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“Best snorkeling yet”
Review of Boca Catalina

Boca Catalina
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$79.00*
and up
Aruba Lunch and Snorkel Half-Day Cruise
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$59.00*
and up
Catalina Bay and Antilla Shipwreck Snorkel Cruise
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$88.99*
and up
Aruba Palm Pleasure Snorkel Adventure
Ranked #3 of 48 things to do in Noord
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
NC
Level 6 Contributor
141 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Best snorkeling yet”
Reviewed December 15, 2013

We cruise every year and snorkel every cruise. After much research, we decided to go to Boca Catalina during our port day in Aruba. It did not disappoint. We saw a lot of beautiful fish and coral. The current was a little rough while we were there and my right leg got scrapped pretty badly from being pushed up to the underwater rocks. After that, I called it a day.

It's great because it's free and we saw many people there that paid for an excursion. The palapas were full, but we weren't there to lie under one of those. We just threw our towels down on the sand and into the water we went. You need water shoes!!! The entrance into the water is very rough and there was a huge dip. I fell trying to get out, but at least it was a soft fall into the sand. Hubby was very glad I bought him water shoes this year. He's never worn them before, but he did on this trip. We saw the best fish around the rocks.

There are no restaurants or restrooms here. It is only good for snorkeling. You can always snorkel here and then go down to Palm or Eagle beach for some beach fun.

BE PREPARED IN ADVANCE----Getting there was pretty easy. We took bus 10 and the driver let us off at the circled bus stop and we had to walk up the road some to actually get to the beach itself. He told us when the buses come back through, so we planned exactly when to be back at the stop to allow us some time to do some shopping in town before heading back to the ship. This is where it turned bad.

The bus was scheduled to be there at 20 minutes past the hour. So, we were at the bus stop at 2:10pm, 10 minutes before the bus was scheduled to arrive. While we were walking to the bus stop, we had 2 different locals offered to give us a ride to our hotel, but we told them we were going back to town to our cruise ship. We were completely taken off guard by this, so we politely declined. We waited............and waited...............and waited. It was now 2:45pm and no bus was in sight. We had to be back on the ship by 4:30pm, so we decided we needed to start walking because it was going to be a long walk back to the ship. We began to pray that we would see a taxi that we could grab. After we took about 10 steps, a car pulled up beside of us and asked if we were waiting for the bus. We responded with yes and that we needed to get back to town because we were on a cruise ship. It was a couple in the car and they offered to take us back to town, but we really believe they were 2 angels sent to us from above. Their names were Eddie and Marisol and they were an amazingly sweet couple from Boston. We talked and laughed the whole way back to town & Eddie even told my hubby about a great local bar right there in town to get a local beer. We did just that. We really don't know if we would have made it back to the ship in time if they hadn't been there to help us. They wouldn't accept anything from us, but we told them we would never forget them or what they did for us.

Lesson for us---next time in Aruba, we will rent a car. We will not depend on the public bus in Aruba to take us back to Boca and yes......we will be back!!!

Visited December 2013
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7 Thank jennmaybe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Panama City
Level 5 Contributor
79 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Unbelievable”
Reviewed December 12, 2013

This is a "must do" for anyone who snorkels. The fish will surround you almost as soon as you get your ankles wet. Take a cooler, plenty of water and grab a palapa for a few hours. When the boats are around there are a lot of people but they leave early so wait them out. What an experience!!!!!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Bornbrit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orangeville, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
329 reviews
154 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
“Best snorkelling”
Reviewed December 9, 2013

Snorkel right off the beach…where the tour boats come so just wait until they leave. Saw lots of fish…coral pretty tramped. Beach is small but Ok for dipping/swimming.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank TLAOrangeville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savaneta, Aruba
1 review
“Snorking ”
Reviewed December 5, 2013 via mobile

Go to Boca Catalina ,it's a nice place to go to.. Beautiful, they have chairs to rent, you will love the water...The fish ,star fish and lots of other things that I never saw before.. Spented the whole day there it was prefect... I think that much poeple don't know about it.. Make sure you take drinking water or a cooler..

Helpful?
Thank Rogerryandorcas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Good Snorkeling Spot”
Reviewed November 26, 2013

We visited this area as an "on our own" excursion - from the Cruise port we took the #10 Bus - $2.30 per person, it goes up to Arashi first and then turns around and will drop you off right at the beaches - we asked for Boca Catalina but our driver dropped us at the Cove and told us it was Catalina - I quickly realized from my research that we were on the Cove beach which was supposed to be the best "snorkeling" beach but entry to the water is very rocky at the Cove. The excursions were all anchored off shore so we knew if was the right spot! There was enough shade - some palapas but no facilities and no chair rentals but we weren't there for the beach so all was good. This is a nice quiet area, we did not worry about our bags on the beach but we also did not leave anything valuable in our bags so not a big deal. After snorkeling for about an hour we decided to head to Palm Beach to get chairs and soak up the sun. We waited for the bus to return, but instead went with a cab who told us the bus would be another 20 minutes and offered us a ride for $2 instead of the $2.30 we would have paid on the bus. We had a great morning at Boca Cove and would definately go back there.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank CinBol01867
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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