Scuba Diving Aruba – Dive Sites

Aruba is famous for the spectacular shipwrecks and interesting coral formations that dominate its underwater realm.

 

Aruba Dives Sites map 2

 

There are around 40 dive sites on Aruba. Here are some of the highlight.

ANTILLA WRECK – W.W.II German freighter. Best wreck in the Caribbean. Wreck is over 400 feet long and sits on its port side. It breaks the surface from a maximum depth of 60 feet. Abundance of colorful fish on coral encrusted wreck. Large jewfish lives in forward section. Throngs of blue tangs will eat bread out of your hands at the stern of the boat. There are more fish here than on any reef. Definitely a dive to be logged.

DEBBIE II WRECK – In 1992 a 120 foot fuel barge was sunken to create an artificial reef as well as a new dive site. The wreck is surrounded by a reef where you can find widely spread leaf and brain corals. Rays and lobsters are occasionally spotted at this site.

PEDERNALIS WRECK – The Pedernales wreck is an oil tanker that was torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II. The wreck is a paradise for dive beginners. The wreck’s several large pieces are spread out between coral formations, and wreck cabins, wash basins, lavatories, and more are completely visible – even the wreck’s pipeline system. The wreck of the Pedernales was cut into three pieces by the U.S. military during the war. The center piece, damaged by the torpedo, was left behind, and the two end pieces were towed to the U.S. and welded together into a smaller vessel. The new ship was a part of the Normandy invasion fleet. The area around the Pedernales wreck is known for its many types of groupers and its bounty of angel fish.

STAR GARRET WRECK – The Star Garret is a cargo ship wreck, which is 300 feet long in approx. 63 feet of water. Great abundance of sea life, big spider crabs, barracudas, and large cargo spaces. Exciting dive.

TUGBOAT WRECK – The reef starts in 20-70 feet of water. The tugboat wreck stands upright on bottom in 90 feet of water and is home to a quantity of fish including two 7 foot long green moray eels. On occasion spotted eagle rays, sting rays and octopuses can be seen very close by.

AIRPLANE WRECKS – Two airplanes, an S-11 and a DC-3, have been sunk intentionally as an artificial reef. After hurricane Lenny in 1999 the DC-3 was dragged to 80 feet of water. Before completely intact and now in two big pieces where penetration of the wreck is still possible. Other parts of this plane are located at a depth of 45 feet on a reef. The S-11 was sunk in 2004 and except for the nose the plane is completely intact. Penetration of this plane is easy. This is a very nice and interesting dive with a great photo opportunity.

SONESTA REEF – Nice reef that starts in 15 feet of water and goes to 80 feet. Lots of brain coral, orange cup sponges, parrot fish, damsel fish, and butterfly fish.

DANTCHI’S DELIGHT – Easy and beautiful dive with a lot of orange sponges, staghorn coral and damsel fish. Starts in 15 feet of water and goes to 60 feet.

BALI BARGE REEF – Site where the barge portion of the old Bali Restaurant was sunk. Nice sloping wall/reef with lots of fish, plume worms, moray eels and eagle rays. Starts in 25 feet and goes to 130 feet. Definitely an advanced dive.

BARCADERA REEF – Great reef with lots of fish, lobster and moray eels. Starts in 15 feet of water and goes to 80 feet. Seahorses to be found at this site in about 45 feet of depth. Great dive for photography and winning a free dive when finding a seahorse!!!

KANTIL REEF – Drop off from 5-130 feet. Beautiful reef with lots of parrot fish, barracudas, lobsters and lots more.

SKALAHEIN REEF – One of the most beautiful reefs on Aruba. Reef slopes from 20 feet of water down to 140 feet. Lots of fish and different types of coral live there. Great for drift diving. Manta rays can be spotted there occasionally. This is definitely a dive to be logged.

JANE C WRECK – An exciting dive. The Jane C wreck is a cargo ship standing upright in sand. Bow is in 65 feet of water and stern is in 94 feet. Wreck is 250 feet long. Chain is hooked throughout the coral reef. Huge cargo spaces. Often visited by barracudas, manta rays and even turtles. Strong currents sometimes. Definitely an advanced dive.

PLONCO REEF – Starting shallow at 20 feet of water, this reef slopes beyond 100 feet with large, healthy brain, fire and star corals, boring and encrusting sponges and gorgonians. Lobsters are common while fish life includes barracudas, rainbow runners, parrotfish, surgeonfish, yellowtail grunts and sergeant majors, moray eels and many species of reef fish. There is often enough current to turn the dive into a drift dive. It is also a good dive for normal and macro photography

DE PALM SLOPE – This is a good dive, starts in shallow water and drops to deep water with fine coral formations and often done as a drift dive, there are barracudas, parrotfish, surgeonfish, yellowtail grunts and sergeant majors, spotted eagle rays are often seen.

MIKE’S REEF – Huge corals guide you into the homes of big barracuda’s and rainbow runners patrolling coastline. Brain, mountain, star, and tower corals as well as deep water gorgonians and soft corals abound here. An excellent dive for macro photography.

THE FINGERS – The reef comes out like fingers pointing down to deeper waters. Beautiful coral formations and sea fans can be found here. Moray eels and turtles are often seen on this site.

MAS BANGO REEF – One of the best dive sites in Aruba. Starts in about 5 feet packed with corals and slopes down to 130 feet. At 130 feet you can enjoy 5 islands of coral with an abundance of mas bango fish which draw large fish like big jacks, tuna, and barracudas. The reef here is extraordinary, beautiful, and preserved. Home of seahorses and turtles. This is most definitely a must do dive, photo, and a great dive to log. Easy for beginners and great for advanced divers.

SHARK REEF – Shark reef is a dive noted for its enormous diversity of sights. Giant star coral castles, as well as brain, star, pillar, flower, finger-leaf, and sheet coral proliferate. Big manta rays, as well as turtles, can be spotted here. A dive not to be missed.

ISLA BONITA – At this beautiful reef moray eels, coral crabs, and schools of snappers playing around are often spotted. Coves formed of sheet coral and leaf coral, as well as sea rods and sea ships sway gently to the rhythm of the currents.

 

More Information on Aruba

 

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