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!!!