Overview of Catalina Cove

Catalina Cove

Catalina Cove
Aruba
ABC Islands

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Site Review by
 Elgin Z.
Date: 07/22/2006

Reviewer

Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Elgin Z. Entry:    4.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    3.00
City:   Oranjestad Reef:    3.00
State:   Animal:    5.00
Country:   Aruba Plant:    3.00
Diving:   3 years Facilities:    3.00
 Dives:   250 Solitude   3.00
    Roads:    5.00

Evaluation

*Average:    3.64
I was very disappointed the first time I snorkeled this site. It is a popular snorkeling site and for some reason I was expecting to find a stunning coral reef, which was just not there. I left disappointed and vowed never to return. But I did return and I'm happy I did. This site has since become one of my favorite on the island. The reason for this is simple: the turtles. On my last 6 visits to this site I had 12 turtle sightings. I never enter the water at the place recommended on this site, because you have to walk out a bit (at least a few steps) and I'm afraid to step on sharp things. That's why I always enter the water at Boca Catalina. Boca Catalina is a nice small beach very close to Catalina Cove (there's a section on Boca Catalina on this web site). When in the water at Boca Catalina you can swim along the shore to Catalina Cove (standing with the beach to your back Catalina Cove will be to your right). From Boca Catalina you'll see some houses built almost on the beach. The entry for Catalina Cove shown on this web site is between the fourth and the fifth house. The area right at Boca Catalina is quite barren, but the fun starts in front of the first house. You'll see some dark rocks/boulders sticking out of the water; the whole area is covered with them. Underwater these rocks/boulders are covered with algae and sand. There are lots of fish in the entire area: Sergeant Majors, Small Mouth Grunts, French Grunts, Blue Striped Grunts, Parrot Fish (many in an initial phase), Blue Tang, Surgeon Fish, French Angel Fish, Banded Butterfly Fish, Needle Fish, Yellow Tail Snappers, Goat Fish, Blue Head Wrasses, Squirrel Fish, Smooth Trunkfish, Squid, Blue Spotted Cornet Fish (including a 4 foot one!), many different species of Eels, a few Porcupine Fish and I've even seen a Scrawled File fish here. At times there are millions of silversides here too. These are a few of the many species of fish you'll see here. Past the entry to Catalina Cove and thus past the fifth house, you'll see lots of dark rocks on the shore; the water will become pretty shallow (3 to 4 feet). In this shallow area you'll find the largest Green Moray as well as a medium sized Hawksbill Turtle. This turtle will allow you to pet its back if approached calmly. There is another Hawksbill that frequents the area as well as a Green Turtle. When looking for turtles you have to look out in front of you (instead of looking down), because they will usually see you first and try to swim away. Try snorkeling this site in the late afternoon and watch the sun set from the water. It is a beautiful experience. While I have seen divers here, I think you'll have a nicer time exploring this shallow site with just your snorkeling gear. Along the way you'll also see some Yellow Tube Sponges, some Star, Brain and Fire Corals as well as few Gorgonians and some Anemones, but make no mistake about it: this site is all about the turtles!    

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    5.00
Beginner:    3.00
Intermediate:    3.00
Advanced:    3.00
Night diving:    3.00
   

Seasonal Information

Season:    Summer
Year:    2006
Visibility:    4.00
Current:    5.00
Surf:    5.00
 
 


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