Discovering the Dutch Caribbean Island of Curaçao

As a working dive professional, I thought I had seen it all but an experience in 2013 changed my perspective completely about the Dutch Caribbean Island of Curaçao.

My name is Bryan Horne and I am the Founder of Dive Curaçao. I was born, raised and lived in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada where I might have been relatively content with my life as a salesman had I not made one fatal mistake, I learned to scuba dive! After completing the PADI Open certification I became instantly enthralled and incredibly curious about the underwater world. I started diving everywhere I could in Canada, honing my skills and feeding my diving addiction. But, it was when I visited various destinations around the Caribbean that I discovered the delights of diving in clear, warm, blue water. It was then I realized that I had discovered my life’s true passion.

Some people have a midlife crisis, I like to think of discovering my love & passion for diving as my midlife awareness. I quit my job, sold everything and headed to the Utila Dive Centre in Honduras where I completed the PADI Instructor Development Course under the expert guidance of Andy Phillips, PADI Course Director at GoPRO Utila.

Then, I discovered Curaçao in the winter of 2006-2007. I can honestly say that it’s never the same scene twice since arriving here. A whale shark, spinner dolphins, a giant ray, sea turtles, even a humpback whale have all wandered into my path over the years. That’s the beauty of diving around Curaçao: it’s natural biodiversity.

In 2013, I was contacted by Maurico Handler of Aquaterra Films to provide support, safety and guidance during his underwater filming sequences. These numerous dives which stretched from Eastpoint to Westpoint (Oostpunt to Westpunt) re-ignited a fiery passion because I was viewing the Curacaoan reefs through his eyes which ultimately inspired me to share this incredible, often underrated, underwater world with you.

Maurico Handler (Aquaterra Films) is a world renowned Natural History Cinematographer/Cameraman and under water specialist for National Geographic Creative, was contracted by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) to film & document nature above and below the waterline for the 6 Dutch Caribbean Islands.

Healthy coral reefs are attracting all kinds of marine life visitors, and hopefully more human visitors now, too. Curaçao is surrounded by more than 104 sq. km (40 sq. miles) of some of the best coral reefs in the Caribbean, but has remained off radar for most diving enthusiasts. So, when deciding to come to Curaçao, please do not limit your experience to either the East or the West. Discover all of Curaçao and the incredible magic that lies just below the waterline, to truly uncover this best-kept secret of the Caribbean! Don’t wait, take the plunge into our warm turquoise waters, but be prepared for your senses to be overwhelmed by a 360-degree kaleidoscope of intense colour and abundant life!

​The most common questions I hear when tourists are deciding to visit Curaçao is – “what to do, where to dive, who to dive with, where to stay and of course the classic question, where is Curaçao?”. Dive Curaçao was founded with these primary questions in mind and even if we do not have the answer, being a local, we know who to ask. So, please ask us! Dive Curaçao is not biased or affiliated with any one company however our standards are high because your safety and your excellent travel experience is what will keep you coming back.

Lastly, re-discovering the intense beauty of Curaçao’s reefs also made me realize that there is so much more to Curaçao that that is truly unique to the Southern Caribbean. To be honest, I now appreciate that I had an epiphany that week that apathy could no longer be embraced. Where understanding that conservation, a responsible approach to sustainable tourism & sustainable development could no longer be ignored. Therefore, Dive Curacao supports, encourages and participates in island wide conservation efforts.

Re-ignite your passion and find a fresh perspective… Discover & Dive Curaçao!

Photography courtesy of Turtle & Ray Productions HD, Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance, Sheila Ott, Ty Sawyer, Blue Travel Magazine

This article was originally published by Scubaverse