Snorkeling Around Oranjestad

With several reef systems just off the coast of Oranjestad and several more highly rated tour operators working in town, this is a great destination for those planning to spend some of their vacation time wearing a snorkel, mask, and fins.  

Oranjestad is ideally located for snorkeling.  The west coast of Aruba is known for having the calmer waters, but thanks to the still shallow reefs it is possible to get in some snorkeling right off the beach.   Still, but many people staying in the area choose to hire a guide to take them further off the coast and show them some of the best know sites in the area.  This is also a great idea because much of the area is exposed to open waters which means stronger currents.  So if you're planning on heading to deeper waters, most would recommend against hiring your own boat charter, and instead working with a snorkeling guide who has a great deal of knowledge and experience in the area.  

There is always something incredible to see under the waters of Oranjestad, no matter where it is you choose to spend your time snorkeling.  Both hard and soft coral reefs have grown up off shore in waters that are clear, calm, and warm as well.  Within these systems, a bounty of colorful and exotic looking reef fish live, with names like angelfish, snorkelfish, and parrot fish.  It is also common to see stingrays, eels, sponges, and urchins.  What better way to escape the stresses of every day life than the quiet serenity of the Caribbean Sea?

Snorkeling Sites

If you're ready to experience what's below the surface you might enjoy Renaissance Island. The main draw to this private island is not the snorkeling opportunities, but it is certainly a perk. The rock barrier can be rough, so avoid it, but the adult beach has some great snorkeling right from the shore. This snorkeling site is located in southern Oranjestad.

De Palm Island is another snorkeling spot you might enjoy. About 100 feet from shore is an interesting coral formation that is home to parrotfish, sergant majors, tangs, and trigger fish. Although it is only about five to 15 feet deep, this snorkeling excursion is only recommended for advanced snorkelers.

A third location to consider is Mangel Halto. Though it may not be the best spot for novice snorkelers, this is still considered to be one of the best spots for the sport surrounding the island. Depending on the weather and water conditions, there are different parts of the site you can snorkel, both inside and outside the reef, but outside the reef is where you'll find the healthiest hard and soft coral, a variety of depths, good visibility, and an abundance of sea life.

A fourth location where you can go snorkeling is Mangel Halto. Known as one of the best spots on Aruba, this site is home to a diverse coral reef system within several semi-protected bays. The conditions can be rough, so this adventure is only recommended for very experienced snorkelers. If you want to check it out, you'll find this site located within taxi range Southeast of central Oranjestad.

You can look through this table for a summary list of 5 of the best places to go snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Oranjestad
Site Location
Renaissance Island 1.4 mi. South-Southeast of Downtown Oranjestad
Barcadera Reef 3.1 mi. Southeast of Central Oranjestad
De Palm Island 4.3 mi. Southeast of Central Oranjestad
Mangel Halto Pos Chiquito, 5.3 mi. Southeast of Central Oranjestad
Mangel Halto 5.4 mi. Southeast of Central Oranjestad

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Some people believe the best snorkeling is located off shore.

If you're ready to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, you should consider De Palm Tours. They have a number of tours available to those who want to get out on the water, specializing in snorkeling the wreck of the Antilla, Catalina Bay, and Arashi Reef. Their snorkel adventure lasts for three hours and includes a buffet lunch and open bar.

Another option worth investigating is Strea Charters. Sail aboard a classic motor yacht with a captain who knows how to entertain when you choose to sign up for a trip along Aruba's coast with this beloved tour operator. They're found within Oranjestad.

A third good option is The Tranquilo. Known as the best family operated sail and snorkel cruise since 1977, this charter company is run by Captain Anthony after taking over for his father who began the business decades ago.

Some key facts regarding boat trips and day sails that provide snorkeling opportunities are provided in the table below.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Oranjestad
Name Phone Location
De Palm Tours (297) 522-4400 0.4 mi. North of Downtown Oranjestad
Strea Charters (297) 600-2503 0.8 mi. Southeast of Downtown Oranjestad
The Tranquilo (297) 594-2173 Downtown Oranjestad
Wave Dancer (297) 582-5520 0.4 mi. North of Downtown Oranjestad

Snorkeling Services

Aruba Watersports Center Snorkeling

If you looking for someone that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you can check with SEAruba Fly 'n Dive. SEAruba offers private charters where you can sail along the coast of Aruba and stop to snorkel at the best spots on the island, snail and snorkel during the sunset or just sail at sunset. They are located in Oranjestad.

A second company that offers snorkeling related services is Aqua Windies Snorkeling. What began as a hobby is now one of the top watersports operators on the island. If the crystal clear waters that surround Aruba are calling your name, get in touch with Aqua Windies to book a snorkeling trip with one of their knowledgeable guides.

A third place to consider is Aruba Watersports Center Snorkeling. This fun filling trip will have everyone smiling as the boat sails to stunning snorkel sites all around the island of Aruba. Depending on the day, the captain will sail to either Boca Catalina Bay or Malmok reef and the famous Antilla shipwreck site. They're located in Palm Beach, easily reached by taxi North-Northwest of central Oranjestad.

The table right below summarizes information about 4 firms that offer snorkeling related services.

Snorkeling Services In And Around Oranjestad
Name Type Phone Location
Aqua Windies Watersports Equipment Shop (297) 583-5669 Eagle Beach, 2.8 mi. Northwest of Central Oranjestad
Aqua Windies Snorkeling Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (297) 583-5669 Eagle Beach, 2.8 mi. Northwest of Central Oranjestad
Aruba Watersports Center Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (297) 586-6613 Palm Beach, 3.9 mi. North-Northwest of Central Oranjestad
SEAruba Fly 'n Dive Snorkeling Tour Operator (297) 588-1150 1.0 mi. Southeast of Downtown Oranjestad

To learn more concerning snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips for both "old pros" and beginners, check out our comprehensive Caribbean snorkeling article.

Promoted by several healthy reef systems and clear waters, snorkeling is one pastime you won't want to overlook when you visit Oranjestad.  


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