10 Best Diving Spots in Aruba
What not many people realize is that underneath the surface, Aruba plays host to about 30 Best dive spots for scuba divers. Scuba divers travel to Aruba from all over the world to explore many underwater wrecks, and coral reefs. If you don’t know where to start, Nautilus Dive Center offers unforgettable dive tours for people of any experience range. But with so many locations to choose from, which are the ones that promise the most unique experience? Here’s our pick for top ten:
The Antilla, a German freighter ship whose crew chose to sink itself instead of allowing it to be overthrown at the start of World War II, is the largest underwater wreck in the South Caribbean. The shipwreck boasts a large 400 feet long hull and is a suitable site to explore inside the ship. Be sure to take an underwater bath in the Captain’s bathtub near the wreck.
A great spot for getting your feet wet (literally and figuratively) for the first time as far as Scuba Diving goes. The Pedernales oil tanker was torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, and was partially repaired as it remains now. There are plenty of sections of the boat you can explore including living quarters and bathrooms which are now all inhabited by coral, fish, and barnacles.
Why explore ships when you can explore planes? Close to the renaissance island adjacent to the airport landing strip you’ll find appropriately placed planes submerged in the water. The planes, which are home to two green morays, provide an almost ominous beginning to what would look like a haunted underwater forest if not for the bright yellow sun shining through. On the other side of the massive reef you’ll find a sunken tugboat as well, making the Renaissance area a great place for a photo-op with its variety in underwater landmarks. Be sure to keep an eye out for sting rays and eagle rays which soar past from time to time.
What makes the Hole In The Wall unique compared to the others is that it is less of a single location and more of a drive-thru experience. Starting at the beginning of this canal, divers can let the naturally flowing current take them through the narrow reefs to your final destination: Mangel Halto.
With depths ranging from 0 to 110 feet, Mangel Halto brings a wide variety of exploration opportunities. Stay in the shallows and study the coral formations or dive in deeper and encounter large schools of colorful fish, octopi, and even the occasional sea horse. What makes Mangel Halto unique is that it is accessible from the shore, which means you can be under the sea one moment and tanning in the sun the next. Why not have the best of both worlds?
Literally translated to “Island of Gold”, this expansive reef grows over a vast shallow stretch of sand. Here you’ll find brain, star, and plate corals that serve as hiding places for different types of angel, trumpet, and porcupine fish, and eels as well. Be sure to look under every nook and cranny and you may even find a lobster hiding under a rock.
This wreck was placed near Mangel Halto just under 10 years ago, on the open ocean floor in a relatively shallow part of the sea, making it a great place for new divers to get experience. Being further out at sea than most other wrecks, this location enjoys a wonderfully mixed population of eels, fish, rays, coral and much more.
A unique site that ranges from areas of thin coral population due to sand, and immensely dense reefs. This is a great spot to find very large coral patterns and arrangements.
This old shipyard is home to an elusive Barracuda and many other sea creatures.
A local favorite, Mike’s Reef is one of the most vibrant reefs in Aruba, both in color and life. With giant groups of brain and star corals sprinkled with gorgonians in between, splashed with sponges in a wide variety of colors, Mike’s Reef takes the cake when it comes to picturesque views and is home to equally colorful fish, and sea creatures. Don’t be surprised if while exploring this reef you see a red crab with a Jamaican accent singing about life under the sea.
Just west of the Palm Island coral reef lies this wreck, the Jane C. Under the surface, a massive cement freighter almost the length of a football field finds itself subjected to play host to a plethora of corals as the hull of the freighter is almost completely enveloped by soft corals that dance in rhythm of the waves and glow in beautiful colors at night.
Whether you prefer the adventure of a sunken ship exploration, the majesty of colors and lights combining to provide breathtaking views, or the relaxing notion of letting the current just take you to your destination, Aruba has everything to satisfy your diving desires. To ensure you and yours have the best experience, remember to book a tour with Nautilus Dive Center.