Buy Fresh Fish in Curacao
One of my favorite things to do is buy fresh fish in Curacao from the fishermen. Not only is it a frugal way to eat great fresh fish in Curacao, it is also a cultural experience and an experience in nature. So do you want to know – Where to Buy Fresh Fish in Curacao?
This picture is at Playa Lagun, where the local fishermen return early afternoon with their catch of the day – where you can buy fresh fish. While watching them pull their boats ashore, you can snorkel, dive, or play on the beach. You’ll be treated to all types of fish life. There is a school of squid that seem to stay just off the beach to the right and relatively shallow. The coral on the left is filled with fish life.
At Playa Lagun, the fishermen will show you their catch either in their hulls or you can watch them clean it in the shade on the right by their hut.
Buy Fresh Fish in Curacao – Playa Grandi:
I buy fresh fish in Curacao at Playa Grandi in Westpunt since that is the area where we stay. Playa Grandi or otherwise called ‘Fisherman’s Beach’ has a wooden structure where you can buy fish from the local man who negotiates with the fishermen and cleans and sells their fish. Likely it is similar at the other beaches where there is one person in charge of selling the fish. At Playa Grandi, the man understands only a little English; he speaks Papiamento(1), the local language. As of February 2016, you could get any type of fish caught for 17 – 17,50 nafl. or $10 US for 2.2 lbs. or 1 kilo. Types of fish that I bought included: Tuna, Mahi Mahi (or Dolphinfish), and Barracuda. All were delicious! Ask me for my recipes below.
If you are buying more than that, try to negotiate for a lower price. If you want to buy less, which I did a couple of times, you will pay slightly more. Know that if you have to take 2.2 lbs., you can freeze it in portions; it is just as good when you defrost it and cook it.
Enhance your experience:
Sometimes you have to wait for the boats to come in to shore to buy fresh fish in Curacao. I encourage you to talk to the natives while waiting for the fish. It can be a fun cultural experience, especially if you are friendly to the locals. I was friendly to a local lady and asked her to translate all of the negotiations between the fisherman and the guy we buy from. I got to see the fisherman’s whole catch of 5 Dolphinfish, and more.
While waiting for the boat with the Mahi Mahi, I was treated to watching Pelicans ride in from the ocean on the top of the boat. When the fishermen gut the fish, the Pelicans are quite possessive of the parts (the fish waste) that they expect to get. I watched them chase kids off the dock, and try to take parts from a local lady. 🙂 Sorry I don’t have pictures. During the negotiations between the fisherman and the fish seller, a couple of huge turtles swam up to the boat at the dock. They also knew they’d be getting some of the fish during cleaning. All a great experience culturally and in nature.
While I did not want to wait for the fisherman’s boat to come in, it was one of my best experiences of the trip.
Papiamento is a Creole language containing elements of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English and French, as well as Arawak and African languages. It is spoken by about 330,000 people on the islands of the Netherlands Antilles (Curaçao, Bonaire, Aruba).