Stella Maris Reef at LionsDive Beach Resort

Located at LionsDive Beach Resort in Curaçao, the Stella Maris dive site beckons adventurers to explore its captivating underwater wonders. Serving as the house reef for Ocean Encounters, this beautiful shore dive site unveils the enchanting Stella Maris shipwreck on a deep water plateau, contrasting with the nearby shallow water coral nurseries fostered by Reef Renewal Curaçao. Unique to Stella Maris is the thriving fringing reef, sustained by the consistent easterly currents that transport nutrient-rich waters, promising an unparalleled diving experience.

Shore Diving at the Stella Maris Reef

Welcome to Stella Maris, a captivating shore diving site located at LionsDive Beach Resort in the idyllic island of Curaçao. Named after the Stella Maris shipwreck that lies on a deep water plateau, this site offers a mesmerizing underwater experience that combines the allure of a historic wreck with the vibrant life of a thriving fringing reef system.

Situated beneath the shallow water coral nurseries established by Reef Renewal Curaçao, the Stella Maris dive site is a testament to the successful conservation efforts in the region. The wreck itself lies well below recreational limits and only accessible via Substation Curaçao’s deep water submarine. While this shore diving site is steeped in maritime history, the juxtaposition of the shipwreck against the healthy coral nurseries creates a unique underwater landscape that beckons adventure.

The Beauty

What sets Stella Maris apart is the constant easterly currents that sweep along the shoreline, delivering a continuous flow of rich nutrients to the fringing reef. This abundance of nourishment has fostered the growth of a diverse and vibrant marine ecosystem. As you descend into the depths, you’ll encounter an array of coral formations, teeming schools of tropical fish, and other fascinating marine life that call this underwater paradise home.

Coral Conservation

LionsDive Beach Resort takes pride in its role as a staunch supporter of Reef Renewal Curaçao. In collaboration with Ocean Encounters and Dive Travel Curaçao, the resort actively sponsors the invaluable work carried out by Reef Renewal Curaçao to restore and preserve Curaçao’s fringing coral reefs. Nowhere is this commitment more evident than at the Stella Maris dive site, which serves as the resort’s house reef.

Divers exploring Stella Maris will witness the results of these conservation efforts, encountering multiple out-plantings and the thriving Staghorn and Elkhorn coral nurseries. LionsDive Beach Resort invites you to not only experience the enchantment of Stella Maris but also to be a part of the ongoing mission to protect and restore the precious underwater ecosystems of Curaçao. Immerse yourself in the wonders of the deep and contribute to the preservation of this underwater haven for generations to come.

Dive Site Recommendations

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

Special Notes

Curaçao Diving Guide and Interactive Map

Coral Restoration at Stella Maris

Reef Renewal Curaçao is an initiative of Ocean Encounters and supported by the community, sponsors, volunteers and Reef Renewal International. The main objectives of this program are the restoration of our shallow water reef system, educating the community and protecting and preserving Curaçao’s natural ecosystems.

“The significance of this Curacao reef restoration program is that together as a community here on Curacao, we are restoring our shallow water reef system while educating our youth about the importance of protecting and preserving our natural ecosystem.”

Coral restoration and outplanting with Reef Renewal Curaçao at the Stella Maris dive site, LionsDive Beach Resort.
Out-planting coral fragments to create new colonies.

Play a Part in the Coral Restoration Strategy

By supporting valuable and sustainable coral reef initiatives, like RRC, you will be reaffirming your commitment to the island of Curacao so that future generations may benefit. Supporting this initiative through sponsorship and charitable donations is integral for success and volunteers will be needed for regular nursery maintenance and care.

Learn more by visiting Reef Renewal Curacao today! Together, we are making a difference for Curaçao!

The Shipwreck of the Stella Maris

At approximately 450 feet (137 m), the shipwreck of the Stella Maris has been resting quietly on the seafloor for over three decades.  This 300 foot (90 m) freighter was seized in late 80’s by Curaçao Authorities because it was smuggling drugs.  Somewhat later it was sold for 1 guilder ($0.56 USD) with the intention to place it carefully on a deep water plateau in front of LionsDive Beach Resort as a new artificial reef.

Curacao Submarine Adventures worth Exploring!

Sadly, the sinking of the Stella Maris did not go as planned and it completely missed the intended deep water plateau at approximately 180 feet.  Instead, the Stella Maris slid over the top of a wall located at 260 feet and now rests on its starboard side on a deeper plateau that starts at approximately 430 feet at the bottom of the bow to 465 feet at the bottom of the stern.

Exploring the shipwreck of the Stella Maris with Substation Curaçao is a Curacao submarine adventure worth exploring where you will have an opportunity to dive into a world that only a handful of people have ventured before.

“After I release the ballast air, your journey will start with a slow & even descent along the sloping drop offs around the Ocean Lens Curaçao located here at Shipwreck Point.  The beauty of these incredible dives is the kaleidoscope of color & the unexpected variety of life that you will encounter well beyond the recreational scuba diving limits.

It is another world that exists on these deep reefs and this is your chance for a trip into an inner space to observe an incredible world only a few know.  Truly, it is another world of life, wonder and amazement.” says Bruce Brandt, head Engineer and Pilot

When you are on Curaçao next, stop by Substation Curacao, consider this Curacao adventure to turn your dreams into a reality too by becoming a Deep-Sea Explorer aboard the Curasub. It is a bucket list experience that you will not soon forget!

Location of Stella Maris

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