Aruba’s glorious golden beaches beckon
Published on Wednesday, September 9th, 2015 by Tristan Ralston
From action-packed sands to serene stretches and secluded coves, each of Aruba’s alabaster worldrenowned beaches has its own unique signature. Much of the seven-mile strip along the west coast is lined with resorts and packed with activity. In contrast, the wind-whipped beaches on the northeast coast have no amenities but they do offer tranquility, privacy and magnificent natural phenomena; but because of strong undertow and crashing waves, swimming on this side is not recommended. Both coasts afford spectacular Caribbean views and all beaches are open to the public.
Beaches are formed by the deposit of sediments, principally from surrounding reefs with corals, shells and coralagenous algae that break down in the constant churning of the sea. These sediments then are transported by currents and sorted and piled along the way by size and weight, helped by the waves and sometimes the wind.
According to Aruban marine biologist Byron Boekhoudt, “On the southwest side of Aruba are the most extensive stretches of white sandy beaches because it is more
protected from the currents. Here, the finest and lightest particles have settled to form Palm Beach and Eagle Beach.
On the north shore, there are no long stretches of beach; here the waves slam against the rocky shore and no fine particles can be deposited. In different coves or embayments, currents do slow down sufficiently to deposit and form beaches. The north shore has a black stone beach, because the cove is located near volcanic rocks and basalt, churned and deposited in that cove. The same applies to red beach upstream and surrounding that cove, formed from red rocks.”
“Many people wonder why the sand on Aruba is not hot. At Palm Beach and Eagle Beach, for example, the material comprising most of the beach is coraline, permitting airflow and not trapping or transmitting heat. In a sense, the porous calcareous material allows the beach to breathe and cool down,” he explains. Amidst the glitz and glamour of the high-rise hotel strip is the renowned twomile- long Palm Beach. Druif Beach, a long, narrow oval-shaped stretch, is home to the low-rise Divi Mega Resorts.
The tranquil, wide stretch of Manchebo Beach is dotted with swaying palms. Jutting out at the island’s most western point, it can have some angry surf from converging currents. Close by is Eagle Beach, a popular public beach fringing the main road, features a variety of water sports and some palapa huts. Some nearby hotels provide
cabanas and lounges for their guests. A rocky strip out past the Ritz Carlton, Hadicurari Beach (Fisherman’s Huts) is home to windsurfing and kitesurfing aficionados and the venue for many sporting events and tournaments throughout the year. Malmok Beach is a narrow stretch fronting sprawling homes and modest windsurfing residences. Its shallow clear waters make it a popular snorkeling spot; here catamarans and sailboats stop for a daytime snorkeling stop just off the shoreline. Reefs and sunken wrecks nearby afford excellent diving. Boca Catalina is a small secluded bay perfect for swimming just past Malmok and before Arashi. The surrounding rocky shores make it fun for both fishing and splash jumping in the water. Arashi is the northwestern-most stretch of beach, just before the California lighthouse.
For more information on Aruba and its beaches click on Aruba.com