The 5 Best Aruba Snorkeling Tours [2022 Reviews]

With almost perfect weather year-round, pristine beaches, and friendly locals, it’s no wonder why Aruba is such a popular tourist destination.

However, if you really want to maximize the fun and explore Aruba the way it should be, we highly recommend getting in the water!

One of the best ways to explore the seas is by snorkeling. If you’re a newbie to snorkeling and want to make sure you know what you’re doing, we highly recommend a snorkeling tour.

We have the top Aruba snorkeling tours right here – the ones that will really be worth your time and money!

Best Snorkel Tours in Aruba

 Private Snorkeling Trip in ArubaPalm Pleasure Morning Snorkel AdventureAdults Only Catalina Bay Small-Group Afternoon Snorkel Sunset Sail
editors choice
Private Aruba Snorkeling TripAruba Palm Pleasure Morning Snorkel AdventureAdults Only Catalina Bay Small-Group Afternoon Snorkel Sunet Sail with Snacks
Departure Point:Hotel pickup includedDe Palm Pier, J.E. Irausquin Blvd 1, Aruba/Hotel pickup availableHadicurari Fishing Center, Berea di Piscado 1, Noord
Departure Time:Variety Available9:00 am3:30 pm
Duration:2 hours4 hours3 hours
Includes:Snorkeling equipment, bottled water, rum punch, soft drinks, octopus souvenirSailing excursion, lunch buffet, open bar with beer, Snuba transportation, equipment and instruction, snorkeling equipmentSnacks, snorkel gear

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

Tour Information & Booking

If you are looking to get out on the water in the evening, see our sunset cruise reviews and for something more exciting our ATV tour reviews.


Quick Answer: The 5 Best Rated Aruba Snorkeling Tours For 2022

  1. Private Snorkeling Trip in Aruba
  2. Palm Pleasure Morning Snorkel Adventure
  3. Adults Only Catalina Bay Small-Group Afternoon Snorkel Sunet Sail with Snacks
  4. Aruba Sailaway Morning Adventure Tour
  5. Aruba Champagne Breakfast and Lunch Cruise with Snorkeling

Aruba Snorkeling Tour Reviews

1. Private Snorkeling Trip in Aruba

Private Aruba Snorkeling Trip

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Departure: Hotel pickup included, J.E. Irausquin Blvd 87
  • Departure Time: Variety available
  • Includes: Snorkeling equipment, bottled water, rum punch, soft drinks, octopus souvenir

Let’s start things off right, with one of the most popular Aruba adventures currently out there. The Private Aruba Snorkeling Trip is a fantastic way to experience the sport, thanks to the personalized attention they offer, and a high level of professionalism. Suitable for all levels of experience, it’s great for the entire family, too!

With a hotel pickup included, you don’t have to worry about booking other transportation or spending all day trying to find the meetup location. This service will be through their shuttle boat, which is a cool experience, in itself! There are multiple start times available, which makes it really easy to fit into a busy schedule.

Hop on the 26-foot Bayliner boat, which is comfortable, spacious, and offers great views. Before arriving to Catalina Bay, you’ll be fitted with snorkeling equipment and given a safety briefing to ensure everyone knows what they’re doing.

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As this is a private tour, you don’t have to feel nervous asking questions. The crew is very attentive, and will get in the water with you. You’ll be able to adjust the itinerary to suit your specific needs and interests, though most snorkeling will be done in more shallow waters, by default.

Be prepared to see all kinds of diverse marine wildlife, such as angelfish, damselfish, parrotfish, and many more! If you’re lucky, you may even see some turtles or rays! You may even be able to see a shipwreck, depending on visibility. As this snorkel spot is a rather well-hidden location, you’ll likely have the area all to yourself!

While the water is a ton of fun, spending time on the boat is a blast, too. The staff will tell you all about the area’s history, the animals you come across, and a whole lot more. Don’t forget to try the rum punch!

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


2. Palm Pleasure Morning Snorkel Adventure

Aruba Palm Pleasure Morning Snorkel Adventure

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Departure: De Palm Pier, J.E. Irausquin Blvd 1, Aruba/Hotel pickup available
  • Departure Time: 9:00 am
  • Includes: Sailing excursion, lunch buffet, open bar with beer, Snuba transportation, equipment and instruction (only if tour Snuba tour option selected), local taxes, use of snorkeling equipment

Next up, we have a slightly longer snorkeling tour for you that offers a more comprehensive experience. If you have half of a day free and really want to experience Aruba more in-depth, you don’t want to miss it. The Palm Pleasure Morning Snorkel Adventure is the perfect way to start out the day with water, exciting marine life, sailing, and great food!

