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.
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.
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.
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.
We recommend you to focus on these two areas:
Playa Porto Mari is a full facilities beach, with beach bar and restaurant.
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.