Tugboat Wreck at Tugboat Beach in Caracasbaai

Welcome to the enchanting Tugboat Beach in Caracasbaai, Curaçao, home to the world-famous Tugboat wreck—a mysterious and captivating underwater treasure. Nestled just 3 meters (15 feet) beneath the surface, the Tugboat wreck is a must-visit destination for snorkelers, boat divers, and shore divers alike.



Diving and Snorkeling at the Tugboat

The Tugboat wreck, surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, carries an air of intrigue as its sinking remains shrouded in mystery. Some speculate that it was mistakenly sunk, adding an extra layer of fascination to this underwater spectacle. Regardless of its origins, the Tugboat now lies peacefully on the sea floor, providing a unique and accessible diving experience.

Located inside the Curaçao National Marine Park

This underwater gem is located within the boundaries of the Curaçao National Marine Park, adding to its allure. Tugboat Beach is conveniently situated next to the Directors Bay Dive Site in Caracasbaai, making it a central hub for divers exploring the wonders of Curaçao’s underwater world.

Living Museum

The Tugboat wreck is not just a dive site. It is a living museum teeming with marine life. As you explore the area, you will encounter vibrant coral formations, schools of Caribbean reef fish, and perhaps even some friendly sea turtles. The shallow depth of the wreck makes it an ideal location for divers of all skill levels. This offers an up-close and personal encounter with the fascinating marine ecosystem.

Perfect Diving or Snorkeling Site for Everyone

Whether you prefer the ease of snorkeling, the excitement of boat diving, or the simplicity of shore diving, Tugboat Beach caters to all enthusiasts. The calm and warm waters make it an inviting spot for underwater exploration. This allows divers, and snorkelers, to appreciate the rich biodiversity and history that this site has to offer.

Embark on a journey to Tugboat Beach and explore the Tugboat wreck with its mysterious charm. Here, divers and snorkelers can create unforgettable experiences in the heart of Curaçao’s underwater paradise.


Dive Site Recommendations

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

Special Notes


Curaçao Diving Guide and Interactive Map

Brief Area History of Caracasbaai, near Tugboat

Caracasbaai Nature Reserve, located in Curaçao, is a designated nature preserve enriched with a plethora of historic landmarks. According to local lore, an intriguing tale surrounds the late Queen Juliana, who, out of a purported fear of fish, had a section of Directors Bay caged in by the Royal Dutch Shell Group. This gesture was aimed at enhancing her enjoyment and providing a tranquil environment for relaxation.

The historical significance of Caracasbaai dates back to the early 1900s, and until 1985, the bay remained exclusively utilized by the Directors of the Royal Dutch Shell Group and the Dutch Royal family, effectively considering it private property. In the present day, the beach and its surrounding areas have been opened for public use, allowing visitors to explore the beauty and history that this reserve holds.


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

One notable structure within the Caracasbaai Nature Reserve is the Quarantine House, constructed in 1882. Originally part of the quarantine station at the fortress of Fort Beekenburg, this house played a crucial role in isolating healthy seamen arriving from disease-carrying ships for a period of forty days. Although this practice ceased in 1925, the Quarantine House, with its magnificent view of the Caribbean Sea, currently stands in a state of severe disrepair.

Fort Beekenburg, built in 1703 to defend the Spanish Water, holds a prominent place in the history of the region. Positioned strategically as one of the few accessible points from sea to land, the fort served as a vital defense against British forces and pirates. Constructed with stones from the Walloon region, which were initially used as ballast in ships, Fort Beekenburg showcases its resilience in repelling external threats throughout history. Today, the fort stands as a testament to Curaçao’s rich past, inviting visitors to explore its architectural and historical significance within the Caracasbaai Nature Reserve.


Location of Tugboat


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