Scuba Diving in Aruba

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Scuba Diving Locations - ABC Islands Diving
Monday, 05 April 2010 21:59
Aruba is one of the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao), located in the southern Carribean and offer year-round warm and clear diving conditions.

Map of Aruba
Aruba, highlighted in red


Aruba is known for it's wrecks. There is a mixture of artificial reefs sunk with divers in mind and 'genuine' shipwrecks.

Aruba Dive Map

Dive Map of Aruba
Aruba Dive Sites


1. California Wreck (30' - 45')
Wreck surrounded by large sea fans and coral. For Advanced divers 11. Barcadera Reef (15' - 120') Excellent Reef! Manta Rays have been spotted.

2. Malmok Airplane (40')
Great for beginners! Nice Ledge to dive by. 12. Jane Sea Freighter (25' - 90') Super Dive! Abundance of brain, mountain, star, and deep water gorgoneas

3. Antilla Wreck (60')
Good Nighttime Dive! Surrounded by lots of reef fish. 13. Dark Mangroves (25' - 100') Large patches of coral. Excellent spot to see Eagle Rays

4. Blue Reef (70') Debbie Wreck
Nice Relaxing Dive! Lobster and Stingrays can be seen. 14. De Palm Slope (30' - 90') Super Dive! Sometimes done as a drift dive.

5. Pedernales Wreck (25' - 30')
Good Nighttime Dive! Lots of Reef fish, large number of Angel Fish. 15. The Finger (40' - 130') Fascinating finger like coral formation. Currents can exist here

6. Harbor Reef (20' - 40')
Sea Horses can be seen at 40' 16. Mangel Halto Reef (40' - 110') Shore Dive! A myriad of coral formations

7. Tugboat Wreck (40' - 90')
Good Dive! Possible small current. Home of a very large green moray. 17. Pos Chiquito (20' - 80') Great Short Dive! Manta Rays seen on occasions.

8. Sonesta Reef (20' - 80')
A unique and breathtaking landscape. 18. Isla de orro reef (90') Sea rods and sea whips move with the rhythm of the sea.

9. Sonesta Airplanes (30' - 80')
Great for Photography. Large schools of of yellow tails and other reef fish. 19. Baby Beach (20' - 60') Shore Dive! A variety of marine life found here.

10. Plonco Reef (20' - 100')
Large Green morays. Large lobsters are found here. 20. Cabez Reef (50') Experienced Divers only! Hard Entry Point! Large Waves!

11. Barcadera Reef (15' - 120')
Excellent Reef! Manta Rays have been spotted.

12. Jane Sea Freighter (25' - 90')
Super Dive! Abundance of brain, mountain, star, and deep water gorgoneas

13. Dark Mangroves (25' - 100')
Large patches of coral. Excellent spot to see Eagle Rays

14. De Palm Slope (30' - 90')
Super Dive! Sometimes done as a drift dive.

15. The Finger (40' - 130')
Fascinating finger like coral formation. Currents can exist here

16. Mangel Halto Reef (40' - 110')
Shore Dive! A myriad of coral formations

17. Pos Chiquito (20' - 80')
Great Short Dive! Manta Rays seen on occasions.

18. Isla de orro reef (90')
Sea rods and sea whips move with the rhythm of the sea.

19. Baby Beach (20' - 60')
Shore Dive! A variety of marine life found here.

20. Cabez Reef (50')
Experienced Divers only! Hard Entry Point! Large Waves!

21. Natural Bridge (20' - 100')
Experienced Divers! Monster size boulders, Extremely strong currents

Aruba Wreck Diving - Top Dive Sites

As you've probably gathered, Aruba has a lot of wrecks to explore. Some of the most popular wrecks with divers are the Antilla, Jane C and the YS-11.

Diving the Antilla Wreck

The Antilla is german freighter, suspected of supplying U-boats in the area during WW2 was sunk to become one of the largest wrecks in the Caribbean.

The Antilla
The Antilla


She was anchored off Aruba when Germany invaded the Netherlands and the captain was given 24 hours to surrender the ship - he scuttled it instead.

The 120m-long wrecks lies on its port side on sand at a depth of 18m and it almost reaches the surface. It's colossal, and youi could dive it several times and still not see it all. Storms have taken a toll on the Antilla and local dive operators say it is currently unsafe to penetrate the wreck, but there are plenty of swim-throughs, especially around the stern. It's a great wreck to explore - in this case, the bigger the wreck, the better!

The visibility isn't quite as good as other dive sites because of the shallow depth, the wreck is very popular with both divers and snorkellers, so make sure you watch out for overhead traffic.

Diving the Antilla Wreck Video



Diving the Jane C Wreck (AKA Jane Sea Wreck)

The Jane C is a cargo ship that was purposely sunk as a dive attraction in 1988. The wreck sites upright at a maximum depth of 30m just south of Barcadera Harbour.

The Jane C Wreck
The Jane C Starboard Side


You can begin your dive of the Jane C by dropping to a gently sloping reef dotted with sea fans and brain corals at 15m. The wreck itself is covered with tube sponges and fan corals, which are especially picturesque around the propeller. Massive green morays lie under the hull, angelfish nibble at the corals and solitary barracuda hang above the deck. Although there's plenty of life on the wreck, it hasn't yet been broken up by storms and remains intact.

The hold is fully open, and there are also holes in the side created just for divers. With a bit of flexibility, it's apparently possible to enter inside the wreck below the bridge - only for the experienced though.

Diving the Jane C Wreck Video



Diving the YS-11 Wreck

Although the wreck of this aeroplane lies underneath the flight path to Aruba's runway, contrary to urban myth it didn't actually make a crash landing, it was purposely sunk by John Oster from dive centre "fly'n'dive" in 2004.

The YS-11 Wreck
The YS-11 Wreck


The YS-11 rests of its landing gear and tail at around 28m, and there's enough space below the wings to swim underneath. The carriage is empty - no seats or overhead lockers - and wide enough for a diver to swim though, with exists at both ends and light streaming through the windows. The cockpit still has seats and joysticks.

As it's a relatively new wreck, there's little coral or sponge growth - but exploring the plane was enough to keep most divers happy. To finish the dive, you can swim to Sponge Reef - itself a popular dive site - at around 15m. As the name suggests, the reef is dotted with tube sponges in yellow, red and blue.

Diving the YS-11 Wreck Video



 
 

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