Aruba is known for having the best wrecks to dive in the entire Caribbean. Quite a few interesting wrecks rest on the sea floor off the shores of Aruba, including airplanes, huge tankers, barges and tugs, and a four-hundred foot German freighter that was scuttled during World War II. You’ll see the schools of parrot fish, damsel fish and queen angelfish that inhabit the multi-colored reefs that have grown in and around these man made machines, now forever bound to the seabed.

Aruba offers 7 wreck sites for snorkeling, scuba and free diving adventure!

  • California Wreck (Depth = 30-45’)
    This shipwreck used to bring fruit from South America to Aruba. It is almost 100 years old, and is surrounded by large coral formations and an abundance of tropical fish. The only objects left are an engine block and an anchor. Use caution: for advanced divers only.
  • Antilla Wreck (Depth = 0′-60’)
    This German freighter lies on her port side with the bow of the ship facing Aruba. Part of her hull actually sticks out of the water. It was scuttled on May 10, 1940 when the Germans invaded Holland during WWII. One of the largest wrecks in the Caribbean (400’ long), it is great for penetrations due to the large compartments of this vessel, which is broken in the middle where the explosives were set that sunk the ship. Covered by tube sponges, coral formations and tropical fish, it is reachable in about 10 minutes by boat.
  • Blue Reef and Debbie II (Depth = 70’)
    At this typical bottom reef you will find wildly spread leaf and brain corals. Stingrays and lobsters are occassionally spotted at this site. In 1992 a 120’ fuel barge was sunk as an additional attraction. It is eight minutes from land by boat.
  • Pedernalis (Depth = 25’)
    A beginner’s paradise offering a combination of large pieces of wreck spread out between coral formations. You can see sections of cabins, washbasins, etc., as well as a pipeline system that goes with this oil tanker that was torpedoed in 1942 during World War II by a German submarine. Boat ride is about 20 minutes.
  • Harbor Reef/Pilot Boat (Depth = 40-100’)
    Reef consisting of soft coral formations that drops gradually to an old pilot boat wreck where a pair of green morays are often seen. The pilot boat is about 40’ feet long, and the boat ride is about 20 minutes.
  • Sonesta Airplane (Depth = 70-80’)
    This Convair 240 is sunk on a sloping reef surrounded by soft corals and colorful sponges. It was broken in three parts after Hurricane Lenny hit in 1999.
  • Jane Sea Wreck (Depth = 20-100’)
    A 250’ cement freighter that sits upright on the bottom in 90’ of water. The wreck is surrounded by beautiful coral formations. At this site you will find lots of angelfish and schooling tropical fish in and around the wreck. The largest compartment is the cargo area that is open from the top. The rest of the wreck’s penetration area is a little bit small and only experienced wreck divers should go in there. The reef is parallel to the island at the south coast and the Jane Sea is facing the reef. The boat ride is about 50 minutes.

 

​Joanne Hamlet​

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