Snorkeling Puerto Chiquito
Exposed Spot, Use Caution

Snorkeling Puerto Chiquito is one of the best spots on Aruba. You can see diverse coral reef and many fish at great snorkeling depths. But this spot is not for beginners because it is exposed and there is almost always a current, waves and wind to deal with. Do not attempt to snorkel here if the waves are big; it is best on a calm day. You also need to watch out for boats when you are over the outer reef.

Snorkeling Puerto Chiquito

This spot is known by many names besides Puerto Chiquito: Rocky Beach, Hole In The Wall, Bow or Bou Baranca, and Snapper City. It is just southeast of Mangel Halto, but has no real beach to hang out on. There are a couple of semi-protected little bays with rocky bottoms that offer easy access to the outer reef.


Water Entrance

The Water Entrance For Snorkeling Puerto Chiquito

As you walk down to the water from the parking area, there are shallow bays to both the right and left. Enter at the corner of the left one for snorkeling Puerto Chiquito. The bottom is rocky and sandy, so shoes are necessary. Walk out until you can float and switch to fins.

Where To Snorkel

Puerto Chiquito Fish & Corals

Once in the water, swim out to the left a little and through the opening of the bay. After you pass out into unprotected waters you can swim left or right. The current is moving from left to right most of the time, so if you swim right, be sure you can swim back against the current back to your entrance. Swimming left, you will be going against the current when you start and with it on the way back. In this whole area and quite a distance out from shore, you will find healthy corals and a good number of fish in 10 to 20 feet of water, but near the drop off it gets deeper. The visibility is generally good, though may be a bit low close to shore.

Pillar And Star Corals

Drift Snorkel To Mangel Halto
Another option is, if conditions permit, and you are a strong swimmer, you can go with the currents to the right and do a one-way drift snorkel to Mangel Halto. Read instructions for doing this and see a map on the Mangel Halto page.

Suggestions & Questions From Other Snorkelers

What We Saw Snorkeling Puerto Chiquito

We saw healthy hard and soft corals and a good number of fish when snorkeling Puerto Chiquito.

Fish:

School Of Blue Tang At Puerto Chiquito
  • Angelfish, French
  • Barracuda, Great
  • Butterflyfish: Banded, Foureye
  • Chromis: Blue, Brown
  • Cowfish, Honeycomb
  • Damselfish: Bicolor, Longfin, Sergeant Major, Yellowtail
  • Filefish: Orangespotted, Whitespotted
  • Goatfish, Yellow
  • Grouper
  • Grunt: Bluestriped, Caesar, French, Smallmouth - school
  • Hogfish, Spanish
  • Parrotfish: Princess, Queen, Redband, Redtail, Stoplight, Striped, Yellowtail
  • Squirrelfish
  • Surgeonfish, Ocean
  • Tang, Blue - very large school
  • Trumpetfish
  • Wrasse, Bluehead
Wonderful Corals We Saw Snorkeling Puerto Chiquito

Coral:

Soft Corals Are On The Reef Here Too
  • Brain, Symmetrical
  • Finger
  • Fire: Blade, Branching
  • Lettuce
  • Mustard Hill
  • Pillar
  • Sea Fan: Common, Venus
  • Sea Plumes
  • Sea Rod: Black, Porous
  • Star: Lobed, Mountainous
  • Starlet, Massive
  • Yellow Pencil
Giant Anemone

Other Creatures:

  • Anemone, Giant
  • Zoanthid, White Encrusting

Driving Directions

  1. Head south out of Oranjestad on Route 1. Follow it past the airport.
  2. At the second traffic light turn right.
  3. At the end of this road turn left.
  4. Follow this road over the bridge and take your first right. At the turn there is a sign for Marina Pirata Restaurant.
  5. Follow this road to the water and around to the left along the water.
  6. Drive past Mangel Halto which has some rock walls along the road and a rock wall with the name on it.
  7. Keep an eye out for the two story house on the left, #79. Just past it there is a driveway to the right at the pole with the streetlight. Turn here. There is a small dirt parking lot with some large boulders near the water.
The Two Story House
Where To Park For Snorkeling Puerto Chiquito

Facilities
None.

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