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Aruba Snorkeling Guide

Take a Peek Into the Sea

Last Updated on July 17, 2024 ⋅ Written by Laura Schulthies ⋅ Edited by Daniel Mode

Aruba Snorkeling
Aruba Snorkeling

Welcome to Aruba Snorkeling

If you’re searching for the most spectacular snorkeling in the Caribbean, look no further than Aruba. From crystal clear waters and exotic sea life to vibrant reefs and fascinating shipwrecks, Aruba offers unforgettable aquatic adventures for all experience levels. Our Aruba snorkeling guide will give you an insider’s look at the best snorkeling sites in this stunning Caribbean paradise, including can’t-miss tours so you can get the most out of your next underwater excursion!

If you’re searching for the most spectacular snorkeling in the Caribbean, look no further than Aruba. From crystal clear waters and exotic sea life to vibrant reefs and fascinating shipwrecks, Aruba offers unforgettable aquatic adventures for all experience levels. Our Aruba snorkeling guide will give you an insider’s look at the best snorkeling sites in this stunning Caribbean paradise, including can’t-miss tours so you can get the most out of your next underwater excursion!

Aruba Map

Aruba Map

Contents

Aruba Snorkeling
Aruba Snorkeling

Aruba Snorkeling Sites

Although Aruba features fewer snorkeling sites than its sister islands, the turquoise waters and diverse locales make it a favorite among adventure seekers.

Aruba Snorkeling
Aruba Snorkeling

1. Catalina Cove

Overview

Catalina Cove is an excellent snorkeling location for beginners, thanks to its calm waters and minimal current. Snorkelers can expect to see an array of fish life, brightly colored coral, sea sponges, and dramatic boulders. While you can access Catalina Cove by boat, it is easiest to enter the water at Boca Catalina and swim north to the cove. Snorkeling by the shore is recommended.

How To Get There

Catalina Cove is located off Route 1, past Boca Catalina. Parking is provided. For directions, view in Google Maps.

What You May See

Catalina Cove is home to some of the most beautiful aquatic wildlife. On your trip, you may see Hogfish, Parrotfish, Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Blue Tang, Snapper, Squirrelfish, Brain Coral, Sea Rods, Giant Anemones, Sponges, Urchins, and Squid.

What To Bring

There are no rental shops at Catalina Cove, so you’ll need to bring your own snorkeling gear. Recommended supplies include UV-blocking swimwear, coral-safe sunblock, sunglasses and hats.

Amenities

Amenities are limited to a few shade palapas; however, there are more amenities, including restaurants at nearby Boca Catalina.

Aruba Snorkeling
Aruba Snorkeling

2. The Antilla Wreck

Overview

The Antilla Wreck is the remnants of a ship sunken during WWII and offers 400 feet of diverse aquatic life to explore. While only the first third of the boat is shallow enough to snorkel comfortably, the remainder of the ship descends around sixty feet, an impressive sight for the adventurous spirit. The Antilla wreck is only accessible through a boat tour and is susceptible to strong currents and choppy waters, so it’s recommended for intermediate to advanced snorkelers.

How To Get There

The Antilla wreck is only accessible by boat tour, offered through many of the local resorts or on TripAdvisor.

What You May See

Shipwrecks are known for their diverse fish life; the Antilla wreck is no exception. On your excursion, you may see Damselfish, Wrasse, Blue Tang, Snapper, Chub, Soldierfish, Barnacles, Tube Worm, Sponge, Fire Coral, Star Coral, Yellow Pencil Coral, Hydroid, and Anemones.

What To Bring

Depending on the boat tour you choose, you may need to supply your own snorkeling gear. Recommended supplies include UV blocking swimwear, coral-safe sunblock, sunglasses and hats.

Amenities

No available amenities

Aruba Snorkeling
Aruba Snorkeling

3. Mangel Halto

Overview

Undoubtedly one of the best snorkeling locations on Aruba, Mangel Halto offers unforgettable reefs with robust coral, abundant sea life, and crystal clear waters. While one of the most memorable snorkeling sites, with the strong current, high winds, and heavier boat traffic, it is recommended that beginner snorkelers stay near the entrance of the bay while experienced snorkelers may enjoy exploring outside the reef’s cut.

How To Get There

There are three water entrance spots for Mangel Halto. Beginners may choose the dock entrance located near the bay’s corner, which provides a ladder for easy entry, smooth sandy bottom, and shallow waters. Another favorite entrance is through the mangrove trees along the rock-bottom beach. Finally, for those who enjoy drift snorkeling, you can enter at Puerto Chiquito and let the current take you back down to the site’s dock area. For driving directions to Mangel Halto, view in Google Maps.

What You May See

The diversity of life at Mangel Halto makes it a favorite among snorkelers of all levels. During your visit, you may see Lizardfish, Porgy, Bass, Butterflyfish, Trumpetfish, Hogfish, Trunkfish, Mojarra, Grouper, Goatfish, Sea Plumes, Corky Sea Finger, Sea Fan, Lettuce Coral, Finger Coral, Sea Cucumber, Oysters, Zoanthid, and Flamingo Tongue.

