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Scuba Diving Aruba



Scuba diving Aruba is specializing on wreck diving and if you love this water activity, you should definitely visit at least once wrecks in Aruba. You will find plenty of attractions that will tell you the exciting secrets of sunken ships, such as the Antilla and Pedernales, that became man-made reefs. Wreck diving - a special kind of underwater explorations, and if it's for you, do not miss any of these beautiful places.


Scuba diving Aruba: Renaissance airplane DC3

Scuba Diving Aruba: General Information

Aruba is a small island, which is located in the Caribbean. Island - the subject of Federation, which is part of the Netherlands. Aruba is an island of volcanic origin. It is located at the entrance to the Gulf of Venezuela in the Caribbean Sea. The island is located in 20 kilometers from Venezuela. The island is part of the Leeward Islands. The island width - 9 km and length - 30 km. Aruba's total area - 184 square km.

In the north-east coast of Aruba are caves and coral reefs, and this coast is famous for the high waves. In the south-west of the island is 12 kilometers of sandy beaches. This is an incredible colors of a calm sea, shining sapphire water framed by the boundless shores strewn with soft as powder, dazzling white sand...

Thanks to the pure blue-green waters, Aruba is a great place for water sports. In the north-west of the island is the beach of Boca Catalina, which is the best place for snorkeling. Near the coast we may meet different kinds of fish. In addition to this place, a perfect place for snorkeling beaches are: Palm, Baby, and Arashi. To explore the coral reefs surrounding the southern and western coast, we may need to descend to a depth of 20m to 40m.


And, of course, it will be an exciting journey for guys who are keen on wreckdiving. If I may say so, then this subject is a narrow specialization of Aruban scuba diving. In fact, after the Second World War in the local waters sunk over 400 cargo ships, so scuba diving Aruba - it is a magnet that attracts the curious divers with greatest desire to visit wreck sites. One of the local attractions - is the German freighter Antilla, which was sunk by his own crew. Location of the ship is at a distance of about 300 m from Boca Catalina beach. Here all the time moored a few boats, crowded with divers and snorkelling enthusiasts. Number of the diving fans does not run out, because the temperature of the water is between 26 and 28 degrees Celsius and rich underwater wildlife experience - guaranteed!

Not far away from the wreck of Antilla is lying the tanker Pedernales, or rather what was left of it. Pedernales disintegrated to many pieces and today it is still possible to find unexploded parts lying nearby. In the more distant southern part of the island crashed planes found a permanent "resting place". Aruba has two sunken airplanes an YS-11 and a Convair 240 (or DC-3) both intentionally sunk as an artificial reef for divers and they became major dive attractions and a must-do scuba diving Aruba for anyone who is visiting this island. It will be an interesting event, as the planes are surrounded by magnificent corals.


To tickle your nerves a bit, or just admire the predators of the sea, you can visit the "shark cave". Here you can see the sharks.

The object of underwater explorations can be the cargo ship Jane Sea, as well as a few barges and cargo ships.

But not only the sunken ships and planes enticing travelers and divers - coral reefs along the western and southern coast of the island and their inhabitants attract great number of scubadivers every year. This fact gives few points to scuba diving Aruba, if you still hesitate where to spend your next holiday!

For a nice change, we may place aside our scuba and go down in a submarine with a glass bottom in the greater depths and see the old wrecks that have now become home to corals and beautiful and nimble fish.


Scuba Diving Aruba: Diving Conditions

  • dive season - all year round;
  • water temperature - during the year, water temperature varies from 24 degrees to 27 degrees by Celsius;
  • visibility - up to 60 meters;
  • best working depth - 40 meters;
  • relief and depth - the coral gardens, caves, walls, slopes;
  • main diving recommendations: 3-5 mm dive suit, dive computer, boots, fins, mask, snorkel, gloves, flashlight for night dives, dive insurance, OWD qualification (as a minimum);
  • good conditions for underwater photo and video!


Scuba Diving Aruba: Marine Flora & Fauna

  • black coral & sponges;
  • filefish;
  • squids & octopus;
  • trumpetfish & groupers;
  • seahorses;
  • eels;
  • stingrays;
  • sharks;
  • reef fish;
  • turtles;
  • lobsters, etc.

