Aruba is a great place to snorkel. The waters are clear and shallow. Many places you can snorkel right from the beach. This is my preference, then we can stay as long as we want and get out of the water to warm up in the sun before heading back in. I could not believe the sheer numbers of fish that we were swimming with. There was also a good variety.
Arashi Beach is located north of Malmok Beach, at the edge of a lovely residential area. It skirts a barren lunar landscape and the winding road that leads up to the majestic California Lighthouse. This is a quiet narrow stretch of beach with makeshift huts and a large parking area. A favorite with locals, Arashi Beach boasts gentle currents and abundant underwater life, making it a perfect spot for snorkeling.
The excursions from the cruise ship in Aruba included scuba or snorkeling. I had originally chosen to do scuba of this wreck for both Bob and me, but he had an operation for melanoma on his arm, and he didn't want to get it wet, so he went on a land excursion instead.
One of the ladies had not snorkeled before. There was a lot of wind, and some current and this was not a site I would have picked for a beginner to snorkel. We picked up a mooring (of which there were only 3). They explained that the dive boat next to us was tied to the wreck. They said swim up current toward the bow of the ship, and then drift back, being careful not to let yourself get around on the stern side of the boats because you might not be able to swim back.
So I finned up to the end of the wreck and then came back on the other side. The divers were down on the bottom - maybe 30 feet - where the ship was broken into two pieces. I swam through their bubbles. There were schools of sergeant majors, and some coral on the upcurrent side of the ship. I did this twice, and then was out of film, so I handed the camera up and went out and did the whole thing again. About 10 40, they got us all aboard again. By this time two other catamarans and two other schooners or that type ship were there, and they wanted our moorings. Our trivia partners were on the MiDushi.
I have the impression that they don't normally do a morning snorkeling cruise
The afternoon cruise with several snorkeling stops is 3:30 pm Tue. through Sat. or 2:30 pm Sun. & Mon. (2-½ hrs) $37.50 adult; $17.00 child which includes an open bar. The ship charged $45 for an adult for what was to be a 3.5 hour cruise.
Equipment: I didn't take the digital camera, but I did take the film camera and the dive camera. I finished up the rolls in both of them. I put on my new dive skin, and got out my mask and snorkel. They gave us fins, and snorkeling vests and everyone else got masks and snorkels too. No one else had thought to buy or bring an underwater cameras.
The website says:
The spacious sailing catamarans Le Tigre, Pelican I, and Pelican Too, under the command of professional captains and gracious crew, glide silently through our magnificent waters. Comfortable seating, including a shaded area and lots of space to move around or lie down for sunning. Guaranteed enjoyment, music for dancing and relaxing, open bar and delicious buffet-meals served on deck. While anchored off one of Aruba'a beautiful beaches, there is opportunity for swimming and snorkeling. Or while moored at one of our World War II shipwrecks, witness the magical world of corals, and fish that have made these sites Aruba's most outstanding tourist attraction. Easy stairs for boarding and unboarding.
There was a choice of several types of water tours from the ship. I picked a snorkeling tour to the Wreck of the Antilla. They told us to assemble out on the dock, and then brought us inside and had us sign a hold harmless, and then eventually an old catamaran with ragged sails came in on the other side of the pier from the Crown. Fortunately I listened to Bob and had put on my bathing suit because there was no place to change here.
The boat (Pelican II) had benches on two sides and in the middle, a hard bimini, and two marine heads, one of which didn't work. The captain (a sunburned Nordic type named Jost) didn't seem to have any instruments at all - no compass, no wind speed indicator - just the engine RPMs. He had two crew - a white boy named Ian with one earring, and a black boy whose name I couldn't understand. We motor sailed out to the lighthouse. (I think we are in one of Bob's pictures)
On the way out, they told us about the wreck and the story Bob got on his tour pretty much coincided with what they told us on the boat.. Apparently it was a new German ship at the beginning of WWII and was captured when hostilities started -- the German captain was afraid they'd use the ship against Germany and did not want to surrender it so he dropped the crew off (had them swim to shore) and heated up the boilers as hot as they would go and then let seawater into the ship. The explosion that resulted broke the ship apart and sank it.
We came back to the dock and I walked back to the boat - I saw Bob coming back just ahead of me.
Equipment: After we finished snorkeling the crew furnished everyone with alcoholic drinks of choice on the way back to the dock.
Afternoon Cruise 3:30 pm Tue. through Sat. or 2:30 pm Sun. & Mon. (2-½ hrs) $39.50 adult
Sunset Cruise 5:00 pm Tue. through Sat. (2-½ hrs) $37.50 adult
They also have a dinner cruise - can't imagine how they manage that
Dinner Cruise (with full course dinner) 5:00 pm Tue. through Sat. (4 hrs) $65.00 adult; $37.50 child
There were all sorts of activiteies right off the beach by our hotel. We went on the Banana boat, on a paddleboat, and my mom and I went on a snorkling tour while my father and sister went horseback riding. Apparently Mom and I chose wisely. I remember that neither my father or my sister had a good time with the horses. They said it was hot and dusty and the horses didn't behave all that well. Meanwhile Mom and I were louging on this beautiful boat seeing amazing things (I was too young but Mom got to have all the Bahama Mama's she wanted, lucky mom!)
Both time in Aruba my wife and I enjoyed the Mi Dushi Sailing Adventure. They take you to the sunken WW II German Freighter, "Antilla" where you can either snorkel around the ship and check out all of the sea life or stay on board and drink to your heart's content. The trip includes food (continental breakfast featuring Mimosas, fresh croissants & sweet rolls. Also includes a gourmet lunch featuring appetizers like beef wellington, seafood, grilled surf & turf, seasonal), snorkeling and the ever famous rope swing that takes you up to 40 feet away from the ship.
