It took two trips to Aruba to discover Baby Beach. We overheard American Airlines flight attendants talking about their favorite snorkeling places and Baby Beach, Aruba, was at the top of the list. Actually, the snorkeling is outside the protected beach area and it’s totally safe – you’ll see plenty of people out there throughout the day.
Like many of the popular beaches in the world, Baby Beach has evolved as far as facilities and access. You can still come here for free – with your rental car, figure out where the oil refinery is at, and just come down past it bearing the roads toward the ocean. If you get lost, simply ask (men!) and the locals will be more than happy to assist.
A few shade huts have been installed over the last few years and a shed that holds a snack bar now graces the areas toward the parking lot. The dark areas in the water to the upper left, in the shallows, is seagrass. It’s a little creepy if you’re not used to it. Most people walk around it. If you see any fish when snorkeling in this shallow area, they will most likely be in the grass.
The real fun snorkeling here is through that channel in the artificial reef in the upper center of the picture. Fish thrive in that area and even though you see a little silt on the day this photo was taken, it is generally very clear and notice the dark water further out – the bottom goes down quickly and you find yourself over giant elkhorn coral with schools of blue tang. It’s amazing!
This is a recommended beach and a must-see if you spend more than a day in Aruba. It is on the opposite side of the island than the cruise ships, so it doesn’t work to drop into Aruba and plan a trip to Baby Beach – unless you’re spending the day.
What would an Aruba vacation be without a visit to Baby Beach? And dare you to venture out of the wonderful cove to see the ancient elkhorn coral that is home to thousands of beautiful tropical Caribbean fish? I’m sure you want to know what is so special about this beautiful cove next to the Coastal Oil Refinery on Aruba’s southernmost tip.
For a few, this view is the greatest thing on the island. It means peace and quiet and no waves or wind. Brilliant white sand with a touch of that Aruba dry air. Almost perfect, no?
When oil became king back in the ’30s, workers and their families wanted a nice place to relax close to their homes. These folks weren’t on vacation, but they’ve built something that has lasted for vacationers worldwide. Baby Beach sits right off of the small Lago Community which was created by the workers of the then “Lago Oil Refinery“. Lago, named after Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, refined oil from that country.
Last we heard the refinery was still in operation and you will probably see some tell-tale sign of smoke or other activity while you enjoy Baby Beach. In any case, don’t worry that the smoke will head your way. There’s a reason why the refinery was built on this side of the island. Remember those trade winds! Yes – the smoke blows towards South America.
The Baby Beach cove was partially closed using concrete and rocks to form a quiet beach area. What happened over the years is the cove filled with sand and made it ideal for families to wade and enjoy a great weekend. And note this tip; Baby Beach is “the” beach for the locals. They are here all weekend and can show you the best spots along the shore.
They’ll tell you that right outside the cove is some of the nicest coral formations on the island – within snorkeling distance. So on your Aruba vacation, you can sunbathe and snorkel here!
Baby Beach is far away from the high-rise hotels and resorts so you will need to pack a few things before you decide to make it a day here. Plan to take snacks and water. There’s now a great snack shack at Baby Beach; we’re sure full facilities will follow.
In addition to food, take snorkel gear and beach towels. And, please note, there are now public facilities nearby. If you’re adventurous, visit the reef right outside and to the left (as you face the ocean), of the barrier wall.
The coral was damaged by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004. You will see some new growth or areas where the coral survived.
Take an underwater camera. There are many disposables that work underwater – bring them from home as they are cheaper than buying them on the island. Keep them out of the hot sun. Have fun!
Now onto a beach that is across the island and was once named one of the Top Ten Beaches of the World! Next >>
Baby Beach – Aruba – Beach Index:
- Sand – medium to large grain white powder, soft
- Facilities – snack bar serving hamburgers, hot dogs, drinks, restrooms
- Shade – shade shelters and lounges for rent
- Sports – you must bring your own gear
- Notes – something for everyone, can be crowded on weekends as locals love this gem!