Curacao is known for its stunning shoreline and crystal clear water, so as we were putting together our itinerary for the trip, there was no question we'd set aside one full day to spend at the beach.
With so many beaches to choose from, we turned to the internet for help. A website called Tiny Travelogue had a post titled, "The 8 most beautiful baches of Curacao," complete with multiple photos of each one (which was extremely helpful!). We narrowed it down to three and when we arrived at Coral Estate, we quickly realized we were a short drive from one of our top picks, Playa Porto Mari.
It was about a 20 minute drive from our rental house and most of that ride is on a long, very narrow road. In fact, one car can fit at a time, so if you're approaching a car coming from the opposite direction, someone has to pull over to the side to let the other car through. It was an adventure!
When we arrived, we entered a large parking lot. It is free to park, there was plenty of space and we felt safe leaving the car there.
The beach's slogan is "Where nature comes first." As you step onto the sand you're greeting by a sign that asks you not to feed the pigs.
Did I neglect to mention Playa Porto Mari is home to wild pigs? We saw two while we were there. Both times they were napping in the shade.
I loved this sign, which points you toward all the amenities.
In addition to enjoying a day on the sand, there's a dive school, a restaurant and an area to get massages. There are also public bathrooms (which I greatly appreciate).
This is the view from the beach's entrance:
There are rows and rows of chairs and umbrellas. It's first come, first served. Eventually, someone who works at the beach comes around to request payment for the chairs. It's very cheap. $3 dollars per chair.
The water is the clearest blue. I couldn't get it over it.
The temperature is perfect. Cold enough to feel refreshing, but not so cold it's hard to get in.
There's a dock you can walk out onto. It's a great spot to dive in, or as we saw many people do, take selfies!
We walked the beach from end to end and there are very cool rock formations on both sides.
While we were strolling, we saw a girl blow up a float and push herself out into the center. How brilliant!
On the left side of the beach, the rocks formed in a way where you could swim under them. We saw lots of people with snorkels floating underneath to see the fish hiding below.
That side of the beach also has this cute boat. Another great photo spot!
After several hours of reading, swimming and strolling, we were ready for lunch. We tossed on our cover ups and walked over to the restaurant.
This was the view to the right of our table:
And this was the view straight ahead:
Come on! It looks like a postcard.
Our first order of business was to order frozen drinks. They came with blue and white paper straws which was fun and festive.
In addition to the regular lunch menu, they also have what they call the "BBQ Green Egg Specials" which are cooked on the Big Green Egg.
One friend ordered the veggie burger, which came with a mountain of French fries on the side.
Another friend went with the Curious Crab sandwich, which turned out to be two scoops of imitation crab with a ciabatta roll on the side. She was less than thrilled.
Two of us got the tomato, mozzarella and pesto panini.
The food was unremarkable, but the water view made up for it!
I snapped this picture on our walk back to our chairs after lunch. I might have to make this the desktop image on my laptop.
We had a truly lovely day at Playa Porto Mari. The water was gorgeous, the beach was quiet and it had everything we needed, making it easy to spend the full day there.
Until next time!