Baby Beach Reef

Aruba, ABC Islands
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Difficulty
beginner
Viz (last reported 75322h ago)
Max Depth
40ft (unconfirmed)

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving at Baby Beach Reef

Baby Beach is a very popular area for sunners, swimmers, snorkelers, kids, and, of course, divers. The protected cove offers a nice beach even in the worst of the weather. You'll find facilities and concessions here, as well. Are you ready for an adventure? Grab your map, and head to the Southern tip of the island to the community of Ceroe Colorado. Watch intersection distances carefully (since you'll seldom see a street sign!), drive through the community toward the ocean (not the refinery!), and you should begin to see the landmarks below.
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Zentacle
Zentacle
Sep 21, 2021, 1:03 AM
scuba
The area is spacious and beautiful. With a little luck, you can find this overview, as well! Parking is on hard packed sand on both the Eastern and Southern parts of the beach. The dive entry is better from the South. Finding this entrance is easy for the locals. For you, watch your map and GPS carefully as you wind your way through countryside and neighborhoods. Once down into the park area, continue South between the ball park and the neighborhood to get to the beach. Divers may exit the cove through the small channel. Keep an eye on your land marks, and watch the current. This is the Eastern entry point. Great for kids and snorkelers.
Aruba Bob
Aruba Bob
Mar 17, 2013, 12:00 AM
scuba
Baby beach dive is great for people who don't mind a strong current to get to the reef. We love this dive but recommend you go with Jads before trying this by yourself. This is the best way to find the actual reef and the easiest exit point, this could be a hard dive if you just go it alone. We see more Turtles here than nearly anywhere else on the island, huge Lobster also hiding under the boulders.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Dean
Dean
Oct 10, 2012, 12:00 AM
scuba
Located in the south of Aruba - next to Jads diving. Huge parking lot so no issues there. Gorgeous beach - very limited reef systems in bay - gets better as you get outside protection. Some fish but no big schools - 10 min swim out to get past bay reef system - somewhat deserted until that point. Very shallow - less than two meters up to 80m out. Be sure to check the dive shop on premise - Jads has great staff and a marine biologist from California that 'hangs' around.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Mark and Jean
Mark and Jean
Mar 3, 2012, 12:00 AM
scuba
We saw baby gar, trumpetfish, parrotfish, trunkfish and several others. They have been well chummed and trained. We enjoyed renting a cabana and beach chairs, which made it nice for wasting a day in the wonderful sun. You do have to pay to use the bathroom, however.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Stephen 1
Stephen 1
Jun 26, 2011, 12:00 AM
scuba
Found the left side of the beach too shallow for scuba. Didn't try the right side as it was getting late in the day. Good snorkeling however. Would be a great place to learn scuba: nice coral-sand bottom. Good visibility.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Mark J
Mark J
Apr 21, 2011, 12:00 AM
scuba
This was my third time here. This year we packed away from the crowds which tend to congregate at the eastern end of the cove. At the western end there are two artificial 'reefs' composed of construction detritus. There were many small Grunts (French, Smallmouth, Blue Stripped, and Caesar) and Fairy Basslets. Swimming out to the western channel we saw a few Trumpetfish. Visibility was the worst of all the sites we did on this trip. Exited the main cove at the eastern channel (most of the tourist snorkelers tend to congregate here and feed the fish so this is where you will see the most varieties (Sergeant Majors Tangs). Explored the channel leading toward Santana's Reef until the elkhorn corals formed a wall which allowed no more progress. Was a bit disappointed as last year there were many large Parrotfish here and amongst the elkhorm formations. Not so this year except for a few Stoplight, Queen and one absolutely beautiful Midnight Parrotfish. Also ventured out across the last breakwall to the sea. Here the visibility improved to crystal clarity and there were many Black Durgons.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Kimberly Woods
Kimberly Woods
Aug 27, 2009, 12:00 AM
scuba
This local beach diving was one of the best I could find without too much hiking required. I would suggest getting the local reef tour with JADS. Walter was my guide and helpful at pointing out the local critters. He was patient for taking photos and allowing me to spend time searching on the ledge for the hidden marine life. The cross memorial is a very cool item to photograph. If you are into sitting back and having the animals come to you this isn't the place that is going to keep you entertained. Like any reef, the animals feel safe staying hidden so you have to find them. There were different varieties of lobster, coral banded shrimp, and tons of Christmas tree worms. The schools of fish were plentiful and box fish friendly. Pipefish and puffer fish hung out along the reef and with patience, the smaller fish hiding in the coral came out for photos. Don't be turned off by the opening of the bay that has damaged coral because you will miss out on the awesome reef that parallels the shore for an easy, relaxing dive.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Ewilensky
Ewilensky
Aug 13, 2009, 12:00 AM
scuba
Great place to learn how to snorkel as inside the bay is as calm as glass. Sandy bottom in bay reduces visibility somewhat. Does not get interesting however until you leave the bay and go outside about 200 feet. Do early as wind creates lots of chop. Eagle ray, octopus and some large brain coral. EXCELLENT place for beginners.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Doug Beckham