Scuba Diving Aruba: Several Scuba Diving Centres

Dive Aruba
Mermaid Divers
Red Sail Sports
Just a few Scuba Dive Centers in Aruba


Scuba Diving Aruba: The Best Scuba Diving Locations


View Aruba Dive Sites in a larger map (JADS Dive Center, Aruba)


Antilla shipwreck

That's the most famous wreck in scuba diving Aruba. Antilla was a German freighter during W.W.II. It was sunk by own crew. It is the largest wreck in the Caribbean - almost 120 meters long. Sunken ship rests not far away of Malmok Beach (north-west coast of Aruba). Here permanently moored a few boats, crowded with scubadivers and snorkelling enthusiasts, for whom is of importance only rich and adventurous marine life!. Number of fans does not run low, because the temperature of the water stays between 26 and 28 degrees centigrade. You can easily get lost down the endless corridors of Antilla, where you can still find some locked doors. Spectacular light deep inside the cargo crates great illusion of depth as long you do not dive deeper than 15 meters.


Debbie II shipwreck

In 1992 a 40 meters long oil barge was sunken to create an artificial reef as well as a new dive site. The wreck is surrounded by a reef where you can find widely spread leaf and brain corals. Rays and lobsters are occasionally spotted at this site. It is located not far away from Antilla shipwreck. It's resting on the seabed with the depth of about 20 meters.


Pedernales shipwreck

This shipwreck is also as famous as Antilla in scuba diving Aruba. Located just south of the Antilla, the Pedernales also has a history that goes back to World War II. This oil tanker was sunk by a German submarine. It was hit between the mid-ship section and the aft section and did not sink although she did catch on fire. The crew abandoned ship and left the burning hulk floating. The next day, after the fire had stopped, she was taken under tow and brought just off of Palm Beach, where she was cut in two, the torpedoed section removed and the two remaining sections (the aft end with the engine and the bow) were towed to the Lago Dry Dock. There they were rejoined, welded together, and ship was taken to Baltimore under her own steam. In Baltimore a new mid-ship section was installed and Pedernales returned to service. Torpedoed mid-section is still underwater and it's a great dive for novice divers since it is only submerged in less than 10 meters of water.

Much of this ship still remains recognizable, even after 70 years.


Star Gerren shipwreck

Sunk in August 2000, this is newest wreck site in scuba diving Aruba! It is a cargo ship wreck, which is 75 meters long and lying at the depth of about 20 meters. Even if you know nothing about this dive site, yet - local inhabitants have already discovered it! Divers may meet different kinds of fish and among them snappers, yellow goatfish, sea breams, and even big spider crabs...


Jane Sea shipwreck

A 75 meters long freighter sitting upright on the bottom in a depth of 25-27 meters. As the story goes, this originally Venezuelan cement freighter was sunk to form an artificial reef after it was caught with a cargo of cocaine. Jane Sea is surrounded by beautiful coral formations. On this dive site you will find shcools of Queen and Emperor angelfish that are often coming in this dive site. Also keep you eyes opened for barracudas, green morays, lobsters, tropicals, and gorgonians. At the very top largest cargo bay is opened - so it's easy to go inside without lot of danger. The propeller and rudder are intact and massive. It's one of the most exciting spots in scuba diving Aruba!


Renaissance (Sonesta) Airplane

When you are scuba diving Aruba, it is worth to visit DC3 airplane that was sank deliberately to make a diving paradise and artificial reef near Renaissance island. Since that time it was broken in three parts after Hurricane Lenny hit in 1999. The tail section was fallen off and there is a gap between the cabin and the fuselage, so you can swim through from the rear and exit to the side of the cabin. There are also two propellers may be found at the dive site. Remains of an airplane is resting on a sloping reef at depths 12-25 meters, and is surrounded by soft corals and colorful sponges.


In our review of scuba diving Aruba we listed only the most famous wreck diving sites. Aruba has around 30 dive sites that require different level of your diving skills: California wreck at the top-side of the island and Tugboat wreck on Harbor reef, Sponge Reef and DePalm Slope, Finger and Mikes reefs, Baby Beach Reef and Kappel wreck near Mangel Halto reef... Each diver, whether beginner or advanced will find great points of interest, and if you can do underwater photography - you may easy add quite a few marvellous photos to your photo-albums that will always remind you about underwater adventures and teasing you to go back!


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