Overview of Port Marie

Port Marie

Curacao
ABC Islands

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Porto Marie is another expansive beach perfect for relaxing, swimming, or diving. There is a small entry fee, but the money is well spent, maintaining the beach to five-star standards.

Directions: Northwest of Willemstad, travel 7.3 km West on Weg Naar Westpunt from the Weg Naar Hato intersection. Turn left to head to St. Willibrordus and St. Marie. Travel 4.7 km to reach the intersection shown on the Saint Marie dive site. Follow the instructions from there.


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03/11/2015 Arthur (Avg: 4.32 Review) - Feb 2015. We did 4 dives here. The shore entrance is very easy, but the short walk from the parking to the beach is a bit rough and there's a small hill (paved). You can back your car down to the beach area and unload which we did after the first time. There's supposed to be a fee to park, but no one ever collected on the two days we were there. There is a guard watching the parking lot. There is a dive shop on site, but we did not use their facilities though they do have a map of the reef on their wall and they gave us a quick overview. It is a double reef system. The sandy bottom between reefs is too deep for a beginning diver and may be a bit unnerving to inexperienced divers if you attempt an open water swim between the two reefs. On a cloudy day, you likely won't see the second reef from the first. Recommend fully exploring the first reef to save time and air before venturing across to the second reef. The shoreward facing side of the second reef is sort of a wall and the top of that reef is somewhere in the 40-50' range - so again - not ideal for a beginner. The reef itself was in good shape and the double reef feature makes it a bit different than the other sites we visited. Easy, sandy shore entrance. Easy swim to reef. Good parking. Typical reef critters. We liked this beach a lot, but liked Cas Abao better.

04/11/2014 Tina (Avg: 4.65 Review) - I will soon post my underwater pictures. This had most fish. Very nice dive!

01/20/2013 Anonymous (Avg: 4.60 Review) - Best combination of beaches, diving and facilities we found on the island. The reef forms two big arcs to the east and west. Could easily dive 3 or 4 times on the reefs. Lots of fish and several big Barracuda we followed around for a while. Definitely a must dive spot when visiting Curacao

07/20/2012 Dan Ford (Avg: 3.27 Review) - Snorkeled here in July, 2012. Easiest entry is from ladder off the dock. The dive shop manager was helpful in directing us to best area for snorkeling. The reef balls form an arc, and if you follow the arc to the right you will come to an area of fairly healthy coral at about 15' depth. Per the dive shop there was an octopus on the reef but I didn't see it. No sea life of note other than the usual cast of characters.

07/18/2012 John Jerrehian (Avg: 4.60 Review) - Second trip to Curacao in 6 months. Porto Marie is a great place to spend the entire day. Great beach, dive facilities, rest., bar and great water. Beach is near Coral Estates which is outstanding in itself. They have a house reef that will soon be re-open with a new dive shop, rest., spa, etc. Easy dive and double reef offers different interests and levels. Stay a little to right of the swim platform and drop down between markers right before water color changes. We stayed on the white sandy bottom for about 75' until we came to the second reef. We were at a depth of 125' and ran parallel with the second reef. Then to 85' of depth and turned back at 60' of depth. Two large spotted moray eels, larger snappers, blue tangs... Everything was great as we headed back to the first reef and thought I hooked my new dive camera to my BC. I expect it should be in Aruba by now... Wonderful place for divers and non-divers. Safe, fun, relaxing and beautiful!

09/01/2011 Anonymous (Avg: 3.98 Review) - This is a beautiful place above and below water though we had a challenging experience due to many factors. We descended at the buoy directly into what appeared to be a channel with the original plan to stay relatively shallow until we reached the second reef. With the drop off and murkier water than expected we immediately lost sight of the bottom. Even at 45 feet depth we did not see the bottom. With no visual reference we followed compass heading directly away from shore but after 8 minutes of kicking no sight of the second reef and no visual references. We also had descended to 100 feet with no view of the bottom yet. At that point we turned around and followed compass heading back towards 1st reef. We had moved a bit north/northwest so no longer in the channel and very shortly found ourselves at the bottom of the first reef. From then on had a great time exploring the first reef.

