Strolling along the boulevard and enjoying the many facilities on a lively commercial beach is the ideal holiday for many people. Mambo Beach and Jan Thiel Beach are two locations in Curaçao that fit this description. That’s why we will do an in-depth Mambo Beach vs Jan Thiel Beach blog to provide you with more information.
If you have to choose only one of the two due to time constraints, I imagine you would like to know which of the two is worth visiting. In this post, we compare Mambo Beach and Jan Thiel Beach in various categories and tell you which one is better.
What to expect at Mambo Beach
The bustling Mambo Beach is about a 15-minute drive from Willemstad. It is a well-known shore excursion for cruise ship passengers because of its convenient location.
The boulevard of Mambo Beach consists of a diverse range of restaurants, beach clubs, shops, and bars. Enjoy a full day of relaxing at the beach, dine in one of the restaurants and join the happy hour around sunset.
In terms of activities, you can visit the Curaçao Sea Aquarium and the Dolphin Academy. Here you will learn about Caribbean marine life and you will have the opportunity to swim with dolphins.
What to expect at Jan Thiel Beach
A day at a Caribbean beach is not complete without a colorful drink in your hands. Exactly that can be arranged at the atmospheric Jan Thiel Beach.
The family-friendly beach of Jan Thiel is about a 25-minute drive from Willemstad. There’s plenty to see along the way, maybe you can even stop for a freshly made Batido.
At Jan Thiel Beach you can also find a variety of restaurants, bars, and beach clubs.
There are plenty of facilities to enjoy a pleasant day and evening. Besides all the activities on the beach, you can also visit the Diamond casino and the Laman spa. A Dutch-oriented supermarket is just around the corner.
Mambo Beach vs Jan Thiel: The Beach
Sand between my toes and walking barefoot in the warm sand is pure bliss. Let’s discuss the beach in both of the bays.
Both places have sandy beaches. That said, I do see a difference in the quality of the sand. Mambo Beach has more of a cream-yellowish beach with coarse sand grains. While there is fine powder sand on Jan Thiel that tends more towards a cream-white color.
At Mambo you have access to the sea from the entire coastline. At Jan Thiel Beach you can only enter the water in two places, near Zanzibar and via the natural pool at Papagayo Beach Club. With this last option, you have no access to the sea.
Mambo Beach vs Jan Thiel Beach: Restaurants
Both Mambo Beach and Jan Thiel have a lot to offer in terms of restaurants. However, Mambo Beach has a wider choice of cuisines. You will find Italian, Mexican, Indian, Mediterranean, and Sushi restaurants. The options at Jan Thiel are more limited, but with six different restaurants still very wide.
Jan Thiel Beach is the winner in terms of atmosphere. At Mambo Beach I often feel that you are too close to other people. Besides that, there’s a lack of ambiance at the concrete boulevard upstairs. The restaurants at Jan Thiel are cozy and I really feel like I’m dining on the beach.
Best restaurant at Mambo Beach: MOOD Beach
Best Restaurant at Jan Thiel Beach: Tinto Bar y Cocina
Mambo Beach vs Jan Thiel: Beach Clubs & Bars
Although Jan Thiel has several cozy beach clubs, it simply cannot match the offer on Mambo Beach. On Mambo Beach you can go to various Beach clubs and bars. When visiting this beach I find it difficult to choose where I would like to spend my day. One of the beach clubs even has a pool.
Jan Thiel has several beach clubs with a quiet laid-back vibe. There is also more space on this beach. That is why I would recommend this beach if you are looking for a little more tranquility.
Best beach club at Mambo Beach: Madero Ocean Club
Best beach club at Jan Thiel Beach: Papagayo Beach Club
Mambo Beach vs Jan Thiel Beach: Happy Hours
Mambo Beach and Jan Thiel Beach are the scene of the best happy hours in Curacao, so in terms of that, both beaches are in the joint first place. Live music, dancing, and discounted drinks are the recipe for a good time.
Several beach clubs on Mambo Beach host their happy hour beach party every Friday and Sunday afternoon. On Saturday you can find the best party of the week at Jan Thiel Beach!
Best happy hour at Mambo Beach: Madero Ocean Club
Best happy hour at Jan Thiel Beach: Zanzibar
Mambo Beach vs Jan Thiel Beach: Activities around
On both beaches there are a number of extra activities that you can do. Mambo Beach has a small shopping boulevard and on Jan Thiel Beach you can find some beach wear boutiques.
On Mambo beach you can visit the adjacent sea aquarium, where you can see various sea creatures such as tropical fish, nurse sharks, flamingos and dolphins. At the Dolphin Academy you also have the opportunity to swim with dolphins.
At Jan Thiel you can find the Diamond casino and the Laman Spa & Wellness near the Papagayo Beach club.
Mambo Beach vs Jan Thiel Beach: Overall atmosphere
This is a difficult one, but if we look at the atmosphere in general, I choose Jan Thiel Beach. This beach is a bit quieter and more spacious, with the exception of Zanzibar Beach club, where it can get crowdy on weekend days.
Cabana Beach Club and MOOD beach are creating the ambiance at Mambo Beach. Chill Beach Bar & Grill and Hemingway restaurant also provide a cozy Caribbean vibe. The Mambo Beach boulevard feels like a block of concrete that does not fit into the environment. This is a shame, because otherwise, Mambo Beach is a beautiful beach.
Conclusion: Which one is better?
Each beach has its qualities and characteristics. It is therefore difficult to say which beach is better.
In addition, my conclusion is based on a personal opinion. Although I am quite objective, your view of these beaches may be different.
However, I come to the following conclusion:
Mambo Beach is the best beach if you want to enjoy the wide choice of restaurants and beach clubs.
Jan Thiel Beach is the best choice if you are looking for a small-scale beach with a laid-back atmosphere.
Visit Mambo Beach if you have to choose
If you can only choose one beach due to time constraints, I would recommend visiting Mambo Beach. There is a to see and experience, you have a wide choice in terms of restaurants and beach clubs and you can also go on a shopping spree. Mambo Beach is an all-in-one experience where there is something for everyone. You will not regret your visit.