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 looking forward to experiencing what's down below you might enjoy visiting 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 found in southern Oranjestad.

De Palm Beach is another place 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 place 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 place 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, this site is located within taxi range Southeast of central Oranjestad.

The chart just below enables you to learn some key facts regarding 5 of the most popular locations where you can go snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Oranjestad
Site Location
Renaissance Island 1.4 mi. South-Southeast of Downtown Oranjestad
Barcadera Reef 4.0 mi. Southeast of Central Oranjestad
De Palm Beach 5.2 mi. Southeast of Central Oranjestad
Mangel Halto Pos Chiquito, 6.2 mi. Southeast of Central Oranjestad
Mangel Halto 6.3 mi. Southeast of Central Oranjestad

Snorkeling Boat Trips

For some people, the most enjoyable snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.

If you'd like to combine some snorkeling with a boating adventure, you can check with 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 to investigate is Strea Charters. Allowing no more than 12 guests per charter, this tour guide can promise sailing excursions with a personalized touch. Their typical options include two different snorkel cruises, a dinner cruise, and a sunset cruise. They're located in Oranjestad.

Still another option is The Tranquilo. All trips depart from the Renaissance Marina. Your tour options include the five hour South Side Lunch Cruise which lasts from 10:00 a.m.

Take some time to look through the following table for a listing of boat trips and day sails that provide snorkeling.

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

If you looking for someone offering snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you can check with 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. They are found in Eagle Beach, a short distance away Northwest of central Oranjestad.

Another place catering to snorkelers 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.

A third place to consider is Red Sail Sports Shop. You can rent a snorkeling vest, mask and snorkel, and fins on a daily basis. They have a wide selection of equipment so it should be no problem to get the right fit and brand that you prefer. They're found in Palm Beach, easily reached by taxi North of central Oranjestad.

Some key facts regarding 3 places that provide snorkeling related services are displayed below.

Snorkeling Services Near Oranjestad
Name Phone Location
Aqua Windies Snorkeling (297) 583-5669 Eagle Beach, 1.9 mi. Northwest of Central Oranjestad
Blue Melody Snorkeling Rentals (297) 593-1554 Eagle Beach, 2.2 mi. Northwest of Central Oranjestad
Red Sail Sports Shop (297) 586-1603 Palm Beach, 3.3 mi. North of Central Oranjestad

To learn more concerning snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for both "old pros" and beginners, read our comprehensive discussion of snorkeling in the Caribbean.

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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