08/17/2010 Anonymous (Avg: 4.00 Review) - Very popular beach area, so it does get crowded. Good dive OP, with knowledgeable staff. Easy entry and exit. Had my first lionfish encounter @ 77 fsw, on the side of the reef that is near the deeper platform in the sandy chute area. Good place to spend the day if someone in your party is a non diver. Excellent facilities-rinse buckets/shower/beach bar. Very nice dive on a fairly healthy reef.

12/01/2009 Michael L (Avg: 4.27 Review) - 11/27/2009 Spent 2 days of our week here. Bathrooms being rebuilt, so you get a plywood 'outhouse' for the time being. Live music Sat @ 3 - adds to the vibe. Food/drink options good here and plenty of chairs shade. Very vigilant about paying for entry/chairs - woman walks around every so often collecting fees. Beach was one of the best, a little rough walking in over the coral, and live coral 12-15 ft from shore (booties recommended), but this made for some excellent snorkeling and diving. You can snorkel out to the reef and actually get a feeling for what the divers are seeing, without being 1/2 mile from shore. All around a great beach and dive location. Again, no safety concerns.

11/24/2009 KO (Avg: 3.85 Review) - I learned to dive there this year with great staff and lots of fun. I highly recommend you try this site.

11/01/2009 Mr. Mac (Avg: 3.21 Review) - We took a taxi to Porto Mari for $40 each way and very much enjoyed the snorkeling and facilities there. There were lots of fish and many varieties to admire, including a couple that I had never seen before. One looked like a kind of squid but with only two tentacles and a thin, fluttering skirt all around it that kept it in the same position. It also kept changing color - very fascinating! The left side of the cove is filled with broken coral pieces, millions of them, with newer, live coral growing in spots and attached to a variety of objects. While the broken stuff is mostly short tubes of different sizes the new coral seems to be mostly brain coral. If you swim straight out from the beach there is a rope that marks the drop off. Even just snorkeling this is a dramatic view, as the bottom just drops and your view enlarges exponentially - a really cool sight.

12/10/2008 Jim Haggart (Avg: 4.51 Review) - This was our favorite dive site. The dive shop is friendly and the tanks and weights are the least expensive on the island. The beach is good and the restaurant is very nice and affordable. The dive site is a bowl with lots of eels, fish and we even saw rays on all three of our dives.

11/26/2008 Michael Beatty (Avg: 4.43 Review) - A beautiful dive with sweeping panoramas - you drop to 95 feet over white sand along a projecting coral spine and slowly work your way up over the top of the reef where there is excellent coral at 40 feet or less. Developed beach with full dive shop, lounging and good restaurant. Spend all day, do 3 dives.

04/25/2008 Anon001 (Avg: 4.74 Review) - This was our second favorite dive site, beautiful reef, easy entry, great facilities. Very similar to Cas Abao, a must dive.

12/27/2007 Renee Ross (Avg: 4.35 Review) - Diving was great at this double reef. We went out the sand channel and then to the right, and quickly noticed we were down to 83 ft, came up to about 65 along to the right and outside of the outer reef. It was a beautiful reef, very healthy, lots of small fish, nothing large, but the reef makes up for it. Came back along the top of the reef at about 35 feet. It was all very healthy, sun was shining, a perfect day on the water. The beach is not our favorite, though. It reminds you of a giant cruise ship with lines and lines of chairs. They charge you for the chairs, but don't sit at the dive shop end of the beach. They have a compressor or generator there that smells of diesel all day. It's a long way to carry your gear from the parking lot, but you can drop it off by backing up to the beach and then parking. It's still not very convenient for shore diving like Bonaire though. Much longer walks with your gear to get into the water. The beach bar is good for smoothies, and the dive shop has rinse tanks and showers that they did not charge us for. There was an entry fee to get onto the beach. Curacao nickels and dimes you to death with all the fees for everything. I miss Bonaire!

09/01/2007 Kelly (Avg: 3.95 Review) - Really enjoyed this location. We fully geared up in the parking lot then walked right into the water. Dive shop on premise for you to rent tanks and gear if necessary. Very friendly and helpful especially when one of our hoses went wonky, they let us borrow tools to fixed it, no problem. Facilities to shower off and change. Restaurant and bar on premise to hydrate and fuel up between dives or to just hang out enjoy the scenery. Very nice place to spend the entire day. Busier on weekends with more locals, but seems non-weekend had a lot of tourists like myself. No day seemed less busy then another, just a different crowd of people. A local however was very friendly when we couldn't get our truck to start.

