Snorkeling Aruba’s Boca Catalina
Just returned from a weeklong vacation with 12 members of my family in Aruba. Blue skies every day, temperatures in the upper 80s, and that consistent tradewinds cooling things down on the fine white sandy beach. While there, we had the option to go on a snorkeling cruise for $60 per person. Then we realized we could rent a 12-seat van for $125 a day and snorkeling equipment for $15 per person, reducing the price in half and giving us the freedom to see the other sites around the island. Most of those snorkeling cruises head to Boca Catalina Beach, easily accessible by car on the northwestern tip of Aruba. Take the turn-off to the California Lighthouse and you’ll see a small parking lot on your left. Grab your snorkeling gear and plunge into the Caribbean Sea. Swim around the rocks and you’ll soon be surrounded by the neon-colored fish and a healthy dose of brain coral. Remember that the sun is hot in Aruba, so I always snorkel with a light T-shirt on, and bring a second shirt to stay dry on land. I learned my lesson snorkeling for an hour at Fiji’s Natadola Beach, only to return to shore looking as red as a lobster.