Doug Beckham
Mar 7, 2009, 12:00 AM
scuba
I snorkeled Baby Beach, and it was OK. Didn't see any fish until I was at the mouth of the inlet. The best area was just outside the mouth. I went scuba diving with JADs at Rocky Beach (wasn't on the dive map). Walter was my guide, and he was excellent. Probably the friendliest dive guide I've ever had (unlike Cancun and Hawaii), and very safety oriented. Walter is really proud of the beauty of Aruba, and wants to share it with you. Rocky Beach is a really nice dive, healthy beautiful coral, saw my first Barracuda, tons of fish. Can't say enough about JADs and Walter, they were cool with me being an occasional diver, and didn't push stuff or services I didn't need (unlike other resort dive shops I've used), but made sure I knew what I was doing.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Doug and Vonna Roberts
Doug and Vonna Roberts
Jul 19, 2007, 12:00 AM
scuba
My wife and I used the dive shop there at Baby beach called Jads beach store. The personal service was superb! The dive can be made by boat or shore. The boat entry is a lot easier, but the shore entry/exit is worth it. We saw a lot more than expected because of previous dives around the island had bad viz, but here we saw several sting rays, eels, spotted eagle ray, turtle, and too many other fish to name. I would rate the dive the best of the 12 we have made so far. Jads also has a few special sites that are not on the map and the other dive shops do not know where they are-- these other sites were great as well. We are going to try out the scooters for a shore dive tomorrow at baby beach. There is also a little bar and grill just west of baby beach for after the dive, just don't order the hamburger....it is NASTY!
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Elgin Z.
Elgin Z.
Oct 9, 2006, 12:00 AM
scuba
I recommend you hire a guide if you've never done this dive before. The reason for this is that you might not find the reef if you go without one and more importantly, the exit is difficult if you don't know where exactly to exit. There's a dive shop near Baby Beach called JADS; there you can hire a guide. Here I'll give the same directions one of the guide's at JADS gave to my buddy and I before our first dive here without a guide: Swim out of the Baby Beach cove through either the small or the large channel, heading south; this swim out is exhausting as the waves push you back into the bay. When the depth is about 20 feet you should descend. There is not much to see in this area as it was devastated by storms. Now head further south and you'll find a small drop off; at the lowest point of the drop off the depth will be about 45/50 feet. Now you should swim heading west. There usually is a strong current down there, but luckily the current usually goes from east to west. At your left you should be seeing a sandy plane; at your right mostly Slimy Sea Plume Gorgonians and in the distance large Boulder Star Corals. In this area you should start searching for Southern Stingrays hiding in the sand. After a while swimming west you'll end up at something that looks like a mountain made of mostly Lobed Star Corals and some Boulder Brain Corals. This is the best part of the dive. In the late afternoon there are lots of fish here, including schools of Squirrelfish, Goatfish, Smooth Trunkfish, Blue Striped Grunts and Horse Eye Jacks. You'll also notice a curious pair of cables going over the reef. A short distance past these cables, there is a 10 feet tall metal cross; sometimes there's a Green Moray Eel in the base of the cross. When it's time to leave, just swim back (against the current!) to the cables and follow them over the reef and all the way to shore. The exit is over slippery rocks, but fairly easy if you exit where the cables come out of the water. I think you'll agree that this is a pretty nice dive. Anyway it's a sure bet that you'll get to see a few Southern Stingrays. Eagle Rays, Turtle's, huge Great Barracudas and Nurse Sharks also make impromptu appearances here.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Reid Bridges
Reid Bridges
May 14, 2006, 12:00 AM
scuba
Just dove Baby Beach. A nice shore dive! But first I would like to add that this is not a dive for beginners, as there is a lot of current and a long swim to dive location, as well as rocks in the surf upon exit. The reef was nice, but would like to have seen it before the hurricane. The cross makes for a nice picture. Had a great time!
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Walter Mohamed
Walter Mohamed
Apr 16, 2006, 12:00 AM
scuba
I dive this site regularly, and it is a great site. You enter in the bay area of baby beach, swim out, go down, and then drift along the coast. There is a cross about halfway during the dive, which is nice to see. After about 25 minutes, you just swim back towards the coast, and walk back a shore. Beautiful reef (except for the first part, where Hurricane Ivan damaged a lot of coral). Very regular sightings of Barracuda's, Nurse Sharks, Sting-, Eagle- and Manta rays, moray eels, Giant Groupers, etc. A must-do when in Aruba. --Walter from JadsAruba.com
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Anonymous
Anonymous
Sep 12, 2005, 12:00 AM
scuba
Snorkeled here twice. Here we saw the biggest fish but not nearly the diversity of other sites we tried. A great place to practice for beginners. Threes almost no live coral here. The beach is very nice for swimming and relaxing. Stop off at the little stand up the hill toward the refinery that sells coconut water. It's a treat if you haven't tried it.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Patty and Kent
Patty and Kent
Jun 12, 2005, 12:00 AM
scuba
This was a fun site as we used the scooters we rented from JADS dive shop at Baby Beach. We saw SIX Moray eels, big puffer fish, big Angels. A lot of fish & plant life. We went out with the guide this time & it was a great dive!
