Are you searching for an exciting holiday destination with fantastic beaches and water-based activities? Then look no further than the “One Happy Island” of Aruba. With astonishingly beautiful white beaches and breathtaking coral reefs, snorkeling in Aruba is a dream come true.
Snorkeling in Aruba is one of the most popular tourist activities due to the white sandy beaches, warm turquoise waters, and vibrant coral reefs. The clear and calm waters surrounding the Island accompanied by minimal waves and currents provide ideal conditions for snorkelers.
Snorkelers in Aruba get to enjoy absolute ideal conditions for snorkeling, which allows any snorkeler to see as far as 100 feet underwater, which is impressive. The waters surrounding the Island have an average temperature of 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a snorkeler’s paradise.
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Snorkeling In Aruba
The Island of Aruba is home to some of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean. With over ten unique snorkeling destinations to visit, it’s impossible to feel bored on your vacation. The snorkeling sites are often easily accessible, as well as exceptionally beautiful.
Suppose you are someone who enjoys the freeing feeling of surrounding yourself with nature and exploring the underwater worlds and immersing yourself in marine life. In that case, snorkeling in Aruba is perfect for you.
With the weather conditions being more than ideal, an abundance of unique marine life to see, and crystal-clear calm waters with little to no currents and waves, Aruba is one of the top places to go snorkeling in the whole Caribbean region.
Due to the Island being such a popular tourist attraction, there are multiple snorkeling and boat tours available for you to choose from. Tourists can reach many of the popular snorkeling beaches by car or bus, and the tours generally include food, music, and other fun activities.
Top 10 Snorkeling Spots In Aruba
So, you’ve planned a vacation to Aruba, one of the top places to snorkel in the Caribbean, and you’re probably wondering, “where do I even start?”. Well, no need to worry! The list below contains the top ten places for snorkeling in Aruba.
Close to 20 minutes south of Oranjestad, Mangel Halto is a secluded beach that is perfect for snorkeling. It sits behind an intriguing network of mangrove thickets. On this private beach, you can snorkel in calm waters that are full of sea life.
Popular attractions include a tiny sunken tugboat that can be found by the nearest buoy. The sea is also a stunning shade of Caribbean turquoise blue that is famous around these islands.
The water is relatively warm, sitting at the ideal Caribbean temperature of 78-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Mangel Halto is one of the more popular spots for snorkeling around the Island Aruba, especially considering there is a coral reef close by the beach where you can go exploring.
Snorkelers can enter the water by walking between the mangroves or via the large platform dock. Just remember to bring special water shoes as shells and rocks can wash up and sit around the roots of the mangroves.
Mangel Halto Beach is a perfect spot for families or people without a lot of experience with snorkeling. The waters at Mangel Halto are calm and shallow enough to practice your skills safely, and you can even walk to the edge of the reef, where you can spot yellowtail snapper, parrotfish, blue tangs, and even the occasional barracuda.
However, unless you are an experienced snorkeler, is it advised that you do not try and go out beyond the reef, as the currents can be pretty strong in the open waters.
Despite its name, Baby Beach is one of the largest beaches in Aruba. Baby Beach is also one of the best spots for snorkeling. This beach boasts a half-moon-shaped bay that is open to the ocean on two sides and has a large sandbar right in the middle that will block any waves, currents, or swells.
The waters in Baby Beach are protected, making for an excellent snorkeling spot with an abundance of marine life. The bay is vast and has a gradual drop-off, which means you will be allowed to walk 50-60 yards out and still be able to touch the bottom.
Bring your snorkeling equipment or rent some out from the local shops that are along the beach. In addition to snorkeling gear, they also rent out loungers and beach umbrellas. There are also multiple beach bars available if you’re feeling like a beachside cocktail.
As the currents outside the cove can get quite intense, most marine life can be found near the shore. This means you’ll have an even greater chance of seeing crabs, small squid, parrotfish, and even barracudas and eels. The shallow calm waters make it a family-friendly snorkeling spot, perfect for beginners.
The Antilla Shipwreck
The Antilla shipwreck is a widely popular snorkeling spot in Aruba. This is because most shipwrecks can only be accessed by scuba divers that can reach much deeper ocean depths. Luckily, the 1940 Antilla shipwreck sinking is one of Aruba’s most easily accessed and popular snorkeling spots.
Measuring over a staggering 400 feet long, this astonishingly intact shipwreck is actually the second largest wreck in the entire Caribbean. The Antilla was a former German trade ship in the 1930s, and it sank during the Nazi Era. While some people have come up with their theories about why it sank, there is still no real explanation for why it’s on the ocean floor today.
Swimming around this large shipwreck could easily take you hours. The shallowest part of the Antilla sits at 25 feet deep, while the deepest part is around 60 feet deep. Since visibility for snorkelers is possible between 70 and 90 feet, the ship can easily be seen from above.
The ship isn’t the only exciting thing to see; the wreck has colorful coral formations, which have attracted sea turtles, lobsters, eels, and large schools of fish for you to observe.
De Palm Island
De Palm Island is situated just off the coast of the mainland. It is the perfect spot to be focused entirely on snorkeling, with many other watersports also being available. De Palm has its very own coral reef that surrounds the Island, which is one of the things that makes it so popular.
At De Palm Island, you can go out and snorkel right from the shore without having to book and have a tour boat take you to the reef. Due to the calm waters and complimentary snorkel tours that happen twice a day, De Palm is the perfect place for beginners to practice their snorkeling skills.
