Where is Aruba?
The Caribbean. One of the most beautiful regions on our small planet. The sprawling beaches, the ocean backdrop mixed with a rugged coastline create some of the most vivid beauties known to man. This makes the Caribbean one of the biggest tourist destinations on the Earth; thousands upon thousands of people migrate over there year round. Some go for relaxation. Some go for exploration. And some go to to surf.
Aruba is an island located in the very heart of the southern Caribbean. About a two and a half hour flight from Miami and fifteen miles from Venezuela, Aruba is a mix of vast ocean views, and rugged coastline. It's a place of contrast, a nice balance that keeps everything grounded. Sheltered from the vicious waves of the Atlantic Ocean, Aruba has miles of white beaches that overlook a turquoise ocean. The ocean quickly becomes deep off the white sands, allowing some of the best scuba diving in the world to occur.
The balance of opposites of Aruba goes even further. The southern end of the island - the one with the calm and deep waters - is the one with all the beaches; such as Hadikurari Beach, Eagle Beach, Baby Beach, and Palm beach. On the other side of the island, however, things are much different. Here, waves constantly crash against the now rugged coastline, creating a place for some spectacular adventuring. Many caves have formed across the coast, and many them are accessible to the average tourist.
The Middle of Aruba - Kind of like Mars...?
Besides the luxury beaches on one end and the intense surfing on the other, Aruba also has a middle section which is quite strange. The terrain is exceptionally flat, so much so that it has been compared to the Martian landscape. The climate here is dry and arid, so much different from the coastal weather. Windy roads lead their way through the strange land, weaving in out of strange rock cropping and distant mirages. The more adventurous type - the one's who don't want to face the waves - may find this area for there liking. The island itself is only 19 miles across so if your really feeling good that day, you could surf in the morning and explore Mars in the afternoon.
By being in the heart of the Caribbean, Aruba attracts many surfers. They are drawn to the tranquil setting, and spacious water. The question is, though, is that is can one surf in Aruba? I mean really surf. The answer varies with what type of person you are. If you are the adventurous type, and have no fear, then there are many places where you can surf in Aruba. If your not as adventourus, or don't like putting your life in danger, then there other options for you:
- Kite Surfing Aruba - There are many organizations which rent and teach kite surfing. Also all this kite surfing takes place on the southern side amidst the beauty and the calm.
- Bula Surf Shop - If you contact these guys you can rent a surfboard as well as a tour guide. You won't be taken to the dramatic north end of the island, but you'll be shown some pretty neat surf spots.
- Where Locals Surf - If you know where to go you find dozens of spots to surf, although it is almost always recommended that you are an experienced surfer.
Hendrick Burgers: A Rider from the Aruba Kite Surfing School
Lesson Options and Pricing
- Beginner Package - 5 hrs: $275
- 4 Day Beginenr Package - 8 hrs: $440
- Advanced Lessons - 2 hrs: $120
- Surfing and Body Boarding Lessons - 3hrs: $150
- Private Lessons: $200
For more information check out their Website.
Kite Surfing Aruba
The Aruba Kite Surfing School is one of the best Kite Surfing school's in the world - and rightly so. The climate and location of Aruba make it a prime area for not just surfing but kite surfing too. The beaches on the south end encounter fluid trade winds and that, mixed with the shallow blue water and lush sand, make Aruba one of the best places for kite surfing for both pros and beginners.
The school boasts the following:
- Classes taught by local pros who are both IKO and ISA certified.
- Been teaching hundreds and hundreds of students since 2002.
- Use the latest kite surfing equipment, such as the Naish Sigma kites and with Naish and Nobile boards.
- Located right in the middle of one of the most popular beaches on Aruba makes it extremely easy to find.
The website for all your surfing needs. As well as directions to all the surfing spots listed below. Check it out. NOW.
Surf Aruba - Where Locals Surf
Aruba, besides being one of the finest tourist destinations in the Caribbean, is also one of the best surfing spots in the world. The northern end of the island is such an opposite of the southern end - big swells, rough waters, rugged coastline. It`s also diverse enough that both experienced surfers and beginners can find a wave to ride. The problem, though, if you want to surf Aruba is that many people don't know where to go. They wander around the island, maybe get lost in its Martian middle, only to end up back at the kite surfing shop. They want real waves, real adventure; and even though kite surfing is enjoyable, it's not the same as facing the water one on one.
Luckily the waters around Aruba aren't a big secret.
There are 19 surf spots in Aruba which are registered by WannaSurf, an online surf board community. And these 19 spots range from the beginner level to the extremely difficult. Aruba, it seems, has a few different personalities.
Aruba Surf Competition
- Boa Baranca - Type: Reef Coral - Frequency: All year
One of the most empty surfing spots in all of Aruba. There's usually no one here. Ever. The waves rarely get high, but are big enough that beginner surfers can get some good experience. Underneath the water at Boa Baranca there is an abundance of reef coral, so if you bail hard - which is unlikely at Boa Baranca - you could get few scratches. Also the area is known for sharks, so be vigilant.
