Staying on Curaçao in the Dutch Caribbean? If you’ve been looking up activities and day trips, you’ll undoubtedly have come across the Blue Room. This underwater cave is one of the island’s many gems. It’s well worth a visit if you like to snorkel, but it’s also one of the more difficult spots to reach.
In this post, let’s have a look at everything I learned about the Blue Room during my stay on Curaçao! Keep reading to find out what it is, how to reach it and how to explore it safely.
What is the Blue Room?
Snorkel enthusiasts can’t miss the Blue Room on Curaçao. This underwater cave is located on the northwestern side of the island. It was named for the amazing blue hue the ocean appears to take on when you’re inside.
Although getting to the Blue Room can be a little bit of a hassle, I thought it was totally worth it. It’s filled with various species of tropical fish, interesting corals and funky macroalgae. Additionally, the area around the cave itself also offers some excellent snorkel if the seas aren’t too rough!
You can reach the Blue Room using a tour guide, with a rented kayak or even on foot. I’ll outline the different options further down to help you choose. Keep in mind that whatever mode of transport you choose, you do need to be a confident swimmer if you actually want to enter the cave.
Please note that it’s also important to bring water shoes to protect your feet from the sharp rocks that surround the cave. This especially applies if you’d like to hike there.
How to visit the Blue Room
From Playa Santa Cruz
The easiest and quickest way to reach the Blue Room is from nearby Playa Santa Cruz, a large beach that can be accessed by car. Once you’re there, you can head to Let’s Go Watersports, a tour and rental company run that offers boat trips to the cave for $22 (at the time of writing).
Now, the guy who runs Let’s Go is a locally well-known figure – he calls himself Captain Goodlife – and he’s not without controversy. Some folks appreciate his direct and occasionally somewhat coarse nature, while others feel it isn’t really for them. I met the guy and I have to say I can understand both points of view!
However you feel about the Captain, the tour itself is a nice way to visit the Blue Room. It takes an hour or two in all and will take you past three different spots:
- A small beach with black sand called Santa Pretu, which is usually quiet or even empty
- The Blue Room itself, where you’ll have some time to snorkel and explore
- A boat wreck that was apparently sunk by the captain himself
- Mushroom Forest, one of Curaçao’s most famous dive spots
After this, the boat heads back to Santa Cruz, where you can have a drink or a bite at the water sports company’s bar. Snorkel gear is provided, but you can always bring your own if you prefer.
Rent a boat or kayak
Aside from the boat tours offered by Let’s Go Watersports, there’s also the option of renting a kayak. This is what we did in order to visit the Blue Room, because we like not having to depend on other people and want to be able to stick around for a while if we like a location.
Our two-person kayak cost $70 for three hours and we used up every minute of that time. You don’t have to be an experienced navigator to reach the cave, as you can just follow the rocky coastline until you get there. You do need to be able to paddle against a current and hoist yourself into a kayak after going for a swim in the Blue Room.
The spot itself is marked by a small buoy, which you can also use to tie the kayak to.
Here’s what I recommend if you go for the kayak option:
- Paddle out of Santa Cruz bay and turn left (south), following the coast.
- Keep going until you reach the black sand beach of Santa Pretu. Stop here to explore for a bit – it’s easy enough to get the kayak onto the beach, since it’s made up of soft sand and tiny pebbles.
- Hop back in the kayak and keep paddling. Don’t worry about missing the cave, as the marker buoy should be clearly visible. You will also be able to see part of the cave mouth.
- Tie the kayak to the buoy and hop off. Explore the cave (please note the security instructions in the next section) and swim back. Don’t tip the kayak while getting back in!
- Untie the kayak and get ready for the return trip. Be sure to reserve some time for this, because although the way to the cave is deceptively smooth sailing, the current on the way back can be pretty strong. If the winds are strong, you’ll be doing some serious paddling.
