Review Date AVG ShoreDiving Site
03/11/2015 4.85 JanthielBaai Curacao, ABC Islands
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.
03/11/2015 4.32 Port Marie Curacao, ABC Islands
Feb 2015. We did 4 dives here. The shore entrance is very easy, but the short walk from the parking to the beach is a bit rough and there's a small hill (paved). You can back your car down to the beach area and unload which we did after the first time. There's supposed to be a fee to park, but no one ever collected on the two days we were there. There is a guard watching the parking lot. There is a dive shop on site, but we did not use their facilities though they do have a map of the reef on their wall and they gave us a quick overview. It is a double reef system. The sandy bottom between reefs is too deep for a beginning diver and may be a bit unnerving to inexperienced divers if you attempt an open water swim between the two reefs. On a cloudy day, you likely won't see the second reef from the first. Recommend fully exploring the first reef to save time and air before venturing across to the second reef. The shoreward facing side of the second reef is sort of a wall and the top of that reef is somewhere in the 40-50' range - so again - not ideal for a beginner. The reef itself was in good shape and the double reef feature makes it a bit different than the other sites we visited. Easy, sandy shore entrance. Easy swim to reef. Good parking. Typical reef critters. We liked this beach a lot, but liked Cas Abao better.
03/11/2015 4.74 Cas Abao Curacao, ABC Islands
Feb 2015. One of the prettiest beaches we found in Curacao. Excellent facilities including a new dive shop on the beach 'B Diving and Watersports'. They are super nice. The first day they let us use their facilities to set up and rinse no charge even though we weren't renting from them. The next few days we rented tanks from them. They also gave some good advice for helping my wife with an equipment issue. Nice little bar for food, though if you wait until noon, service will be slow. Sandy shore entry. Short swim to reef over mostly sand. Beautiful reef. Very healthy. Typical critters for this area. As you enter the parking lot, the dive shop is all the way to the opposite end. There is an entrance right at the shop to the beach, so you should park down there. When you get off the primary road, you have to pay 5g to get into the beach, but it is well worth it. The road from the gate to the beach is very rough, but just go slow - no problem for our tiny rental car. We dove here 6 times and enjoyed every dive. No stress. Beautiful water and reef.