Welcome to episode 12 where we are visiting Jan Thiel Bay, a popular Curaçao beach that is known for more than it’s clear blue water plus we will be diving the wonderful house reef with the on-site PADI dive operator, Dive Center Scuba Do.
But, before we start talking about curling your toes into the white sand beach, diving into the turquoise water or sinking your teeth into the delicious and mouth-watering food that this location offers, we need to tell about the origins of this tremendous area, also known as Jan Thiel.
The Jan Thiel Plantation, named after Mr. Jan Thielen (original owner), is located east of Willemstad near Caracasbaai. The plantation is comprised of over 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) and dates to the early 1700’s when it was considered one of Curaçao’s principal salt producers due to the extensive salt pans on the property.
According to Maritime Explorer, “At one time it also had over 1,000 goats, 450 cattle and was a major producer of fruit for export. Landhuis Jan Thiel and the out-buildings sits high on a ridge that overlooks the salt-lake below. The property extends as far as the shores of what is now Jan Thiel Bay and in the 1920’s, the owners developed one of the first resorts on the island. Today that development has expanded exponentially, and Jan Thiel area is one of the major housing and resort developments on Curaçao. Fortunately, much of the original plantation lands have remained undeveloped and are now a nature preserve which stretches right to the back gate of Landhuis Jan Thiel.”
Travel Tip: This special nature reserve is popular among the Curaçaoans especially on Sundays where the salt pans are often visited by cyclists and walkers to unwind and to get ready for the new week. The salt pans are surrounded by a lot of nature and, also an attraction for flamingos plus several endemic species of birds.
Jan Thiel Beach is one of those places on Curaçao where it all happens because if you are dreaming of sun, sea, shopping and entertainment then this is the place to be! You can easily chill out with an ice cold cocktail, let the chefs of four unique restaurants surprise with you a diversity of culinary delights and of course, dive in to discover a world of entertainment that of course includes incredible shore diving and snorkeling just a few fin kicks from the beach.
To make it even easier to immerse yourself into the surrounding turquoise waters, Dive Center SCUBA DO (one of the oldest established PADI 5-Star Dive Resorts on Curaçao) is located right next to the beach. Since they opened in 1996, the brands reputation for high quality shore diving, an unblemished safety record and excellent customer service has not only become part of the company’s culture but sought after within the European dive and watersports communities.
Jan Geerings, Dive Center SCUBA DO’s Managing Directors says, “Our company never sits still. We are always looking for ways to improve… to crea te high quality products, set innovation standards, drive sustainable tourism initiatives and provide as much value for our customers as possible so they can have an excellent vacation experience here on Curaçao. That is why we are investing in our future with a fleet of custom boats (75ft sailing catamaran, a 42ft lobster boat and a 38ft sportsman yacht) to expand our operations to include boat diving and day sailing, and partnering with high quality sustainable tourism and accommodation partners that are all centrally located at one of the most beautiful beaches on Curacao, Jan Thiel Beach.”
Travel Tip: If you have something special to celebrate, if you looking for a romantic night out, or just want to do something totally different for Happy Hour with your group of friends then the BlueFinn Sunset Sailing Trip is for you!
The bay at Jan Thiel Beach is very easy to access since it has an uncomplicated set of stairs assisting you in and out of the water. The house reef is a typical Curacao diving and snorkeling site that starts at a sandy plateau leading to gentle sloping drop-off and a healthy reef.
You will find a big variety of hard and soft corals, donkey dung sea cucumbers, long spined black sea urchins, colourful fish and course, turtles. Inside the bay, lies the Strea – a wreck of a sailing boat which is a very nice ending to your dive or snorkeling experience. The best treat, possibly, is where you might encounter a curious squad of squid looking directly into your eyes.
Tune in for Episode 13, that will release on June 17th, 2020, where will be heading west to visit with All West Apartments and Diving to experience incredible sunsets, starry skies, and to dive the mind-blowing site called Neptune’s Kingdom with GO WEST Diving.
We hope you have enjoyed this Postcard from Curaçao and we also hope to see you soon. Don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list and to the Dive Curaçao YouTube Channel to be automatically notified.
Sincere Love from Curacao,
Bryan Horne, Dive Curacao
Tilo and Yvonne Kuhnast, Nature Pics Films