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  #1  
Old January 3rd, 2013, 12:40 PM
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kas37 kas37 is offline
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Question Cas Abao or Porto Mari?

Need opinions from those that have been there! Going to be is Curaco on a Monday next month 8am to 5pm. hubby, me, my sister and our Mom... Sis and I want to snorkle from shore, Mom and Hubby will lounge in the shade & sun ... of coarse we want to have liquid refresments available! Which is the best? Least Crowded? How far via Taxi from the ship? thanks!
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Old January 8th, 2013, 07:08 PM
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I haven't been to Curacao yet, but since there weren't other responses yet I thought I would pass on answers I got about beaches in Curacao.

I posted a question about snorkeling in Curacao for my family. - we have a group of 18 with ages ranging from 7 - 61. I received suggestions for the 2 you asked about and someone also mentioned a Blue Bay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by #1TravelMom View Post
We LOVED Cas Abou. Our little girl had a great time too. The snorkeling is very good right from shore. Also, there is tons of coral to the left with little crabs. My little girl had a great time making a maze for them. She captured 20 or so and played and played with them in her "maze"(sorry if this upsets any crablovers - no crabs were harmed during this day).

Easiest and least expensive way to get their is car rentals. It's worth the effort to go here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by curacaoqueen View Post
The best beaches for snorkling are Porto Marie and Cas Abou, you would need a taxi or rental car, they both have food, and bathrooms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cruiseapril View Post
We would add Blue Bay Resort to the list.

We ended up deciding on Cas Abao. Because we have a large group we were able to arrange transportation via private bus. We debated about car rental but we would have to have too many vehicles so decided on bus. The cost is going to be about $10 per person but that is with a group of 18.

We're not going until October. I wish I could give you experienced advice. If you use the search option on the board, you can find quite a bit of information. I found somewhere on here that the snorkeling off the beach at Cas Abao is great. Have also seen good things about Porto Marie. In fact, I read on the boards that there aren't any bad beaches in Curacao.

Good luck!
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Old January 8th, 2013, 07:17 PM
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There are a couple of good web sites about beaches there:

http://www.curacao.com/Attractions-a...urants/Beaches

http://www.casabaobeach.com/
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Old January 13th, 2013, 03:48 PM
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Default Beaches with snorkeling

We went to Porto Marie for a day when we stayed in Curacao during our last visit. It was beautiful and the water was clear. We didn't make it to Casa Abou but plan to go there as well as some other beaches next month when we return. I can't speak for Casa Abou but can give you my review on Porto Marie from the view point of an avid snorkeler.

Get there early if you can we arrived at 9am and got some chairs with shade which is a must. People who came after 10 am were struggling to find shaded chairs. Curacao is very warm and the temperature doesn't fluctuate that much. The sun can be brutal...I think people forget how far South in latitude it is! There's a great dock that juts out into the water so you can get in and out a bit easier not trudging through any rocks. There's also a nice cafe on site with food and beverages. The fresh water shower was a must for us and came in handy to rinse the sand off before we left for the day.

From a snorkeling stand point we really though it was just okay. I think it's relative of course and for some it would be truly impressive but we like to see a reef and there wasn't much reef accessible to snorkelers from the shore. There are some artificial reef balls that attracted some nice sea life and plenty of fish everywhere but the actual reef was deep and pretty far out. We saw some divers out there and talked to them back at the beach and they said snorkelers do better at Casa Abou from a reef access perspective. Another negative we experienced there was an abundance of sea lice and jellyfish. I realize this could be isolated to the day or time of year but it was EXTREMELY unpleasant. It seemed most of them we to the left if you are facing the water and increased the closer you got to either side of the beach where the rocks are.

Again Porto Marie is really lovely and for clear calm waters and nice facilities we highly recommend it but for serious snorkeling we'll pass on this trip next month. We will be visiting (after much research) Casa Abou, Playa Kalki, and Playa Lagun for snorkeling.

Wish you luck and am sure you will enjoy wherever you go it's a beautiful island!
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Old January 14th, 2013, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pandi77 View Post
Another negative we experienced there was an abundance of sea lice and jellyfish. I realize this could be isolated to the day or time of year but it was EXTREMELY unpleasant. It seemed most of them we to the left if you are facing the water and increased the closer you got to either side of the beach where the rocks are.

