Boca Catalina boasts unspoiled white sand beaches and calm, placid waters. The postcard-worthy scenery makes for pleasant sunbathing, while free public parasols offer some shade. Boca Catalina is also one of the best beaches for snorkeling. Here, you’ll see scores of fish, black coral structures, and more in the warm Caribbean.
Sailing tours often include a stop at Boca Catalina, allowing travelers to swim or snorkel in the calm, turquoise waters. The depth is about 15 feet (5 meters), making it easy to see sea fans and coral, and float along with schools of angelfish, blue parrotfish, and damselfish. Just offshore lies the wrecked S.S. Antilla, a popular destination for scuba divers and snorkelers. The serene waters also make this a good beach destination for families.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Public restrooms are not available on-site.
- Snorkeling gear may be available to rent from vendors, but it’s recommended to bring your own equipment.
- There are several restaurants within a short walking distance of the beach.
How to Get There
Boca Catalina is a remote beach located on the northwestern tip of Aruba, but it is accessible by bus from Oranjestad; lines 7A and B stop at the beach. It’s a 5-minute drive from the resorts in Palm Beach and is located on the main road to the California Lighthouse. Taxis are also available.
When to Get There
As is the case with most beaches in Aruba, both locals and tourists frequent Boca Catalina on weekends. To avoid crowds, it’s best to visit during the week if possible. Early morning is the best time to go snorkeling, but underwater visibility may be low if there is an offshore storm or clouds.
Located near the northwest tip of Aruba and the popular Arashi Beach, just north of Boca Catalina, the California Lighthouse is an island landmark known for its impressive views of the Caribbean. It’s open to the public, with daily tours of the lighthouse lasting 25 to 30 minutes. Island tours typically include a stop at the lighthouse as well.