Playa Porto Marie
Unique and diverse, The Valley (also called Porto Mari) is one of the top 10 sites on Curacao for good reason. Located at Playa Porto Mari, one of Curacao's more beautiful fully equipped beaches, about an eight-minute drive from Willibrordus church.
The "valley" between the two healthy parallel reefs, just off the shore of the beach, are home to a wide variety of reef life. The unique double reef is accessible directly from the shore where you can cruise through the large schools of blue tangs and curious trunk fish who are exploring the man-made habitat balls.
You will often see fish here that are rarely spotted at other dive sites - such as pairs of cornet fish, nurse sharks and large schools of creole wrasses. Keep your eyes open for spotted eagle rays on the sandy valley floor and at the top of the reefs.
A nice snack bar is located on the beach, as are changing facilities, fresh water tanks for cleaning your equipment, showers, and toilets. Enter over a sandy bottom with some coral rubble; it is about a five minute swim to the first reef.
A mooring buoy has been placed in the center of the bay for boat dives; this is a good reference point to begin shore dives from. Minimal current or wave action is present; visibility is usually very good, over 30m (100 ft). At the buoy the depth is about 9m (30 ft) sloping to the first nearby reef, which is at 15m (50 ft). Swimming straight out will take you over the first reef, then to a sandy bottom, and finally to the second reef which starts at about 18m (60 ft).
The valley is home to lots of colorful reef life: angelfish, parrot fish, groupers, brown chromis, yellow tail snappers, trigger fish, trumpet fish, cornet fish, sea turtles, lobsters and sting rays. Coral coverage is abundant and healthy.
Dive Type: Shore
Snorkel Site: Yes
Experience Level: Open Water (Min)
Depth: 0 -120ft (0 - 36m)
Due to recreational & commercial boat traffic, an inflated surface marker buoy is mandatory when shore diving. Consult a Curacao Dive Task Force Operator for additional details & recommendations.
Text courtesy of Nights Publications