Overview of JanthielBaai


ABC Islands


The Southernmost, reasonable shore diving spot on Curacao is JanthielBaai. As a full service beach facility for families and divers, you'll find concessions, shade, showers, and even a dive shop on site. This is a great beach to spend the morning or afternoon.

Directions: This site is 2.1 km Southeast of the Sea Aquarium, but the direct road is no longer open. You'll need to wind your way East of Willemstad to the community of Janthiel, off Caracasbaai. There are no easy instructions for the drive; you must obtain a good road map, and note the distances to each turn since many of the streets have no street signs. Good luck-- It's worth the search!


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03/11/2015 Arthur (Avg: 4.85 Review) - Feb 2015. We were staying near Jan Thiel beach but only dove there once. The beach itself is more like a resort area. Several restaurants, a spa, Scuba Do Diving dive shop, other shops. Scuba Do diving facility is large, well staffed and friendly. There is a gate where you pay 5ng to park. It is all paved. As you enter the gate, the dive shop is all the way to the right. You can drive over and park at an entrance to the beach area right at the dive shop. This is a fairly large complex as beaches go. There is another dive shop all the way to the left, but it is a loooong walk to get to if you are not staying at the resort. From ScubaDo, there's a couple of stairs and a sandy 'ramp' with a rail entrance into the water. The 'bay' is shaped like a large bowl. It gets to 40' or so in the center of the bowl, but you have to swim back up and over the lip of the bowl to 'escape' the bay and get onto the ocean side of the reef. This reef lip has some amazing scenery but can be very, very shallow - less than 3' in spots. If surf is breaking it can be tense. When we were there, crossing on the 'left' or southernmost side was easiest. There was a VERY strong current on the right-hand or northernmost side. Navigating the 'lip' of the reef, in 2-3' water in a strong current to get back into the bay made a few very tense minutes. Get a dive briefing from the shop before heading out and ask about current. The reef itself was gorgeous. The shallower areas on the lip of the reef had some amazing views in 10-20' of water. We encountered a very lazy hawksbill turtle at about 55' on the ocean side of the reef. I probably would not take a beginner out here unless the water on the ocean side of the reef is flat, and the dive shop is reporting no current, or you are going with a local guide. If you happen to encounter current on the 'lip' of this reef, do not attempt to swim into it. Go back out into deeper water, parallel the lip to a point where the water current is not running so fast, and cross there. The most important part of this site is the Gelato shop in the shopping area - Bella Italia! Real gelato, and good pizza. You could easily spend a couple of days here, diving, sunning, shopping and eating pizza and gelato.

03/05/2009 Kathleen Lowes (Avg: 4.10 Review) - We spent two weeks in Curacao, and this is by far one the best snorkeling locations. Don't be discouraged by the fact that this is a 'beach club' because it is worth the entrance fee. We snorkeled in approximately 10 locations in Curacao and this was the best experience. The entry fee includes use of a chair and facilities etc. Entry is very easy as it is a sandy bottom area. There is however a bit of a current sometimes. The reef is still healthy and interesting. There is a Dive shop on site, and we watched diving lessons both times we were there. The restaurant is also nice.

03/08/2005 C.C.Boogerd (Avg: 4.25 Review) - Very good spot for diving and snorkeling.

08/27/2004 Noel (Avg: 3.23 Review) - By far the most crowded place we visited on Curacao. Nice shady concrete pavilion to gear up in and easy entry down their stairs to the water with no rocks or no waves, but.... the people!! I would rather gear up in the sand, in the sun, cross the rocks and fight the wave surge than try and swim through that many people. Thankfully it dropped off very quickly if you swam past their floating dive platform. We submerged and navigated our way out of their cove to the dive site. Vis inside the cove is about 10 feet it is so stirred up. Watch out for Wave Runners as well. Nice dive same scenery that you will see on the other dives, but too many people in the water. If you can find a spot on their beach area the swim out of the cove is a lot shorter and there are fewer people swimming in this area.
We also dove Tugboat from this end of the island. It is not listed as a shore dive on most literature, but it should be. This was the only site where we saw larger sized fish and the scenery here is vastly different from all the other sites we dove on Curacao. We followed the wall to the left in hopes of seeing seahorses, but no luck. We were told that there are quite a few is this area. The shallows of this area have a lot of fish and we even chanced upon a octopus here as well. Would be a great site for a night dive, just never worked out for us that way.

