Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Playa El Portús is located in a small bay, about 10km southwest of Cartagena. The beach offers a very mineral setting, where the cliffs and golden sand contrast with the crystal blue water. The rocky areas bordering the bay are home to drop-offs, caves and overhangs, where wrasse, sea urchins, seabream and blennies are easy to spot.
Playa El Portús is located 11km southwest of Cartagena. By car, the beach is well signposted, but parking spaces are limited. The beach is also served by bus from Cartagena in July and August.
We advise you to enter the water near the rocks, on the left (most recommended area), or on the right end of the beach.
We advise you to focus on the rocky areas located on either side of the beach, with a preference for the East area (on your left when you are facing the sea).
From the beach, swim along the rocky shore that borders the east of the bay. You will first discover many small caves and overhangs carved into the rock. A wide variety of algae, as well as polyps and sponges, have colonized the rocky walls. Several species of sea urchins can be seen in this area, including black sea urchins and violet sea urchins.
After about 50m, you will arrive in kind of a small shallow creek, with seabed covered with pebbles. Brightly colored ornate wrasse twirl around the rocks. If you wish, continue along the edge after the creek. The depth increases and a few clumps of Posidonia punctuate the seabed.
You will meet at this location dozens of species of Mediterranean fish. Two-banded seabream and salema are very common here, as are East Atlantic peacock wrasse and ocellated wrasse, which rarely stray away from seagrass beds. Schools of juvenile Mediterranean barracudas sometimes visit the shallows.
Watch out for other swimmers, especially those having fun jumping into the water from the cliffs.
There is no restaurant on the beach. Beyond the rocky point, the entire eastern part of the bay (including Playa de la Morena) is part of a naturist camp.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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