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Aruba in September
FDRCVA42 - 7/25/2009 1:04 PM
Category: Travel
Replies: 4

My wife wants to vacation in Aruba in September but I am the only diver. I need suggestions on who is the best dive shop to dive with and where are the best dive sites.

Thank you all in advance.

Jorakae - 7/25/2009 4:21 PM

Not sure where you are staying in Aruba, but I actually got my open water cert in Aruba from Aruba Watersports. Seeing as there is a dive shop between every hotel on the beach and then some, it can be a bit difficult to choose from. 

Now you’ll have to take my experience for what it was, but I thought they were pretty good. Looking back, I still think that and would continue my training with them. Unfortunately I don’t live there. The boat was nice and you really aren’t more than 15 minutes from the dive sites from the shop. 

As far as dive sites, the Perdenales WWII wreck is probably one of the most popular ones there. I think I remember this one the most because I had a close encounter with a giant moray there. The rest I’d have to look up in my log book.

Make sure that you bring EVERYTHING you might need. Supplies on the island are expensive. And bring a healthy food budget if you aren’t at an all inclusive place. 
divemaiden - 7/25/2009 5:36 PM
I used Mermaid Divers last time I was there and I thought they were pretty good. But the last time I was there was 2002.
HatchLake - 7/25/2009 10:03 PM
We dove there in 2006 with Meramaid. Good guys, but if you aren’t an experienced diver they can be tough on you. We had a couple of green divers with us, it’s keep up or get out of the water. If you pack your own BCD make sure you have a dive sausage, if you are renting when you get there, take one with you. I needed mine and was the only one in the group to have one. We were on a drift dive and the boat did not keep up. We were headed to land when i offered mine to the DM and he used it to flag the boat to us. I would dive the Antilla. It’s a large wreck with much to see. All in all we had a good time. Food budget is what ever you want it to be. We stayed at the Manchebo, (it was our second time in Aruba) and there is a great pizza place in front. We now go to Curacao due to Aruba’s desire to be "americanized".
kcmorgan - 9/02/2009 2:19 PM

I have been diving in Aruba for several years. The best dive shop is Windie’s near the hospital. Red Sail is a major dive operator that operates from the Hyatt dock. The have a store downtown, at the Hyatt, and a large sales office at the Marriott Ocean Club. I have dived with them many times over the years because of their convenience/regular schedule. The dives can be crowded, but the boats are roomy. In July, I ended up being the only diver signed up for the Antilla wreck. Red Sail did not cancel and the dive with just the divemaster was great. Red Sail leaves from the Hyatt dock. That is great for the West coast dives like the Antilla and Pedernalis. South shore dives like the Airplanes, the Jane Sea wreck, and the drift dives are a 20-30 minute boat ride which can be rough depending on the direction of the wind.

The dive operator I use the most often is Native Divers. The owner, Romeo, is very friendly and flexible. His dives are generally only 4-5 people. Boat is comfortable for a group that size. His sails tent is at the Marriott. His boat leaves from the marina south of the airport. He picks up at the hotels. The boat ride from the marina to the South Shore dives is 5 minutes and very comfortable. I highly recommend Native Divers.

There are other operators including Mermaid and Windie’s, but I don’t know much about them.

If you want to talk more, you can e-mail me at k.c.morgan [ at ]