Scuba Diving in Aruba

Aruba (Dutch: Aruba) is an independent state and a small island, the most western of the Lesser Antilles group of islands, the pearl of the Caribbean Sea. It is located just 20 kilometres away from Venezuela. Aruba is volcanic in its origin. On the south-west lay white sand beaches and the east is famous for its picturesque rocky shores. The northern shore is fringed by coral reefs.
There are 40 locations on the island suitable for diving. The waters of Aruba are tempting with great visibility, pleasant water temperature and a large number of sunken ships from different time periods: Jane Sea Wreck, Antilla Wreck, and California Wreck. The underwater world impresses with its fauna: pelagic fish, barracudas, moray eels, turtles, octopuses, rays and other tropical sea inhabitants are found here.

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Mangel Halto Reef has become home to many exotic fish species, such as sweetlips, Indo-Pacific sergeant, and barracuda. The octopuses and frightening nurse sharks are found in deep water. In springtime, divers can observe marine turtles build nests on the shore. Coral reef diving depth ranges from 6 to 34 metres. Underwater visibility reaches 15–20 metres.
Coral reefs amaze with their pristine and undisturbed splendor. Large and small fish dwell near coral reefs: barracuda, whiptail stingrays, eagle rays, butterflyfish, muraena, lobsters, scorpionfish. If you are lucky enough, you will also get a glimpse of rarer sea inhabitants, such as: Labrus and Japanese puffer. Experienced scuba divers do not recommend these reefs to beginners due to currents.
Ships that sank to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea during World War II are part of the cultural heritage of Aruba. 20-122 metre military and civilian vessels lie at a depth of 9–27 metres and encourage divers to explore. The sunken ships have long been silent, but objects can tell us about victories, defeats, and disasters as well as help us imagine the magnitude of the events that took place more than half a century ago.
Jane Sea is a 74-metre Venezuelan vessel with a mysterious past. She was used to transport either cement or cocaine. The vessel was seized by the authorities and became a dive site. Since 1988, Jane Sea Wreck has been resting at a depth of 27 metres. The holds provide an excellent habitat for tropical fish and barracuda. The vessel has become an amazing scenery for naturalistic photography.
Malmok Reef, Mike Reef, and Mangel Halto Reef are considered among world's best locations for underwater macro photography due to dazzling bright colours. Underwater visibility reaches 15–30 metres; therefore, divers enjoy observing variegated coral reefs with a lot of corals, purple and orange sponges, and sea fans that look like intricate coloured trees or plants.

Diving Destinations in Aruba

Aruba is home to the most popular beaches in the Caribbean. Many of them offer activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling. Arashi Beach is the most secluded and most northern beach, with crystal clear ocean water and an accessible wreck. Another equally quiet beach where you can enjoy the beauty of the wildlife is Mangel Halto. It is known for its reefs and two popular dive sites. Hadicurari Beach and Druif Beach are also great for diving.

Memo Notes
Currency AWG - Aruban florin
Timezone UTC -4
Phone code 297
Emergency Help 911
Electricity

Type A - 127 V, 60 Hz

Type B - 127 V, 60 Hz

Type F - 127 V, 60 Hz

Dive Shops in Aruba

There are eight major dive shops in Aruba, and hotel staff includes diving instructors. Dive shops organize boat dives, offer scuba diving equipment and underwater digital cameras for rent, as well as a transfer to the dive site.

Сlimate & Seasonality
Spring

March in Aruba is characterized by stormy weather, while April and May are the best months to go on a holiday and dive. The weather is clear and warm. There is little rainfall at this time of year. The sea warms up to 26-27 °C, so swimming and diving become enjoyable.

Summer

For the Caribbean, the hurricane season starts in June, however Aruba rarely gets hit by hurricanes due to its remote location. The average air and water temperatures in summer are 30 °C and 26 °C accordingly. Rainy days are uncommon.

Autumn

The rainy season in Aruba typically starts in autumn, with up to 46 mm of rain a month. You will likely see two rainy days during September, and 5–6 rainy days during October and November. The air and water temperatures warm up to 32 °C and 29 °C accordingly.

Winter

December is the end of the rainy season in Aruba; the peak season starts in January and lasts until April. The air temperature reaches 29 °C, however trade winds make it easy to handle the heat. The water temperature is 26 °C.

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The Best Dive Sites

Shipwrecks are the most popular dive sites in Aruba, namely a cargo ship Jane Sea, a tank vessel Pedernales, Debbie II. German vessel Antilla is the outstanding wreck. Coral reefs appeal divers as well: Mangel Halto, Boca Catalina, and Santana.

Health & Safety

Although Aruba is an island state in the Caribbean Sea, it provides a fairly high level of medical care. The ambulance arrives at the scene immediately and takes tourists to a hospital without any problem. The following vaccines are required for Aruba: typhoid, hepatitis B, polio, diphtheria, and schistosomiasis.
One has to be careful when choosing foods as gastrointestinal disorders are common.
Overall, Aruba is a peaceful country. There is no place no strikes and rallies. Most of the local residents are employed in tourism.

Dangerous Marine Life

Barracudas are considered Aruba's most formidable predators. They rarely attack humans, however, barracudas have been known to attack swimmers in murky waters mistaking their arm or leg for prey. Another dangerous inhabitant of the Caribbean islands is representatives of pterois volitans, more commonly known as lionfish. In order to defend itself against predators, lionfish releases its venomous spines which are located on its fins. Whiptail stingrays have a venomous tail spine, which can pierce a diving suit.

Eat & Drinks

Aruba's cuisine is a blend of European culinary traditions. You will barely find any native American Indian food here. The Aruban diet is based mainly on different types of fish, caridean shrimps, achelata and clams. Aruba's traditional dishes include pies filled with fish and spices, fish balls, pea soup. Bean pancakes are also very popular.
However, you would not find many local alcoholic beverages here. Island's most popular drinks are beer and rum. In this country it is recommended to drink only bottled water.