Again Porto Marie is really lovely and for clear calm waters and nice facilities we highly recommend it but for serious snorkeling we'll pass on this trip next month. We will be visiting (after much research) Casa Abou, Playa Kalki, and Playa Lagun for snorkeling.

Wish you luck and am sure you will enjoy wherever you go it's a beautiful island!

Sea lice? I didn't know these existed and now I am terrified. What time of year were you there? We will be there in early October, which the best I can tell is not peak "sea lice" time. Yikes.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 09:10 PM
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We've been to Porto Mari three times and never ran into any sea lice nor jellyfish. Not to say it wasn't there but these can be experianced at any Caribbean beach occasionally. We've been to Barbados about 6 or 7 times and last year was the very first time we ran into these in the same general areas we've been to in the past.

Last time at Porto Mari the visibility was great. We snorkel the following the reef ball trail out to the deeper reef - ask the giy in the dive shop to show you on a map. When conditions are good (2 of three times we were there) you can see lots of activity on close in area of the deeper reef which is around 20 feet deep. It wasn't too far to swim at all with fins. There are also lots of angel fish and parrot fish and a few others along the rocks right off the beach in chest deep water. Lots of pictures of both on our last set of photos although the photos of the deep areas don't do the view justice as it doesn't photograph nearly as well at the 20ft depth as it looks when you are there: http://simon-pics.smugmug.com/Cruise...4135&k=bX37dGW
The description at the top of the photo gallery page has links to our prior 2 visits as well.

That being said we're probably going to try Cas Abou this year just to try something new.

Big Suggestion: bring water shoes! The sand is very nice at Porto Mari but it is pretty rocky right along the waterline. So if you are going swimming (without fins) then it helps to have some basic cheap water shoes.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by pandi77 View Post
We will be visiting (after much research) Casa Abou, Playa Kalki, and Playa Lagun for snorkeling.
Just want to comment on the note about checking out Playa Lagun for snorkeling. We've only been to Curacao once and we went on the "Wonderful World of Water" tour with Curacao Actief. Our last stop on the tour was snorkeling at Playa Lagun and I have to say, it was fantastic. To this day, my son and I both feel that the snorkeling was there was better than Sapphire Beach (St Thomas) Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay (both on St John). We saw many unusual fish, several moray eels in the rocks, an octopus, squid, etc, etc. The only problem is that the beach itself isn't that great (i.e. kind of small, rocky and I don't remember much shade) but for a snorkeling stop - awesome.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 11:55 AM
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Hi all.
Just got back from Curacao where we went to Cas Abou beach. Very nice beach and AWESOME snorkeling!

Taxi van was a little pricey @ $15/person eachway for 6 people in van. About 30 minutes from the ship. Though we had a breakdown on the way there (3 of 5 lug nuts broke off the wheel and the van was starting to shake ) so it took us about an hour. The driver made up for it by taking us to see the flamingos on the way back.

A few suggestions- Bring your own cooler of booze and some snacks. The refreshment stand seemed resonably priced for a remote location, but the service seemed extremly slow even though it wasn't all that busy there.

Secondly, wear water shoes as there is coral to walk over for the first 10' entering the water. We managed without them, but some might find them to be needed.

BTW - We found (& heard) that the best snorkeling was off the rocks to the left of the beach as you enter the water. Papalas are 1st come, 1st get, but there is still shade available from surrounding trees if you don't get 1. Chair rental was $3 /chair.

HAVE FUN ALL. IT IS A GREAT BEACH!
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Old January 31st, 2013, 09:30 PM
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We were in Curacao for a week long vacation in Sept. 2012 and loved Cas Abou. (we did not go to the other beach asked about). We did not rent snorkle equipment and were able to see amazing fish! My husband even saw a baby octopus! All of the beaches that we went to in Curacao were a bit rocky when getting into the water - lots of large flat rocks too. We loved Curacao so much that we booked a cruise (my first, hubby's second) that stops there in Sept. 2014.
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