03/19/2007 Andre Mazeron (Avg: 3.00 Review) - I didn't actually dive in Port Marie, but I'm posting this to warn other divers that 2 weeks ago, after spending a fine day in the beach, we discovered that someone stole a wheel of our car. As the manager of the local bar told us, this was the second similar incident that week.

01/20/2007 Arubalisa (Avg: 3.91 Review) - Very easy shore dive with lots of bottom time and tons to see on the reef.

11/06/2006 JT (Avg: 4.10 Review) - A "Must Do" dive. My fourth time diving this site. Oct. '06. Extremely easy entry from white sandy beach with NO SURF whatsoever. Dive shop on site, 40 yards up from the beach. (I brought my own gear and tanks, weights rented from Atlantis Diving). Porto Marie has both an inner & outer reef separated by a sandy bottom at approx. 50 yards. Just walk out into the 86 degree clear water, put your fins on, and snorkel straight out (south) beyond the floating swim platform to the floating rope which marks the edge of the slope and the first (inner) reef. The drop to the sandy bottom beneath the rope is 15-20' feet and is where you should do your safety stop when you ascend. Follow the sandy slope down the sand channel to the backside of the inner reef. As you descend you should be able to see the inside of the outer reef about 110 feet away -the vis IS that good. If you're a beginner just stay with the inner reef as there's plenty of critters to explore and there won't be any current at all. It's just like swimming in a very large and deep swimming pool/aquarium. The sandy bottom between the inner & outer reefs is about 50' and slopes down. If you swim south towards the outer reef, you'll see the sand channel opening to the back side of the outer reef and open ocean. This channel is about 30' wide with the sloping bottom from 80' to over 100'. The top of the outer reef on both sides of the opening is 40'. The back side of the outer reef is where the real action is. You'll likely see some Barracudas cruising with a few other large fish. The base of the outer reef is in excess of 120' and slopes down from there so watch your depth & watch for current (swim into the current first then coast back). I dove the west outer at 85' on the backside with little current 150'+ vis and 85 F temp at that depth. Not too shabby! I slowly ascended as I headed west to the top of that reef at 40'. Heading back (east) along the top. Just beautiful. At the outer channel opening, I turned north and could easily see the sand channel in the inner reef. Swam to that inner reef channel at about 40' & slowly ascended to the top of the inner channel/inner reef at 20' and hung around on the bottom there for my safety stop. Surfaced just inside of the floating rope and snorkeled back the 40 or 50 yds to shore. There is a great small restaurant on site with very reasonably priced lunches Try the sate chicken with Nasi (rice) or Bami (noodles). Don't miss. Plan to spend at least half a day there. My wife said the snorkeling there was good but not great. Showers (now they're free!) and free clean bathrooms, and a pristine beach. Just doesn't get much better in paradise! JT

04/28/2006 David R Grimshaw (Avg: 3.68 Review) - One of the better shore dives. REALLY easy access, nil current and the configuration of a 'horseshoe' of 2 adjacent reefs separated by a sandy bottom, means you get to see a lot in a short space of time. The diving is fairly shallow and, as you are not fighting against strong currents, you get to make the most of your air. One of our dives was more than an hour. There are heaps of tube sponges (which look almost artificial) and it probably won't be long before you find yourself finning through large shoals of small green or blue fish. You will probably see more than one species of Parrotfish and if you are lucky you may encounter Seahorses and eels - we did. We went with Aqua Dive and the dive leader was very knowledgeable about the marine life. They paid the entry fee to the beach and even bought us a free drink. Onshore there are lockers, toilets and a freshwater tank provided to rinse out your gear. A worthwhile site for beginner or Intermediate divers.

03/27/2006 Wayne Glasbrenner (Avg: 4.33 Review) - New road for getting to this site makes for easy access (thus the crowds on weekends, but everyone is civil). Great dive with lots of small sea life with the occasional turtle and ray. Valley splitting the reef is seductive so be sure to keep an eye on your depth gauge - I was at 110' before realizing it. An easy kick out to the reef, then drop down to reef top at about 30'. Definitely a 2-tank dive. Excellent facilities -snack bar, restrooms, rinse tanks, chairs and umbrellas - with recent road improvements. Small fee to use chairs and beach but worth it (you're on vacation so loosen the purse strings). Plan on spending an entire day diving and relaxing.

