Aruba shipwreck snorkeling – SS Antilla, Baboo and Kappel wrecks

Aruba shipwreck snorkeling is an activity that young and old can enjoy. This tiny Dutch Caribbean Island is famous for the great weather, white sandy beaches and for its wrecks that are considered to be the best in the entire Caribbean! Luckily, you don’t need to be a diver to enjoy their beauty because few of them are accessible for snorkelers as well!

History meets fun – Aruba shipwreck snorkeling

The year-round hot climate and warm, clear sea guarantee the best conditions for snorkeling in Aruba. You find heavenly beaches around the island with calm water, easy entrance and stunning coral reefs. Swimming with sea turtles in Aruba is a must-try activity, but if you are an adventurous snorkeler, Aruba shipwreck snorkeling is an adventure that you will enjoy for sure! Aruba has the reputation of having excellent wrecks including airplanes, huge tankers, barges and tugs. Most of them rest in deep water, therefore are available for divers only, but some of them lie in the shallow so can be explored while snorkeling too!

The 3 best shipwrecks to snorkel in Aruba:

  • SS Antilla
  • Baboo
  • Kappel

SS Antilla shipwreck – Malmok Beach

The SS Antilla is one of the Caribbean’s largest shipwrecks. It was built in Germany in 1939 and served as a U-boat supply ship when Germany invaded the Netherlands.

Antilla wreck - Aruba

The captain didn’t want to pass over the ship to the Dutch marines. Instead, he caused an explosion that sank the ship. Although the storms broke the massive shipwreck into several parts, the SS Antilla wreck is still in pretty good condition.

The wreck rests in 12-18 m (40-60 ft) deep water, but its starboard side nearly exposes above water. Therefore, even snorkelers can observe this majestic shipwreck easily while swimming on the surface.

Different hard coral colonies and tube sponges settled on the wreck, attracting marine life including morays, turtles, lobsters and many species of fish to the area. Thanks to its size, good condition and rich marine life, the Antilla offers the best Aruba shipwreck snorkeling experience!

Antilla shipwreck snorkeling trips

The SS Antilla shipwreck lies in Malmok Bay about 700 meters far from the shore, close to Tres Trapi. To get to the wreck, you need to sign up for an Antilla snorkel tour or Aruba Bob underwater scooter tour.

Antilla shipwreck snorkeling Aruba

However some people do, we don’t recommend trying to swim to the wreck from the shore because of strong currents. A boat trip is a convenient way of exploring this interesting wreck. A full-day snorkel tour includes several stops at the best snorkel beaches not only at the wreck itself. Adrenalin junkies will surely enjoy trying out a sea scooter that is like mixing jet-ski riding with snorkeling!

Baboo shipwreck – Malmok Beach

The famous Baboo wreck near Palm Beach is a very unique sight since it is partly above the water. It was sunk years ago to form an artificial coral reef near the shore, but resurfaced after a hurricane in 1999. These days, the Baboo wreck is a top Aruba shipwreck snorkeling spot with easy shore access and tons of fish around!

Baboo shipwreck Malmok

The water is usually calm around the wreck and very shallow, the maximum depth is about 2-3 meters (6-10 ft). Thanks to these ideal conditions, the Baboo offers the safest shipwreck snorkeling in Aruba and we recommend it for beginners too! On top of this, you can see a couple of pelicans hanging around and hunting for fish.

Where is the Baboo wreck?

The Baboo shipwreck rests about 50 meters from the shore at Malmok Beach, right after Palm Beach. Should you arrive by car, parking is free at the beach, but there is also Arubus stop nearby.

Baboo shipwreck Aruba

Since the water is very shallow, you need to walk a little bit to reach deeper water where you can put your snorkeling fins on. The shoreline is rocky and slippery, bring water shoes or wear neoprene socks to avoid injuries!

Kappel shipwreck – Mangel Halto

The beautiful lagoon of Mangel Halto is not only the best place to snorkel in Aruba if it comes to vibrant corals reefs and rich marine life, but you can find also a shipwreck here. Kappel, a small tugboat is Aruba’s newest shipwreck that lies in about 12-15 meters (40-50ft) deep water and thanks to the clear water, it is visible from the surface too.

Kappel shipwreck - Mangel Halto - Aruba

Since it is a relatively new wreck, the corals have just started to settle on it. Therefore, compared to older wrecks, it might look a little plain, but still you can find fish cruising around and it is definitely worth visiting if you are snorkeling in Mangel Halto.

How to get to the Kappel wreck?

The Kappel shipwreck can be found in Mangel Halto, about 20 meters far from the yellow buoy in the middle of the lagoon. The easiest is to enter the water from the beach stairs and swim towards the buoy. Onsite parking is free and there are a few chairs available for use.

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shipwreck on Aruba island

Anett Szaszi

Anett is a certified scuba diver, freediver and an expert in snorkeling with more than 10 years experience. She fell in love with the ocean when she put her head underwater in the Red Sea in 2008. Since then , she is traveling all over the world to discover our waters. Wherever she goes, she takes her mask, fins and underwater camera with her. Visiting mega-cities is not her style but getting lost in tiny coastal villages, capturing the beauty of the sea while snorkeling. She is interested in sustainable traveling and marine conservation. She is hoping to inspire people to protect our oceans by sharing her underwater stories. Find her photos on @anett.szaszi Instagram too!