Along the south coast of the island is a chain of barrier islands, protecting boats sailing up and down a shallow channel. The channel is no good to dive, but it does mean that the reef on the outside is as good as free of boat traffic and therefore safer for divers. The reefs here gradually slope down to a maximum depth of 40 meters/130 feet. In some places they are centuries old. Generally the area in front of the most southern barrier islands is considered the most beautiful. There are some wreck scattered along the south side of the island as well, most of them sunk intentionally as artificial reefs. This is our favorite side of the island to dive on.
A dive site of note on this side of the island: Mangel Halto
Midway down the south coast of the island is a stunning lagoon called “Mangel Halto”. It’s mangrove-surrounded beach is a favorite with locals, but over the last few years more and more tourists are finding their way to this hidden gem. For divers (and snorkelers) there is an inner and an outer reef to enjoy. The inner reef is sandy, full of interesting crustaceans and has a small wreck. The outer reef is a bit more of a swim, but totally worth it with it’s dramatic reef structures and rich coral.
Our friends from TropicLens have made video of the shore dives on the south side of Aruba, check them out!