06/13/2004 Robert J. West (Avg: 4.05 Review) - The shore entry here is literally the easiest sandy beach entry I've ever been at. The beach itself is pretty popular, particularly on weekends, and we had zero security worries here. Did a shore dive along the reef east of the protected swimming area - a nice dive with the surface chop on entry & exit minimized by the topography of the bay. Very little current, but it can change quickly - when we started east, there was no current, but shortly after turning around and ascending to around 30 feet we were swimming against a slight current, so check for current periodically before you use more than half your tank. It's quite a distance either east or west of the bay for another decent shore entry / exit point. This was a nicely sloped wall dive. The slight current was enough to have 3 different types of crinoids here, barracuda, lots of anemones, and 3 different species of cleaner shrimp (in droves). If you go west from the bay, to a spot with no marker buoy (but a concrete anchorage with rope) that some of the DM's called "Nude Beach", there's a sand flat with a BIG mantis shrimp living in a hole there. The wall is more vertical on this section west of the bay, but just as nice. The Scuba Do shop here does a lot of business in resort courses and OW certifications. They don't have Nitrox, but do have hyper filtered air, and were courteous and professional. Snorkeling in the shallows at twilight here, we found sharptail eels in the open (one even tested my big toe tentatively!), and I found a fire worm right after that with my bare foot ( YOW! I had no idea what I'd hit until my wife told me she got a great picture of a fire worm out in the open, looking like it had been disturbed) - so if you're in the rocky / rubble shallows instead of the true "beach" area around the entry, wear booties even if you're not diving or snorkeling! The restaurant Zanzibar at the beach here was great, and they even gave me some vinegar for my foot!

01/24/2004 Margaret (Avg: 3.81 Review) - We did 'tugboat' from a small snorkel cruise boat and really enjoyed the cute wreck. There were lots of fish including large blue parrotfish and the wreck was within easy free dives. A bonus was the shallow area near the tugboat that had beautiful coral. The water was calm and clear in January.

11/25/2001 Jerry Litzza (Avg: 4.27 Review) - The entry here is too easy. A little crowded with beach bunnies, but nobody diving. Nice reef, but as all of Curacao, the worst for wear from Lennie

07/24/2001 Fiona Rattray (Avg: 4.10 Review) - Ok, this wasn't Jan Theilbaai either...we chartered a boat to take us to Klein Curacao, a small island flat as a pancake two hours away...the island is uninhabited except for some fishermen's huts, no roads, just paths and a weird rusting shipwreck driven up on the east shore...great shore diving, turtles in caves on the north side at 80 feet lots of fish life...take lots of water with you, and sun screen!

07/24/2001 Fiona Rattray (Avg: 4.53 Review) - We did a shore dive that's not listed here, to the south of Jan theilbaai...Tugboat is usually done as a boat dive. You'll need a local map, the road twists around Caracasbaai, and you'll find yourself on a tiny road...there's a small beach past an active dock...once there, Tugboat sits in about 25 feet of photogenic water...great drop off, spur-and groove wall... if there's no dive boat around you'll have the site to yourself.


Site Photos

(click photo for a larger version)

 Map     Sat
GPS: CU2201


Entrance at JanthielBaai 

After a torturous journey through town and back roads, you'll eventually find yourself faced with this modern beach area. Four guilders will get you through the gate.


 Map     Sat
GPS: CU2202


Parking at JanthielBaai 

A quick drive through the parking lot will show you the best place to park and unload your gear. Suit up at your car.




Overview at JanthielBaai 

Swimmers, snorkelers and divers will all enjoy this area.


 Map     Sat
GPS: CU2204


Entry at JanthielBaai 

This spot wins our award for the "Easiest Shore Diving Entry On Earth"!




Aerial at JanthielBaai 
(click photo for details)

Take a quick kick-out, check the currents, and enjoy the Southernmost sights of Curacao!

Last Verification: February, 2001  


Diver Averages for  JanthielBaai  (1=worst, 5=best)

Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.78
Bottom Conditions:  4.33
Reef Conditions:  4.11
Animal Life:  4.11
Plant Life:  4.11
Facilities:  4.11
Solitude 3.00
Roads:  3.89
*Site Average:  4.13

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.67
Beginner Scuba:  4.33
Intermediate Scuba:  4.33
Advanced Scuba:  3.78
Night diving Scuba:  3.22

Number of reviews for this site: 9


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