Unlike any other destination in the world, the island of Aruba offers nearly every watersport imaginable – with recreation options for every age and skill level. The crystal-clear waters surrounding this Caribbean paradise are full of shipwrecks waiting to be explored, exotic fish ready to be photographed and rolling waves ideal for windsurfing and a host of other activities. Whether you are a scuba devotee, a deep sea fisherman or just someone in search of the most unique fun under the sun – Aruba is the place to be for all watersport enthusiasts.
Known for great weather and excellent conditions, Aruba has long been one of the most popular destinations in the world for windsurfing and kitesurfing. In fact, one of the biggest events on the island is the annual Aruba Hi-Winds windsurfing competition. Scheduled for June 27 through July 2 this summer, the competition has brought together the world’s most accomplished windsurfers for 21 years. Located at the famous Hadicurari Beach, the event allows professionals and amateurs alike to take advantage of the consistent 15-knot trade winds of the northern and eastern coasts.
On Aruba’s southern shore, novice windsurfers and kitesurfers can enjoy calmer winds and gentler surf. There are also plenty of instructors and tour guides available for tourists looking to get into the water. Regardless of your skill level, you will find perfect conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing throughout the island. Furthermore, as you can rent windsurfing or kitesurfing equipment and arrange lessons directly through your resort, there is nothing holding you back from a day on the waves.
In the pristine waters surrounding Aruba, deep sea fishers consistently reel in exciting catches. While all the different types of Atlantic game fish found year-round are too numerous to name, here are some of exciting species you might find at the end of your line: sailfish, white and blue marlin, wahoo, barracuda, blackfin and yellowfin tuna, kingfish, bonito, amberjack and a variety of shark. After returning to shore, you can visit a number of local restaurants that will happily cook and serve your catch. You can easily schedule a boat for a half-day or full-day tour directly through your resort.
Aruba is also known as the wreck dive capital of the Caribbean. With several ships submerged off the coast of the island, scuba divers and snorkelers can admire the diversity of the Caribbean’s aquatic life while exploring sunken vessels. The Antilla – a 400 foot-long German freighter known as the “ghost ship” – is not only the most popular dive in Aruba, but also the largest wreck in the Caribbean. Having been 60 feet below the surface since the end of World War II, the hull of the Antilla is now coated with tube sponges and ornate coral formations.
The 100 year-old wreck of the California is located off the windward coast of the island. Resting at depths ranging from 30 to 45 feet, the California is a great site for underwater photography. However, because of strong currents, this dive is recommended for experienced divers only. On the other hand, the famous Tugboat and Pedernales are superb wreck dives for all skill levels. The Tugboat wreck, with depths ranging from 40 to 90 feet, is one of the best locations in the Caribbean to photograph coral formations. For a little military history, rummage through the interior of the Pedernales – an oil tanker torpedoed by a German submarine over 60 years ago.
Besides wreck dives, there are plenty of gorgeous reefs to explore in the waters surrounding Aruba. Novices will find plenty of excellent coral formations and tropical fish along the sheltered southern and western coasts. Dives like Arashi and Harbour Reef offer plenty of scenery and depths ranging from 20 to 40 feet. Experienced divers will definitely want to explore the Natural Bridge – a series of enormous boulders that give way to sprawling coral formations at depths approaching 100 feet – and the Lago Reef – one of the deepest dives in Aruba. Regardless of your skill level, you can easily find equipment rentals and tour guides through your resort.
Whether you are a watersports enthusiast – or just want to give scuba diving or windsurfing a try – Aruba is the paradise you have been looking for.
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