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Everyone Is Invited To Experience The Caribbean At The Curacao Dive Festival

Mar 27, 2008
Celebrating its third year as one of the Caribbean's premier dive gatherings, the Curacao Dive Festival offers water sport enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels an opportunity to visit some of the island's most celebrated underwater sites. Boasting a week full of free cultural and educational events and reduced rates at most of the island's dive shops, the Curacao Dive Festival has quickly become one of the best ways to experience the wonders of the Caribbean. Open to the public with free registration and transportation, the Curacao Dive Festival begins this year on Saturday, May 24 and features a full schedule of events until Friday, May 30.

The waters surrounding the island of Curacao are home to over 80 miles of pristine coral reef and numerous species of tropical fish, sponges, sea turtles, seahorses, eels and dolphins. In addition to year-round water temperatures of 78-83F, the dive sites of Curacao feature some of the best underwater visibility in the Caribbean, ranging anywhere from 80-140 feet. As there are more than 60 unique sites where divers and snorkelers can enjoy incredible conditions and scenery, Curacao is able to cater to water sport enthusiasts of all interests and skill levels. As a result, Curacao is regularly named as one of the best scuba diving and snorkeling destinations in the world, including a top-three ranking by the esteemed Scuba Diving Magazine.

During the Curacao Dive Festival, visitors will have an opportunity to visit many of the island's most unique dive sites. One of the most popular dives for visitors and locals alike is the Mushroom Forest, a large field of immense coral formations located near the cliffs of Curacao's northwestern shore. The dive begins at a depth of approximately 40 feet and runs several hundred yards into the Caribbean Sea, reaching a depth of 60 feet. Cited as one of the best dives in the Caribbean, the Mushroom Forest is a must see for all visiting dive enthusiasts.

Participants of the Curacao Dive Festival may also want to experience one of the island's fantastic wreck dives. The best example - the Superior Producer - can be found resting upright on a sandy shelf in about 100 feet of water near Willemstad's main pier. Having spent nearly 30 years beneath the surface of the Caribbean Sea, this 200-foot vessel now boasts a wide array of colorful corals and sponges. Additionally, as the ship has recently been made safe for underwater recreation, visiting divers will have a chance to swim through the bridge of the ship with numerous species of tropical fish. Though this dive is typically recommended for advanced divers only, the most experienced dive operators in Curacao will be on hand throughout the Curacao Dive Festival to help visitors experience exciting and safe dives.

Every day of the Curacao Dive Festival begins with a guided dive at one of the island's best sites. As all of the participating dive centers will visit different sites each morning, visitors will have plenty of choices when creating a week-long dive itinerary. Based on your interests and diving experience, the guides at the Curacao Dive Festival will be able suggest the best sites and help you enjoy the treasures of the Caribbean. The morning dive tours depart each day at 8 AM and return visitors to their hotels around 2 PM.

Beginning at 4 PM each day during the Curacao Dive Festival, visitors can participate in a number of diving workshops and educational seminars. Led by leading dive experts from throughout the world, these workshops will include information about everything from health and first aid for divers to the types of life found in the waters of Curacao. At 5 PM each day, participants can enjoy creative activities such as marine painting and cultural presentations by local performers. Like the other events of the Curacao Dive Festival, the afternoon workshops are offered free of charge and are open to all festival attendees. In the evenings, visitors can also meet fellow divers at exclusive happy hour and barbeque events, enjoy film presentations on the beach or even play cards in the Curacao Dive Festival's poker tournament.

Most impressively, as registration for the Curacao Dive Festival is free, visitors can participate in all of the events or simply enjoy a few guided dives throughout their week on the island. Furthermore, as the festival also provides free transportation to all of the events, participants don't even need to worry about getting around. Though the festival is only in its third year, the Curacao Dive Festival has already become one of the best diving events in the Caribbean because of its focus on world-class - and free - recreation. When in Curacao this May, register for the Curacao Dive Festival at one of the island's dive shops and enjoy an exciting week under the water.
About the Author
Justin Burch writes articles about travel in Curacao for the Marriott Resorts.
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