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Thread: Bus from Low Rise to Malmok Beach/Catalina Cove for Snorkeling?

  1. #1
    Junior Member grsoren's Avatar
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    Bus from Low Rise to Malmok Beach/Catalina Cove for Snorkeling?

    Hi Everyone,

    We will be staying at Amsterdam Manor and are researching some snorkeling ideas. We’re coming for 10 days and are bringing our own snorkeling gear. We visited Aruba once for one day while on a cruise and did the Jolly Pirates tour which was great, but it seems that we can snorkel from shore without having to do a tour. From what we have found on this forum, it looks like we might be able to hop on a bus near the Amsterdam Manor and travel up to the Malmok Beach/Boca Catalina/Catalina Cove area. It looks like Malmok Beach is a good place to snorkel from shore, and Catalina Cove is good snorkeling but a more difficult/rocky beach to try to enter the water from.

    So we were wondering:
    1) How easy is it to take a bus to these areas? Is it a long walk or does the bus drop you off near the beaches?
    2) We’re not going to bring valuables, but do we need to worry about leaving shoes/hats/towels on the beach?
    3) Do we need to worry about protective footwear when entering these snorkeling areas (urchins, glass etc)?
    4) Is it easy to enter at Boca Catalina and then swim to Catalina Cove? Or are they far apart and we’d be better off just going to Malmok Beach?

    Any other advice or ideas are greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    There is a small beach at Boca Catalina which is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. There are a few shade palapas here but no restroom facilities. There are no rest room facilities at all along the coast at either BC, Catalina Cove or Arashi.

    Do we need to worry about protective footwear when entering these snorkeling areas (urchins, glass etc)?


    Below is Boca Catalina
    click on thumbnail to enlarge

    If you enter at above, Boca Catalina there is a plain white sandy bottom. On some days, early in the morning, you will be able to see your feet. Put your fins on and walk backwards into the water or walk in as far as you need, sit or get into a crouched position and put your fins on there.


    The snorkeling is a bit better at Catalina Cove below, though it is rocky which makes for a difficult entry
    click on thumbnail to enlarge

    Catalina Cove, I would definitely put your fins on before entering and just walk backwards as best as you can. If one of you has more tender feet than the other, have the tough foot wade in without, holding your back so you do not fall.

    I have further information and photos of this area here

    Ask the bus driver to drop you off wherever you wish. It will literally be a few foot steps onto the beach. If you are at Boca Catalina the bus runs "about" every hour. Keep an eye out for it heading north and you can gather your things and be ready after it goes up and turns around at Arashi.

    As to valuables, when we head to Boca Catalina to snorkel there are always other tourists there. It is a popular spot for those folks staying at apartments or villas to have beach access. Dh and I generally ask someone to keep an eye on our towels and of course never bring anything valuable in the first place.
    4) Is it easy to enter at Boca Catalina and then swim to Catalina Cove? Or are they far apart and we’d be better off just going to Malmok Beach?

    There is a miniscule beach at Malmok.



    Perhaps you are thinking Arashi Beach pictured below?



    We normally enter the water at Boca Catalina and swim northward due to the difficult entry at Catalina Cove. Next trip we were thinking of trying to enter at Arashi and swimming south, however in the past it has appeared very rocky to me. It is a fairly easy walk street side from Arashi southward to Catalina Cove and then Boca Catalina. Malmok beach is further to the south.

    Please let us know what you decided and how you made out when you return.


  3. #3
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    1. Here is the bus schedule http://www.arubus.com/
    2. We have never lost anything on the beach there and have not heard of others doing that.
    3. You don't need protective footwear there, just walk out on the sand or look where you are going if you go out at Catalina cove
    4. It is more or less the same place, maybe 100m, but you can continue to swim to Arashi. Malmok Beach is not for snorkeling.

    Carsten

  4. #4
    Junior Member grsoren's Avatar
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    Thanks for your help, love all the great info on this forum!

  5. #5
    Junior Member grsoren's Avatar
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    We’re back from a great first Aruban vacation, here’s our follow-up report to our original questions:

    1) The bus is a great way to get to the snorkeling areas at Boca Catalina and Catalina Cove. There are two buses that run north past the low rise and high rise areas. One says “Marriott” on the electronic sign on the front of the bus and goes to the north end of the high rise and turns around. The other bus says “Arashi” (I think) and goes further north, past the snorkeling at Boca/Catalina and turns around at Arashi Beach. So you would assume that you need to wait for the “Arashi” bus… nope!

    The first time we went snorkeling, the first bus that came by said “Marriott” and not knowing any better at the time we asked the driver if he went to Boca Catalina and he said yes. He dropped us off at Boca Catalina and headed back south. The second time we went snorkeling, same “Marriott” bus, same question to driver, same response, but this driver dropped us off just a bit shy of Boca and we walked all of 5 minutes to reach the area.

    By then we had figured out the buses better and realized that the drivers were very gracious and were taking us past their normal turn-around point. It was only a few extra minutes of driving, but still, it really showed us how pleasant people are in Aruba and how well they treat tourists. So just ask the driver if he’s going where you want to go and they’ll let you know.

    During peak times, the buses ran past our hotel about every 20 minutes, but when you’re at the snorkeling area, there is only one bus that comes by so it’s about every hour. Still, it’s very easy.

    2) We didn’t bring valuables, but we left things in a bag on the beach, there were other people there so we felt safe doing it, and nothing happened to our stuff.

    3 and 4) Thanks to the info from Arubalisa, we entered the water at Boca Catalina, we could weave our way around a couple rocks getting in the water, and had no problems. We swam north to Catalina Cove and thought the snorkeling was great.

  6. #6
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    :-) :-) :-)

    always great to hear "success" stories.
    glad to hear the bus drivers were very accommodating. i am not surprised.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Arubalisa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grsoren View Post
    3 and 4) Thanks to the info from Arubalisa, we entered the water at Boca Catalina, we could weave our way around a couple rocks getting in the water, and had no problems. We swam north to Catalina Cove and thought the snorkeling was great.
    You are very welcome I am happy that you enjoyed it.

    Next trip we will try to give it a shot entering from Arashi and heading south.

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