Porto Mari Beach and Plantation

Situated within the historic Plantation Porto Mari, this captivating dive site stands out as one of Curacao’s most picturesque, complete with the fully equipped Porto Mari Sports beach and a comprehensive PADI dive shop. The Valley at Playa Porto Mari, also known as Porto Marie, ranks among the top 10 dive sites on the island, showcasing a distinctive and diverse underwater landscape.

Shore Diving at Playa Porto Mari

Renowned for its unique double reef system, the “Valley” is easily accessible directly from the beautiful sandy beach. Immerse yourself in the enchanting underwater world as you navigate through schools of blue tangs and inquisitive trunkfish exploring man-made habitat balls in the shallows. Rare sightings await, including pairs of cornet fish, nurse sharks, and expansive schools of creole wrasses. Keep a keen eye out for spotted eagle rays gracefully gliding over the sandy valley floor and atop the reefs.

A strategically placed mooring buoy in the center of the bay serves as a reference point for boat dives, making it an ideal starting point for shore dives. With minimal current and wave action, the site boasts excellent visibility, often exceeding 30 meters (100 feet). Beginning at a depth of approximately 9 meters (30 feet) near the buoy, the underwater journey unfolds with a gentle slope to the first reef at 15 meters (50 feet). Continue swimming to traverse the first reef, reach a sandy bottom, and finally encounter the second reef, commencing at around 18 meters (60 feet).

The valley teems with vibrant reef life, showcasing angelfish, parrotfish, groupers, brown chromis, yellowtail snappers, triggerfish, trumpet fish, cornet fish, sea turtles, lobsters, and stingrays. The coral coverage is abundant and thriving, creating a spectacular underwater tableau.

Dive Site Recommendations

  • Dive Type: Shore diving
  • Snorkel Site: Yes
  • Experience Level: Open Water (Min)
  • Depth: 40 -120ft (12-36m)

Special Notes

Curaçao Diving Guide and Interactive Map

History of The Plantation Porto Mari

The Plantation Porto Mari, sprawling across 594 hectares, holds a rich history dating back to 1684 when permission was granted to raise livestock on the land. The Porto Mari Landhouse, erected in the latter half of the 18th century, tragically succumbed to a fire in the 1930s.

The bay at Playa Porto Mari, considered strategically important for the island’s defense since Dutch rule began in Curacao, witnessed the construction of Fort Porto Mari in the 18th century. Although the fort faced setbacks during the British invasion in 1805, it remains a fascinating historical site.

Notably, Porto Mari played a pivotal role in the 1795 slave uprising, with its shores witnessing the gathering of slaves and hosting the famous exchange between Tula and Pastor Schink. For more information on the 1795 Curaçao Slave Revolt, click here.

Traveler Tip: “Playa Porto Mari is one of the many secluded natural bays of Williwood surrounded by untouched nature. The lovely white sandy bay with shallow and calm water has a unique Caribbean atmosphere. It is conveniently facilitated with a lounge chair rental, beach bar/restaurant, restrooms, parasols and you can even book a massage. Showers, changing rooms and lockers are provided; all to make sure you will have no worries at all (at least for a day).” Click here to find out more.

More Shore Diving in Curaçao

In a sport where you often must charter a boat to see the best of the underwater world, Curacao is a unique shore diving haven for divers looking to take the advantage of a more leisurely schedule. So, if you are looking for more world class Caribbean shore diving sites in Curacao then click here!

Additional nearby locations you might enjoy include Cas AbaoDaaibooi and Rif Sint Marie.

Location of Playa Porto Mari

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