Saba Tugboat Wreck at Jan Thiel

Discover the mesmerizing underwater world of Saba Tugboat dive site. It is located at the entrance of the Jan Thiel Salt Pans, just a stone’s throw away from the renowned Jan Thiel Beach. Submerged beneath the crystal-clear Caribbean waters, the Saba Tugboat wreck rests as an intriguing aquatic attraction. This sunken vessel, now an artificial reef, teems with vibrant marine life, offering divers an enchanting experience amid colorful coral formations and an abundance of Caribbean fish. Explore the rich maritime history beneath the waves at this captivating dive site.



Scuba Diving at the Saba Tugboat Wreck

Welcome to the captivating underwater world of the Saba Tugboat Wreck dive site, nestled between Cornelius Bay and Sandy’s Plateau, just beyond the inlet to ‘De Zoutpannen’—the salt flats of Jan Thiel—in Curaçao. This site beckons both divers and snorkelers with its unique allure, as the Saba Tugboat rests gracefully at a modest depth of 12 meters, adorned with a tapestry of marine vegetation.

What to See

While the wheelhouse has succumbed to time, and the deck exhibits the weathering of the sea, the Saba Tugboat remains a thriving ecosystem. Acting as an artificial reef, it provides shelter and refuge for a diverse range of marine life. Schools of Blue Chromis and Rock Beauties, among other fish species, have embraced the wreck as their new abode, creating a lively spectacle for underwater enthusiasts.

Venture just a few meters from the wreck, and you’ll encounter a mesmerizing drop-off, revealing an underwater landscape adorned with vibrant sponges, corals, and an array of marine creatures. Moray eels, doctorfish, glassfish, and parrotfish are among the regular inhabitants of this underwater realm, adding to the allure of the Saba Tugboat dive.

How to Dive the Saba Tugboat

For an optimal diving experience, enter the water and follow the reef wall, gradually descending to the wreck between 5 and 12 meters. You won’t be alone on this adventure—diverse species call the wreck home, and if luck is on your side, you might even spot elusive seahorses in their natural habitat.

A note for eager divers: due to its location, the Saba Tugboat Wreck dive site is only accessible by boat. If you’re ready to explore the wonders hidden beneath the waves, contact us for more details on how to embark on this unforgettable underwater journey in Curaçao. Dive into the mysteries of the Saba Tugboat and let the marine life and submerged history captivate your senses.


Dive Site Recommendations

  • Dive Type: Boat diving
  • Snorkel Site: Yes
  • Experience Level: Open Water (Min)
  • Depth: 40 -120ft (12-36m)

Special Notes


Curaçao Diving Guide and Interactive Map

About the Jan Thiel Plantation, Bay and Beach

Landhuis Jan Thiel has a rich history that spans over three centuries, with its origins dating back to the time when it was named after its early owner, Jan Thielen. The landhuis, a Dutch term for a large plantation house, was situated just east of Willemstad. At its peak, the estate comprised over 3,000 acres of land and played a significant role in the production of salt, utilizing extensive salt pans on the property.

The Estate

The plantation was not only known for its salt production but also boasted a substantial livestock operation. With over 1,000 goats and 450 cattle, it was a major hub for animal husbandry. Additionally, Landhuis Jan Thiel was a key player in the export of fruits, contributing to the economic landscape of the region.

Perched high on a ridge, the Landhuis and its outbuildings provided a commanding view of the salt lake below. The property stretched all the way to the shores of what is now Jan Thiel Bay. In the 1920s, the owners ventured into hospitality by developing one of the first resorts on the island. Over the years, this initial resort development has grown exponentially, and today, Jan Thiel stands as one of the major housing and resort developments on Curaçao.

Nature Preserve

Despite the expansion of development, a portion of the original plantation lands has been preserved and now serves as a nature reserve, extending to the back gate of Landhuis Jan Thiel. This commitment to conservation allows visitors to connect with the natural beauty of the area and experience a glimpse of its historical roots.

Accommodations at the Landhuis

Over time, the original Landhuis fell into a state of disrepair. However, in 1997, a restoration effort was undertaken to revive its former glory. The current owners, the Evers Lesschen family, have transformed Landhuis Jan Thiel into a tranquil haven for a select number of guests. The estate now features six rooms within the original Landhuis, along with the two-bedroom Red Cottage, offering a unique and historical retreat for those seeking a connection to Curaçao’s past. For more information, visit the Jan Thiel Lodge website.


Location of Saba Tugboat


Reef Smart Guide Curaçao: Exploring Curaçao Dive Sites in Detail
Get your Reef Smart Guide for Curaçao! Now Available on Amazon.com