The most remarkable thing about Aruba snorkeling is the incredible
underwater visibility around the island which ranges from 60 feet to
What does that mean for Aruba snorkelers? Better visibility means more things to see, and more enjoyment from your snorkeling excursion. Not to mention better underwater photos of the fish and coral!
Almost every snorkeling site in Aruba offers the ability to swim with many fish, often in 12 feet of water or less. You will not find much live coral reef while snorkeling in Aruba, But you will see lots of colorful tropical fish.
Snorkeling is a easy and inexpensive way to enjoy your Aruba vacation. Anyone can learn to snorkel quickly.
When snorkeling in Aruba you should keep in mind that waves are sometimes choppy in certain locations, but calm, shallow snorkeling is available near Malmok Beach, Boca Catalina, and Baby Beach.
Baby Beach, Aruba is a crescent shaped lagoon with calm, vary shallow water on the South East end of the island. If you wade out a ways from the shore, where where the bay opens up to the Caribbean ocean, you will find colorful coral and fish.
We purchased a full day pass to the island. (Not just a snorkel tour). The price for the all inclusive pass included snorkeling (and snorkeling equipment) lunch and snack buffet, open bar (including soft drinks, beer and select cocktails), and the water park for "kids" of all ages - including grown-ups. The only thing not included is a towel.
This is a barrier island destination fun park south of Oranjestad. A basic full day, all-inclusive package includes transportation there, food, drinks and snorkeling with equipment.
They have two protected, man-made coves that are sandy-bottomed, but a good for fish watching. De Palm Island is well known for its beautiful blue parrot fish. De Palm Island is well known for its beautiful blue parrot fish.
If you are a more experienced swimmer, you can snorkel just outside the coves to view reef and corals.
While we were on De Palm Island, we also took a SeaTrek tour. (SeaTrek and Snuba tours are additional fees.) What? Don't know what SeaTrek is? Here is my review.
Most beaches are free and open to the public, but getting to the best reefs and snorkel spots can cost a little more. Basic, no-frills snorkel tours start at $20-$35 per person for a half day. Our favorites included cocktail and food, (lunch or snacks).
The Aruba Palm Pleasure Snorkel Adventure half day cruise visits all the best snorkel spots in Aruba, and the food is absolutely delish!
The public beaches are free. If you are not planning on taking a tour, there are a still a few good places to view sea-life.
Renting snorkel equipment is free at most resorts, or it can cost approximately $20 through the various water sports equipment rental shops along the beaches.
Personally I would suggest purchasing and packing up your own snorkel gear for your trip. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than having a bruise or chaffed spot under your nose from an ill fitting snorkel mask. I also don’t like thinking who used the snorkel last and whether it was it washed out properly... YUCK!
(I am also near-sighted. I needed prescription lenses in order to enjoy the sites of Aruba snorkeling spots. So it was well worth it to me to buy my own mask, snorkel and fins.)
To purchase just a mask and snorkel, prices range from about $10 - $30. A set that includes mask, snorkel and fins can run you about $40 and up.
(The average price for a mask with prescription lenses is around $40 - $70. However some special custom corrective lens masks can run into the $100s.) For those of us without 20/20 vision, the good news is, there are some great deals on prescription masks on Amazon.
Wear waterproof sunscreen with a high SPF. Severe sunburn can put a halt to any other activities you might have planned for your vacation, and turn any honeymoon or romantic vacation into a disaster. The intensity of the sun’s UV rays is magnified by the water. Because of the cooling effect from the water, many snorkelers don’t realize they are getting burned until it is too late.
Consider wearing a dive skin or long-sleeved shirt. This can provide extra protection from the sun, and suit will also help to protect you from accidental scrapes on underwater rocks.
Be aware of currents and stay watchful of your location. Getting too far off course can make returning difficult.
Wear a watch. Losing track of time is easy to do underwater.
Be respectful of the coral. Part of the reason Aruba snorkeling is so magnificent is the coral that has formed close to shore and the colorful fish that makes that coral their home. Coral is a living organism. Never stand or walk on reefs, especially reefs in shallow water. Instead, tread water cautiously. This is a good habit to get into, even in sandy areas, since shuffling your fins lightly helps to avoid stingrays that like to blend into the bottom.
Never wear jewelry. Caribbean fish, especially barracudas, seem to be drawn to shiny objects that look like their natural prey, small silver fish.
Never reach into holes or crevices in the rocks and coral. You never know what might be in there. Moray eels especially like to make homes in these crevices.
It is illegal to remove anything from any Aruba snorkeling or dive site.
Always be aware of your surroundings. Aruba snorkeling is relaxing and enjoyable, but barracuda and moray eels can be aggressive if they feel threatened. Avoid jellyfish, fire coral, and other stinging creatures. Sharks around Aruba are usually passive, and spottings are rare. Be aware of the kinds of creatures you could encounter. Have fun, but, know ahead of time what you should and shouldn't do and how to avoid potential danger.