For the price, it’s pretty hard to beat, too. You can either choose to meet up with your guide at De Palm Pier, or have them pick you up from your hotel. The latter is usually the most convenient, as you simply have to make sure you’re in your hotel lobby on time!

Start off on your scenic sea cruise on a luxe 70-foot catamaran. Plenty of space, comfortable seating, and great views are all in heavy supply here. Soak up the sun, sip on some heavily-poured fruity cocktails, and keep your eyes peeled for any sea critters who may make an appearance.

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Choose between either a traditional snorkel or upgrade to their SNUBA option. SNUBA is a melding of snorkeling and SCUBA, so you can breathe underwater with ease without lugging the scuba gear around (nor do you need a certification). Regardless of which you choose, the crew will be there to help out and explain everything.

Explore the underwater world, including Antilla Shipwreck, Boca Catalina, and the Arashi reef! You’ll see all kinds of brightly-colored fish, coral reefs, and so much more. On board, you have a delicious lunch prepped by highly-trained chefs and an open bar that’s yours for the sipping!

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#3 Adults Only Catalina Bay Small-Group Afternoon Snorkel Sunset Sail

Adults Only Catalina Bay Small-Group Afternoon Snorkel Sunet Sail with Snacks

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Departure: Hadicurari Fishing Center, Berea di Piscado 1, Noord
  • Departure Time: 3:30 pm
  • Includes: Snacks, snorkel gear

Okay, we’ve covered a couple of scuba adventures that are perfect for the whole family. Now, it’s time to venture into the adult-only territory! The Adults Only Catalina Bay Small-Group Afternoon Snorkel Sunset Sail with Snacks tour is some of the most fun you can have on the island, and that’s really saying something!

With a capacity of just 12 people, you’ll have more personalized attention and be able to see more than you would with a large group tour.

While there are a ton of cruises around Aruba, a lot of them have music blasting and more of a party vibe. While there’s definitely a time and place for that, if you’re looking for something more calm and appreciative of the surrounding nature, this is it.

You’ll start off on Monday morning, and board either the Black Pearl and/or the Blue Melody with the rest of your group. Sail around the blue calm waters, where you get to soak up the sun on the deck or hang out in the cooler shade while sipping on a refreshing drink and enjoying stunning Aruba coastline.

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Once you arrive to the stunning Catalina Bay, you can look into the clear waters and see brightly-colored fish without even going in! You’ll be provided with all the necessities, including clean, high-quality snorkeling gear.

The crew will help you if you’ve never gone snorkeling before, ensuring everyone is safe. As you pass by marine life and notable landmarks, the crew will tell you all about them and offer an educational commentary.

Once you’ve had plenty of time swimming around, you will hop back on board to enjoy some refreshments. Fresh watermelon, vegetarian and grilled cheese Dutch sandwiches, and an open bar are all available.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#4 Aruba Sailaway Morning Adventure Tour

Aruba Sailaway Morning Adventure Tour

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Departure: MooMba Beach Bar & Restaurant, J.E. Irausquin Blvd 230, Noord
  • Departure Time: 10:00 am
  • Includes: All taxes, fees and handling charges, lunch, unlimited drinks (open bar), use of snorkeling equipment, alcoholic beverages

Next up, we bring you yet another highly-rated morning snorkel excursion. If you’re looking for one of the best tours, but are on a tight budget, this should definitely be on your radar. The Sailaway Morning Adventure Tourmanages to fit in 3 different snorkeling stops within 4 hours, along with a lot of other exciting activities!

Whether you’re going with a partner or a flock of kids in tow, this tour is perfect. The way the crew manages to keep the tour consistently exciting, you won’t have to worry about younger ones getting bored. Starting out early in the morning, it’s a fantastic way to pass the time and be back before dinner!

Embark on a beautiful sailing adventure, where you’ll make 3 different stops. This is done so you can see all kinds of different underwater marine life, the largest shipwreck in the entire Caribbean, and the calm yet pretty Catalina Bay.

If you are interested in snorkeling, your crew will provide clean, like-new snorkeling equipment and life vests for you to use.

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Moreover, the crew are always available to provide snorkeling instruction, if needed. You can also opt to just go swimming through the turquoise waters, or use the pirate rope swing which is always a crowd favorite.