In water that is no more than waist-deep, you can expect to see some of the Island’s excellent colorful fish swimming around you. Out on the reefs, you can expect to see triggerfish and parrotfish in various colors, as well as black and white angelfish, and if you are really lucky, you may even be able to see some moray spotted eels.
Since De Palm is a private island, you will find that it operates on an all-inclusive basis. Once you’re done with snorkeling for the day, or even if you’ve just decided to take a quick break, it is effortless to grab a nice, chilled cocktail and relax on a lounger.
If you’re stretched for time and are unsure of which snorkeling site to visit, you can never go wrong with Boco Catalina. Considered one of the greatest snorkeling sites on the Island, Boca Cataline has everything you could ever want as a snorkeler.
Situated nearby a sandy white beach, Boca Catalina is just a swimming distance from the shore. There’s also no need to be an experienced snorkeler, as Catalina has an ideal location that allows snorkelers to jump in and out of the water with no need to spend multiple hours out in the ocean.
Boca Catalina can also be accessed via boats, and most tours will take you to Catalina Cove, which can be a bit rocky if you are trying to enter it from the shore. Since there is an abundance of boats in the area, the fish have gotten quite used to humans and will even come right up to you in the water.
Eagle Beach is one place you do not want to miss out on. It is close to Oranjestad, but what makes it so unique is the fact that it is a sea turtle nesting ground. The beach also houses two of the Island’s most famous fofoti trees. These trees have a similar appearance to bonsai trees, except they are life-sized.
If it’s tropical fish that you are searching for, you’re in luck. Although Eagle Beach does not have a reef, it can boast the fact that it is one of the simplest places to snorkel on the Island, making it perfect for beginners who are new to snorkeling.
You will be able to spot crabs and fish in water that is no more than a few feet deep. What’s even better is that you do not need to bring your snorkeling equipment, as multiple vendors on the beach will rent out everything you need for snorkeling.
Malmok Beach is such a popular destination for snorkelers that you’ll want to try and get there early in the morning to have some alone time with the fish. By mid-afternoon, you can expect crowds of snorkelers to fill the waters.
You will also need to bring your snorkeling gear, as no vendors on the beach will rent out equipment. The reason for Malmoks’ popularity is that there is a reef situated just off the shore.
At the reef in Malmok, you can expect to see multiple fish species, accompanied by bottom-dwelling creatures such as eels and crustaceans.
Tres Trapi Beach
Tres Trapi (meaning “three steps”) has a very straightforward entrance where you can swim out right into the ocean. While it doesn’t have a coral reef, you can expect to see dozens of starfish while snorkeling.
The starfish can range from vibrant shades of yellow, orange, or red to deep brown hues. You need to swim out 20 meters from the ocean’s entry steps to see the starfish. From this point, you’ll be able to see the starfish lining the ocean floor for the next 200 feet.
The waters at Tres Trapi are calm and clear, making it a perfect spot for beginners to practice their skills. There are several different species of sea stars (Starfish) in Aruba, but their most common starfish is the cushion sea star, which is most prevalent at Tres Trapi Beach.
At Arashi Beach, more advanced snorkelers can explore the reef by the right end of the beach. The water around the reef is very shallow, around one to five feet deep in certain spots. So be sure to wade out before the water gets dark. There is a large variety of marine life to see.
For less experienced snorkelers, especially on extremely windy days or when the currents are especially strong, you can head towards the left of the beach. The area in the center of the beach is mostly sand and seagrass.
The left side of Arashi Beach extends onto a rocky point which makes up the right edge of the Catalina Cove. Snorkelers can brave Catalina’s rocky entrance with the proper footwear, where you can see rainbow parrotfish, Spanish hogfish, and French angels, all amongst vibrant, colorful file, finger, and brain corals.
Conchi, Natural Pool
When it comes to sea life and coral, Conchi, the natural pool of Aruba, isn’t the best place to try. However, it is undoubtedly a unique place to go snorkeling. This extremely tranquil pool is surrounded by unique volcanic stone circles in an otherworldly, unforgettable spot.
While snorkeling under the water, you can expect to spot brave fish as well as jumpers as they leap from the rocks. This remote pool is encircled by some of Aruba’s most rugged terrain. You can reach the pool by horseback, 4×4 vehicles, or even by foot.
Aruba Snorkeling Fees
Below is a table on some of the snorkeling tours available in Aruba, with their prices. You can also find the tours yourself by clicking here.
|Aruba Champagne Breakfast And Lunch Cruise||$85 Per Person|
|The Arusan – Aruba Catamaran Sail and Snorkeling||$50 Per Person|
|De Palm Island (With Bus Transportation)||$115 Per Person|
|Catamaran Dolphin Snorkeling Cruise||$59 Per Person|
|Lunch And Snorkel Sail (Red Sail Sports Aruba)||$87 Per Person|
|Jolly Pirate Morning Sail And Snorkel Cruise||$76.32 Per Person|
|Antilla And Catalina Snorkel Sail||$65 Per Person|
|Palm Pleasure Morning Snorkel Adventure||$89 Per Person|
|Jolly Pirate Afternoon Sail And Snorkel Cruise Aruba||$61.48 Per Person|
|Private Snorkeling Trip (Octopus Sailing Charters)||$115 Per Person|
|North Coast Seabob Reef Tour Segway Aruba Tours||$97.44 Per Person|
|Aruba Sailing And Snorkeling Experience||$59 Per Person|
Aruba is one of the most popular Islands in the Caribbean for snorkelers. With the warm, crystal clear calm waters, white sandy beaches, and an abundance of spots for tourists to rent out snorkeling equipment or book private boat and snorkeling tours, snorkeling in Aruba should be on everyone’s bucket list.