02/17/2006 Cheddar Chicklet (Avg: 4.59 Review) - Great shore dive here. This area has a small fee for entry, a onsite dive shop & restaurant. The inner reef is close and a sandy bottom separates it from the deeper outer reef. I followed a turtle here at about 60'. Tried to take pix with the cheap 35mm underwater camera. Shoot...too much pressure at 60'. Placed hand under turtle swimming along with me and raised him up to where the camera would work. He never panicked, or seemed out of sorts, just looked at me and seemed to go along for the ride. Got 1 good picture, then he looked at me and went back down to graze. This is why I scuba...The interaction with the dream world of the ocean is something I will remember forever.

04/21/2005 Richard Zinno (Avg: 4.13 Review) - Good Dive Site. I enjoyed Playa Kalki better, but this site had plenty of good things as well. It is a double reef with a sandy flat in between each reef. Max depth on this reef is about 90 feet.

01/22/2005 Bart Le Clef (Avg: 3.73 Review) - Nice place to combine diving and resting. Easy entrance and good shape of reef made the dive a joyful experience.

10/19/2004 Marcio Bastos (Avg: 4.95 Review) - This site was worth two-day-dive out of a week. Beautiful double reef system. Look at the map at the bar before diving. You will feel more comfortable being familiar with what you will see underwater. Good visibility, easy entry, huge sponges and corals. Afterwards, the beach is an invitation for relaxing. Spend the whole day and dive again, or just enjoy yourself under one of the many umbrellas available.

09/25/2004 Dan Benson (Avg: 4.70 Review) - This is rated one of the better dive sites, but I didn't like it. TOO MANY PEOPLE! I do shore diving to get away from divers. There were at least 20 divers in the water at a time. And they crowded around the rinse tank full of dirty water like it was an oasis. Furthermore, the divers were inconsiderate of other divers. Good bar and a very nicely run dive shop. The rinse tank and storage area for tanks is next to the dive shop and is public property. For about $.10 you can get a token which will give you a shower for a minute. WONDERFUL! Dive it straight out to the second reef, swing Left to join the inner reef and follow the inner reef back to start.

08/27/2004 Noel (Avg: 4.18 Review) - Small entrance fee, but well worth it. Great facilities. Several places to gear up here once you unload your gear. Short swim out to a double reef. Vis was not that good when we went but still a very cool site with the sand valley that separates the two reefs. Saw a monstrous lobster here. He was very shy. It was the only live lobster we saw in 7 days of diving in Curacao. We saw a good size lobster at Cas Abou, but he was dead. Well worth a two tank dive at this site. Nice beach and good facilities make it an easy place to kill an entire day here. The cliffs surrounding the beach and the cove make for a perfect picture.

06/13/2004 Robert J. West (Avg: 4.39 Review) - A group of us (Americans, Dutch, and Germans) spent the day here with a DM from Scuba Do (this was where we were taken for "a trip to Westpunt"). The spot was a great place to spend a diving day at the beach. Good restaurant, restrooms, fresh water showers, all for a few guilders fee. I did the first dive on independent doubles, going down near 95 feet, and coming back up across the double reef system. The DM and the newer divers in the group stayed around 60 feet or less. Saw a turtle in the 25 foot depth range. Second dive we swam out to the boat buoy and kept to 60 feet or less. Nice healthy double reef system with plenty to see at all depths, and most patrons weren't diving (a few other groups diving that day as well). The one person who decided not to dive that day in our group kept an eye on our stuff, so we didn't have any security worries while underwater, but the parking was close to the beach and even if we didn't have someone specifically keeping an eye and ear out I wouldn't have had many worries about security of something in a locked vehicle here. The Dutch Navy helicopter flew over while we were swimming out to the boat mooring ball (how's that for security), and checked over the beach as well before heading east along the coast.

04/06/2004 Jim Homan (Avg: 4.35 Review) - Perhaps the best shore dive on the island. Wide variety of life included turtles, reef squid, coronet fish and four different types of eels.

