- Category: West
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This is a developed beach. In the past you could park your car on a strip of sand (and rocks) along the water, but since then the beach has been much improved. There are huts that provide you with the necessary shade and there is a nice restaurant. Even under water some things have changed.
After a hurricane passed our island far to the North a lot of the coral along the coast was damaged. Porto Marie has put concrete structures underwater on which small pieces of healthy coral were put. That is several years ago and you can seen that these structures are already partly covered with new coral and sponges. They also provide the fish a hiding place. This proves that with human effort it is possible to restore some damage under water although it takes a lot of time. But most probably it would take far more time without human intervention. In this case the damage was caused by nature and repaired with human help. Unfortunately most of the time the situation is just the other way around.
As a dive location this spot has much to offer. There is a double reef, which is an exception along the Curacao coast. And the coral is healthy and diverse. There is always an abundance of fish in the water.
You have to swim out over a shallow sandy area till the drop off marked by a string of buoys. There you descend and immediately you are over the first reef. Then you cross a sandy "valley", where you sometimes see an Eagle Ray, to reach the second and nicest reef. There is a passage in the second reef and past that you have to decide which way to go. Most of the time there is no current so you have a free choice. Both sides are beautifully covered with coral and sponges. The slope is about 60 degrees and bottoms out below sport divers limits (40 meters). If you go to the right you can return on top of the second reef. If you have gone to the left you have a large plateau where you can return. At that side both reefs are connected so you can end up on the first reef.
After the dive you can relax on the beach of take a drink or a meal in the restaurant.
How to get there
Coming from Willemstad you have to go in the direction of Banda'bou. Following the Weg to Westpunt (the main road from the Eastern part of the island to the Western part) you will first see at your right hand side a parking lot with some small shops and a last option to buy some snacks before heading to the beach. This is the Daniel snack. After that you have to take the first road to the left to the village of St. Willebrord (see picture). Following that road you will pass (on your left side) the salinas where most of the time flamingo's can be seen. Keep following the road till you see the church of St Willibrord. Before the church (right after the Martina snack) go to the left (see picture). There is a red and white rock as a sign that you are nearing some dive spots. Drive past the church and cemetery on you right hand side and keep following the road. This will bring you at the entrance of the plantation of Porto Marie. Follow the winding road till you see the sign to park you car. There you have to go to the right to reach the parking lot. If you have a lot of dive gear you can choose to go first to the beach area to drop off your gear and then return to the parking lot. There are facilities for divers to gear up and you can rent a locker at the bar.