Aruba Named Number One Diving Destination
NEW YORK, NY (February, 2011) - Dive into the crystal clear waters of Aruba and experience what Scuba Diving magazine recently recognized as the No. 1 wreck diving and No. 3 advanced diving destination in the Caribbean.
With more than 20 dive sites and over 8 shipwrecks to explore, including the largest in the Caribbean, the Antilla German freighter, Aruba has something to offer divers of all ages and skill levels. In addition to the allure of these fascinating ship wrecks, divers are drawn to the island by its diverse marine life, made up of creatures of all shapes, sizes and colors.
Schools of snappers and grunt fish are common to Aruba and a variety of fish admired for their beauty can also be found among the abundant coral reefs, including the regal Queen Angelfish, the equally colorful, but diminutive Damselfish and the blue-colored Parrotfish, who are particularly friendly to visiting snorkelers at De Palm Island.
The waters surrounding Aruba are also home to an array of octopus species such as the Caribbean Two-Spot Octopus, Atlantic Pygmy Octopus and Caribbean Reef Octopus, which can be found among the coral reefs or burrowing among the rocks.
Aruba, one happy island, is truly an extraordinary experience. Located only two-and-a-half hours by air from Miami and four hours from New York City, the island is ideally situated in the southern fringes of the hurricane belt and boasts year-round cooling trade winds and perfect weather with average annual temperatures of 82 Fahrenheit and less than 20 inches of rainfall per year.
With pristine white sandy beaches, Aruba serves up over 30 luxurious hotels/resorts, championship golf courses, sumptuous spas, vibrant casinos, extraordinary international and local cuisine, exclusive shops and boutiques, exciting land and water activities, art galleries and museums, world-famous music festivals and events, clubs and cafes with live music and more.
The backdrop of a tropical destination with warm, hospitable people is the perfect place for first-time guests and loyal visitors who return to Aruba at a 60% repeat rate, more than any other Caribbean destination.
With scuba sites ranging from beginner to advanced levels, divers of all skill sets can experience Aruba’s undersea world.
Below is a guide to some of Aruba’s top scuba diving sites:
• ANTILLA WRECK (60’) - This famous wreck of a World War II German freighter is located on the North West coast of Malmok beach. One of the largest wrecks in the Caribbean (400 ft.), the ship is covered by giant ruby sponges and coral formations, and is surrounded by lobsters and a variety of tropical fish.
• JANE SEA FREIGHTER WRECK (30’-90’) - This dive initiates on the Barcadera reef and gradually descends to the Jane Sea wreck. One of the most fascinating wreck dive experiences available, the Jane Sea freighter stands up-right so divers can plunge past the depths of the ship’s hulls and cabins where sea fans and brain coral have made a living totem to the undersea world.
• MALMOK REEF & DEBBIE ll (70’) - Located about 2 miles off the North West coast of Aruba, the Malmok Reef is known for its wildly spread leaf and brain corals, lobsters, stingrays, and giant barrel sponges in purples, oranges and greens. In 1992, the Debbie II, a 120 ft fuel barge was sunk as an additional attraction where schools of fish and barracudas often gather.
• PEDERNALES WRECK (35’) - A beginner’s paradise about 1 mile west of Palm Beach, this dive offers a combination of large pieces of an oil tanker that was torpedoed during World War II spread out between coral formations. This area is home to lobsters, groupers and a large number of angelfish.
• RENAISSANCE AIRPLANES (40’-80’) -This dive site, located on Renaissance reef is home to two sunken airplanes. The older of the two, the Convair 400, lies in about 80 ft of water, and the newer YS-11, a former Air Aruba plane, lies in 40 ft of water. A variety of marine life makes their home in the airplanes, which are surrounded by a colorful array of coral.
• DE PALM SLOPE (15-120’) - This beautiful reef is located right along side De Palm island. The magnificent coral formations sloping to great depths allow divers to take advantage of this interesting drift dive. It is accessible from shore (De Palm Island) or by boat.
• MANGEL HALTO REEF (110’) - Named "Mangel Halto" because of the Mangroves surrounding the nearby beach, this dive provides a memorable experience. A pronounced slope from 15ft down to 110ft gives divers the opportunity to admire a myriad of coral combinations. All types of marine life can be found in this area, from deep-water gorgonians, sea anemones, tube and vase sponges to octopus, seahorses and yellow tails.
• CABEZ REEF (50’) - This dive site is located at the tip of Aruba’s east coast. Rough seas and strong currents make this a dive for advanced shore divers only. Large schools of barracuda, amberjacks and rainbow runners along with sting ray and other tropical fish make this one of the most exhilarating dives on the island.
• ARASHI REEF (35’-40’) - Located just half a mile off Arashi Beach, this site is a fascinating reef for beginners. The area is home to brain coral, large star corals and many sea fans, as well as parts of a sunken Lockheed Lodestar, which are scattered at about 35 feet below the sea.
• TUGBOAT WRECK (40’-90’) - This wreck is located about 2 miles South West of the Oranjestad harbor. A gradual slope brings the diver through magnificent formations of hard and soft coral to an old pilot boat. Green moray eels and French angelfish are often spotted at this site, as well as occasional stingrays and spotted eagle rays, which can be seen close by. This thrilling dive also offers the opportunity to come face-to-face with two green moray eels that "guard" the boat.
For more information on Aruba, please visit online at www.ARUBA.com or call 1-800-TO-ARUBA.