing by the pool.

For answers to your additional questions, please email info@hetravel.com or call 305-294-8174


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