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Best Diving Spots in Aruba

Best Diving Spots in Aruba

Aruba’s clear water, bright sunshine and fascinating undersea tapestry make for some of the best diving spots in the Caribbean. Located outside the hurricane belt, Aruba has the perfect spot for your next dive - regardless of your experience level. Here are our picks for 5 of Aruba’s most amazing dive sites.

  1. Pedernales Wreck

Location: Off Aruba’s Western Coast

Depth: 10 meters

Experience Level: Beginners and above

The Pedernales Wreck is a partial casualty of WWII. Targeted by a torpedo from a German U-boat in 1942, the SS Pedernales Tanker took heavy midsection damage, but her bow and stern were able to be salvaged and cobbled back into a functional ship. The damaged midsection of the Pedernales eventually sank and now serves as a wonderful diving site for beginners and experienced divers alike.

While she doesn’t much resemble a ship anymore, Perdernales’ midsection has blossomed into a popular, coral encrusted dive site. You’ll want to remember your camera to make use of the abundant light and calm conditions at the Pedernales Wreck. It’s a popular hang out for some of Aruba’s giant groupers as well as many other creatures that call the Pedernales home.

2. Mas Bango Reef

Mas Bango Reef - Photo by Deep Blue Diving Org.

Location: Southeast Coast

Depth: 5 meters to 130 meters

Experience Level: Beginners and above

Mas Bango Reef will make you feel like you're about to embark on an adventure with the Little Mermaid! Starting 5 meters under the surface, Mas Bango reef gently slopes down to a depth of 130 meters, ending in a sandy, underwater beach where the manta rays play. On your descent you’ll pass 5 separate islands of healthy coral reefs that are home to their namesake: the Mas Bango fish.

Mas Bango fish are irresistible snacks for some of Aruba's most spectacular fish. Tuna, barracuda and big jacks can be found swimming in the deep waters of this dive. Closer to the coral you’ll see plenty of reef fish, crustaceans and maybe even a sea turtle or two. With bright, captivating and cleverly disguised reef dwellers, Mas Bango Reef has become a favorite spot for underwater photographers.

3. Sunken Planes

Location: Sonesta Reef

Depth: 13 meters - 25 meters

Experience Level: Intermediate and above

What do you do with a Conair 240 that was seized in a drug bust and a NAMC YS-11 that’s outlived its usefulness? If you’re Aruba, you sink them and let them become part of a different wide, blue world. These two planes will provide a unique and unforgettable dive for more experienced divers. You’ll feel like you’re in a living anachronism as you swim through the fuselage of a 40 seat airplane and marvel at a turboprop plane that’s poised as if about to take off from the sea floor.

These artificial reefs are covered in relatively new coral polyps and play host to ecosystems of fabulous fishlife. You can expect to see angelfish, eels, crabs, soft coral and brightly colored sponges decorating a vehicle that once soared through the sky.

4. Finger Reef

Location: Off Aruba’s Southern Coast

Depth: 12 meters - 40 meters

Experience Level: Intermediate and above

Fingers Reef is a breathtaking, natural reef nestled in the protected waters of Aruba’s south side. Strong currents make this a dive site better suited to experienced divers. The coral reef is extensive and you won’t have to search for beautiful sea creatures to ogle. Sea Turtles and

5. Antilla Wreck

Antilla Wreck - Photo by @uwaterearth

Location: Malmok Bay

Depth: 10 meters

Experience Level: Intermediate and above

Possibly the most famous of all of Aruba’s sunken ships, is the SS Antilla. Legend has it that the Antilla was making its way through Dutch territory in 1940, during the second World War. The captain and crew of the Antilla hadn’t heard the news of Germany’s invasion of Holland and were understandably confused when Dutch marines, stationed in Aruba, attempted to seize their ship. Rather than surrender, the Captain ordered the flood valves to be opened and the cargo ship to be set ablaze before abandoning ship.

Now, the Ghost Ship (as she’s affectionately known by locals) holds a place of pride as one of the largest shipwrecks in the Caribbean Sea - it’s 400 feet of sunken ship for your exploration enjoyment. The old bones of the Antilla are covered in coral, tube sponges and bright orange anemones, while a host of tropical fish frolic around this wonderfully historic dive site.