Launched in 1939, the World War II Hamburg America Line SS Antilla operated for less than a year before running aground after its crew set it on fire to avoid its capture by the Dutch. Today the wreck makes for a great snorkeling and diving opportunity, as it acts as a safe haven for the abundant sea life of the Caribbean. Lobsters, sea turtles, and manta rays are regularly seen here. The site is a common destination on snorkeling, scuba diving, and sailing tours of Aruba.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Antilla Shipwreck is ideal for divers of all experience levels as well as snorkelers, as it sits in just 66 feet (20 meters) of water.
Due to the choppy waters and strong current, it’s recommended that even experienced swimmers and snorkelers wear a lifejacket when exploring the wreck.
The shipwreck is accessible only by boat, not from shore.
The wreck is divided into two parts, so divers can experience two different dives at the same wreck.
How to Get There
The Antilla Shipwreck is located off the western coast of Aruba. It’s straight out from Malmok Beach, which is about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) from resort-heavy Palm Beach. The beach is a 10-minute walk from the last bus stop on Malmok.
When to Get There
Aruba experiences its calmest weather from April to June, while its rainy season runs from December until March. But overall the island enjoys good weather year-round, making any time a good time to plan a diving trip there. Plus, because it’s located on the far southern edge of the hurricane belt, Aruba typically isn’t subject to severe storms.
This rocky and rugged beach runs alongside and around jagged limestone and rocks, and is a popular spot for snorkeling and diving; it’s the starting point for many Antilla Shipwreck excursions. While the beach does feature soft white sand, keep in mind that there are also plenty of pebbles and stones.