Staying on the boat is always entertaining, with an open bar, fresh-squeezed juices, sodas, snacks, fruit platters, and plenty of water to keep you feeling good. You can relax on the deck, the included net, and enjoy the festive music, too.

Even if you don’t happen to see a lot of marine life, you can be assured to love the great company and overall tour experience they offer!

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


#5 Aruba Champagne Breakfast and Lunch Cruise with Snorkeling

Tour Highlights:

  • Duration: 9:00 am
  • Departure: Pelican Pier / Pelican Nest Restaurant, On Pelican Pier, J.E. Irausquin Blvd 237, Noord
  • Departure Time: 9:00 am
  • Includes: Local guide, breakfast with champagne, lunch with champagne, unlimited drinks (open bar), use of snorkeling equipment

So, maybe you’re in the mood for something a little fancy. You want to head out on the water on a state-of-the-art vessel and drink the finest bubbly, while exploring the remarkable aquatic life. If that sounds like you, then check out the Aruba Champagne Breakfast and Lunch Cruise with Snorkeling.

For the price of going to eat breakfast and lunch somewhere, you can do this tour instead and maximize your experience. Start out by meeting up with the crew at Pelican Pier, and board the custom-built catamaran. Kick up your feet in the shade, or soak up the rays on the sunbathing trampoline!

For the price of going to eat breakfast and lunch somewhere, you can do this tour instead and maximize your experience. Start out by meeting up with the crew at Pelican Pier, and board the custom-built catamaran. Kick up your feet in the shade, or soak up the rays on the sunbathing trampoline!

The tropical breeze will blow through your hair as you listen to Caribbean music on board and take in the magical views of Aruba’s northwest coast. The crew will serve you sparkling mimosas and a light breakfast consisting of freshly-baked Danishes, croissants, and some coffee, tea, and juices.

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Once you arrive to the first of your 3 snorkeling spots, you’ll be provided with a mask, fins, and snorkel. Jump into the clear waters and swim around with colorful fish, sea turtles, and other underwater critters who live in the area.

If you’d like, at any of the snorkeling stops you can try their “third lung” system, which lets you go deeper underwater while breathing through a tube connected to an air supply on the boat. It’s almost like combining scuba diving with snorkeling, without having the hassle of heavy equipment.

Once you’re worn out, hop back on board and enjoy a rich chicken salad, ham and cheese plates, seafood paella, along with all kinds of soft breads and local fruit. Wash it down with more champagne or cocktails from the open bar.

 

Tour Information & Booking

100% refund for cancellations within 24 hours of tour experience


Aruba Tour Guide

Best Snorkel Tours in Aruba

Getting There

You won’t likely have any trouble finding a good flight to Queen Beatrix International Airport in Aruba from most major US cities. In fact, you’ll probably be able to find some good nonstop options! If for some reason, you cannot find a nonstop flight from your home airport, connecting through Miami is a great alternative.

American, Canadian, Caribbean, European, and the majority of South American citizens don’t even need a visa to get in! However, you do need a valid passport.

Getting Around

You won’t likely have any trouble finding a good flight to Queen Beatrix International Airport in Aruba from most major US cities. In fact, you’ll probably be able to find some good nonstop options! If for some reason, you cannot find a nonstop flight from your home airport, connecting through Miami is a great alternative.

American, Canadian, Caribbean, European, and the majority of South American citizens don’t even need a visa to get in! However, you do need a valid passport.

Getting Around –

Getting around Aruba is quite easy, as there are so many viable transportation options.

Buses – Public buses are great! They tend to be very clean, air-conditioned, reliable/on-time, and accept US dollars and Aruban Florins. Unlimited day passes are probably the best option if you’ll be riding it around more than a couple of times throughout the day.

Taxis – Taxis are also very convenient, and you can take one by ordering ahead or hailing one from the street. If you’re staying in Palm Beach, Eagle Beach, or downtown Oranjestad, you’ll find them everywhere.

Bike – One of the best ways to see Aruba is by bike! Due to how flat the island is overall, you don’t have to be in great shape to pedal around. Not only that, but you’ll find various paved bike paths all around the most popular areas. There are plenty of Green Bike stations around, or if you don’t mind spending more for an app-based rental, try Bixi Bike.

Trolley – The trolleys are charming and offer that “authentic” experience. What makes them even more appealing is the fact that they are free and eco-friendly! They move around the backstreets, so you can get on or off as you wish. Starting at the Cruise Ship terminal, it has 6 different stops throughout downtown, and loops back to the terminal.

Car – Cars are probably unnecessary and a really expensive option if you’re just going to stay within the city. However, if you’d like to check out national parks or San Nicolas, you may want to rent one for a day or so.

