playa_forti_near_westpuntCharacteristics

Shore dive

Description

Playa Forti is at the most Western part of the island. It is a bay next to the bay of Westpunt. This bay has dark sand, so it can be quite hot to the feet when walking barefoot on the beach.

It is a beach mostly visited by local people. There are no facilities on the beach although on the parking place there are several restaurants. There are some huts for shade but there are only a few.

It is a nice place for snorkeling if you go to the left along the steep cliff. Be carefull though because people are jumping of the top of the cliff for fun.

For diving you have to swim out a while before you reach the drop-off. Check while you are on the beach in which direction to go to avoid an extra long swim. There is no real drop-off. There is a very gradual slope. What happenend to me the first time that I dove here, was that I found out that I was already at 24 meters before I noticed I was on the drop-off.

Right before the beach there is mostly sand. There is a field with debris of an unknown origin, mostly aluminum. Going left the coral density soon increases. There is a nice mixture of coral and sponges but the coral dominates. The nice thing about this dive site and also about Westpunt is that the habitat is already showing signs of the habitat on the Northern side of the island. This is where you start seeing the Sargassum Trigger fish and the Ocean Triggerfish. They are hardly ever seen on the Southern side of the island.

How to get there

playa_forti_near_westpunt_htgtThere are two ways to get here from the Eastern part of the island. Both start with the road to Westpunt. The only connection from the Eastern part of the island to the Western part (apart from some dirt roads).

The first choice is to go left at the sign "Soto" and continue along that road past a number of dive sites like San Juan, San Nicolaas, Playa Lagun and Playa Abou. Finally after a winding road you reach the parking place with a number of restaurants, one of which is called Playa Forti. The other option is to continue on the Road to Westpunt. You pass the village of Barber and after a while you will pass the National Park Christoffel with the highest "mountain" on the island. You go past the church of Westpoint and after a short while you reach the parking place with the restaurants.

You can park your car on the parking lot, gear up and walk down the stairs to the beach to enter the water.

Pictures