Directors Bay is a public beach located on the Caracas Bay peninsula on the east side of Curaçao. It is one of the most beautiful bays on this side of the island and is exactly what one would call a hidden gem.
Directorsbay is a quiet piece of paradise. The beach is favored amongst locals and divers due to its convenient location and pristine reef. It is the perfect location for a beach-hopping trip or spending free time with your family.
Where is Directors Bay located?
Directors Bay’s location can be found on the east side of the island at the Caracas Bay peninsula. It’s about a 20-minute drive from the capital Willemstad and can be reached via the Caracasbaaiweg. From Willemstad it is a long road straight ahead until you reach the peninsula. After passing the quarantine building you can find Directors Bay at the end of the road.
The history of Directors Bay
Directors Bay used to be the private domain of the top officials within the Shell oil and gas company, hence the name which refers to the directors of the Shell organization in Curaçao.
Members of the Dutch royal family also made use of the beach when visiting the island.
There were nets planted in the water to protect its visitors against jellyjellyfishpossible shark attacks. Remnants of this net can still be found in front of the coast; beautifully overgrown with sponges, coral, and , other marine life.
When Shell left Curaçao in 1985, the beach became property of the island. This event made the beach accessible to the public.
The atmosphere at Directors Bay
If I have learned anything about the beaches in Curaçao, it is that each beach has its own characteristics. You could almost call it a character or a soul. That’s how it pretty much feels to me. Directors Bay is no exception. The casual atmosphere in this picturesque bay is the recipe for a successful day at the beach.
Families gather on a Sunday afternoon and install their barbecue, celebrate birthdays and play a game of dominoes over a beer. Meanwhile, the divers on the other side of the beach prepare their equipment for a tour alongside the coral reef near the bay. It is a friendly scene.
Directors Bay is a public beach and therefore free of charge. It is one of the few beaches in Curaçao where you don’t need to pay to access the beach.
Also read: 15 Best Curaçao Beaches That Are Free of Charge
Parking at Directors Bay
The unpaved road from Caracasbaai leads to the parking lot of Directors Bay. The parking lot is on the top of a cliff with the most beautiful view over the beach. You don’t always have a good sight in your car when you are at the beach. Therefore, I recommend to not leaving any valuables in your car.
Things you need to know
Visiting Directors Bay is nice, but there are a few things you should know in advance:
- The beach is free of charge
- You can bring your own food and drinks
- The beach is dotted with coral and rocks
- You should bring water shoes
- Use reef-safe sunscreen
- There are no facilities
- Always bring water with you
Diving at Directors Bay
The reef near Directors Bay is very popular with divers on the island and is considered one of the best diving spots in Curaçao.
The tropical reef is home to many colorful sea creatures. On the east side of the bay, you can dive towards a vertical wall.
At a depth of around 15 meters, you can encounter the most amazing sea life. Colorful fishes, sponges, and corals will appear in your sight, including sea horses, eels, and maybe an octopus or two.
If you swim across the bay to the right, you will find the Tugboat wreck, a popular diving and snorkeling spot on the island. U sunken vessel lies in shallow waters surrounded by colorful marine life. You will see a lot of surface marker buoys here!
Snorkeling at Directors Bay
Directors Bay is also a great place for snorkelers. From the beach, you have easy access to the water and there is plenty to see in the shallow water. As a snorkeler, you can visit the sunken Tugboat as well. It is located at a depth of only 5 meters and the underwater life is therefore clearly visible.
You have to swim about 200 meters outside of Directors Bay to reach the Tugboat. I only recommend visiting this snorkeling site if you are in good shape.
Things to do around Directors Bay
There are many fun tourist activities and attractions near Directors Bay. You can visit this beach during a trip to Jan Thiel or the Caracasbaai peninsula.
Jan Thiel is a tourist area with restaurants, beach bars, hotels, and boutiques. Jan Thiel beach is child-friendly and there is plenty to do for the whole family.
If you want to know more about the history and nature of Curaçao, you can discover several sights and beaches on the Caracasbaai peninsula.
You can pay a visit to Fort Beekenburg, the remains of the 18th-century fortress that was built to protect the Spanish water. Tugboat Beach and the old quarantine building are within walking distance.
The road opposite Directors Bay leads to a viewpoint where you have the most amazing view over the Spanish water and the Sandals Royal Curaçao Resort. It is well worth taking this exit if you are in the area anyway.
After a beach day at Directors Bay, you can stop at Brisa do Mar on the way back.
This restaurant on Caracas Bay, better known as Pop’s place, serves delicious local dishes and freshly caught fish. It’s a great place to get acquainted with the Curaçao kriyoyo food.