Where to Stay

Just 20 miles long and 5 miles wide, it goes without saying that Aruba is quite a small island! Oranjestad is the capital and biggest city on the island, known for Dutch-like colonial houses. You’ll likely stay here, unless you prefer to stay on one of the beaches on the west side, like Palm Beach and Eagle Beach.

Oranjestad is a great location, and full of different cultural influences (aside from Dutch). You’ll be able to find many beautiful pieces of architecture, delicious restaurants, the cruise port, and lots of great shopping. Here, is where most tours start as well.

Renaissance Wind Creek is a great option for mid-to-upper budget range, located on a beautiful waterfront in the center of the city. With acres of private beaches, you can even see stunning pink flamingos contrasted against the clear blue water.

Wonders Boutique Hotel is an adult-only option that features an outdoor pool provided by a natural spring. This hotel is a wonderful place to start out the day, with tropical foliage that makes for a cozy reading spot. Not to mention, their breakfasts use only local ingredients.

Eagle Beach is another great option if you want to be on the beach or really like water sports. It’s actually ranked as one of the top 10 beaches on the planet! It is known for generally being very laidback and calm, though it’s not quite as walkable and you’ll likely need to use a taxi or bus to get around.

Pearl Aruba Condos – This is a great mid-range option located just 4 minutes from the beach. These are condos, so you’ll have your own kitchen, individual bedrooms, and a living room with a TV and sofa. Not only that, but they have a stunning outdoor pool!

Divi Aruba Phoenix Beach Resort is a nice option for the entire family, and comes with rooms ranging from studio suites to 1-bedroom suites which all have an ocean view and jacuzzi tubs!

Palm Beach is a bit more touristy and has the vast majority of all-inclusive resorts and chain hotels. You will find mostly tourists here, and it can get a bit crowded. However, it’s really easy to walk everywhere. It has great bars, nightclubs, casinos, restaurants, and shopping, too.

Hyatt Regency Resort and Casino is a nice high-end option, located literally a minute walking from the beach. As you can imagine, the ocean views are incredible here. Not only that, but you have a full-service spa, casino, and 2 pools. The outdoor pool complex is massive, and even features a 2-story water slide!

Karibu Aruba – This boutique hotel is a nice budget option, yet still just 5 minutes walking to the beach, lots of restaurants, and shopping centers.

Restaurants and Eating Out

Aruba is known for having amazing Caribbean food, but also has a very obvious European influence. With that being said, you’ll find many restaurants that offer something from the two, but there’s just about every kind of food here.

2 Fools and A Bull – This Palm Beach restaurant is located in the country’s restored Old Cunucu House, and the name refers to the two chefs, Roger and Roy. Their circular bar seats 17, where they serve a 5.5-course meal with optional wine pairings. It almost feels like you’re at a dinner party with good friends.

Asi Es Mi Peru – As you can probably tell from the name, this is authentic Peruvian food complete with Peruvian landscapes and gorgeous hand-woven fabrics on the walls. The ceviche is one of the best we’ve ever tried, though beef, pork, and chicken dishes also have a lot to offer.

Atardi – If you’re looking for the perfect date night spot, this is it. This romantic place boasts tables on the beach, with big palm trees on one side, and the turquoise waters on the other. This place is great for seafood lovers, serving lobster tail, seabass, Macadamia grouper, salmon, but also short ribs and filet mignon.

Barefoot Restaurant – Located in Oranjestad, this is yet another great option for delicious seafood. We recommend the Two Tuna appetizer: Tuna carpaccio and tuna tartar with a delicious Asian twist of teriyaki and sesame seeds.

Elements – This beautiful location features floor-to-ceiling windows with a breezy deck that overlooks the ocean. This adults-only spot is perfect for dates or celebrations, offering natural, organic dishes for healthier living. Located in Oranjestad, their 6-course meal with a bottle of wine in one of their private palapas are the most romantic option!

Gostoso – The Portuguese name offers insight into the cuisine which is Portuguese and Aruban. Located in Oranjestad’s maze-like roads, it’s not the easiest to find but well worth the hnt. Beef carpaccio, bacalao, conch, and creole sushi is absolutely delicious!

Nightlife and Entertainment

Aruba has quite a varied nightlife, from packed clubs to laidback drinks with a gorgeous view.

