Aruba. Synonymous with paradise. Crystal clear water, white sandy beaches, tropical fish… a snorkeller’s destination of choice!
Let’s take a look at some of the best beaches on the island for snorkeling.
Snorkeling in Aruba
First up, a few facts. Aruba is one of what’s known as the ABC Islands.
The three islands are Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao, and if you didn’t know already, they’re part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
All of these southern Caribbean islands are beautiful in their own right, but we believe that Aruba pips the other two to the post when it comes to top snorkeling beaches.
All of the best snorkeling locations in Aruba are on the island’s west coast. This is because the west side of the island’s waters are much calmer.
The eastern coast has choppier waters with stronger currents, and swimming is not always advised.
Let’s take a look at our recommended best snorkeling beaches in Aruba.
1. Boca Catalina
Boca Catalina is a stunning beach with a little rocky formation called Catalina Cove.
This beach is such a good place for snorkeling because the sea turtles just love the rocky outcrop! Sure, you could find turtles across the shoreline, but they come to party here!
The waters at the beach are calm, but they can be a little wilder at Catalina Cove, particularly in the afternoons.
It’s best to head to the cove in the early mornings or stay closer to the beach if you’re a more inexperienced snorkeller.
If you’re up for a real cut-throat adventure, a big shipwreck called the Antilla Wreck is about half a mile out to sea.
You don’t need to head there alone, however. There are regular boat tours to the wreck, where you can then have a little snorkel around to see what you can see!
In terms of fish, blue tangs and bar jacks love hiding in the rocks around here.
2. Arashi Beach
This north-western Aruban beach is one of the best snorkeling beaches on the island.
In fact, this is one of many beaches here that sit in a cluster of great snorkeling locations. Tropical temperatures? Check! Exotic trees? Check! White sand? Check!
Snorkeling here is super interesting.
You can head straight in from the beach and swim a little further out to discover corals and rock formations. The fish just love it here.
What’s More – If you want to combine your snorkeling adventures with relaxation, this beach certainly has what you need.
There are beach bars where you can grab a drink and a bite to eat whilst watching pelicans diving for their fishy supper.
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3. Palm Beach
For another sandy beach option, Palm Beach has beach huts, white sand, and resort amenities too.
This one’s great if you’re introducing your kids to snorkeling.
The water here is shallow for quite a distance making it a safe and easy option for beginners and little ones alike. There’s still plenty to discover too.
When you head out a little, the sand changes slowly into plants and rocks that a wide range of fish and corals inhabit.
4. Eagle Beach
Not far from Palm Beach is Eagle Beach.
This beach has even been nominated for awards due to its beauty. The water is crystal clear atop white, perfect sand. This all means great conditions for snorkeling. The coral here is to die for.
There are so many species of fish that this beach is sure to give you one of the best snorkeling experiences on the island.
The beach here is also wide. In fact, it’s wider than most. This means that the area is generally quieter and much less crowded, which many snorkellers prefer.
5. Malmok Beach
Malmok beach is one of the rockier options for snorkeling in Aruba.
There are fewer sandy areas here which means that people often find it tricker to access the water with a snorkel.
In fact, many who travel here to snorkel do so by boat or on an organized excursion.
Despite this, it’s a great snorkeling location.
The water can get crowded on busy days, but there’s enough of it around for everyone to have a good old explore with a snorkel. Many people report having spotted sea stars here.
It is one of the smaller snorkeling areas to discover, so you probably won’t need a full day here.
6. Tres Tapi
This little hidden gem is, well, little!
Tres Trapi translates to ‘three steps’ and it is one of the most unique places to snorkel on the island of Aruba.
The rock here is like a stairway into the water (hence its name). The fish here may not be as plentiful as on other beaches, but the sea stars are well worth a spot!
7. Natural Pool
This place has several nicknames including “conchi” meaning ‘bowl’ and “Cura di Tortuga” – ‘turtles’ cove.’
Natural Pool is a geologist’s dream amongst other things!
The pool has been created by natural rock formations from volcanic activity and is often frequented by sea turtles who love the warm pool waters.
However, getting here isn’t exactly easy.
It’s surrounded by rugged terrain, meaning you can only get here on horseback, via four-wheel drive, or on foot. Perhaps the best way is by coming on an organized day trip!
8. Mangel Halto
This place is also called the “Spanish Lagoon” and it’s actually often overlooked (but maybe not from now on!).
The lagoon is not far from the town of Savenata – Aruba’s oldest town and former capital.
The waters here are calm and shallow, and the sea life thrives off the mangrove ecosystem.
There are some sharp rocks just off the shoreline which can make it tricky to enter, but once you’re past this, you will open your eyes to a world of the most incredible, beautiful sea life you can imagine:
- Yellowtail snappers
- Blue tangs
- Sand divers
- Sergeant majors
Be careful of the water though – sometimes this place can get a little rough at times! It’s definitely a place for more confident, stronger swimmers.
Best Beaches in Aruba for Snorkeling – The Takeaway
If you’re heading to this island paradise, you won’t go wrong with a bit of snorkeling at any of the eight beaches mentioned above.
From rest and relaxation alongside snorkeling to trekking on horseback to remoter places for turtle spotting, Aruba’s coastline has everything that a snorkeler could want. The problem is, where do you choose to dip into first?