- Off the Rock - Type: Reef Rocky - Frequency: All year
One of the more crowder surf spots in Aruba, Off the Rock is also one of the coolest. On your way to one of the beaches, Arashi beach, you'll see sitting in the ocean an old bamboo ship. That sounds cool, right? Now wait for the even cooler part. You get to surf next to that thing. Off the rock is a surfing spot for any type of surfer - beginner, experienced, pro. During tropical storm season the waves to the left of the ship can get pretty high, providing some unique surfing. The rest of the year the waves come in moderately, but it doesn't matter - the atmosphere is so relaxing you won't mind at all.
- Wariruri - Type: Reef Rocky - Frequency: Very Consistent (Half of the year)
Wariruri is located on the way to the Natural Bridge, in a secluded little bay on the edge of the island. A popular spot on weekends for locals, Wariruri is place for all levels of surfers. Waves break both left and right, and can reach as high as five feet. There are rocks on the left side, but other than that, the area is relatively danger free.
Respect the Locals
When your surfing in many of these spots, you're likely to encounter more than a few locals. Respect these girls and gals, because, most likely, you're going to need there help. Especially in some of the more difficult areas it's encouraged to ask a local to be your guide and show you where the best breaks are, how to avoid the rocks, ect. Each spot has a different story and the faster you know, the quicker you'll be able to ride it.
Also respect Aruba. Don't litter on the land, or destroy anything natural. Be smart.
Surf Aruba at Your Own Risk
Some of the surfing spots in Aruba are dangerous. There are sharks, urchins, sharp rocks, and painful coral. Know your ability and what your capable of. There's no point in going to a spot you know you can't handle and getting yourself into trouble.
Quadarikiri - Type: Point Break - Frequency: Rarely Break
Also known as the Caves, this spot is for pro surfers only. Impossible to paddle out to, you need to get there by boat. During hurricane season the waves will get up to 20 feet. It's mighty. It's dangerous. It's breathtaking. Go in a group, because this place nearly always dead quiet.
- Boca Druif - Type: Reef Rocky - Frequency: Very Consistent
Almost abandoned during the week, Boca Druif is for experienced surfers only. On good days, Boca Druif is known for world class waves, and even on average days the spot provides some good and fun action. A jagged and sharp reef give some danger, but if you surf aware, and know your skill, it can be avoided. The place to be if you like shallow reef breaks and big, powerful waves.
- Dooms - Type: Reef Rocky - Frequency: Regular
One of the most picturesque of surfing spots on Aruba. Rarely busy, even on weekends, Dooms - also known as 'Spot' - is a classic surfing spot. You have to paddle over some shallow reef, but once you do, you're faced with an epic and vast view. Behind you is wide beach, with a rugged coastline, and rustic lighthouse; in front of you the never ending blue. Swells can get up to 7 or 8 feet if your lucky. Dangerous though - sea urchins, rips and undertow, and rocks rule the area.
- Dos Playas - Type: Beach Break - Frequency: Very Consistent
One of the better known spots on Aruba, Dos Playas is located on a nature reserve. The waves here are beach break, with little rocks or reef in the area. The waves break left and right, giving some of the most consistent surfing on the island. Never busy during the week, but on weekends full of surfers and body boarders. Known as the place where you WILL break your board, so bring a couple extra.
- Manchebo Beach - Type: Beach Break - Frequency: Rarely Break
A sandy bottom and some big, powerful waves. That's what Manchebo Beach is whens it's on - the best beach break spot on Aruba. The waves here aren't very consistent though, so you have to plan your trip accordingly. A few buoys and other man made objects float in the ocean, giving you some unneeded trouble, but other than that the area is clean.
- Rincon - Type: Reef Coral - Frequency: Regular
One of the most dangerous spots on Aruba, but is also one of the most rewarding. The spot is far away from everything, and the journey to the waves is ever longer. Expect a long paddle over reef, and expect to get a few cuts and bruises. Sharks swarm the area, and large rocks are common place. When there is a swell, though, it's some of the best surfing on Aruba. Take out a local to guide you.
- Urirama - Type: Reef Rocky - Frequency: Very Consistent
A classic reef rocky spot. Waves break both left and right, with good swells getting up to 5 or 6 feet. Rocks provide some danger, and the spot can get crowded on the weekends.
Surf Spots in Aruba
Aruba has a wide arrange of surfing spots for people of all ages and all skill levels. So what's my point?
Grab a surfboard.
Catch a flight.
And ride some waves.
Jimmy Mac on May 07, 2012:
Thanks so much for putting up this surf info on the web! I'm hitting up Aruba next month and haven't surfed in 20+ years. Looking forward to the adventure!
Xcel Infiniti Drylock Boots on October 07, 2010:
Never been to Aruma before, but the way you described it, I want to go there NOW! : )
It looks like a perfect place for surfers.
I also think it is important to respect the locals and ask them for advice as well.
Can you recommend any good local surfing school?