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Wreck diving in Aruba

Wreck Diving in Aruba

When you imagine Aruba, you imagine a perfect Caribbean island, laden with miles of pure white sands, elegant palm trees and unmissable crystal clear blue waters. This island completely lives up to those expectations.

Aruba, is locally known as ‘The island of smiles’ as you will see, everyone walks around with a big grin on their face, is it the weather? The friendly culture? Or the delicious fresh food? It’s all these things, and the island will certainly put a smile on your face too.

Aruba is home to some of the most idyllic diving sites in the world, including some breath-taking and interesting wrecks. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, or perhaps have got a little rusty, there is always something for you.

The crystal-clear waters around Aruba are teaming with amazing sea life to experience, you will see moray eels, schools of multicoloured fish, sea turtles, stingrays, snapper and more. As the water depth ranges from 20ft to 120ft, there is something for everyone. Below we will have brief look at some of the opportunities available to you when wreck diving in Aruba.

Discovering Diving/ Refresher Courses

If you haven’t dived before or it has been over a year or two since you last did, it is always good to take part in a refresher course or a ‘discover diving’ course. All diving schools around Aruba will provide this sort of course, you will learn the basics of diving to begin with, and then go on at least one real dive. This will give you a real taste of what to expect and set you up with the base knowledge to build your own diving career. Just make sure the diving school you go through is PADI certified, so you will gain an internally recognised award at the end of it all and gain the skills for some more advanced wreck diving in Aruba.

Open Water Diving

If you get a real interest in your initial discover diving course, then you could move onto an ‘open water’ diving course. This course is great for arming yourself with the knowledge and skills to have an awesome time diving. The courses normally last three to four days, afterwards, you will be able to dive 18m/60ft with a diving buddy. It is always important to dive with someone, like a climbing partner, you will have someone to check up on, and someone to help you out if needed.

Open Water Diving

Advanced Open Water (AOW)

This course is for those who are confident open water divers and want to expand their knowledge of diving and being to specialise and gain new skills. With the PADI advanced open water course, you will have to complete a mandatory deep dive and navigation dive. Afterwards, you can take your pick from a number of different skills such as Drift diving, Search and recovery, Underwater naturalist and photography to name a few. 

Specialist Courses 

Specialist courses are for those who are already a confident diver and perhaps have taken the Advanced open water course and want to get to grips with a specific subject that they have tried during the AOW. These courses are for those who also perhaps want to begin tailoring a career as a diver as most places will provide some and more of the following subjects to study. Fish ID, Underwater DSLR usage, Nitrox and enriched air, Night diving and much more.

Dive Master

After you have completed some of the above, you may seriously want to consider taking part in a Dive Master course, this is certainly not for the faint-hearted, it can take up to 10 days and is an incredibly challenging but rewarding course. At Dive Master level, you will truly be able to take diving beyond the recreational fun, and into a career. Perhaps you could be the next course leader to teach others the excitement of wreck diving in Aruba.


The SS Antilla has to be one of the most famed diving spots in all of the Caribbean, The German freighter was sunk to the bottom during WW2 on May 10th, 1940, when the Germans invaded Holland. The vast ship (a staggering 400+ feet long) lays on her port side with the bow facing towards Aruba, the dive itself is fantastic and great for penetrations as there are plenty of accessible holes where the explosives were stored to sink her. She is coated with an amazing variety of tube songs and coral formations which have created the perfect artificial habitat for many sea creatures. As an advanced diver, have a go at a penetrative night dive in what is locally known as ‘The ghost ship of Aruba’, where there is an exciting and almost eerie feeling to the ship, and of course an amazing variety of more nocturnal creatures to discover.

You don’t want to miss this dive, at only a ten-minute boat ride from Aruba, it is accessible to all.

The Pedernales

This incredible wreck is located only 20 minutes off the coast of Aruba and is only ten meters beneath the surface and is an absolute haven for budding photographers. You will find a plethora of different sea creatures, sea anemones, beautiful sponges, large grouper and angelfish. The wreck is also perfect for beginners as when the Perdernales was hit by a German Submarine during WW2 is broke up into many sections, allowing ease of access for wreck diving in Aruba. You can see everything from the inside of old cabins, interesting pipelines to lavatories and wash basins. 

Fantastic for the beginner diver and photographer as there is plenty of light to help with getting around and taking photographs.

Airplane Wrecks

Simply known as ’S-11’ and ‘DC-3’ these two planes have been intentionally sunk to help encourage an artificial reef, one is very recent as it was sunk in 2004. Meaning most of the plane is still perfectly intact, other than the nose. These two wrecks intrigue divers of all levels from around the world as it is not often you get the opportunity to swim around something that should be up in the air. A truly amazing experience. A Whole range of sea creatures can be seen making this their new home, very unmissable, definitely bring a camera!

Hopefully, as a beginner, you should have a good idea of what you can do and where you can go to have an amazing time wreck diving in Aruba. If there are any other wrecks you think we should have mentioned, please let us know.



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