Scuba Diving Aruba

Scuba Diving Aruba: A Comprehensive Guide

A Caribbean island like no other, Aruba welcomes you with open arms as you immerse yourself in the immense sights and sounds that make up this little slice of island paradise. Whether you want to marvel at natural wonders or relax in the luxurious conditions, Aruba has you covered and then some!

Known to have the least rainfall of all of the Southern Caribbean islands, Aruba is also conveniently situated outside of the Caribbean hurricane belt that often disrupts plans. Not only that, but you’ll be able to enjoy a wide array of activities and adventures in pleasant sunshine as the trade winds keep you cool.

Aside from its enchanting natural beauty and culture, Aruba offers some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean. Coral reefs, seagrass gardens, and pristine diving conditions, scuba diving Aruba is sure to have something for everyone. You’ll also find that Aruba has the second most wreck dives in the Caribbean, meaning there are sunken ships accessible to all levels of diver!

Scuba Diving Aruba

What’s Good About Aruba Diving?

Aruba is a real-life island paradise with picturesque white-sand beaches and a world of captivating natural beauty to take in. Let’s take a look at what it has to offer for divers.

Pristine Diving Conditions

With an 80-85º Fahrenheit average water temperature and over 100 feet of visibility, Aruba offers world-class diving conditions making it suitable for all divers, new and experienced.

Location

Aruba’s prime location leads it to be one of the best spots in the Caribbean for all diving activities. With its location in the south of the Caribbean Sea, it’s missed by the vast majority of the devastating Caribbean hurricane season, and you’ll never fall short of finding exhilarating diving experiences.

Beautiful Dive Sites

There’s no lack of top-class dive sites in Aruba, with wrecks sat between 6m and 30m depth and many to choose from, there are wrecks for all levels of diver. What’s more, there’s an abundance of vibrant coral reefs and tropical marine life to discover.

Aruba Scuba Certification

Scuba Certification

There is no requirement to be certified to scuba dive in Aruba. In fact, there are many tour operators that cater specifically to those without any diving experience at all, making it an ideal place to get your first taste of the underwater world.

However, it’s always recommended to get scuba certified to give yourself the best, most enjoyable diving experience possible. While you’ll have a great time scuba diving Aruba as a first-time diver, there’s a lot you can miss out on such as more challenging wrecks. If there’s one place in the world a wreck diver certification would come in handy, it’s Aruba!

If you’re looking to get certified while on vacation in Aruba, check out our recommended Open Water Diving course package below!

In addition, becoming scuba certified will help you feel more comfortable and confident underwater. This leads to maximum enjoyment and safety from your diving experience and something worth considering.

Aruba Scuba Diving Requirements

Scuba Diving Safety

Aruba has marine park regulations that prohibit touching any wildlife, including coral reefs. As always, tour operators state that you must be in good physical condition and have some swimming ability. Children must be at least 10 years old to learn to scuba dive.

With that said, it’s always a good idea to have a dive buddy when you’re out scuba diving in Aruba, as it is anywhere else. This is particularly the case if you’re out diving without a tour operator or guide. In this situation, it’s also good practice to make use of diver down flags.

Best Dive Sites in Aruba

This versatile diving environment has everything from shipwrecks to natural and artificial reefs. Additionally, you’ll find a lot of dive walls spread throughout the area.

During my stay, I observed that the southern dive sites are mainly used by open water divers for training purposes. On the other hand, those off the northern coast are susceptible to receiving strong currents and more suited to experienced divers. Here are some of our favorite sites for diving in Aruba.

Mike’s Reef

Vibrant Coral

Among the great things about Mike’s Reef, what I like the most is that it’s located at a distance of nearly 5 kilometers from the capital city of Oranjestad. Besides, there are various factors that come together to make this point highly likable by divers.

Firstly, the water temperature is around a comfortable 26 to 30-degree Celsius round the year. Secondly, the diving depth extends from 8 to 27 meters, with clear visibility up to 30 meters. So, ideal for all levels of diver!

Mike’s Reef first became popular due to the abundance of coral and underwater wildlife, and it has remained so even in the present times.

The water is warm and the visibility is good, offering a great diving experience. Check out our highlight dive package below for your opportunity to explore here!

Antilla Wreck

Diving San Juan

Antilla Wreck is a natural shipwreck (former German Cargo) that holds the designation of being the largest and one of the best wreck dive spots in the Caribbean. It’s attached to a piece of tragic history as the captain of the ship scuttled it to escape capture by invaders.

It was submerged in shallow water at about 14 meters. The wreckage is around 400 feet long and is mostly intact with explorable sections. Today, the site is increasingly used as an open water dive and training spot for wreck dives. It’s also a popular snorkeling spot.

Check out our recommended experience below if you’re interested!

Star Gerren Wreck

Shipwreck

A recent addition to the shipwrecks, this 200-feet long tan ship was intentionally sunk in the year 2000. It rests in approximately 40 feet of water, on the port side and in front of the Hadicurari high-rise strip.

Thereafter, holes were cut into the ship to facilitate easy in-and-out while diving. Don’t be surprised if you see some joints coming off due to the constant exposure to wave surge.

As far as visibility is concerned, I didn’t experience significant difficulty even in the 60 to 90-meter stretch. And look out for the company of blue tangs, yellowtails, spider crabs, and goatfish.

Find more details of this tour and dive below.

Best Time to go Diving in Aruba

In terms of diving conditions, Aruba wouldn’t be a bad choice any time of the year. Aruba offers that feeling of island paradise all year round and diving conditions change little from month to month.

As a result, you can expect water temperatures of 80-85º Fahrenheit and underwater visibility of around 100 feet all year round.

With that said, if you’re looking to visit at a time you’ll find less crowded waters and better deals, aim to visit from December to March. It’s the rainy season at this time, but the downpours are brief and temperatures are only very slightly cooler.

How Much Does Scuba Diving Cost in Aruba?

If you’re looking at booking an experience through a tour company, you’ll find prices between $100-$200. What’s more, all gear and fees will be included, leaving you nothing else to pay.

In addition, a PADI Open Water Certification will set you back around $600, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Scuba Diving Gear in Aruba

Scuba Gear

There are several dive shops situated within Aruba so you’ll have no issue renting equipment for your dives.

What’s more, if you choose to go with a guided tour operator as shown above, equipment rental is included in the price.

However, if you’re a more keen and experienced diver, it might be time to start buying your own gear!

Be sure to check out our buyer’s guides if you’re looking for scuba gear. There you’ll find all of our top recommendations for a range of scuba gear!

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