LIFESTYLE Travel & Food  >  The Best of Aruba, Part 2

The Best of Aruba, Part 2

The Best of Aruba, Part 2
Print pagePDF pageEmail page

BY SUSAN HORNIK

This second installment of the Best of Aruba series gives information about all the great watersports and more that you can take on in Aruba.

Aruba’s Water Activities!

Catamaran Sailing, Snorkeling and SCUBA Diving

Good visibility, several shallow reefs and captivating shipwrecks give snorkelers an array of options. Most sites are on the southern or leeward coast. Slightly north of Palm Beach, Catalina Bay and Arashi Reef feature brain and star coral, sea fans, parrotfish, angelfish, eels, barracudas and an occasional octopus.

The island boasts more than 20 dive spots ranging from 20 to 100 feet, including the Shipwreck of the Antilla, one of the most popular spots for snorkelers and divers alike; at 400 feet, it is the largest shipwreck dive in the Caribbean. A well-kept-secret dive spot, the SS Pedernales was a World War II lake tanker that was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat en route to a refinery in Aruba; the center portion of the vessel still remains submerged off the shore of Palm Beach, approximately 25 feet below sea level. Aruba’s many dive operators welcome seasoned PADI-certified divers to first-timers who are invited to take a resort course and follow-up shallow dive or become fully-certified on-island.

An array of sailing charters – including De Palm Tours, Red Sail Sports, Pelican Adventures, Mi Dushi, Tranquilo and Jolly Pirates – offers catamaran sail & snorkel excursions, including lively music, open bars and snacks or light lunches.

SNUBA

Emerging as a popular alternative to snorkeling and SCUBA diving, SNUBA is the perfect option for both beginner and advanced non-certified divers. First-timers enjoy the extra underwater time without the restrictive gear or extensive lessons. Geared up with a regulator and hose that attaches from the swimmer to the boat, SNUBA divers can explore a plethora of colorful marine life and reefs for upwards of 30 minutes. SNUBA is offered on the all-inclusive De Palm Island, as well as through the De Palm Tours catamaran excursions.

Standup Paddle Boarding

One of the island’s newer activities is standup paddle boarding (SUP), or better known in the states as “YOLO.” Adjusting to balancing on water is the hardest part, but once paddlers get the hang of it, it’s like walking on water. The serene coastal waters of Palm Beach and Mangel Halto provide the ideal venue for this sport, giving paddlers a unique perspective of the island while getting a full body workout against the northeast trade winds.

Submarine & Semi Submarine

Marine lovers discover Aruba’s colorful underwater realm without getting wet on air-conditioned submarines, the Atlantis Submarine Tour and Seaworld Explorer. The Atlantis Submarine descends to a depth of 130-feet below the Caribbean Sea, where a knowledgeable co-pilot guides guests through a tour of Aruba’s underwater world and its brilliantly colored coral reefs.

Voyagers who wish to get the best of both worlds board the Seaworld Explorer. The ship remains above sea level at all times, while its hull, which sits five feet below the surface, provides spectacular views of the Arashi coral reef, abundant sea life and the largest shipwreck dive in the Caribbean, the World War II German freight Antilla.

Windsurfing & Kite Surfing

Thanks to highly favorable wind and water conditions and year-round pleasant weather, Aruba is the windsurfing capital of the world. Year-round, avid windsurfers slice the water and kite surfers play with the trade winds on this piece of paradise. Host to dozens of international sporting events and tournaments throughout the year, Hadicurari Beach (also known as Fisherman’s Huts), located just a few minutes from the high-rise district of Palm Beach, is known as the place to put athletic skills to the test. The beach’s shallow, iridescent water also provides ideal snorkeling conditions and features colorful Fisherman’s Huts that dot the pebbly coastline.

Watersport operators and instructors are plentiful, with one of the most famous being Aruba Active Vacations. Located right on Hadicurari Beach, the company provides equipment rentals and lessons to everyone from beginners to advanced surfers. Local windsurfing and kite surfing expert Wim Eelens is not only the owner of Aruba Active Vacations – he’s an excellent teacher and the organizer of the popular, annual Hi-Winds Aruba water sport tournament. The island is also home to Sarah-Quita Offringa, a world champion windsurfer.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...