Bars –  

  1. The Beach Bar – This Palm Beach spot is absolutely beautiful! Surrounded by clear turquoise waters, it’s a great place to sip on some cocktails.
  2. Saloon Bar – This is actually one of the most well-known bars in the country, located near some of the biggest high-rises. Come here if you’re looking to have some fun, chat with locals, and dance to some good music.
  3. Bugaloe – This cozy place is great for having a conversation or enjoying a beautiful sunset with your special someone.
  4. Café Chaos – The name speaks for itself! Good beers and excellent live music, it creates a perfectly tropical atmosphere that always offers good vibes.
  5. Carlito’s Sports Beach Bar – If you are on the hunt for the best happy hour in Aruba, look no further. Their 2-for-1 drink special runs until 9pm which is practically unheard of!
  6. La Ronda Café – With an open-air patio and great environment, you’ll have everything from DJs and dancefloors to karaoke nights.

Breweries

  1. Fireson Brewing – Everyone loves a good brew, especially when on vacation in a tropical paradise. As the first microbrewers on the island, they offer excellent service and even better beer. 

Nightclubs

  1. Gusto Night Club – This L-shaped bar is always a lively place full of varied music, from hip-hop to salsa.
  2. 809 Nightclub – This club is pretty big, with a dancefloor sized to match! International and local DJs play here, along with world-class sound and light engineers to ensure an all-around great experience.
  3. South Beach Aruba – Yeah, the name may not be very ingenious but it’s a hotspot for those looking to enjoy some drinks and dancing with top-notch VIP service.
  4. Sand Aruba by Brickell Bay – You’ll often find locals here on the weekends, and it’s hard not to join in! This is the place to be if you’re looking to dance until you can’t anymore. They not only offer great music, drinks, and dancing, but hookah and food, too!

Weather

Aruba’s weather doesn’t change much throughout the year, which makes it quite easy for planning your trip. You can expect temperatures in the low 80s all year long, with it getting just a bit hotter between May and October. It does rain a bit from October to December, but it’s not usually so much that it puts a damper on outside plans.

`Attractions

  1. Arikok National Park – Deserted beaches and rocky coves scattered with cacti and limestone caves dating back hundreds (if not thousands) of years, contrasts quite a bit with the soft sand beaches on the island. Covering almost a whopping quarter of Aruba, the park is great for venturing around.
  2. Aruba Aloe Factory and Museum – Native to Aruba, the aloe plant is treasured due to its medicinal properties. This factory and museum will show you all about how to cut, test, and package the products but also the history behind this magical plant.
  3. Antilla Shipwreck – Aruba’s waters are covered in shipwrecks due to the treacherous rocks in the Caribbean. This actually makes for quite interesting diving and snorkeling spots, as the wrecks are inhabited by rich and varied marine life. This one in particular is what’s left of an 80-year-old cargo ship.
  4. Ayo and Casibiri Rock Formations – You’ll see these on many of the tours we covered. These smooth rock formations are fun to climb on, but just as impressive to watch from afar.
  5. Philip’s Animal Garden – This nonprofit provides a sanctuary for over 50 types of critters, and you’ll get to see and interact with many of them! Tropical birds, leopards, pigs, and much more are waiting!
  6. Lourdes Grotto – This grotto is an intricate shrine carved into a limestone hill, built in 1958. The star of the show is the 1,500-pound statue of the Virgin Mary adorned with candles, flowers, and more.

Tips

  1. If you have long hair, you seriously need to bring ponytails and/or head coverings. Aruba is windy, and it’s like this year-round. It’s not just a little breeze either! If you want to keep your hair out of your face during your trip, these are necessities.
  2. Bring casual outfits. One or two nicer outfits are okay for a romantic dinner, but overall everyone is super casual.
  3. Go into the water. There are so many beautiful beaches and clear waters, that you have to try getting out there! IF you don’t want to go snorkeling or swimming, at least try getting on a boat.
  4. If you’re a beer lover, be prepared for the prices. Just a case of Coors Light will set you back about 60 bucks.
  5. Bring a payment method that isn’t American Express. They get denied a good amount of time in Aruba. Even better, have some cash handy!
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The Private Snorkeling Trip is our Editors Choice for the best Aruba snorkeling tour

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Robert Baker

Robert is a content writer and editor at World Guides to Travel where he shares his love for the great outdoors. He also writes in-depth travel blogs for other websites around the world. Robert is passionate about the environment and uses his writing to educate people about the advantages and importance of sustainable living. Robert enjoys creative writing. In 2009, his children’s novel Sally Hemings & the Good Associates won the Children’s Fiction section of the You Write On Book of the Year Award.
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