If you ask a local where to go snorkeling, more often than not, they'll point out one of their favorite spots in Noord. Even the best rated snorkeling tours all operate out of the area, so whether you plan to go it alone or want to hire a pro to show you the ropes, you'll be in good hands in Noord.
No matter how you plan to get out and explore local marine life, you'll find the offerings to be bountiful. The Noord area tends to have more rock formations than coral, though the hard and soft corals can be found regularly as well. As far as fish species are concerned, be on the look out for surgeonfish, wrasses, octopus, cuttlefish, sea snacks, urchins, crabs, squid, and more.
While the overlying goal of snorkeling is to see all of those beautiful creatures listed above, there is also a great deal of importance held in the peaceful nature of the sport. For many, the quiet and escapism is what draws them to snorkeling, but with Aruba, you'll have pay attention to current conditions in order to achieve this.
Noord is located along Aruba's west coast, which is for sure the calmer of the two longer stretches of coastline. The east coast is often extremely windy and experiences choppy waters – something you don't want when you're snorkeling, however, it is still important to keep this in mind as you head out for a day of snorkeling. If the winds change direction, it can be Noord's waters that will give you a touch time. Keep the winds and the currents in mind as you plan your snorkeling trip, and it you can, hire a snorkeling guide who will be even more aware of these conditions simply because of their experience.
If you're ready to see what's below the surface you might want to visit Malmok Beach. This is a favorite spot for snorkeling both by tour guides and those who are going it alone. Early in the morning is the best time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds, and you'll find the best snorkeling to be done along the rocky part of the shoreline. This snorkeling site is located easily reached by taxi North-Northwest of central Noord.
Boca Catalina is another snorkeling spot you might enjoy. A great snorkeling destination not only for the fish, coral, and sponges; but also because of the unique boulders as well. This location is also great because the fish are friendly and depths range from two to five feet, but visibility can vary.
A third site to consider is. This amazing site is a World War II ship that sunk offshore at the north end of the island. Although you cannot see the entire wreck from a snorkeling vantage point, enough of it is shallow and visible, making this a highly recommended excursion. The wreck is 400 feet long, and if you move towards the bow, that is where you will have the best visibility.
A fourth location where you can go snorkeling is Arashi Beach. This is a recommended snorkeling destination because there are different spots that appeal to various skill levels If you're new to the sport, stick to the left end, but if you're advanced, stick to the right. The reef runs parallel to the shore and includes elkhorn and star coral, rainbow fish, butterflyfish, chub, eels, goatfish, jack, parrotfish, squirrelfish, surgeonfish, tang, and more. If you want to experience it for yourself, this site is located easily reached by taxi North-Northwest of central Noord.
Check the following chart for information concerning 4 of the most popular locations where you can experience snorkeling in this area.
|Malmok Beach||2.9 mi. North-Northwest of Central Noord|
|Boca Catalina||3.1 mi. North-Northwest of Central Noord|
|3.1 mi. Northwest of Central Noord|
|Arashi Beach||3.9 mi. North-Northwest of Central Noord|
If you looking for someone that offers snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you should check out Aruba Watersports Center. The Arusun Snorkeling Tour brings guests to the Antilla Shipwreck to view the largest World War II shipwreck in the Caribbean as well as either Malmok Reef or Boca Catalina Bay. The trip takes place aboard a 65-foot catamaran and includes music, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages. They are located in Palm Beach, a short distance away Northwest of central Noord.
Another company worth knowing about is Red Sail Sports Shop. One of the best recommended sailing and diving operations in Aruba, this shop has another great activity up their sleeve: snorkeling! Not only can you rent equipment and strike out on your own, but two of their regular sailing trips center around the sport.
A third option is Blue Melody Snorkeling Rentals. A relaxing late afternoon sailing and snorkeling trip is what you get when you book with this operation. Everything you need to create a memorable experience is included, making this the perfect treat for a honeymoon, family retreat, or just a great way to enhance your snorkeling trip. They're situated in Eagle Beach, a short distance away South West of central Noord.
The following chart lists information concerning 3 places that provide snorkeling services.
|Aruba Watersports Center||(297) 586-6613||Palm Beach, 1.1 mi. Northwest of Central Noord|
|Blue Melody Snorkeling Rentals||(297) 593-1554||2.0 mi. South West of Central Noord|
|Red Sail Sports Shop||(297) 586-1603||Palm Beach, 1.1 mi. West-Northwest of Central Noord|
For more information concerning snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for beginners and "pros" read this detailed guide to snorkeling in the Caribbean.
With plenty of shallow coastal areas teeming with sea life, Noord is a great destination for snorkelers. You can hire a tour guide for a full day of fun, or go it alone and move at your own pace. Either way, you're sure to have a great time snorkeling in this area of the island.
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