11/13/2003 Bruce Lehnertz (Avg: 4.77 Review) - I've probably done half my dives in Curacao, and this is my favorite. There are dive facilities including suit-up, rinse tank, etc., on the beach. The swim to the reef is short, although unlike many of the Curacao beaches, this gets deeper, about 60' by the time you hit reef. I tend to swim on or near the surface until I'm out to the reef to conserve air. Once down, there is a sandy bottom trench between two reef systems, both of which are filled with hard and soft corals, morays, fish, lobster, etc. Have even spotted a shark here. The sandy bottom slopes gently down to about 130', so keep an eye on depth and air! There is plenty of exploring to do on top of the reefs if you don't want to go so deep. This is a must-do dive if you go to Curacao. Downsides are fee to get to the beach and the AWFUL road from the highway to the beach.

09/17/2003 RS Kuhn (Avg: 4.58 Review) - Small Entry fee but great beach, chairs, showers, umbrellas, lots of parking. A double reef system. Bring along at least 2 tanks. Dive shop is at site. Bathrooms, food are available. Plan on staying the whole day and do several dives. A not to be missed dive on Curacao. This area can be very crowded on weekends or during busy season. Easy dive for all levels of divers. It's like a big fish bowl. You can dive inside the bowl or around the outside reef. Lots of great diving here.

06/16/2003 Randy (Avg: 4.52 Review) - This is a very nice beach and dive area with a restaurant for food and drinks afterwards. Several dive classes were using the area also but plenty of room for all. We were able to drive the car next to the area and load and unload the gear before parking. Very nice shore dive.

12/28/2002 Allan Myers (Avg: 4.85 Review) - This is probably the most popular beach on the island. It's great for diving and sunbathing and diving and eating and diving and drinking and diving and beautiful women and did I mention diving?! The diving here was simply awesome in all aspects! With a nice circular shaped reef a short kick out it doesn't matter which direction you go... I saw a wider variety of sea life at this location than any other. My favorite sighting here was a beautiful Manta Ray swimming in a large circle down around 60ft. I sat a watched it for fifteen minutes before it swam away. Porto Marie is the kind place I could spend the entire day at and not feel like I was missing out on something going on elsewhere. The gates close around 6pm... gives you just enough time to catch the sunset (winter time) before heading back into town.

11/25/2001 Jerry Litzza (Avg: 4.85 Review) - With the tank racks, rinse tanks, snack bar and easy entry, this site is well worth the 5 guilders. Great dive with excellent Eagle Ray, Green Morays, turtles. This was one of the best dives of the trip. This is an All Day trip bring plenty of Tanks.

10/27/2001 Kirk Peddicord (Avg: 4.34 Review) - This has been my favorite dive spot to date. The reefs make it a perfect spot to dive twice in a morning. Saw two eagle rays swimming in formation, huge green moray, lots of marine life.

07/24/2001 Fiona Rattray (Avg: 4.71 Review) - Double reef system...very nice topside and below...great dive!


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Site Photos

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Photo
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Comments
Overview

 

 

Overview at Port Marie 

As you arrive, you should drop your gear off below before parking.

Parking

 Map     Sat
GPS: CU1202
N1213.1468'
W06905.1297'

 

Parking at Port Marie 

There is plenty of parking above the beach on a good, solid lot.

Overview

 

 

Overview at Port Marie 

For the land-locked members of your group, there are plenty of shady places and food/drink facilities.

Right Entry

 Map     Sat
GPS: CU1204
N1213.1220'
W06905.1423'

 

Right Entry at Port Marie 

An easy entry from the beach, and lots of room to stretch out for your return.

Aerial

 

 

Aerial at Port Marie 
(click photo for details)

Some boats visit the area, so be careful when surfacing.

Last Verification: February, 2001  

 

Diver Averages for  Port Marie  (1=worst, 5=best)


Average Site Condition

Ease of Shore Entry:  4.74
Bottom Conditions:  4.46
Reef Conditions:  4.49
Animal Life:  4.29
Plant Life:  4.00
Facilities:  4.46
Solitude 3.09
Roads:  3.94
*Site Average:  4.27
   

Average Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:  3.89
Beginner Scuba:  4.37
Intermediate Scuba:  4.31
Advanced Scuba:  4.11
Night diving Scuba:  3.51

Number of reviews for this site: 35

196-2-4-12


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