Tugboat Wreck at Tugboat Beach in Caracasbaai

This famous Curaçao Tugboat wreck is located next to Directors Bay in just 5 meters (15ft) of water below the steep facing cliffside leading up to the infamous Quarantine House.  Purposely wrecked just a few yards offshore of Tugboat Beach, in Caracasbaai, this site is absolutely perfect for divers as well as snorkelers.

Accessing this dive site, inside the Curacao Marine Park, is easy but be prepared to be overwhelmed by a plethora of critters such as seahorses, octopus, lobsters, napping scorpion fish and the odd nudibranch if you can find it!

The tugboat is overgrown with tube sponges and coral and is home to a variety of colorful reef fish too. The resident Majestic blue Parrot Fish and Yellowtail Snappers guard this site.

Dive Tip: Tugboat is the perfect dive site for a relaxing afternoon snorkel trip or an easy shore dive. However, please be cautious not to touch the wreck of the Tugboat due to its fragile nature and the possibility of fire coral.

Dive Site Recommendations

  • Dive Type: Boat / Shore Dive
  • Snorkel Site: Yes
  • Experience Level: Open Water (Min)
  • Depth: 20 -120ft (6-36m)

Special Notes

Due to recreational & commercial boat traffic, an inflated surface marker buoy is mandatory when shore diving. Consult a recommended Curaçao Dive Operator for additional details & recommendations.

Location of Tugboat

Brief Area History of Caracasbaai, near Tugboat

Caracasbaai is a designated nature preserve with many historic landmarks of Curaçao.

As the local story goes, it is said that the late Queen Juliana, who was invited to Director’s Bay, was so afraid of fish that the Royal Dutch Shell Group caged in a section of the bay for her, to increase her enjoyment and ultimately to ease her mind so that she could relax.

But you know, that’s just the story. The fact is that starting in the early 1900’s until departing in 1985, the Directors of the Royal Dutch Shell Group and the Dutch Royal family used this bay exclusively and it was considered private. Now, the beach and surrounding area are open for public use.

Ocean Encounters offers multi-day dive packages and weekly snorkel trips to Tugboat
Ocean Encounters at Tugboat – Photo courtesy of Gail Johnson Photography

The Historical Monuments in Caracasbaai

The Quarantine House, built in 1882, functioned as one of the parts of the quarantine station at the fortress of Fort Beekenburg. Healthy seamen coming to Curacao on disease carrying ships were quarantined here for forty days.

This lasted until 1925 and nowadays this beautiful house with a splendid view over the Caribbean Sea is in severe disrepair.

Fort Beekenburg was built to defend the Spanish Water in 1703. It was at that time one of the few places where one could easily go from sea to land. The Fort has proven his service, several times, the fort kept the British and pirates out of Curacao.

The fort was built with stones from the Walloon region, that is because the stones were used as ballast in the ships.

Ocean Encounters Diving Curacao | Dive Travel Curacao
Ocean Encounters offers multi-day dive packages and weekly snorkel trips to Tugboat