Keep in mind that aside from Santa Pretu beach, the only place you’ll be able to rest is your kayak. It’s important to bring something to drink and maybe some snacks. It took us about 5 minutes to get to Santa Pretu, 10 more to the cave, and then almost an hour to paddle back due to the currents.
Don’t forget sunscreen and a hat either, because there will be nothing to shield you from the island’s unrelenting sun! I burn easily, so I just wore a long-sleeved swimsuit and yoga pants to protect my skin.
Although Captain Goodlife is pretty good at making it seem like you’re definitely not going to survive the hike to the Blue Room (he doesn’t make money if you walk, after all), this is not actually the case. If you’re able to do a little clambering, you can reach it on foot.
Here’s how you hike to the cave. Remember, again, that there will be no amenities on the way. You can have a little rest at Santa Pretu beach, but there are no bars or toilets here.
- From the lefthand side of playa Santa Cruz (close to the Let’s Go Watersports building), there is a path leading into the hills. It’s called San Nicolas Abou.
- Follow this path until you reach Santa Pretu beach (5-10 minutes), characterized by its black sand. Have a look around, it’s quite pretty!
- Head back onto the sandy path and continue onwards. You’ll eventually reach a fork in the road where you can turn left – ignore that, and continue walking straight ahead.
- You’ll reach a road marker after about 10-15 more minutes. As this marker will tell you, you should turn right at this point. You’re almost there.
- Eventually, the path ends at a cliff. This is where stuff gets a little funky, as you can descend a little bit using the painted blue dots for guidance, but then you’ll have to either have to jump or try to climb down. The rocks are sharp, which is why many folks just take the plunge.
- Once you’ve explored the cave (see the section below for important security information), follow the blue dots again in order to safely climb back up the cliff. Go slow so you don’t cut your hands!
Tip: Nervous about getting lost? Good news: the route is on Google Streetview! I’ve uploaded a map for you below with a pin right at the start of the trail. Grab the little orange guy on the right and drop him on the path to do some pre-exploring. You may have to use a desktop.
Planning your next snorkel trip?
How to snorkel the Blue Room
Please remember that you have to be a reasonably strong swimmer if you would like to enter The Blue Room. This is because, unless the tide is quite low, its mouth is closed off by the waves. This means you can’t keep your head above the water as you enter.
Additionally, there is no beach around the cave and no place to get out of the water except onto the cliff. This means you’ll be treading water until you get back into your boat or kayak, or until you clamber back onto the rocks.
To get into the Blue Room, you’ll likely need to dive down and swim up to 15 feet without being able to surface (as you’d majorly bump your head, which can obviously be dangerous). It’s not until you’re inside that you can come up for air, so make it a nice deep dive and swim fast.
Now, I know all this probably sounds a bit funky, but I thought it was worth it. Not everyone agrees, however. I saw plenty of folks get in and out and have a lot of fun while doing so, but I also noticed some people who decided to stick to only exploring the underwater world outside the cave.
Inside the Blue Room, there is plenty of room to pop your head out of the water and have a look around, as the ceiling is high. There are even some rocks that you can stand on, allowing you to rest a little.
What is there to see?
Now, the Blue Room itself isn’t a major biodiversity hotspot or anything. That’s not why people go there! The reason it became so well-known is due to the beautiful deep blue color of the water as you look out of the cave mouth, and I gotta admit, it really was very nice.
Wildlife that I spotted included most of the regular Caribbean species, like:
- Spotted drum (Equetus punctatus)
- Caribbean reef squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea)
- Atlantic blue tang (Acanthurus coeruleus)
- Different damselfish
Additionally, there were all sorts of little corals, sponges and macroalgae growing on the cave walls. It’s definitely worth bringing an underwater torch if you have one. You’ll still be able to see relatively well without one, though.
Don’t forget to bring your underwater camera either!
If you have any more questions about snorkeling the Blue Room Curaçao or if you want to share your own experiences visiting this underwater cave, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!