Spot

Playa Porto Mari


Widely considered as one of the most beautiful beaches of Curacao, Playa Porto Mari is right out of a postcard. With its white sand shaded by manchineel trees and its turquoise sea, it is one of the most visited of the island. Playa Porto Mari is famous with divers for its unique “double reef”, which is unfortunately too deep to be fully enjoyed from the surface of the sea. Playa Porto Mari is still nice to snorkel, especially along the cliffs and around the “reef ball” clusters laced in the bay.
How to get there?

Playa Porto Mari is located on the northwestern coast of Curacao, some 20km north to Willemstad. If you have your own rental car, drive north on Weg Naar Westpunt. Just before Daniel, turn left towards Sint Willibrordus. The road to the beach is then well marked. It is possible to reach the beach by taxi (approx. $45 each way from city center or cruise terminal), but arrange your return trip as there are no taxis waiting there. Some island tours also include a stop at Playa Porto Mari.

The beach is open daily from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. Beach entrance fee is Nafl. 5.00 /$3 pp. Check the latest news about Playa Porto Mari on the beach official website. If you don’t have your own snorkeling equipment, it is possible to rend mask and fins at the dive shop set in the beach.

Water entrance

We recommend you to enter the water from the beach, on the left side of the wooden dock. From here, you will easily reach the two recommended snorkeling areas described below.

Aerial view

Exploration

Playa Porto Mari’s reef have been widely damaged by hurricane Lenny in 1999, particularly in the shallowest areas (less than 20ft/5m). In an attempt to restore the reef and encourage coral growth, 280 concrete reef balls have been laced in the bay. With a minimum depth of 18 to 21ft (6 to 7m), the “double reef” is not well suited for snorkeling, unless you free dive.

Playa Porto Mari Snorkeling Curaçao
Coral cluster at Playa Porto Mari

We recommend you to focus on these two areas:

- The edge of the cliff bordering the south end of the bay. This area is not too deep (2-10ft/1-3m), mainly made of a sandy seabed with some rocks and coral clusters (including massive and incrusting coral, as well as gorgonians). Sergeant major, trunkfish, reef squid and grunt are commonly seen here.

- The reef ball clusters set in the bay, especially along the sandy drop-off extending approximately 150 meters from the beach. These artificial structures provide shelter, habitat and breeding places for marine life. The reef balls have been placed in the bay in 2001-2002, and are now overgrown with corals and sponges, including staghorn coral. Many juvenile fish can be observed around the clusters, especially bluehead wrasse, parrotfish, blue tang and French angelfish.

Restaurants and accommodation

Playa Porto Mari is a full facilities beach, with beach bar and restaurant.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
    Beginner
  • Maximum depth
    18ft/6m
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Visitor numbers
    Medium to high
  • Access costs
    Beach entrance fee (Nafl. 5.00 /$3 pp.) + parking
  • Restaurants nearby
    Yes
  • Public toilets & showers
    Yes

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

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