The best Aruba diving is its wreck diving. Aruba has been rated as one of the top places for wreck dives in the Caribbean, second only to Bermuda.
Below are some of the top wreck dive sites in Aruba. We dove the first two on the list, the Antilla and Pedernales.
The Antilla is now covered with giant tube sponges and coral formations. You can also penetrate the ship's large holds. The wreck lies in 60 feet of water and has little to no current so it is accessible to all levels of divers. Visibility is usually between 50 and 70 feet. Unfortunately, when we dove the Antilla, visibility was poor with around 30 feet being the max. Maybe next time. It was still an interesting dive and one of the best wrecks we've seen.
Expect to see yellowtails, angelfish, grunts, lobster, silversides and eels.
Another wreck with an interesting story to add to your Aruba diving itinerary. The Pedernales is an oil tanker that was torpedoed by a German submarine during WWII. It was cut into 3 pieces by the US military. The bow and stern were salvaged while the center piece, damaged by the torpedo was left behind. The salved pieces were towed to the US and welded together. This smaller ship, formed by the 2 salvaged pieces, took part in the invasion of Normandy.
Divers can now see the center section which is spread out between coral formations. You'll see wash basins, sections of cabins as well as the tanker's pipeline system. It is a shallow site, lying in water between 25 to 40 feet deep and is good for beginning divers. Again, on this dive our max visibility was about 30 feet. Typically visibility is better than this. Boat ride is about 20 minutes from land.
Expect to see groupers, angelfish, parrotfish, grunts,
silversides and trumpetfish. When we dove this site, we swam into a
school of grunts so thick I couldn't see my husband (and dive buddy). It
This is a 250 foot English cement freighter which was jettisoned by local dive shops in 1988. It's located about a mile south of Barcadera Harbor and sits upright in 40 to 90 feet of water.
You are able to swim into a large hold and then through the bridge making for some good photo opportunities. Beautiful brain corals, sponges and sea fans around the site. visibility is usually good at this site since there is some current. Boat ride is fairly long at around 50 minutes.
Expect to see eels, creole wrasse, sergeant majors and angelfish.
Another wreck sunk intentionally to add to the list of Aruba diving sites. This is a 120 foot fuel barge sunk in 1992 as an additional attraction at this reef. You are able to swim in and out of the holds here.
The reef starts at about 50 feet descends down to about 90 feet. It is sandy around the reef and you'll find leaf, sponges and brain corals among other things. Visibility is usually pretty good at around 60-90 feet. It is a short 10 minute ride from land.
Expect to see grunts, morays, lobsters and schooling fish.
This is one of the newest wrecks added to the list for Aruba diving.
This 200 foot tanker was sunk in 2000 by the Aruba Watersports Association. It lies on its port side in about 40 feet of water in front of the high-rise strip by Hadicurari. Holes were cut into the ship to let divers easily penetrate the wreck. Even though it was sunk recently, the surge has started to break up the structure a bit.
Visibility is usually around 60-90 feet. Expect to see blue tang, yellowtails, silversides, spider crabs and goatfish.
These are just some of the top wreck dive sites in Aruba. There are plenty more to choose from so if you are a fan of wreck diving, Aruba diving is right up your alley.
You might also find our other pages on Aruba helpful when planning your trip:
You might also like these books and products about Aruba to help plan your dive vacation:
Have a great wreck dive!
Photos by shanestroud and ignis paries. Thanks!
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