The natural landscape of Porthcurno is striking, with its dramatic granite rock formations, white sand, turquoise sea and exotic plant life. It is approximately 9 miles (14 km) to the west of the market town of Penzance and about 3 miles (5 km) from Land's End, the most westerly point of the English mainland. Access by road is from the north end of the valley only along a narrow 'unclassified' spur road off the B3283 'B' class road. The road ends at St. Levan church about half a mile further on from the village.
There is a public car park at the southern end of the valley for about 200 cars where parking is free out of season. The village is also accessible on foot by the South West Coast Path, being about two hours walk from Land's End or four hours walk from Penzance for fit cliff walkers. There is an occasional but reliable bus service linking Porthcurno with Penzance, Lands End and nearby villages and hamlets including Newlyn, Paul, Sheffield, Lamorna, St Buryan, Treen, Trewthewey, Polgigga and Sennen.