Snorkeling in Aruba

Our Airbnb house had snorkeling equipment and I found enough to fit, though Jonathan found that his knees don’t much like snorkeling any more. We went snorkeling at Rodgers Beach, in sight of the former refinery, and saw many small fish. We found even better underwater terrain right by our house at Savaneta beach. The shore is a mix of rocks and sand and it was a bit of a balancing act to put on fins. Once in the water, though, visibility was excellent and we saw clouds of tiny fish along with some bigger ones. The small patch of mangrove seems to have been home to the billows of minnows of several species. We watched tiny black fish defending the sunken tire or coral covered brick that was their home base from all kinds of larger interlopers. At Savaneta Beach we met a group of men who usually have lunch on the table we happened to be using. They ended up advising us to try Boca Catalina on the north end of the island, which is a lovely beach with bigger fish than at Savaneta.

We returned to Savaneta for one last exploration because Wayne wanted to reach the barrier island that was a couple hundred yards off the Savaneta dock. With snorkel and fins that distance is no problem when there isn’t fast moving water or marine traffic, so we crossed with relative ease. I’m reminded that I don’t really like the deep water when I can’t see the bottom, but it probably took us less than ten minutes to cross. We’d both carried our sandals to do some exploring. There are a couple of houses out there and Wayne was curious about who would build out there and why, since a big storm would wash over the narrow gravelly strip. We saw that one house was abandoned but the other was someone’s summer home carefully gated across the entrance. A walkway lined with, beach glass, pebbles, and chunks of coral led to the dock! The entire spit of land was the big surprise—it is made of beach glass. Imagine sitting in front of your beach house at your cafe table and chairs amid a carpet of green and white glass pebbles. The entire barrier island is less than 50 ft. wide though it extends for about 500 ft parallel to the shore. We didn’t cover all of it once we discovered the carpet of glass. There is as much as at Glass Beach in northern California. I found a plastic bag among the usual shore detritus and picked up as much as I thought I could carry on the swim home. We laughed at how easy it was to collect pieces that we’d been combing the beaches to collect elsewhere on the island. It was a fantastic last day on Aruba. The swim back took two or three extra minutes as I carried my bag of loot to the other side. This was the perfect last day of snorkeling in Aruba. I now have jewelry-making supplies that will last a year or more.


Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

7 thoughts on “Snorkeling in Aruba

  1. Hello! Can you explain which dock you left off from when you crossed to find the beach glass? I plan to attempt the swim but want to make sure I know where I am going!


    1. Go south on Savaneta Rd. past the Flying Fishbone restaurant. Take the next right on a dirt road, cross the pipeline and swim from the shore there straight across toward a house. There was no one at the house when we were there. Let me know if it works for you!


      1. Hello!! I was just washing the sea glass I found and realized I forgot to get back to you!! I was able to navigate to the location very easily however I was all by myself and it was quite windy with rough waters that day so I didn’t feel comfortable swimming. I ended up driving back the other direction along the water – north of Zeerovers and Fishbone – and found a coffee mug full of seaglass along the shore near a public boat launch and rocky ‘beach’!! Thank you so much for giving me tips how to find the area and I hope to try again when I return someday!!


      2. Alexis, I’m so glad you found beach glass in Aruba. We also found pieces in places other than the one across the channel. I am a diehard beachcomber, so I’m always looking. Thanks for letting me know what you found! Cheers, Winifred


  2. Would you recommend staying in an Airbnb? I have a trip coming up in October, I was looking through their website and they have very nice places to stay for the week I am there, but I am curious as to how safe it is?


    1. We did not have any safety concerns. We met our next door neighbor, who was charming, though with Airbnb we rarely meet the neighbors. You’d need a car to get around and buy some groceries, even if you eat out most of the time. That’s the big difference between a rental and a hotel for a week. Look carefully at the listings and maybe on a map to see where you would be. That helps avoid complications. I agree, we saw some lovely places near the water.


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