Aruba is home to some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean. Great weather, crystal-clear waters, and world class beaches are waiting with a huge abundance of marine life to discover. This is a snorkeler’s paradise, with loads of different snorkeling spots to choose from, all easily accessible for beginner snorkelers to the pros.
Whether you’re looking for a remote secluded beach, crowded tourist beaches, or swimming with turtles, you’ll find it all here. Best of all, you can easily drive between all the snorkeling sites here, so if one doesn’t tickle your fancy just drive off onto the next.
Fish in Aruba:
Angelfish, Chub, Eels, Goatfish, Parrot Fish, Snapper, Squirrelfish, Surgeonfish, Wrasse (Blue Head and Clown), Yellow Jacks, and more.
Coral in Aruba:
Blue Crust, Branching Tube Sponge, Christmas Tree, Finger Coral, Lobed Star, Long Spined Urchin, Mustard Hill, Rock Boring Urchin, Tube Worm, Zoanthids, and more.
Aruba snorkelling map
Best places to snorkel in Aruba
Where: 1.7km west of Central Tierra del Sol Details: A 120-metre long German freighter ship that was wrecked during World War 2, this is one of the Caribbean’s best shipwrecks to explore by snorkelling. Visibility is great and you can easily see the ship from the water’s surface. There’s plenty of coral and fish life to discover inside, as well as the eerie vibe of a shipwreck.
You have to organise for a boat tour to snorkel the Antilla Shipwreck. It might be tempting to swim the 500-metre distance from shore, but we do not recommend this at all as there’s a strong current and lots of boats going to and from the area.
Where: 2.4km northwest of Central Tierra del Sol Details: One of Aruba’s most beautiful beaches, the snorkeling here isn’t really recommended for beginners or children. The snorkel site is a long swim away from shore (though in shallow waters), and the area is prone to surge and currents. That said, you’ll be able to see lots of fish and coral here, including Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Damselfish, Filefish, Goatfish, Mojarra, and more.
Chair and umbrella hire is available,
Where: 1.2km west of Central Tierra del Sol Details: Boca Catalina is another spot just to the left of Catalina Cove, accessible by land or water. There are lots more fish out here, but you’ll have to swim further away from the coastline to really see them all. Beware here as there’s a bit of a current.
Lots of parking along the main road,
Portaloos on-site (just bring toilet paper…)
Where: 1.2km west of Central Tierra del Sol Details: Pristine white sandy beaches populated with tonnes of fish waiting to swim with you! You’ll find a lot of the same sealife here as Arashi as they’re quite close. The fish in this region are used to plenty of boat trips and interaction with people, so if you bring a little fish food they might try and eat it from you!
Beach umbrellas are available,
Lots of shady trees,
Easily walk to and from Arashi beach, just north of Catalina Cove.
Where: 1.2km west of Central Tierra del Sol Details: This is one of Aruba’s most popular beaches, a tourist favourite that’s often crowded with boats and snorkellers. The reason why it’s so popular is obvious – crystal clear water, safe and easy snorkelling, and access to both Antilla and Baboo shipwrecks. Here you’ll be swimming amongst Lizardfish, Squirrelfish, Groupers, Trumpetfish, and look out for turtles amongst the seagrass!
If you want to avoid the rush, go early in the morning.
Visibility can sometimes be a bit bad due to all the boat traffic, so if you’re short on time head to one of the other beaches for a guaranteed good view.
There are no facilities at this beach.
Where: 5.8km northwest of Central Lagoville Details: This is the best place to snorkel in Aruba, and a definite favourite amongst pro-snorkellers. Here you’ll find the largest populations of diverse fish and coral to discover, from huge schools of Blue Tang and Surgeonfish to different varieties of Grunts, Parrotfish, Butterflyfish, and a huge diversity of coral life. A lot quieter than other beaches, the corals on the edge of the bay are absolutely incredible.
If you’re a beginner, beware as a strong current runs through Mangel Halto. You might want to take a snorkel vest and stay inside the bay.
Beach umbrellas are available,
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