Equipment: Snorkel equipment is provided and the only thing you'll need is sunscreen (if your not going near coral) and a t-shirt (for those that burn in the sun). Other than that, bring your courage and try a summersault while swinging off of the rope swing. Be careful - it's open bar!
Tubing, Waverunner riding, fishing, etc....all the major watersports are represented on Palm Beach. There is a vendor/rental shack every 100 yards or less along the beach..they even rent snorkling gear... Since there are so many of them I would shop around a bit..they may not come down in price that much but you should be able to save enough for a happt hour drink....most can pick you up in front of their stands or at one of the small pier built out along the beach
Equipment: An urge to get wet...
Kite boarding is what happens when you attach a single waterski of sorts and a tow line to a parasail type kite. North of Palm Beach....(hundred yards or so) you can rent the equipment or take a lesson. There are plenty of vendors along the beach offering lessons. Did not try it due to time constraints but if seem like fun..with all the wind here it would be a great place to give it a try.
Equipment: Rent it on the beach
Jethro will sail you out on the Blue Octupus for nice snorkel trip. If you like smaller and not over crowded and more of a one on one atmosphere, do not hesitate to board the Octupus. Located at the pier at the Holiday Inn. We take it two or three times a week while we are down there.
I don'[t do extreme sports; in fact I really don't do sports at all. However, I'm fascinated when I spot someone else having the thrill of something like kiteboarding.
I was lounging away on the deck of a catamaran, sipping a glass of champers with dinner, when this adventurous fellow happened by. We all sat entranced for about half an hour as he entertained us with his sky high jumps.
Aruba is such a windy island that it's perfect for sports such as this.
Equipment: All the equipment is to hire on Palm Beach.
Aruba offers great marine life and an amazing variety of underwater activity. Explore the shipwrecks from 25 to 400 ft and see the manta rays, barracudas and the rare green morey. Lessons, instructions and equipment can be arranged for at any of the major hotels ...
For the less adventurous >>>
glass-bottomed boats and submarines make trips out to view many of the aquatic sites...
Equipment: If you have never experienced scuba diving before, you can take a Resort Certification Scuba Diving Course so that you don't miss out on the thrilling beauty of Aruba's underwater world. That is what my brother told me just before he took a scuba-diving course ...
Yes, he used to be a dancer at that time, working in the casino of the same hotel I stayed in. After the Aruba adventure he stopped dancing and went on as choreographer. It sounds unbelievable, but doing the photographs for magazine Harper's Bazar my brother got specialized in Diving at the
South East side of Aruba.
The Rancho Daimari is on of the oldest Coconut plantations, maybe started by Dutch settlers during the 1600's. Aruba's tourists asked for visiting this beautiful, unique environment, so the idea to experience this area is in full flourish. You may enjoy nature at its finest whether you're a novice or an equestrian during a trip through the "kunuku".
Equipment: All horselovers, and the models, loved this place. The best kept secret beside the unseen underwater world of Aruba we found to do the "après-hippique" sport-pictures for magazine Harper's Bazar. Modelling nice and smooth the girls went for a horseride immediately after shooting-work, even without taking off their make-up. That was my job afterwards, though I was highly pleased with the beautifull pics, still one of the best in my composite. After all those were "after-horse-riding" shots... ; -))
THIS DECEMBER WE SPENT A DAY DIVING WITH RED SAIL SPORTS ON ARUBA'S MAIN BEACH. WHEN I SAY ON ARUBA'S MAIN BEACH THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN. FOR CERTIFIED DIVERS IS WAS NOT A GOOD VALUE. THE BOAT NEVER GOT OUT OF SIGHT OF THE DIVE SHOP. IN THE PAST WE HAVE STAYED ON THE ISLAND AND KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE THAT AT THE BABY BEACH END OF THE ISLAND THERE IS MUCH BETTER DIVING AND SNORKELING. WOULD NOT SPEND MY MONEY FOR THIS TWO TANK DIVE AGAIN.
Equipment: GEAR WAS FAIR QUALITY RENTAL GEAR. BRING YOUR OWN MASK AND SNORKEL IN ANY CASE AS YOUR COMFORT LEVEL WITH THESE HAS MUCH TO DO WITH YOUR SAFETY.
Located at Pelican Pier on Palm Beach, is your connection to many activities...scuba, snorkeling, parasailing, banana boat rides, sunset cruises, fishing trips, underwater viewing of wrecks in a submersible boat, and more. The people are friendly and helpful. There are also a few shops here for swimsuits, clothing, jewelry, sunbathing products, etc.
Equipment: Bring your happy face :) ,swimsuit, hat, sunglasses, a towel, sunscreen, chapstick, snorkeling gear (if you own it), and anything else you obviously need for the activity you are planning to try!
After being picked up from our resort, we survived the very bumpy ride to Rancho Daimari. The stable itself was much nicer than the one at Rancho Notorious, where were rented ATVs. Beautiful setting on the north coast. A pretty tame ride to the Natural Pool (ask for snorkel gear BEFORE you climb down to the Pool-I was too lazy to climb back up). Be prepared for the gallop across the beach back to the stable - it can be hair-raising for inexperienced riders, and it isn't optional.
LG Smith Boulevard 55-B, Oranjestad, Aruba, 1347, Caribbean
Good for: Business
My husband and I enjoyed our honeymoon here. There is a great restaurant on site and the staff are...more
Palm Beach Road, Noord 43E, Noord, Caribbean
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples