I found the Aquafari Underwater Tour in a “things to do in Curaçao” search so for my last day, I decided to tackle another item on my 30 Before 30 list and use a submersible scooter for a snorkel/scuba-like experience. Since I find myself to be
boring safe most times, I thought something different would be fun.
The Aquafari is located on Pirate Bay; about 30 minutes from the Royal Sea Aquarium Resort. I used the taxi service provided by my hotel, but you can request a taxi pickup through them. Upon arrival, I was greeted by Suzy and Chica. The reservation was done via email and she knew who I was right away. Since I was early, Suzy provided a pass for me to go on the private beach, which immediately became a quick photo opportunity.
Not long after, two visitors from Holland arrived to reserve their spot for the tour. I was also greeted by our underwater scuba guides Andy and Emelton (who introduced himself as Charles). Suzy brought the three of us in for a brief overview of the tour, instructions on how to communicate with each other underwater and directions on how to get in and out of the scooter. Since the helmet was completely opened (and I already paid), I wondered how on earth I would breathe. Suzy mentioned it was similar to placing a full cup of water into a bowl of water; there is always air at the top. Oxygen tanks are connected to the scooter and air flows through the helmet. The logic made sense, but I was still nervous and Suzy said it SHOWED.
While the three of us waited for the guys to finish setting up, we spoke about my experience living in NYC and theirs living in Holland. I was so happy they spoke English because my Dutch skills were super limited. It was a first for me, but I was also asked about how I felt during 9/11, my views on how much NYC and travel on a global scale have changed since, and what it is like to go to the Barclays Center and Yankee Stadium. I also got tips and suggestions for visiting Holland.
Swimming is not required for this activity, but it is a plus. I NEVER swam in the ocean to tread the water before and underestimated the depth, so going down the pier stairs to swim to the scooter put me in a [somewhat] shock. I immediately turned around to swim on my back and one of the guides was also close by just in case I couldn’t handle it. Thinking about it now, it was pretty funny, but I needed a few deep breaths before going down. Once we were in, I was completely fine and smiled from ear to ear from start to finish. Seeing the fish, turtles, and underwater life was AMAZING. I never imagined that I would do anything like it. My favorite part was feeding the fish. I thought I’d feel their fins on my hands and toes, but they just swam around me.
If you ever make it to Curaçao via cruise ship or for an extended stay, the Aquafari Underwater Tour is a MUST. It is definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. They provide lockers to secure your personal belongings and you can opt to get the photo package for a few dollars more (it’s definitely worth it). The total time under the water is about an hour and submersion is at 9 ft. & 21 ft. Follow Aquafari on Facebook or visit their official website for pricing, restrictions and specific requirements.
Have you done any kind of underwater activity before?