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Brian in Middletown
Brian in Middletown
Jun 1, 2005, 12:00 AM
scuba
I was worried that Baby Beach would not be as good as it was in previous years after Ivan came through but to my surprise, it was better than ever!!! I saw more types of fish here than ever. The cove still looks about the same although there are large mounds of broken coral off shore in a few places. Really blows my mind how it got stacked up that high. It seems to me like a lot of the area just outside of the cove is shallower than before and I still have not found the actual "reef" in 20-60 feet of water. When I venture out to deeper water I get a bit nervous as it is just my wife and I out that far and I must not be in the right spot because I never actually see the reef. Great spot for snorkeling as was Boca Catalina.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Anonymous
Anonymous
Sep 22, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
Amazing! But unfortunately I have heard that, ever since the hurricane, all of the reef had been torn to pieces, and it's a wreck. Can anyone confirm this?
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Jake Jurczak
Jake Jurczak
Sep 15, 2004, 12:00 AM
scuba
This is a lesson in coral reef destruction, PLEASE, don't touch the coral. Let this be a learning experience for us and local tour guides. I spent my dive wondering why the hell this happened. I recommend every diver see this one and study the carnage this reef has sustained. I'm no Green Peace radical, but COME ON !!! Don't get me wrong, Aruba possesses many breathtaking dive sites.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Steve Fremgen
Steve Fremgen
Dec 20, 2003, 12:00 AM
scuba
I grew up in Aruba and lived in a house overlooking this beach; making many dives here from the 1950s. The shallow reef has been storm damaged since I lived there, but the deep reef for scuba is relatively pristine with good coral growth. A current is always present; plan your dive accordingly.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Dave 3
Dave 3
Sep 3, 2003, 12:00 AM
scuba
Visited Baby Beach and as is the case with most beach access reefs for snorkeling, the visibility doesn't measure up to other clear sites like Turks and Caicos. Visibility is approx 30 feet, which was a bit disappointing. Lots of fish though but no turtles or rays. A couple of barracuda spotted in the 18inch range. Plenty of fish within Baby Beach but right at the channel to sea. Swimming out of channel into sea brings you to Elkhorn reefs which extend to surface from approx 8ft below. If you stay along coast there shouldn't be any problem with current and you'll see some sizable fish 2ft and up and visibility improves somewhat. Malmok Beach, in my view, was more diverse, more fish, smaller but wide ranging reef all accessed from beach with much less people though visibility was in 25 foot range. RENT A CAR and visit all the beaches! Rent an ATV for the day too. You can visit the North shore and visit remote beaches too.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Amy
Amy
Mar 27, 2003, 12:00 AM
scuba
We went the wrong way (toward the refinery) and ended up in a totally different, deserted part of the beach. There were lots of deserted looking shacks, no facilities, and not a soul on the beach. We brought snorkel gear we rented for $10/day at the hotels and drove down. The reef there was in pretty bad shape, but there were still lots of interesting, beautiful fish to see in the coral that was still alive. It was great for a beginner because you never go more that 50 meters from the shoreline so there is no fear of getting lost or confused. The water was perfectly clear and it the abundant fish made it very worth the trip. Highly recommend to rank beginners! Also, the coastline is really interesting, with another older coastline apparent about 400-500 meters back from the current one! Dramatic cliffs and a weird desolate place. We found lots of evidence of heavy beer drinking everywhere, too. Watch for glass on the beach!!
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Anonymous
Anonymous
Mar 6, 2003, 12:00 AM
scuba
Wonderful views of large parrot fish, trumpet fish, damselfish. Very busy shallow beach with lots of swimmers and facilities and a snack bar. Crowded with snorkelers at the passes where the best views are. Also strong current and surf in the passes when we were there in December. Expensive taxi ride to south end of island unless you rent a car.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Anonymous
Anonymous
Nov 1, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Only saw fish in one area, where the reef breaks into the ocean.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Terri King
Terri King
Oct 16, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
I was in Aruba in April of 2002 and Baby beach was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life!!!! Crystal clear water.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Mark
Mark
Mar 25, 2002, 12:00 AM
scuba
Not for beginner snorkelers. Once past the inlet into the ocean, the reef is tricky. Elk horn coral reaches to the surface making it confusing to find your way back to the inlet. Excellent flora and fauna. Large fish to see.
Originally posted on shorediving.com