Playa Porto Mari is a popular shore excursion beach for passengers who arrive in Willemstad on Caribbean cruises. It is close enough and accessible enough to the cruise port to make a practical day trip. It is also far enough away from the city to provide the experience of a pristine Caribbean beach atmosphere. In fact, it is located within a private estate that once was a plantation on a bay that played a strategic part in the history of the island. In addition to the long sandy bay, the diving at Playa Porto Mari is excellent.
It is considered one of the best dive sites on the island, with a unique double reef (called The Valley) enhanced by reef balls—artificial fish and coral habitats sunk to help repair the damage caused by hurricane Lenny in 1999. Excellent Playa Porto Mari Beach snorkeling is accessible by a reef ball snorkeling trail passing several reef ball clusters along the shoreline. The Playa Porto Mari Beach snorkeling provides rewarding swimming out to a raft, and is good for beginners. If you’re diving at Playa Porto Mari there are more reef ball clusters even further out for strong swimmers. Many sightseeing and diving cruises come here from Willemstad and the nearby resorts.
Facilities at Playa Porto Mari include a beach bar and seafood restaurant, one of the best dining spots in the area for seafood. There is a dive shop and snorkel rental, beach umbrellas, sun beds, showers, changing rooms, and toilets. If you come on a weekend, you can get a massage. If you come by land, there is ample parking for car rentals. There is a small fee to enter the beach area and access the facilities.