South of Oranjestad off the west coast of Aruba, the snorkeling at Depalm Island is popular with beginners for its waist deep water.
Depalm Island is located about 4.5 miles south of Oranjestad. Depalm Island is 0.25 miles offshore of the Water And Electric Plant, which is located 4 miles south of Oranjestad. There is a ferry about every half hour. The snorkelen at Depalm Island is considered to be a great introductory location.
Advanced snorkelers can head out about 100 feet offshore for more interesting coral formations with triggerfish, sergeant majors, tangs and parrotfish in 5 to 15 feet of water.
To reach the snorkeling on Aruba by air, you will need to fly into Queen Beatrix International Airport (AUA). There are several major airlines that fly into Aruba including US Air, United, Delta and KLM. Keep in mind that there is a $37 USD departure tax to leave Aruba. This tax may be included in the airline ticket, but you will need to make sure. Due to the crowds at the two levels of passport control in Aruba, you may want to allow up to 3 hours at the airport, especially between 11am to 3pm on Fridays through Sundays.
While snorkeling off Aruba, you may encounter angelfish, butterflyfish, cuttlefish, cowfish, grunts, sergeant majors, lionfish, blue tangs, wrasse, sea anemone, and barracuda among elkhorn coral, brain coral and sea fan formations. Keep in mind that it can be quite windy off Aruba in the afternoons, so the best time of day for Aruba snorkeling is in the morning.
Overall, Depalm Island is the 7th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 11 snorkeling dives in Aruba.