What To Bring

You will need to supply your own snorkeling gear, along with UV-blocking swimwear, coral-safe sunblock, sunglasses and hats.

Amenities

Amenities include shade palapas, trash cans, and washrooms available at the Mangel Halto Bar.

Aruba Snorkeling
Aruba Snorkeling

4. Malmok Beach

Overview

Snorkeling at Malmok Beach is an unforgettable experience. The crystal-clear waters, colorful coral reefs, and an abundance of marine life make it a popular spot for both novice and experienced snorkelers. You can swim alongside schools of tropical fish, admire the vibrant coral formations, and even catch a glimpse of sea turtles and octopuses. The reef’s shallow depth and calm waters provide easy access and good visibility. The small, somewhat rocky beach is relatively uncrowded, providing a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere for snorkelers.

How To Get There

Malmok Beach is located off Route 1 near Palm Beach, past the high-rise hotels and windsurfing beach. Parking is on the left side of the road near the water.  For driving directions to Malmok Beach, view in Google Maps.

What You May See

Malmok Beach is home to some of the most beautiful aquatic wildlife. On your trip, you may see Sea Urchins, French Angelfish, Banded Butterflyfish, Trunkfish, Sergeant Majors, Squid, Trumpetfish, Parrotfish, and Bluehead Wrasse.

What To Bring

You will need to supply your own snorkeling gear, along with UV-blocking swimwear, coral-safe sunblock, sunglasses and hats. Water shoes are recommended if entering the water without fins to protect you from any urchins.

Amenities

Malmok Beach is surrounded by resorts and hotels, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars, but there are only palapas with tables on the beach.

Aruba Snorkeling
Aruba Snorkeling

Snorkeling Tours

Something For Everyone

Aruba is renowned for its excellent water clarity, making it a prime location for snorkeling enthusiasts. Snorkeling tours in Aruba offer the opportunity to explore the diverse marine life that resides beneath the surface. These tours typically take you to some of the island’s best snorkeling spots, such as Mangel Halto and Antilla Wreck, where you can encounter colorful fish, coral reefs, and even shipwrecks. With entertaining guides, equipment, refreshments and stunning scenery, snorkeling tours in Aruba are an unforgettable experience for all ages and skill levels.

  Explore various Aruba snorkeling tours here.

Aruba Snorkeling
Aruba Snorkeling

Best Snorkeling Gear

Best Budget

This great set from U.S. Divers includes a semi-dry snorkel, vented fins and a durable, three-way adjustable mask.

Best High-End

Check out this top tier set from Phantom Aquatics that comes in 10 colors. It features everything you want, a panoramic mask, dry snorkel, vented fins and a compact design for travel.

Don’t forget to bring some snorkel mask defogger along as well!

Aruba Snorkeling
Aruba Snorkeling

Responsible Snorkeling In Aruba

Below are tips to ensure you stay safe while snorkeling and protect the local sea and plant life.

  • Only wear UV-blocking swimwear or reef-safe sunblock.
  • Never touch or feed the sea life.
  • Don’t touch the coral.
  • Never step on seagrass or coral.
  • Pick up any trash you discover.
  • Wear appropriate snorkeling gear.
  • Stay relaxed.
  • Have fun!
Aruba Snorkeling
Aruba Snorkeling

The Best Time to Visit Aruba

Looking for the best time to go to Aruba? Aruba sits well outside of the hurricane belt, making this island a great place to visit throughout most of the year. Average temperatures hover between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Looking for the best time to go to Aruba? Aruba sits well outside of the hurricane belt, making this island a great place to visit throughout most of the year. Average temperatures hover between 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit. 

January – March 

This is peak season making flight, hotel, and tour prices higher. Temperatures remain mild during January – March with lows in the mid-70s and highs in the mid-80s. There is very little rain making it a wonderful time of year to visit Aruba. 

April – August

Some consider this the best time to visit Aruba because it is the “offseason” so visitors can find great accommodation rates and fantastic weather. Temperatures may be slightly higher topping out around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but you won’t have to deal with much humidity in Aruba. 

September – December

This is the beginning of the “rainy” season with September and October the more favorable months to visit as temperatures remain in the high 80s and chances of rain are still minimal. November and December bring large  winter vacation crowds and more rain. 

 

January – March 

This is peak season making flight, hotel, and tour prices higher. Temperatures remain mild during January – March with lows in the mid-70s and highs in the mid-80s. There is very little rain making it a wonderful time of year to visit Aruba. 

April – August

Some consider this the best time to visit Aruba because it is the “offseason” so visitors can find great accommodation rates and fantastic weather. Temperatures may be slightly higher topping out around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but you won’t have to deal with much humidity in Aruba. 

September – December

This is the beginning of the “rainy” season with September and October the more favorable months to visit as temperatures remain in the high 80s and chances of rain are still minimal. November and December bring large  winter vacation crowds and more rain. 

 

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