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Thread: best places to snorkel/snuba

  1. #1
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    best places to snorkel/snuba

    Hello everyone,

    This will be my first trip to Aruba. I have heard it is known for it's coral reefs, shipwrecks and beautiful marine life/fish. First of all, I am not really sure what the difference between snorkelling and snuba(or extreme snorkeling) really are... I know for snuba or extreme snorkeling you take a brief class but do not need to be certified like in scuba diving; and that you are able to go deeper under water but I am not really sure how that works...

    I believe I had read a post about there being some nice areas to snorkel for free, one being near the Westin? which is where we will be staying. so I was wondering what types of areas are known for snorkeling that you do not have to pay to go to. We are thinking we will try out free snorkeling first and if we are not completely satisfied then we will book one of the snorkeling excursions offered on the island. Any recommendations on free snorkeling areas or different excursions would be very helpful

  2. #2
    Senior Member Shnyda's Avatar
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    Snorkel - is just a snorkel - you cant stay under the water really.


    SNUBA - you are attached to a line that provides air - but it is attached to the boat, not self contained tank like SCUBA.


    I know north of the hotels, Malmok beach area, there is some great Snorkeling. But that is a bit far from the Westin if you dont have a car.
    -Eric, Karen and Mia-
    Aruba New Years 2017-18 12/28/17 - 1/3/18 (18th Trip)


  3. #3
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    There is nothing to see in the waters off the Westin or most of Palm Beach for that matter. It is just a white sandy bottom. You may see some fish swimming by, but that is just a random thing.

    If you have your own snorkel gear, for snorkeling, a short walk south towards the Phoenix Resort, there is a break that goes about 80 yards out into the water. http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=12.5663237&lon=-70.0513762&z=17&l=0&m=a&v=2 The water is very calm there. There is also a little rock island
    click on thumbnail to enlarge

    Here you should be able to find some fish, octopus, etc. There is a little Polis (Police) substation right there on the beach (point of reference- between the Westin and Phoenix). This is a perfect spot on Palm Beach if you just want to do some snorkeling on your own for free

    Unfortunately the sand here is loaded with tiny coral pieces and rocks, but there is free shade
    click on thumbnail to enlarge

    No chaises though nor much else close by. See the bottom half of the page http://www.arubabound.com/photos/plmbch/pbch3.htm

    IF you need to rent snorkel gear, http://www.arubawatersportcenter.com/pricelist_WS.htm the Aruba Watersports Center is right there on Palm Beach. They are located at the northern end of the Radisson's beach.


    I also just wrote up directions for snorkeling Boca Catalina and Catalina Cove at http://www.arubabound.com/dive/snorkeling.htm

    SNUBA http://www.snuba.com/about_snuba.aspis available through packages with De Palm Tours. http://www.depalm.com/watersport_diving/watersport_diving.html Imo for the money, take a "resort dive course" and go for a scuba dive. Closest to the Westin would be Unique Watersports/Divers.

  4. #4
    Member jollypirates9394's Avatar
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    Snorkel - is when you float in the water with ur face and the snorkel is from ur mouth to the air so u can breathe

    snuba - is like scuba diving except you don't have the tank on ur back..it is either floating on the water or on the boat.

    some good places to snorkel are:
    ~ baby beach (great for beginners!! )
    ~ dePalm Island (can either go by yourself, or with a guide to be able to go in
    the deeper water and see more life but...u do have to take a boat out to it)
    ~ I also think that if u are into cruises the Jolly Pirates are good (I haven't
    been on other snorkel cruises but I bet others can vouch for them) they
    have a ship wreck and a reef that you can snorkel...along with drinks (and
    depending on what time you go...food) and rope swinging

  5. #5
    Senior Member Chadd's Avatar
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    The "class" for snuba is five to ten minutes of basic instruction. If you decide to go that route, I suggest doing it on the Antilla stop. We were in the middle of a ball of fish that was easily twenty feet across. Even the divemaster was enthused about it when we got out of the water.

  6. #6
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    We actually have snorkled with the Jolly Pirate tour. It was okay. I really thought it was expensive for what you got. I guess it is a one time thing and it was fun but I will not be doing it again. Last time we were there we took a bus to Arashi beach (not quite sure if the name is spelled correctly) and snorkled at the same place where all the tour groups go. We also wandered further down to the second stop that the tour groups make. The snorkeling was great we saw lots of fish and saved lots of money. The only stop we missed was the ship wreck Antilla (again ?spelling) the day we went out there on the pirate ship the water was extremely rough and we did not spend much time in the water. My kids snorkeled at Baby beach and enjoyed that also. I have never snuba'd but a friend just returned from Aruba she loved it and has some awesome pictures. Have a great trip

  7. #7
    Senior Member jpsphr's Avatar
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    Our favorite place to snorkel is Boca Catalina Beach. If you head northwest toward the Lighthouse on Jose Irausquin Blvd., you'll come to it between the Marriott complex and Arashi Beach. (Arashi isn't bad either!). Catalina is a nice little beach with great sand and coral very close to shore. There are some decent size reefs there with a good variety of fish.

    Catalina doesn't have a marked parking area like some of the other beaches, but there are spots to pull off and park.

    If you want a cheap, friendly and quality snorkel cruise, we'd highly recommend Roberto's Water Sports. They have a stand in front of Moomba by the Marriotts. He offers a 3 hour trimaran snorkel trip with sandwiches and free drinks for $35. They take you to Catalina and the Antilla wreck.

    http://www.robertoswatersports.com/

    They also do private snorkeling trips. Enjoy!

    Enjoy.
    Last edited by jpsphr; 07-30-2009 at 10:14 PM.

  8. #8
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    I think snorkeling might not be a bad idea to start off with but maybe we could try the 5-10 minute training session to snuba by the end of our week there.

    I definitely don't want to look at just white sand so I'm glad to know we will have to venture out to different places. Arashi, Boca Catalina, and baby beach all seem like a good bet to try out. I had looked into de palm island.. but is it expensive to go for the day? or is it well worth the money?.. I think I'll look into robertoswatersports as well, it seems like a pretty good deal if we decide to do one of the boat snorkeling excursions.

    I appreciate the quick responses you all gave. and all the great advice! since it is my first time, this really helped out a lot!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Chadd's Avatar
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    DePalm island is not a good value in my opinion and I did not enjoy the experience at all. We were looking forward to leaving, probably the most (only?) disappointing thing I've done in Aruba.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chadd View Post
    DePalm island is not a good value in my opinion and I did not enjoy the experience at all. We were looking forward to leaving, probably the most (only?) disappointing thing I've done in Aruba.
    We too would have a hard time justifying the expense of De Palm Island when we could snorkel just off shore for free.

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