Five reasons you shouldn’t overlook the smallest ABC island

By Steven Koedijk

In some respects, Aruba is a bit unlucky. Sure, it arose from the sea at a location outside the hurricane belt, where the ever-present trade winds keep the island cool and dry. It also has stunning reefs along its coasts. Yet somehow, it’s bigger ABC-island sisters always seem to take the spotlight. Curaçao and Bonaire are great dive destinations. However, Aruba should not be forgotten, and here’s why.

Reason 1: Over ten wrecks within sport diving range

Yes, you read that right, wrecks for all levels of divers. Newbie or hardcore wrecks galore. A 76 m/250 ft cement carrier, an oil transport, a pilot boat and an upside-down cargo ship, just to list a few. Sick of sunken ships? Well, there are airplanes, too. Two actually. And then let’s not forget that the third largest wreck in the Caribbean lays off Palm Beach in just 15 m/50 ft of water. It’s the WWII casualty Antilla. Not bad for an island roughly the size of New York City’s Brooklyn.

Reason 2: The reefs aren’t all that bad either

When you’re next to an island known as the Divers Paradise, it’s difficult profiling yourself with the reefs you have. However, Aruba’s reefs are definitely worth boasting about. Especially along the south side of the island, where the reefs are diverse, pretty and endless. There is generally a light current too, so drift diving is the easiest way to go, even for novice divers.

Reason 3: There’s fun for the whole family

Some locations great for diving aren’t all that great for nondivers. So, if you have to “package” your next wish list diving destination, Aruba will be an easy sell. The beaches consistently rank among the world’s best. There is a national park with amazing wildlife.  Accommodations are top-notch. Oh, and there is a reason Aruba is sometimes called the Caribbean Las Vegas.

Reason 4: It’s One Happy Island

There’s a good reason Aruba’s Tourist Authority likes to use the tagline 90,000 friends you haven’t met yet to describe the atmosphere on the island. Aruba has focused on tourism for a long time, and you can tell. The locals are generally happy, friendly and service minded. Arubans grow up speaking four languages: English, Spanish, Dutch and the local Papiamento.

Reason 5: This is big! SDI has just made landfall

Recently, the first SDI dive operation opened up on Aruba. Pure Diving Aruba is an eco-friendly dive center on the south side of the island. Their mangrove-hugged pier is the point of departure of their 13 m/42 ft, purpose-built dive boat. It has tank space for sixteen divers, but they like to keep the maximum to ten if they can. Pure Diving Aruba teaches courses from entry-level to Divemaster. They can also help with transportation and accommodations.

Masha danki for reading and hope to see you on Aruba!

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