Certainly one of the best beginner snorkeling beaches on the island, Arashi Beach is perfect for the cruise ship crowds. If you’re on the island for a week, make sure you find out when they will be there. The best visibility is mid-morning, mid-afternoon, especially when the wind and rain are at their lowest. Check low wave action as well.
First, the best snorkeling near Arashi Beach is toward Malmok Beach. You’ll notice that between the two, there’s a large outcropping of rock. And rock is good. Fish and coral love it.
For fish, it’s just what they need to thrive in the nooks and crannies of the rock. For coral, less runoff from rain enters the ocean in rocky areas so they do quite well without the silt that runoff brings. Silty water smothers coral, which is why so many of the great reefs around populations are now history.
At Arashi Beach, put into the left and hug the shoreline, but not too close. Depending on the tide, the depth here will be anywhere between five to ten feet. The shore slopes slowly to about 50 yards, and then goes gradually deeper. No canyon or walls here.
As you make your way to Malmok, look for the staghorn and brain coral, quite prominent between the two beaches. Around 10 to 15 feet, keep a sharp eye out for squid which generally travel in pods or schools.
Closer in, as you approach Malmok Beach, which is rocky even right offshore (watch your bare feet, and if you’re snorkeling with flippers, don’t kick or stand on any coral or rock – make it sand), you’ll find tons of sea life in the shallows.
Quietly flip over a few rocks and try to find starfish. The spindly kind are popular here and look like underwater spiders as they once again find shelter. And an upturned rock normally brings in fish, looking for any unsuspecting sea critter for lunch.
So when is the best time to snorkel here? Try high tide, or as the tide is moving in. Your swim will be the clearest during this period. And, if you can time it right, mid-morning is a great time to watch fish. They are still out hunting for their next meal.
Enjoy your snorkel at Arashi and Malmok, but don’t forget to visit the other superb snorkel spots on the island of Aruba.